Introduction to the Book of Romans

Introduction (update)
The book of Romans is perhaps the greatest masterpiece on the Christian doctrine ever penned.  It is elegant, intricate, and concise yet thorough. 

Paul systematically addresses salvation (1), starting at the beginning with sin and man’s fallen nature (2), and how that man is judged before God outside the law, the result of sin and how salvation came through the Jew, the purpose and reasoning behind the law, salvation by faith, the church, Israel and their place within God’s eternal plan, and Christianity in human government and responsibility.

Paul lays out a chain of causation concerning the sin of humanity and follows it to its conclusion concerning Spiritual maturity in the church (3).

Paul analytically addresses sin, as well is salvation, reciprocity as well as grace, righteousness is well as mercy, liberty as well as restraint, and love as well as regulation.

Paul introduces original subjects (never presented before) concerning Christianity in the book of Romans, such as the concept of:  the contrast of Two Adams, The Trilogy of Faith (lays the foundation for it), the destiny of Israel (with insight into the rapture), the purpose of the law in that it was a schoolmaster, and solidifies the concept of eternal security.

The subject matter of the book of Romans can be broken up as follows (4):


The Gospel Exalted                                                  (1:1)

 

Unbelief and Its Consequences                                 (1:18)

 

The Impartiality of God                                            (2:1) 

 

The Jew Is Condemned by the Law                           (2:17)

 

All the World Guilty                                                  (3:1)

 

Justification by Faith                                                (3:21)

 

Justification by Faith Evidenced in Old Testament       (4:1)

 

Results of Justification                                             (5:1)

 

Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God                      (6:1)

 

Believers United to Christ                                         (7:1)

 

The Conflict of Two Natures                                     (7:14)

 

Deliverance from Bondage                                        (8:1)

 

Our Victory in Christ                                                 (8:26)

 

Solicitude for Israel                                                  (9:1)

 

The Word of Faith Brings Salvation                            (10:1)

 

Israel Is Not Cast Away                                            (11:1)

 

Dedicated Service                                                    (12:1)

 

Be Subject to Government                                        (13:1)

 

Principles of Conscience                                           (14:1)

 

Self-denial on Behalf of Others                                  (15:1)

 

Greetings and Love Expressed                                   (16:1)

 

Perhaps one of the most insightful outlines produced concerning the book of Romans, breaks it down according to the subjects of: “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Love”.

 

Faith dealing with the first 8 chapters which is doctrinal in its coverage of the subjects of “sin”, “salvation”, and “sanctification”. 

 

Hope covering chapters 9 through 11 which are dispensational covering the subjects of Israel “past”, “present”, and “future”. 

 

Love covering chapters 12 through 16 which are practical in application concerning for the church.

Maybe the Most Important passage in the book of Romans is:

Concerning faith, Romans 1:17, which states:

 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” 

Which is quoting Habakkuk 2:4, and coincides with the same quotes in Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:39, and create a trilogy concerning the subject of faith, which is:

The just (Romans 1:17), shall live by (Galatians 3:11), faith( Hebrews 10:39) (5)

Also An Important passage in the book of Romans is:

Concerning typologies, which brings to light “Figures of Speech” and many other rhetorical tools, Romans 15:4, which states:

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Which coincides in my thinking with Hebrews 8:5, however it is best examined in the context of the whole chapter, which states:

“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”

Also An Important passage in the book of Romans is:

Concerning Israel,  and God’s future dealing with them, Romans 11:25, which states:

 “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in”

The word “Fullness (Greek: pleroma) means: “completeness in number,”  It is a mathematical term normally used with the numbering of oarsmen in a ship, or the amount of sailors required in order that a ship is seaworthy to undergo a voyage – which for the Christian (here called “the Gentiles” which is a term for the Church, Gentile means: “nations” – the Church is salvation unto the nations – the world, not just the Jew, or Israel), would be the Rapture, where the last Believer is added to the Church before it’s departure.

The 9th, 10th, and 11th chapter of Romans deals exclusively with Israel, it’s past (9th chapter), its present (10th chapter), and concerning the issue at hand, the yet future destiny of Israel (11th chapter); commonly referred to as prophecy.  As has been the case in orthodoxy for the last 1600 years, since the teachings of Origin and Constantine, the Roman Catholic Church, as well as almost all orthodox Protestants denominations have taught that the church was to take the place of Israel in prophecy (“Replacement Theology”), which is clearly disputed by the 11th chapter in Romans, as well as many Old Testament prophecies and New Testament alike.

It is highly significant that the “70-Week prophecy of Daniel” (6), while detailing the history of God’s people, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people . . .” (Daniel 9:24), has nothing to say about a period of history – the Church – which is now known to consist of nearly two thousand years and counting.  When this remarkable “gap” is integrated with Daniel’s great chronological prophecy, we are forced to distinguish two histories:

1) The stated history of Israel (seen in 490 years periods of time referred to in – Leviticus 26:18 ); and

2) This “gap” history of the Church – started on the day of Pentecost, and concluded at the Rapture.

The two programs harmonize perfectly, but do not interfere one with the other, nor do they overlap in time.  The Church age in its entirety falls in the period of time after the conclusion of the 69th week, and before the beginning of the 70th week, referred to by Paul in Romans 11:25, as “the fullness of the Gentiles(not be confused with the “Time of the Gentiles” concerning Nebuchadnezzar – see LINK)

To reiterate, the Greek word (pleroma), which is translated into the English word “fullness,” is a word that involves a completion according to numbering, it is a mathematical term normally used with the numbering of oarsmen in a ship, or the amount of sailors required in order that a ship is seaworthy to undergo a voyage.  The fullness, the last numbered person that makes up the period of the Gentiles (Gentile means: “nations” – this is anyone that is not an Israelite, this is the church; it is the Body of Christ out of the world – “For God so loved the world...” – The point the Holy Spirit is making is that there is only two types of people groups, Jews, as in Hebrews, or Israelites; and the other nations, as in the world), – wherein afterward God again deals with Israel. 

God dealt with a man, Abraham, then his offspring, the 12 tribes; who began a nation, Israel.  Then due to Israel’s rejection of their savior, the Messiah; God suspended His dealing with Israel (“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” ~ Luke 19:41-44; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” ~ Matthew 23:37-39 – This last sentence will be fulfilled when the remnant of Israel “call upon Him whom they pierced” as stated in: Zechariah 12:10, which states: “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” And in: Hosea 6:1, which states: “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”), and created the Church – the Body of Christ – the Believers out of the world (Acts 9:15; 11:18; Ephesians 3:6), until the time that the last person becomes a Believer in the Church – the fullness – is complete. 

Then when that number that God has chosen to make of the Church is complete, God will Rapture (“snatch up“) the Church, and again focus His attention of Israel (which is seen in the book of Revelation, from chapter 4 on [Chapters 1-3 deal with the Church, which is then taken out of the way – “snatched up“], which is why from chapter 4 on the book of Revelation is Jewish in it’s idioms, references, manner, and treatment).         

This is commonly referred to as the Rapture, but literly to be “caught up(Greek: harpazo, Latin: Rapture it means: “to seize forcefully,”to be caught up,” “snatched out, up, or away), which is referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, (foretold in an OT mystery, a prophecy as seen in: Hosea 5:15  “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”), when the last believer within the church is saved, completing the number ordained by God, concerning the voyage to heaven.  This is when in God’s time clock, He again deals with Israel, and they become the predominant emphasis in world history, and Daniel 9:26b begins.

Conclusion
There are many esteemed scholars and Bible teachers that proclaim that Romans is perhaps their favorite book of the Bible, I believe among these are: FF Bruce, J. I. Packer, Herbert Lockyer, Walter Martin, John MacArthur, and Wayne Mack.  It has been wisely said that if a Believer had only one book of the Bible to proclaim the Gospel, perhaps the best would be the book of Romans.

Endnotes

1             Romans 1:16

2             Romans 1:18

3             Romans 15:1

4             Source ? Chuck Missler or KI friend?

            By: Warren Wiersbe

            See “The Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson,
.               Kregel, 1892, reprinted 1967.

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“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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