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The Book of Romans

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New Believers Study
An Overview of the New Testament
by Pastor Ron Beckham

Fourth Study:
The Book of Romans

This Book begins with the salutation, "Paul, a servant (actually, in the Greek, a "doulos" or "slave") of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God" (NKJV).  Paul, the author of this magnificent epistle (letter), wrote Romans in a question-and-answer format, giving us an unprecedented understanding of Jesus Christ, of people, and of life.  This Book teaches us how to live.

The Book of Romans was regarded by the Early Church as written initially to the people of the Church in Rome (Romans 1:7, 15), though there were a few early manuscripts that omitted mentions of "Rome" in the first Chapter.  Note that Paul wrote this letter through an "amanuensis" (secretary) named Tertius, who added his own greeting in Romans 16:22. 

Paul did not found the Church at Rome, and despite the tradition that Peter founded the church there, it was more likely founded by displaced Christians who traveled from Asia and Greece.  They received the Lord through Paul and others such as Barnabas, then traveled to Rome and established churches in the center of the Italian peninsula. 

In the Open Bible Commentary, it is stated that Paul wrote this letter in AD 57, near the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:14), indicating it was probably written during his three-month stay in Greece (Acts 20:3-6).  He evidently gave this letter to Phoebe of the Church at Cenchrea, near Corinth, and she carried it to Rome (Romans 16:1-2). 

In the Book of Romans, mankind is presented as utterly depraved, unable to be just, honorable, or to escape from the clutches of sin.  God through Christ is presented as the only solution to the dilemma of this ruined race we call humanity.  To those who receive Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God is given, enabling those who cannot, on their own, serve the living God, to become His sons and the ambassadors of God's grace to this earth.

The central theme of the Book of Romans is found in Romans 1:16-17, which can be summed up by Paul's quote from Habakkuk 2:4, "The just shall live by faith."  Keywords in this Book include, "righteousness, faith, law, and sin."

You are encouraged to test yourself after the completion of “The Book of Romans”, using an essay (written) format.  What does Romans mean to YOU?  The next section in this study is entitled “Questions” and it is suggested that you may 1) answer one or more of the questions in that section, and 2) send your answers to Ron@FridayStudy.orgIf you would like, your answers will be “graded” and responses given.

There are excellent websites where you may visit and copy or print the writings of some truly remarkable theologians from past centuries.  A good, simple to use “search engine” for that purpose is “Google,” where you can enter words like “Bible Commentaries” to search for some really great Bible commentaries from the past, including the following suggested locations:

bullet Romans For Youth at Friday Study Ministries
 
bullet Go to Google as a Search Engine.  (Try others but this materials
came from Google).  Look up Bible Commentaries (there is no
cost to download or copy much of the material)
 
bullet A suggested address is
 
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
 
bullet Another is
http://bible.christiansunite.com/commentary.shtml
 
bullet And 
http://www.gospelcom.net/eword/comments/

 

There is much "freeware" on the Internet available for your study of the Book of Romans.  Matthew Henry, who wrote about 250 years ago (“Matthew Henry’s Commentary”), is strongly recommended, along with others of that time, such as John Calvin, John Wesley, and John Gill.  You will find wonderful material in those writings.  Also recommended is Dr. J. Vernon McGee (but there may be a small charge for his materials). 


Questions

  1. In the light of Romans 1:1-32, how widespread is sin in humanity?  Why?
  2. What is "grace" and how do we attain it?
  3. How can men and women be justified before God?
  4. What does it mean to live by faith? (Romans 1:17)
  5. In the light of Romans 1:18 and forward (into Chapter 2), what is sin and how do we do it?
  6. "God gave them up to uncleanness" (Romans 1:24)  How does that work in the lives of people?
  7. What does it mean to "show the work of the law written in their hearts" (Romans 2:15 & context)
  8. The Gentiles have sinned (Romans 1:18-32) and the Jews have sinned (Romans 2:1-3:8).  Have all sinned? How?
  9. What is the Law to us? (Romans 3:20 & context)
  10. If the Jews have sinned and all the nations have sinned, what is the necessity for a Jewish nation?
  11. Do Paul's teachings about human sinfulness degrade the dignity and nobility of man?  Discuss.
  12. Is the transfer of penalty from a guilty to an innocent party legal?  Why?  Why not?
  13. How is Abraham the example for us all? (Ch. 4)  How was Abraham justified before God?  What part does the cross of Christ play in his justification?
  14. What does tribulation produce in us?  (Ch. 5)  Why?
  15. What does it mean to be a "slave" to sin?  How does this operate in our lives?
  16. Can we continue to sin after salvation?  What does it mean if we do?
  17. Discuss sin and repentance in relation to baptism.  What is baptism for the Christian?
  18. What is the "old man"?  The "new man"?
  19. How does Adam compare to Christ?  In what way?
  20. How does Romans Chapter 7 apply to you?
  21. Is justification possible without sanctification?  How?
  22. How does Romans Chapter 8 apply to you?
  23. What happened to Israel (Chapters 9, 10, 11)?  Can the same thing happen to my church?  To me?  How?
  24. Who are the present remnant of believers in Israel?
  25. How can God be sovereign & yet allow freedom to mankind?
  26. How much of myself should I give to God?  How should I live? (Romans 12)
  27. Discuss divine authority in this world.  Is there any authority that is NOT given by Him?  How?
  28. Discuss Christian liberty in Chapter 14.  How do these verses apply to your beliefs?  To the doctrinal beliefs of your Church?  How should you treat others and their beliefs?
  29. How should we regard one another?  (Chaps. 14-15)
  30. Who are the people in Romans 16?  If they were in Rome, and Paul had not yet been to Rome, how did he know them?

    True and False Questions:

    1. Tertius was the real author of Romans. (Romans 16:23)
    2. It is the weak in faith who avidly follow the rules and regulations in Scripture. (Romans 14:1-2)
    3. Abraham is the father of all who believe. (Romans 4:11)
    4. We can be justified before God by our works. (Romans 3:28)
    5. An interesting sign that God is rejecting a nation is when He gives that land up to its own uncleanness. (Romans 1:24-28)
    6. The Law gives us knowledge of our sin. (Romans 3:20)
    7. It’s good to glory in our troubles. (Romans 5:3)
    8. We are to continue in sin so that grace may abound. Romans 6:1)
    9. Christ died for the Godly. (Romans 5:6)
    10. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. (Romans 8:1)
    11. You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Romans 8:9)
    12. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
    13. All Israel cannot be saved. (Romans 11:26)
    14. The gifts of God do not last. (Romans 12:29)
    15. It is not good to associate with the humble. (Romans 12:16)
    16. Obeying our elected officials is a good idea. (Romans 13:1-4)
    17. There’s more to salvation than confessing & believing. (Romans 10:9-10)
    18. The Holy Spirit of God is praying for us. (Romans 8:26)
    19. Sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Romans 5:13)
    20. Paul did not struggle with sin. (Romans 7:19)

     

Your assignment in the Book of Romans is to read the whole of that Book, with the above Questions in mind.  Always remain in prayer when you read Scripture, trusting in the following verse:  “Until now, you have asked nothing in My Name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).  Go into the Internet at the places cited, and read from the theologians offered, especially Matthew Henry (and you can find his excellent writings as “freeware” on the Internet).  Read whatever other authors you find appropriate for this section.

The next New Believers Study will be in the Corinthian letters.

Write with any questions:
Pastor Ron Beckham 
Ron@FridayStudy.org

 

 
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