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Romans Overview

Tonight we come to a new section of the BIble, the Epistles, starting with the book of Romans.

Romans is the 6th book of the 27 New Testament books, the 45th book of the 66 in the Bible.

It’s the first of the 13 epistles, or letters, written by the Apostle Paul. There are 21 epistles in the New Testament.

Now you may remember that most of the prophetic books we have are the sermons that were being preached during the days of the kings and exile.

So the prophetic books can be located within the time described in the books of the Kings and Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah.

The epistles are letters from the apostles to Christians and churches they had ministered to. The epistles complete our understanding of biblical doctrine and practice. Many of them can be located within the time described in the book of Acts. 

Paul’s letters follow a pattern:

Introduction and General Greeting

Thanksgiving and Intercession

Doctrinal teaching and practical application

Specific “shout-outs” to and from people


Look at worksheet: Time Line of Paul’s Epistles

We believe that Paul wrote the book of Romans from Corinth during his third missionary journey about 57 A.D.

Look at back: Survey of Paul’s Epistles

Rome was the most important city of the time; its importance is still seen today.

Almost every nation on earth ties back to European colonizing nations. All European colonizing nations tie back to the old Roman Empire.

Rome joins Babylon and Jerusalem as the most key cities in the Bible!

Romans is probably the most important theological book of Paul’s letters, having the most comprehensive presentation of the gospel.

Throughout history the Holy Spirit has used the book of Romans to get the church back to understanding justification by faith when it has veered toward salvation by works.

It inspired the Reformation under Martin Luther, and changed John Wesley’s heart after years of zealous religious efforts.

Outline of the Book of Romans:                                     Following Nelson

Part I: The Revelation of the Righteousness of God                1:1-8:39

Introduction                                                                                 1:1-17

Condemnation: The need for God’s righteousness                       1:18-3:20

Justification: The Imputation of God’s righteousness                  3:21-5:21

Sanctification: The Demonstration of God’s righteousness         6:1-8:39

Part II: The Vindication of God’s Righteousness                    9:1-11:36

Israel’s Past: The Election of God                                               9:1-29

Israel’s Present: The Rejection of God                                        9:30-10:21

Israel’s Future: The Restoration by God                                      11:1-36

Part III: The Application of the Righteousness of God           12:1-16:27

Righteousness of God demonstrated in Christian duties              12:1-13:14

Righteousness of God demonstrated in Christian liberties           14:1-15:13

Conclusion                                                                                  15:14-16:27

What Old Testament book (s) does Romans most correspond to?

Romans is to the New Testament as _________________ is to the Old!

I would say Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy explains how Israel got to the Promised Land and sets forth basic expectations for them as they live under God’s law.

Romans explains how God saves sinners by faith and sets forth basic expectations for believers as they live under God’s grace.

I’m not sure I’m saying that as well as I want to; but I am trying to say that…

The book of Romans is as important to Christians for their understanding of their calling as the book of Deuteronomy was to Israel’s calling.

A Closer look at the Bool of Romans:

1:16-17        The gospel is the power of God for salvation

1:18-21        The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven

1:28-32        God delivered them over

2:4-5            Kindness of God leads to repentance

2:28-29        Outward and inward circumcision

3:20-26        All have sinned and are only justified by faith in Jesus

4:5               Justification by faith, not works!

5:1-5            Peace with God, hope that doesn’t disappoint

5:8-11          God’s love for rebellious sinners

5:17-21        First Adam and Second Adam

6:1-5            We died with Christ; we will live with Christ!

6:11-14        Are you dead yet?

7:4-6            Serve in the Spirit

7:15-8:1       The struggle, yet victory in Jesus!                

8:12-15        The Spirit’s witness

8:18-25        All creation groans for redemption

8:26-27        The Spirit’s intercession

8:28-30        God’s saving work

8:31-39        God’s love assured!

What about God’s Old Testament promises to Israel?           Chapters 9-11

These 3 chapters are vital in understanding how Israel and the church relate to one another.

A number of teachers teach that due to their disobedience, Israel has forfeited the promises made to her in the Old Testament.

They teach that any time you see one of those promises, you should relate it to the church.

But as we have had this overview, we have seen over and over again that the promises made to Abraham and David were unconditional covenant promises.

God made those promises based on who He is, not on whether all Jewish individuals and generations were found faithful.

Read Psalm 89:20-36

Now we have also seen in our overview that there were two sets of prophecies related to the Messiah.

What were they?

That He would be a Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53).

That He would be a Conquering King. (Isaiah 9).

Acts 1:6-8 gave us an important piece of the interpretive information we need.

It let us know that there is a coming time when the Kingdom of Israel will be restored. Acts 3:21 told us Jesus is in Heaven until the restoration of all things. 

But is there any help from the apostles letters in all of this? Yes, in Romans 9-11.

Romans 9-11 rebukes any sort of thought that God is done with Israel. It speaks of the present age of the church as an evangelistic parenthesis before Jesus keeps the rest of the Old Testament promises to Israel. 

9:3               Look at Paul’s heart for His countrymen!

9:4-5            Summary of cool things about being Jewish!

Compare 9:6 & 11:26

When he later says all Israel will be saved, he obviously means in the context of those who are part of the believing remnant!

Acts 4:12 is forever now true for both Jew and Gentile!


Speaks of election/ the great mystery of God’s sovereignty in salvation!

Compare Romans 9:16 and John 1:12.

Just as we are about to say, “that means He saves some but not others,” Paul writes verses 18-19, as if to say, “Don’t go there!”

Appreciate the mystery, don’t try to parse it out!

Scripture presents both truths at the same time: God’s power seen in election, predestination, and foreknowledge. Human faith and repentance necessary part of being born again!

There us a lot of chicken and egg arguing here. Calvinist says regeneration precedes faith and repentance. SO God’s foreknowledge is of what He is going to do!

Arminian says faith and repentance precede regeneration: So God’s foreknowledge is of what man is going to do!

Those who appreciate the mystery, including many self-described Calvinists and Arminians, see repentance and regeneration as two sides of the salvation coin that are to be appreciated without our full understanding!

One of my seminary profs spoke of corporate election. These are the benefits that will be given to all who believe!

9:22             This calling to salvation is for both Jews and Gentiles.

9:27             More understanding of a spiritual remnant within the physical descendants of Abraham.

10:1             Again: look at Paul’s heart!

10:3-4          Again the connection between faith and received righteousness.

10:9-13        Great verses on salvation

Joel 2:32 explained again, like in Acts 2.

10:14-17      Note this call for people to share the gospel occurs after the talk of election!

Any Calvinist that is not missions focused has an incomplete understanding.


Just as there was a believing remnant within Israel in Old Testament days, like the 7,000 in Elijah’s days, there will be believing Jews during the church age.

11:11-12      These are key verses

There will yet be a full number of Jews brought in!

I believe this refers to the coming evangelistic harvest of Jews during the tribulation the book of Revelation speaks of.  

11:17-29      These verses clearly repudiate “replacement theology,” that the church replaces Israel.

All Israel will be saved is strong language! Irrevocable is a super strong word!

Some interpret the “full number of Gentiles” coming in to mean that only Jews will be saved during the time of the tribulation. I don’t believe that, and would use it as referring to “During this current church age.”

11:33-36      A great hymn!                          

What does God expect of believers?                                         Chapters 12-15

These chapters give a great summary of the Christian life!

12:1-2          Transformed lives start with renewed minds!

12:4-8          Discussion of spiritual gifts

13:1ff          Our call to honor & submit to the authorities God has placed over us!      

Civil disobedience is called for when the authorities would have us violate our faith in God (Acts 4 – we must obey God rather than man).

The principle is this: honor everything you can, whether it’s a parent, a pastor, a policeman, or a president.

13:8-10        It’s all about love!

13:14           St. Augustine was saved from this verse!

14:1f            The weaker brother principle

14:4             Don’t judge another’s servant on peripheral matters.

14:10-12      We will give an account!

14:17           Summary verse: The kingdom is not…

14:19-22      Pursue and promote peace!

15:1             The call for the mature to bear with the immature!

15:13           The Spirit makes hope overflow!

15:20           Note Paul’s aim…

15:25           References the relief offering that places the book in Acts time line.

Shout outs to the church of Rome!                                               Chapter 16

16:1             Phoebe, a leader in the church at Rome.

16:3-5          Prisca and Aquila!

16:11           Narcissus!

16:13           Rufus?

Same as guy from Mark 15:21, son of Simon the Cyrenian, brother of Alexander.

His mother, and mine?

16:17           Avoid those who cause dissentions and obstacles. 

Goes with Titus 3:10

16:20           Satan’s gonna get crushed!        As promised in Genesis 3

16:21           Timothy!

16:22           Tertius, letter writer!

16:23           Erastus, the city treasurer!

16:25-27      The mystery has been revealed!

Other sheet: The Romans Road!