Today we begin our reading of Romans. This will be a challenge to many people as it often presents complicated arguments. I cannot emphasize enough that keeping the whole book in view as you dive into a particular section is the only safe way to study this book. Here is my basic outline of how the book is put together.
Chapters 1 - 3 The gospel saves from Sin and the Wrath of God.
· The gospel is God’s power to save from Sin. 16-17
· The wrath of God is revealed against ALL sin. 18
· The gentile world has willfully forsaken God and turned to a life of sin. 19-31.
· God’s judgment is based upon TRUTH and will allow no respect of persons. Ch. 2. The soul that sins will be condemned - the Jew under the law or the gentiles without the law. The problem is SIN.
· Ch. 3:1-20 - the Jew, even though they had the law, sinned and were due condemnation.
· In 3:21-31 we return to a fuller explanation of 1:16-17 and how the gospel is the answer to the problem of our sin and condemnation.
Chapter 4 - the great example of Abraham being right with God by faith, but notice the NATURE of such faith: a faith that walks with God, trusts in God, obeys God.
Chapter 5 - Though saved, we yet experience trouble in this present world - 1-11
The contrast between Adam and Jesus (12-21) - what Adam brought into our world, Jesus more than takes care of and ‘undoes’ (note ‘much more’ vs. 15, 17; and ‘abounded all the more” vs. 20).
Chapter 6 - Our salvation involves dying to the OLD way and Living for Righteousness, a life that begins when by faith we are united with Jesus in baptism.
Chapter 7 - Such righteousness is apart from the OLD LAW as we died to that law and are now married to Christ.
The last half of chapter 7 shows what it was like for a person who desired to be right with God but lived under the Old Law - it would bring the cry of despair: “O wretched man that I am, who can save me…”
Chapter 8 - there is no condemnation for those in Christ. Being alive in Christ produces in us a life of living by and unto the Spirit.
· YET, we live in this life and are therefore beset with temporal problems…
· God’s great plan - to have a people that are like Jesus - sons that are conformed to HIS image ( 8:29-30)
Chapters 9 through 11 deal with the problem of ‘Jewish unbelief’. If Jesus is the Christ, why did so many of the people NOT believe in Him?
Ch. 9 - God has the right to chose who He uses to serve His purpose. He chose the Jews to bring about the fulfillment of the promise of the Messiah.
Ch. 10 - God did not cast off the Jews - for THEY can be saved in Jesus, but the truth is THEY refused the very son of God that could save them.
Ch. 11 - The Jewish people can YET be saved if and when they turn to Jesus. SUCH turning, however, is always personal. As they were converted they were saved. Gentiles need then not boast, for they too stand upon their faith. IF they QUIT believing, they are broken off. IF a Jew turns in faith, he is grafted back into God’s blessings.
In 11:32 we read the conclusion: God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Hence the gospel is the power to save ALL THAT BELIEVE whether Jew or gentile.
Chapter 12 - 16 then takes up the practical side of how such believers are to live in this world. Have you been raised to walk in newness of life? ARE you walking in newness of life to the glory of God?