Romans - Blue Letter Bible content

07/11/2015 04:28

Friend, today I have gathered some information about the Letter to the Romans  by the Apostle Paul that I have copied from The Blue Letter Bible

This is a wonderful resource that is not contaminated by foolishness from the world but is filled with content that can be trusted for your Godly and Spiritual growth in the Lord.

The Epistle to the Romans

Date and Location of Composition

Paul wrote the letter to the Romans from the city of Corinth, while he was on his third missionary journey. At the time he was gathering an offering from the Gentile Christians for the church in Jerusalem (15:25; Acts 24:17).

This would place the letter's composition date at ca. AD 56.

Paul mentions three people that help to identify the letter's composition with Corinth:
Phoebe (16:1),
Gaius (16:23),
and Erastus (16:23).

He sent Phoebe of Cenchrea to the church in Rome as the bearer of the epistle. With her being from Cenchrea, she would have had ties to Corinth because Cenchrea is the port city for Corinth.

There was a Gaius referenced in 1Cor 1:14 as one who lived in Corinth and many have identified him as the Titius Justus in Acts 18:7. Erastus was the city's treasurer (or director of public works) and in Corinth an inscription was discovered that refers to an Erastus as the city aedile (i.e., an official in charge of public works, etc.), which some have corresponded to Paul's reference to him.

 Purpose of this letter

Paul was writing to a church that he had never visited and a casual reading of the epistle does not convey the idea that he was dealing with situational issues (cf. the epistles to the Corinthians). Here Paul wrote with regards to the big picture-laying down the doctrine of soteriology.

He wrote that they would know the gospel of Christ. He also wanted to inform the church regarding his future plans because those plans would involve them.

At the time of writing the epistle, Paul was about to take the offering that he had collected from various churches to the poverty stricken church in Jerusalem. After that, he intended on going to visit the Roman church for a time to preach the Gospel to them. His subsequent plans were then to go westward to preach the gospel in Spain.

Themes andTheology of this Letter to the Romans

The greatest and most evident theme in the epistle is the subject of the gospel. Paul begins his letter by stating that he was called to be an apostle for the gospel's sake (1:1). Paul's dedication belonged to Christ and his gospel as he preached it with his whole heart (1:9).

The gospel is also portrayed as the power of God unto salvation-that is able to save those who believe (1:16).

This same gospel was not accepted by all the Israelites (10:16), yet graciously (and fortunately) includes the gentiles as well (15:16).

God's righteousness is being revealed in this gospel from faith to faith (1:17).

The only way this righteousness may be accessed is through faith. Sola Fide-it is by faith alone.

Man can never make himself righteous, nor will a single ounce of merit do anything in regards to salvation (Eph 2:8, 9).

Paul adds to this and says that the one who is righteous by faith shall live (1:17).

And this is his gospel which he develops throughout Romans. In this letter Paul shows why it is necessary to be justified by faith. Because of man's sin, man needs to be justified, and therefore, as a result, (eternal) life will come.

Matthew Black rendered it as follows: "'The just-by-faith (in Christ) shall live (now and for ever)'-and the words, of course, mean enjoy fullness of life, now and fore ever." [11] It has an eternal consequence-everlasting life: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (6:23).

Anders Nygren took note of Paul's systematic approach to the gospel in Romans and wrote the following in his commentary: "Step by step, persistently and consistently, he hews his way through the flood of thoughts which present themselves to him as he undertakes to explain the meaning of God's work in Christ." [12]

Ultimately, the Epistle to the Romans is undoubtedly Pauline in its very essence. It is the theologically richest of all his letters and has played an instrumental role in many great movements of the Christian church.