The Epistle to the Romans by Apostle Paul is the longest, the most systematic, and the most profound of all the epistles, and perhaps the most important book in the scripture written by him. The careful composition of the epistle suggests he had a period of leisure before he took relief money to the brethren in Jerusalem. Unlike other epistle, it was written to a church, he had never visited -see Chapter 1;10-11 and 15.
After a proper salutation and thanksgiving, Apostle Paul, appealing to a text of the Old Testament Habakkuk 2:4 introduces the theme from his epistle as Justification by faith. The opening three chapters establish the first main point that all men are sinners. Paul begins with a description of the gross idolatry and immorality of the gentiles, yet by reason of the display of God’s power in nature and the witness of their own conscience that ‘they which commit such things are worth of death” the Gentiles are held responsible. At the same time the Jews that thought they are the favoured recipients of God’s oracles, are equally sinners.
The Gentiles sinned without the law-they shall perish without the law, The Jews sinned under the law, they shall be judged by the Law ‘for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified- see Chapter 2:13. However, there are no doers of the Law, either Jews or Gentiles, for ‘there is none righteousness, no, not one-see chapter 3:10. Therefore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight-see chapter 3:20. If then, anyone is to be justified; God Himself must graciously supply the righteousness needed for acquittal.
This is accomplished by virtue of Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice. His shed blood satisfies the justice of His father, so that God may be just as well as justifiers of him who have faith in Jesus.
In chapter four with Abraham as the chief example, he further explains how God imputes righteousness apart from works. Then chapter 5 compares Adam and Christ, all whom Adam represented were made sinners by his single offense, all who are in Christ are made righteous by His obedience. The reply to the accusation that justification by faith encourages sin is shall we continue in sin that grace may abound. In chapter 6:1. Apostle Paul explains that the sincere believer has come to Christ in order to escape sin.
Justification produces sanctification and the sanctifying struggle itself sees chapter 7:14-25 as evidence that we have escaped condemnation.
Therefore depending on predestination, see chapter 8:29 and God’s immutable love, verse 39- see chapter 8, we can have assurance of salvation. Justification by faith, the rejection of the Jews, and the inclusion of the Gentiles are not inconsistent with God’s promises to Israel. The promises were made, not to the physical, but to the spiritual descendants of Abraham. God chose Isaac, and rejected Ishmael; God chose Jacob and rejected Esau. These choices and exclusions are inherent in the promises themselves. God’s choice is sovereign. He is like a potter who makes vessels to suit his purpose.
However, there will come a day when the Jews as a whole, who now have been cut out of the church in order to make place for the Gentiles, will be grafted back in again. And if the casting away of the Jews has effected the reconciling of the world, their future reception will be like life from the dead-see Chapter 11;15
Because of these divine mercies, each Christian should fulfill his particular function in the church with diligence and simplicity. Similarly in the state each believer should be a good citizen. And in social affairs, the more mature Christian must accommodate himself to the weaker brethren who are still held by superstitions scruples.
Finally Apostle Paul expresses his hope of visiting the Romans on his way to Spain and concludes the letter with a score of personal greetings.
THE OUTLINE OF THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS INTRODUCTION AND THEME-CHAPTER 1:1-17
THEME: JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH-CHAPTER 1:16-17
The need of the Gospel-Chapter 1:183:20
Condemnation of the Gentiles-Chapter 1;18-32
Condemnation of the Jews-Chapter 2;1-3:8
Condemnation of all men-Chapter 3:9-20
THE BRIEF STATEMENT OF SALVATION: JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH – CHAPTER 3:21-31
ABRAHAM A CONFIRMATION OF JUSTIFICATION-CHAPTER 4:1-25
RESULTS OF JUSTIFICATION-CHAPTER 5:1-21
THE REPLY TO THE FIRST OBJECTION TO JUSTIFICATION: IT PROMOTES SIN: CHAPTER 6:1-8:39.
Justification produces sanctification-Chapter 6;1-23
The law and grace-Chapter 7:1-25
Assurance of salvation-Chapter 8;1-39
THE REPLY TO THE SECOND OBJECTION: IT ANNULS GOD’S PROMISES CHAPTER 9;1-11:36
God’s sovereign choice-Chapter 9:1-33
Jews Zeal and disobedience-Chapter 10;1-21
The future of Israel-Chapter 11;1-36.
PRACTICAL EXHORTATION-CHAPTER 12:1-16-27
Service in the church and other duties-Chapter 12:1-21
Political Duties-Chapter 13:1-14
The personal responsibility-Chapter 14:1-23.
Apostle Paul’s Missionary Ambitions-Chapter 15:1-33
The personal greetings-Chapter 16:1-27.