A Brief Account Of The Book Of Romans In The New Testament
December 6th, 2016
The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul to introduce Paul to the Romans and to give a sample of his message before he arrived in Rome. The book was actually a letter written to the Christians in Rome and believers everywhere. The book of Romans was written in the early spring of A.D. 57. Paul was most likely on his third missionary journey, ready to return to Jerusalem with the offering from the mission churches or poverty-stricken believers in Jerusalem. The most likely place of writing is either Corinth or Cenhrea because of references to Phoebe of Cenchrea and to Gaius, Paul’s host who was probably a Corinthian.
The apostle Paul was intelligent, articulate, and committed to his calling. Like a skilled lawyer, he presented the case for the gospel clearly and forthrightly in his letter to the believers in Rome. Paul had heard of the church at Rome, but he had never been there, nor had any of the other apostles. Evidently the church had been begun by the Jews who had come to faith during Pentecost. They spread the faith on their return to Rome, and the church grew. Although many barriers separated them, Paul felt a bond with these Romans. They were his brothers and sisters in Christ, and he longed to see them face to face. He had never met most of the believers there, yet he loved them. He sent this letter to introduce him and to make a clear declaration of the faith.
Paul’s purposes or writing this letter were varied:
He wrote to prepare the way for his coming visit to Rome and his proposed mission to Spain.
He wrote to present the basic system of salvation to a church that had not received the teaching of an apostle before.
He sought to explain the relationship between Jew and Gentile in God’s overall plan of redemption. The Jewish Christians were being rejected by the larger Gentile group in the church because the Jewish believers still felt constrained to observe dietary laws and sacred days.
After a brief introduction Paul takes the opportunity to present the facts of the gospel and declares his allegiance to it. He continues by building an airtight case for the lost mankind and the necessity for God’s intervention. In his letter to the Romans, Paul tells them that salvation is available to all, regardless of a person’s identity, sin or heritage. We are saved b y grace through faith in Christ and his finished work. Through him we can stand before God justified, “not guilty” (3:21-5:21). With this foundation Paul moves directly into a discussion of the freedom that comes from being saved. The freedom from the power of sin (6:1-23), freedom from the domination of the law (7:1-25), freedom to become like Christ and discover God’s limitless love (8:1-39).
Paul speaks directly to his Jewish brothers and sisters and shares his concern for them and explains how they fit into God’s plan. God has made the way for Jews and Gentiles to be united in the body of Christ.
Finally, Paul explains what it means to live in complete submission to Christ by using spiritual gifts to serve other, genuinely loving others, and being good citizens. Freedom must be guided by love as we build each other up in the faith, being sensitive and helpful to those who are weak. Paul stresses unity, especially between Gentiles and Jews. He concludes by reviewing his reasons for writing, outlining his personal plans, greeting his friends, and giving a few final thoughts and greetings from his traveling companions. None of Paul’s other letters states so profoundly the content of the gospel and its implications for both the present and the future.