We are about to take our forty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Join us as we soar over the entire book of Romans, Paul's letter to the church in Rome. This letter primarily focuses on the basic gospel message along with God's plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike. In our broad overview, we'll take a look at Paul's strong emphasis of Christian doctrine and his concern for Israel. The key chapters to review are 1, 3, 4, and 9-11.
Paul wrote this letter to the church at Rome to prepare the way for a visit he hoped to make. He presented the basic system of salvation to a church that had not received the teaching of an apostle before. He also explained the relationship between Jew and Gentile in God's overall plan of redemption, because the Jewish Christians in Rome were being rejected by the larger Gentile group because the Jewish believers still felt constrained to observe dietary laws and sacred days.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Nero becomes ruler of the Roman Empire
Paul's third missionary journey
c. 57 A.D.
Writing of the book of Romans
Paul's primary theme in Romans is the basic gospel, God's plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike. Its theme can be stated broadly as "righteousness from God," which includes justification by faith, and also such related ideas as guilt, sanctification and security.
Romans is most systematic of Paul's letters; it reads more like an elaborate theological essay than a letter. It strongly emphasizes Christian doctrine, including sin and death, salvation, grace, faith, righteousness, justification, sanctification, redemption, resurrection and glorification. Paul makes widespread use of Old Testament quotations, sometimes using them to carry along his argument. He expresses a deep concern for Israel, its present status, relationship to the Gentiles and final salvation.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Rome -- The capital of the ancient world, with over a million people. Christians in the city were numerous, as the Roman historian Tacitus calls them "an immense multitude" by 64 A.D.
Corinth -- A major city in Greece where Paul probably wrote the book of Romans.
PEOPLE OF INTEREST:
Paul -- An apostle of Jesus Christ and the preeminent theologian of the early church. Paul wrote much of the New Testament.
Tertius -- Secretary who wrote down Paul's words. He makes some greetings at the end of the letter.
Gaius -- Paul's host; Paul wrote Romans in his home.
When Paul wrote this letter, he was probably on his third missionary journey.
Since Paul had not yet been to Rome when he wrote the book of Romans, he was not acquainted directly with the church, and he says little about its problems.
Paul did not immediately to go Rome because he felt he must personally deliver the money given by the Gentile churches for the poverty-stricken Christians of Jerusalem.