“THE BOOK OF ROMANS” Part 1 of 8

 “Jesus Christ – the righteousness of God”

“One day you will stand before God and you must have HIS righteousness”

“Blessed is the man unto whom God IMPUTETH RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom 4:6)

“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:8)

 “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom 5:18)

 It’s about things of God: the righteousness of God, the faith of God, the truth of God, the salvation of God, the gospel of God, the power of God, the love of God, the wrath of God.

The word “God” appears 144 times and “of God” occurs more than 25 times.

 WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE BOOK OF ROMANS

CHRYSOSTOM (347 – 407) (He was called ‘The Golden Mouth’) would have Romans read to him twice a week. So wonderful and powerful was the book.

 MARTIN LUTHER (1483 – 1546) In his preface to the Epistle to the Romans he states “This epistle is in truth the chief part of the New Testament and the purest gospel. It would be quite proper for a Christian, not only to know it by heart word for word, but also to study it daily, for it is the soul’s daily bread. It can never be read or meditated too much or too well. The more thoroughly it is treated, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes. In itself, it is a shining light, quite sufficient to illumine the whole scripture.’

Luther goes on to say “In this epistle, you will find the greatest abundance of things that a Christian ought to know: What the law is, the gospel, sin, punishment, grace, faith, imputed righteousness, Christ, God, good works, love, hope. Cross-bearing conduct of ourselves toward the godly and toward sinners.

Conduct of ourselves toward those of weak faith, friends, toward enemies and toward ourselves.

Moreover, all this teaching is taken from the scriptures and illustrated by Paul’s personal example and by the example of the prophets, so that there is nothing left for us to desire.

It seems therefore, that Paul’s object in this epistle, was to draw up a syllabus of the entire Christian and evangelical doctrine, and to prepare an introduction to the entire Old Testament. For any person who has received this epistle into his heart has without question, the light and strength of the Old Testament in himself.

Accordingly, let every Christian become familiar with this epistle, and put it into constant practice. To this end, may God grant us his grace! Amen!”

 MELANCTHON (1497 – 1560) – “Romans – the compendium (complete summary) of Christian doctrine”

 FREDERICK GODET (1812 – 1900) the Swiss theologian called the Book of Romans “The cathedral of the Christian faith.”

 G. CAMPBELL MORGAN (1863 – 1945) said of Romans “The most pessimistic page of literature upon which your eyes ever rested” and at the same time “the most optimistic poem to which your ears ever listened.”

 RICHARD LENSKI wrote “Romans is beyond question, the most dynamic of all New Testament letters …”

 COLERIDGE (1772 – 1834) “I think St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans the most profound work in existence…”

 MATTHEW HENRY (1662 – 1714) states in his Commentary on Romans that in the universe of ‘spiritual stars’, there are those that differ from the rest in magnitude and glory – in the Old Testament it is David’s Psalms and in the New Testament it is Paul’s fourteen Epistles, the chief of which is Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

ST PETER THE APOSTLE
wrote about Paul’s letters As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16

 BACKGROUND

Paul writes to the church at Rome in 57AD.

He was on the last leg of his third missionary journey around the area of the Mediterranean Sea (Acts 18:23 – Acts 21:19) and was headed for ‘home’ to Jerusalem to tell the saints what he had done (Acts 21:18-19)

He was at Corinth (Acts 20:3) at the time, and was to leave for Jerusalem with money for the poor saints there (Acts 15:26).

Before he leaves, he writes this letter in about the space of three months (Acts 20:3) and sends it to the Christians in Rome by a lady called Phebe who lived in a suburb of Corinth called Cenchrea (Rom 16:1). She was travelling to Rome from Corinth at the time. She was a Christian woman and obviously highly thought of by Paul. 

You see, Paul just couldn’t run down to the shops and pop this letter in the letter box. Why? There was no postal service for the public. The Roman government had its own official letter and parcel delivery service for government business, but there was none for the everyday citizen. Letters and indeed money, had to be sent via friends and relatives.

WHO STARTED THE CHURCH AT ROME?

In 33AD at Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1), about 24 years earlier from when Paul writes this letter in 57AD, there were strangers of Rome (obviously so called as Paul hadn’t met a lot of them them) (Acts 2:10). These went back to Rome and started the Christian church there.

Now over the years, many Christians from all over the East, had gone to live there as well and swelled the church numbers. Indeed, some of these were Paul’s friends, and his own converts in the faith (Rom 16).

About three years later (60AD) after Paul writes this letter, he finally gets taken to Rome (and not the way he had in mind), but as a prisoner of Rome (Acts 26:32).

This was his fourth journey (Acts 27:1-16).

Paul had never been to Rome, but he had heard such good reports of the church’s faith (Rom 1:8) which had gone all over the world.

He had wanted to visit them. (Acts 19:21; Rom 1:13)

Although God has told him he would go to Rome and be God’s witness (Acts 23:11), he was unsure whether he would get there or not (Rom 1:10, 13).

After Paul got to Rome, he was obviously a trusted ‘prisoner’ and so they let him hire his own house for two years, where he received and taught all who came to him for about two years (Acts 28:30-31).

You see, the authorities in Rome hadn’t heard much about Paul and knew very little about him (Acts 21:28) and indeed, were interested in what Paul had to say about the Christian sect of which they had heard (Acts 21:29). So he had a ‘free range’ but was under guard for two years in a hired house.

Now around 62-63AD, they let him go as a free man.

But in 64AD Nero burns Rome and blames the Christians who he saw as a big threat. It has been said that one in ten people in Rome had become Christians. He therefore made up this excuse to go after Paul.

Paul is captured soon after and put back into prison. This time there is no hired house for him.

Paul was beheaded in Rome about three years after in 67AD.

This beheading takes place about ten years after he writes his letter to the Romans.

 

Year

Event

33 AD

Pentecost at Jerusalem

45-48 AD

Paul’s 1st trip

50-53 AD

Pauls’ 2nd trip

54-58 AD

Paul’s 3rd trip.

57AD WRITES THE BOOK OF ROMANS FROM CORINTH (Greece)

– 24 years after Pentecost

58-60 AD

Prisoner at Caesarea for two years.

60-61 AD

Paul’s 4th Trip. Taken to Rome to appeal to Caesar.

Three years after writing Romans

61-63 AD

Hires his own house for 2 years – under ‘house arrest’

63 AD

Paul released

64 AD

Emperor Nero burns down Rome and blames the Christians.

66-67 AD

Paul re-taken as a prisoner

68 AD

Paul beheaded – 10 years after he writes Romans


Tuesday 31st August 2021 “THE BOOK OF ROMANS” Part 2 of 8


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Harley Hitchcock

Tuesday 31st August 2021

 THE BOOK OFPart 2 of 8



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