About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Commentary on The Book Of Romans
commentary is based on the New International version of the Bible, 1984
edition, although my revision of this commentary in 2015 is based on the
1994 edition of the NIV. Chapter
titles in this commentary correspond with chapter titles in the 1984
edition of the NIV Bible that make for easier study.
I had only one book of the Bible to teach from, Paul's letter to the
Romans would be the book. It
sets forth the basic truths that Christians must not compromise.
It not only sets forth basic Christian doctrine but it tells us
how to live and it gives us a glimpse into the future.
So, here we go. Let's
see what the Apostle Paul has to say to us.
scholars believe Paul wrote his letter to the Romans in the spring of 57
or 58 AD from Corinth. Paul had never been to
and he had a great desire to see these people (Romans 1:13).
His plan was to visit Jerusalem
with money that he had collected from various church communities to give
to the poor Christians in that city.
Little did Paul know that he would return to
earliest reliable manuscript that we have of the book of Romans is dated
around 180 AD, roughly 132 years after Paul wrote the original.
There are some earlier copies although they have discrepancies in
them that most feel are additions or retractions.
It is highly recognize that we have in our Bibles today is what
Paul actually wrote.
100 A D all of Paul’s writings were recorded into one book for
distribution throughout the churches.
Also, in many of the early Christian literature we see quotes from
Paul's writing. This is
easily seen in the writings of Clement in the last decade of the first
of Paul’s letters were addressed to a particular church in a
particular city. For
example, in 1 Corinthians 1:2 you read that Paul wrote his letter to the
church at Corinth. In the book of Romans he
did not say that he wrote to the church at
is clear that Paul did not begin the work in Rome
because he had never been there before.
It is not really known how people first became Christians in
is interesting to note that among the people Paul greeted in his closing
chapter was Rufus (Romans 16:13). Do
you remember when Jesus was led out to be executed?
A man named Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry his cross.
It is said that he had a son named Rufus.
Some historians believe that Simon’s son Rufus is the Rufus
that Paul greets in chapter 16. He
might have seen the crucifixion and became a believer, but again, we
don't know this for sure.
is also interesting to note the content of Paul’s letter to the
Romans. The people to whom
Paul was writing were people he had never met before; therefore, what he
wanted to tell them was of utmost importance.
Paul thus relates the important truths of the gospel to these
people. He did not talk
about secondary issues, but the essence of the good news that is found
in Jesus. As Christians we
often promote ourselves, or our church, or our doctrinal distinctives,
to those we have never met, but not so with Paul.
Paul wanted these Romans to be sure what salvation was all about.
In a systematic, logical, and even legal fashion, Paul does just
begins by proving that all men are totally lost and without any hope of
ever finding peace with God. No
matter if you are religious or the worst of sinners, he tells us that we
are all miserably lost. He
even calls himself a wretched man in Romans 7:24. Paul
then shows us how the Jewish Law, the Law of Moses, and really, any
other law, is unable to bring one to peace with God.
We can do absolutely nothing to bring salvation our way.
He shows how righteousness and salvation is by faith in God’s
act of grace and by faith alone. Then
once we have come to faith in Jesus, or, trust Jesus with our lives,
salvation is ours. He then
tells the importance of living life in the Holy Spirit.
chapters 9 through 11 Paul tells the Romans the important facts
concerning the history of the Jews, their present situation, and their
final salvation at the end of this age.
He states that the Jews have prophetic significance and that God
is not finished with them as some think.
Paul speaks to this issue because the Jewish Gentile controversy
was the burning issue of the day. By
this I mean the question was always being raise, are Gentile Christians
mandated to become Jews and follow the Law of Moses to be a real
in the final chapters of Romans Paul tells his readers how to live their
lives as a result of their trust in Jesus.
He speaks of submission to civil authority, love for one another,
legalism, among other things.
ends his letter in chapter 16 by greeting many people that he knew or
heard about in Rome. It is clear that even
though Paul had never been to
book of Romans is the cornerstone book of the New Testament because it
clearly sets forth the important truths of the gospel in a systematic
way. For this reason the
book of Romans has been used in many universities today in law classes.
It is a classic defense of the gospel and law students learn from
Paul’s letter to the Romans how to make a clear defense.
important men of history have become Christians merely by reading this
book, including Martin Luther and John Calvin.
Understanding Paul's defense of the gospel of Christ in Romans
will make a real difference in your life as a Christian.
This is a must book to study and understand for every Christian.
It's a thinking person's book, something that modern Christians
don't seem to want to do these days.
should also remember that Paul was a Jew writing to various people with
various cultural backgrounds in this letter.
The things that Paul writes in this letter show what kind of
transformation he had on the road to
defines the gospel more than any other New Testament personality, and
that includes Jesus Himself. So
I say that if Paul got it wrong, Christians have a big problem on their
hands. Of course, I don’t
believe he got anything wrong.
following is an outline of the book of Romans.
Prologue - chapter 1:1-7
a – Paul's address - chapter 1:1-7
b –Thanksgiving and prayer - chapter 1:8-12
explanations - chapter 1:13-17
Principles Of The Gospel - chapter
1:18 to 5:21
a – Gentile righteousness - chapter
b – Jews righteousness - chapter 2:1 to –3:20
c – Divine righteousness - chapter
3:21 to 31
d – Abraham’s righteousness - chapter 4:1 to 25
e – Believer’s righteousness - chapter
5:1 to 21
Problems Raised By The Gospel - chapter 6:1 to 23
a – The charge of license - chapter
6:1 to 14
b – The charge of lawlessness - chapter 6:15 to 23
Christian And The Law - chapter 7:1 to 8:39
a – Law is valid only in lifetime - chapter 7:1 to 6
b – Law - sin aren't synonymous - chapter 7:7 to 25
c – Law is vanquished by grace - chapter 8:1 to 39
Problem Of Jewish Rights And Privileges - chapter
9:1 to 11:36
a – Absolute sovereignty of God - chapter 9:1 to 29
b – Jewish responsibility in the historic situation -
c – The merciful purpose of God - chapter 11:1-36
In Practice - chapter 12:1 to 15:13
a – Introduction - chapter 12:1 and 2
b – Personal ethics - chapter
12:3 to 21
c – Political ethics - chapter
13:1 to 7
d – Personal ethics - chapter 13:8 to 14
e – The strong and the weak - chapter 14:1 to 15:13
- chapter 15:14 to 16:27
a – Justification for writing - chapter 15:14 to 21
b – Plans for future journey - chapter 15:22 to 33
c – Greetings to friends in
d – A final admonition - chapter 16:17 to 20
e – Greetings from
f – Concluding doxology, chapter 16:25 to 27