The Gospel of God Bible Study
The Book of Romans
September 1, 2021 - May 11, 2022


 

Lesson 1 - Introduction and Overview - Sept. 1, 2021

Introduction

The Book of Romans has been called “The Gospel of God,” because it is a great exposition (an explanation or discussion) of the Christian faith.  While each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark Luke and John) detail the life, miracles and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Book of Romans is a complete and logical presentation of Christian truth.  It gives instructions on how a Christian should live using three key areas of teaching: 

  1. Doctrinal Truth – justification, sanctification, adoption, judgement, and identification with Christ.

  2. Dispensation Truth – the relationship between Israel and the church in the eternal plan of God.  (A “dispensation” is a divine system or time of ordering things.)

  3. Practical Truth – the secret to the Christian’s victory over the flesh, their duties toward each other, and their relationship to government.

The letter to the Romans stands as the clearest and most systematic presentation of Christian doctrine in all of Scriptures., hence, the subtitle, “The Gospel of God.”  A good understanding of this first New Testament epistle (letter) is one of the keys to unlocking the entire Word of God.

 

Background

Romans was written by the Apostle Paul from the city of Corinth in 58AD. Unlike his other letters, Paul did not address his letter to the Church at Rome, but rather “to all that be in Rome.”  This was because instead of a local assembly, there were different groups of believers living in Rome.  Paul had long been anxious to get to Rome, but he did not arrive until 61AD, approximately 3 years after he wrote this letter.  So, how then did the Gospel get to Rome?  Act 2:10 -11 indicates that there were people in Rome who were present at the Pentecost.   Over the years, there were Gentile Christians, as well as Jewish proselytes (new converts, all most likely converts of Paul who gravitate to Rome and carried the Gospel with them.  

 

Reasons for Writing

Since his conversion on the road to Damascus in 36 AD, Paul’s heart’s burden had always been to preach at Rome (Romans 1:8-15).  In Romans 15:19 Paul writes: “I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.” Paul was about to finish his work in Asia, which was the reason for his delay in going to Rome.  This letter was his way of preparing the Christians at Rome for his arrival.  

Fearing that the Judaizers would arrive before him, Paul’s letter was also written to warn and teach the Christians at Rome against the false doctrines of the Judaizers.  (The Judaizers taught the false doctrine that salvation came through grace plus works.) Most commentators summarize Paul’s reasons for this important letter as follows:

  • To PREPARE the Christians for this planned visit and to explain why he had not visited them sooner (Romans 1:8-15; 15:23-29).

  • To INSTRUCT them in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, lest false teachers confuse them.

  • To EXPLAIN the relationship between Israel and the Church, lest the Judaizers lead them astray with false doctrines.

  • To TEACH the Christians their duties to one another and to the state.

  • To ANSWER any slander and lies they may have heard about Paul (Romans 3:8).

 

Theme

Paul’s basic theme in Romans is “the righteousness of God.”  The word “righteous” appears in some form, over 40 times in the book. 

  • In 1-3 he expounds on the need for righteousness; 

  • In 3-8 Paul speaks of God’s provision of righteousness; 

  • In 9-11 he explains how Israel rejected God’s righteousness; and 

  • In 12-16 Paul teaches how righteousness must be lived in daily practice.

In the Book of Romans Paul shows how God can be righteous, and at the same time, still make sinners righteous.

 

Lesson 2 – Chapter 1- Part 1- Sept. 8, 2021

Application

The Book of Romans tells us about God, Who He is and what He has done.  It tells us of Jesus Christ, and what His death accomplished.  It tells us about ourselves, what we were like without Christ, and who we are after trusting in Christ.  Paul points out that God did not demand men have their lives straightened out BEFORE coming to Christ.  While we were STILL sinners Christ died on a cross for our sins.  God sets us apart to live for Him, rather than living only for ourselves.  Perhaps the best personal application of Romans would be to apply Romans 1:16 and not be ashamed of the Gospel.  Instead, let us be encouraged to be faithful in proclaiming it. 

 

Lesson 2 – Chapter 1- Part 2 - Sept. 15, 2021

Introduction

Paul now introduces his thesis statement about the Gospel of God. The whole end and purpose of this discussion is to show that there is only one way to attain salvation, and this way is by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul explains that God did not discriminate in making His Gospel available to everyone. Then Paul moves on to a description of all of the wicked behavior that God is opposed to.

 

 

Lesson 3 – Chapter 2 – Part 1 - Sept. 22, 2021

Introduction

Romans 2 was written to caution and warn the Jews that living by the law and circumcision does not make them righteous in God’s eyes. Paul stresses that living by rules and regulations only brings about judgment and condemnation.  Paul concludes that a true Jew is one that has experienced circumcision of the heart by the Spirit of God.

 

Lesson 3 – Chapter 2 – Part 2 - Sept. 29, 2021

Introduction

Having stated the general principles on which God would judge the world; having shown how the law condemned the Gentiles; and having removed all objections to them, Paul now proceeds to another part of his argument, which is to show how they apply to the Jews.  With great skill, Paul addresses the Jews’ privileges, before he shows them how those privileges might increase their condemnation in the sight of God

 

 

Lesson 4 – Chapter 3 – Part 1 - Oct. 6, 2021

Introduction

In Romans 2, Paul carefully explained that the possession of the law or circumcision will not save a Jewish person. In Romans 3 Paul completes his accusation that both the Jews and the Gentiles are guilty before God. Now the apostle switches gears by explaining that the righteousness the law could not give us, God did by sending His Son Jesus Christ. He maintains that this righteousness comes by faith in Jesus, apart from simply obeying the law.

 

Lesson 4 – Chapter 3 – Part 2 - Oct. 13, 2021

Introduction

Soteriology is the Doctrine of Salvation, specifically, having to do with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Paul develops his teaching of salvation or soteriology around three themes: 

  • Justification – an image of the judicial or court law.

  • Redemption – an image from the ancient slave market.

  • Propitiation – a religious image of man appeasing or satisfying God through sacrifice.

Justification solves the problem of man’s guilt before a righteous Judge.  Redemption solves the problem of man’s slavery to sin, the world and the devil. Propitiation solves the problem of offending our Creator. 

 Romans 3:19-20 – “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become [a]guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

“Now we know;” we all admit and agree.

“Whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law;” whatever the Scriptures says to those for whom it was intended – everyone.  Again, Paul demonstrates the universal guilt of mankind.

“That every mouth may be stopped;” that the argument may be settled once and for all.  “Mouth may be stopped” was proverbial expression that was used to silence critics and opponents. (Job 5:16; Psalm 107:42)

“And all the world may become [a]guilty before God.” That both Jews and Gentiles are guilty and subject to the judgement of God.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight;” the law having been broken, can only condemn us “all flesh.”  Even if we could somehow now live perfect and sinless lives, we are still condemned by our past sins. Keeping the law is not God’s way of salvation or blessings under the New Covenant. 

 

Lesson 5 – Chapter 4 – Part 1 - Oct. 20, 2021

Introduction

In the first 3 chapters, the Apostle Paul has been revealing the Jew’s fundamental mistake in believing that salvation could be secured by means of keeping the law and works of the Mosaic law. Romans 4 offers further proof that faith has always been the means for justification. To illustrate his point, Paul looks back to the Old Testament patriarchs who were justified by faith, not works.  Paul also uses this illustration to prove that Gentiles were part of this promise given to Abraham.  The whole world was blessed through Abraham because he chose to believe God rather than his circumstances. Rather than circumcision, Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.

 

Lesson 5 – Chapter 4 – Part 2 - Oct. 27, 2021

Introduction

Paul used reasoning and argument to teach his doctrine on justification. Here, he uses the example of Abraham, as he continues to clearly demonstrate that the Old Testament does not contradict the Gospel of Salvation through faith.  Instead, the Gospel is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and Abraham, who was justified by his faith, is our example.

 

 

Lesson 6 – Chapter 5 – Part 1 - Nov. 10, 2021

Introduction

This Chapter discusses the results of Justification. When believers are justified and declared righteous, we have peace with God.  In the earlier Chapters we learned that it was the sinful nature of humankind that provoked the wrath of God.  Then Paul explained that the righteousness of God was needed.  Furthermore, through God’s grace, His righteousness was revealed to those who believed in Jesus Christ.  Here, in Chapter 5 Paul explains that through the death of Christ, believers find peace with God.  Believers are no longer disobedient and, God is no longer angry.  Justification means believers are acquitted of guilt and have a right relationship with God.  Always remember however, being in a right relationship with God doesnot exempt us from difficulties and suffering.  Just as the grace of God is necessary for believers to be declared righteous, suffering is necessary to give us the strength to press on.  Nevertheless, we can be sure that God is with us through our sufferings.  Our sufferings give us strength and the glory of God helps us endure through the suffering.

 

Lesson 6 – Chapter 5 – Part 2 - Nov. 17, 2021

Introduction

Paul provides insight into the plan of God for mankind’s salvation in Romans Chapter 5. He teaches that just as sin entered the world through one man, Adam, the cure for the penalty of sin was also provided by one Man, Jesus Christ.  By instituting the Law to the children of Israel, mankind became accountable for sin through the transgression of the Law. This made it possible for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to atone (compensate) for those who have sinned, which was everybody. 

 

 

Lesson 7 – Chapter 6 – Part 1 - Dec. 1, 2021

Introduction

Paul’s recent teachings declared that we who are saved are no longer under the Law of Moses, and that God’s grace will always increase to cover our sinfulness. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (Romans 5:20)  So, the question that must answered is, “As Christians why shouldn’t we freely indulge in our desire to sin?”  In Chapter 6, Paul deals with this question of why we should not continue in sin once we have been declared righteous by God because of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Even though we have been freed from the penalty of sin, because we are forgiven; and even though we have been freed from the power and authority of sin, we still have not yet lost our desire to sin. Paul gives us another alternative to being slaves to sin – become slaves to righteousness - the righteousness of God.

 

Lesson 7 – Chapter 6 – Part 2 - Dec. 8, 2021

Introduction

In Romans Chapter 6, Paul teaches that we cannot be a slave to sin. Since those who accepted Christ have also died to sin, they are a new creation. This means that they need to keep presenting themselves (a lifestyle) as this new person, even if the world tells them otherwise. Although the human nature is to sin, those who have been born again through Christ need to refrain from it. 

According to Paul’s teachings, when Christ died on the cross, our sins died with Him. When He rose again, He was a whole new body and creation, one that had victory and power over sin and death.

Therefore, when we accept Christ, it means that our sins, or our sinful body, has died with Him and we are cleansed. According to Paul, we should be a new creation and we should have a mind to pursue holiness.

 

Lesson 8 – Chapter 7 – Part 1 - Dec. 15, 2021

Introduction

One of the themes throughout the Book of Romans is the certainty of salvation through Jesus Christ.  In Romans Chapter 7, Paul discussed the idea of the Law and how it only pertains to those who are believers.  Having taught that the believer must live a life of holiness, Paul turns his attention to the Jews, who might hesitate to embrace the Gospel, lest they believe that they are rejecting the law and their allegiance to God.  In the previous Chapter the Apostle had showed them the insufficiency of the Law for the believer’s justification, now he shows how the believing Jew is released from his obligation to the law, and is at liberty to come under another and greater authority – the Gospel of Christ.

 

Lesson 8 – Chapter 7 – Part 2 - Dec. 22, 2021

Introduction

In this last portion of Chapter 7, Paul discusses his devastating struggles of wanting to do what is good, and then finding himself instead doing what is sinful.  This struggle is something any Christian can relate to. Paul is not so much describing something he went through, as much as an ongoing struggle that is a part of Christian life. After crying out for deliverance, Paul thanks God for the help he and every Christian needs to overcome sin and corruption – Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Lesson  9 - Chapter 8 - Part 1 - Jan. 5, 2022

Introduction

Romans 8:1-17 is a summary of all Paul’s main thoughts that he wants every Christian to live by.  In this Chapter Paul shows how to live by the Spirit and let peace rule in our hearts. The Holy Spirit within us continually testifies to us that we are children of God.  He gives us the assurance that nothing will ever separate us from His love. This Chapter is a message of hope because we know our future is bright in Christ.

 

 

 

Lesson 9 - Chapter 8 - Part 2 - Jan. 12, 2022

Introduction

Paul continues his argument that the Gospel can do for the Christian, what the Law cannot. Here he teaches how life in the Spirit makes the believer able to understand and endure suffering.  He then moves into a discussion of how all of creation is awaiting the coming glory of Christ and the believer. 

 

 

Lesson 10 - Chapter 9 - Part 1 - Jan. 19, 2022

Introduction

In Romans Chapters one through eight, Paul thoroughly convinced us about man’s need and God’s glorious provision in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.  For the next three chapters, Paul focuses on answering the question “What about Israel?” More specifically, why didn’t God elect Israel to receive their Messiah, which God promised to send them, instead of rejecting Him.  What does Israel’s situation say about God’s faithfulness?  In Chapter 9, Paul reviews Israel’s past relationship with God.  The history of Israel is important to understand what God is working to achieve in this nation.  If God cannot bring His chosen people into salvation, how do Christians know that He can save them?  Paul is not introducing a new and unrelated subject. These three chapters are part of the way he makes plain how God in fact saves people.

Lesson 10 - Chapter 9 - Part 2 - Jan. 26, 2022

Introduction

This last section of Chapter 9 is a study in the Sovereignty of God.  God’s sovereignty means that He possess all power, to the extent that He overrules all other powers and authority.  Job said, "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” (Job 42:2)  Paul uses the example of how God repeatedly use His sovereign power to hardened the heart of Pharaoh to display His glory.  The illustration of the creative choice of the potter is used to reveal God’s glory in both His wrath and His mercy. 

Finally, Paul quotes Scriptures in Hosea and Isaiah to demonstrate that God has called out some Gentiles to be His people, and while not calling out all of Israel, He called only a remnant.

Lesson 11 - Chapter 10 - Part 1 - Feb. 2, 2022

Introduction

Chapter 9 concluded with the Apostle Paul declaring that his people, the Jews, had attempted to become righteous the wrong way – through the law.  They refused to come to God by faith.  Paul quoted Isaiah 8:14 to show that Christ was the “stone of stumbling” for Israel, but all who believed on Him would be saved. 

In Chapter 10, Paul expresses his love and concern for Israel.   Although as a nation, they had plenty of zeal, unfortunately their zeal was not according to a proper knowledge of God.  They rejected the righteousness of God, while trying to establish their own righteousness through the Law of Moses.  But Paul explains that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and has brought it to an end. The righteousness that God now offers is based upon faith in Christ, not keeping the Law.

Lesson 11 - Chapter 10 - Part 2 - Feb. 9, 2022

Introduction

Paul continues his teaching of the Gospel that anyone who would come to Christ to be saved, whether Jew or Gentile, must believe. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)  This last section of Chapter 10 speaks to: 1) the role of the preacher in God’s plan of salvation; 2) Israel’s history of rejection of the Messiah and; 3) their accountability.

Lesson 12 - Chapter 11- Part 1 - Feb. 16, 2022

Introduction

In the previous 3 Chapters, Paul answered the question: “What about Israel?”  Here, Paul explains that even though Israel has fallen, their fall is not final. God has predestined a remnant of Israel to be saved. Then he gives the startling message that Israel’s rejection of the Messiah has opened the door for Gentiles to be saved and enjoy the blessings of God.

Lesson 12 - Chapter 11 - Part 2 -Feb. 23, 2022

Introduction

The Apostle Paul writes that one of the reasons and results for Israel’s unbelief was to make room on the main body, referred to in this Chapter as the “root” of God’s tree.  This opportunity is intended for all non-Jews or the Gentiles.  The Gentiles who are coming to faith in Christ are described in Paul’s illustration as the “branches” of a wild olive tree that have been grafted onto the trunk of a cultivated plant.  The “old branches” -  unbelieving Jews, have been broken off, but only for a time.  Paul warns the Gentiles not to be arrogant toward unbelieving Jews, for the time is coming, after a great number of Gentiles have been saved, that God will remove the Jew’s hardened hearts.  They will turn in faith in Christ, and as a people, be grafted back onto God’s symbolic olive tree, from which they were pruned.  God is not done with Israel.

Lesson 12 - Chapter 11 - Part 3 - Mar. 2, 2022

Introduction

The Apostle Paul, is completing his arguments relative to the conditions of the Jews and Gentiles and God's dealings with them, and what he intends to do for the Jews in the future.  The goal of his teaching is to reconcile the differences between the Jews and Gentiles.  He closes with rejoicing about the  untold riches of the wisdom, knowledge and glory of God.

Lesson 13 - Chapter 12 - Part 1 - Mar. 9, 2022

Introduction

The first 11 Chapters of Romans dealt with the theological doctrine of being justified by faith (Romans 5:1). Chapters 12 – 16 explains the changes that should take place in us and how we should live as Christians.  The subject of Romans 12 is how we are supposed to transform our lives now that we have come to Christ. Paul begins to lay out the duties of Christian life, and the practical influence of our faith.  When we receive Christ as our Savior, He begins un-molding us from the patterns of the world, transforming us into the image of Christ.

Lesson 13 - Chapter 12 - Part 2 - Mar. 16, 2022

Introduction

Paul closes Chapter 12 of his letter to the Romans with a lesson on “How to act like Christians.” He gives very clear instructions on how to treat others and how to respond to ill-treatment. Perhaps, just as the Apostle Paul intended, this lesson will challenge every true Christian to examine their personal behavior and treatment of others.

Lesson 14 – Chapter 13 - Mar. 23, 2022

Introduction

In Chapter 12 the Apostle Paul sets forth the rules of Christian behavior and our response to persecution. In the first seven verses of Chapter 13, the Apostle discusses the subject of  Christian duty; what Christians owe to civil government. This was an extremely important and challenging subject at the time of Paul’s writing. There is no doubt that Paul was speaking to the particular situation of the Christians at Rome; but the subject was so important that he gives it a general bearing for Christians of all generations, and states the great principles on which we are to act. The remaining verses speak to our conduct towards our neighbors.  He closes with the key to fulfilling these commands – to put on Christ.

 

Lesson 15 – Chapter 14 - Part 1 - Apr. 6, 2022

Introduction

In Chapter 14, Paul tackles the problem of what to do when the issues of Christian living don’t come with a “yes” or “no” or “one-size-fits-all” answer.  God’s Word is clear on the major issues.  But regarding the minor issues Paul gives us guidelines on how Christians might have to learn how to agree to disagree. Paul divides the church into two groups, those who were fully convinced that because of God’s grace they were free in Christ to eat and drink as they chose. Nothing is unclean to them. The second group he called “weak in their faith,” because they did not feel confident to act in clear a conscience regarding food and feast day restrictions.  Paul paints the picture of these two contrasting groups learning how to co-exist in the church.

Lesson 15 – Chapter 14 - Part 2 - Apr. 13, 2022

Introduction

The Apostle Paul closes out the last portion of Chapter 14 by teaching on the dangers of the misuse of our Christian Liberty. When it comes to deciding whether we will exercise our freedom to eat or drink things that were once forbidden, the stronger Christian’s responsibility is to avoid tripping up someone who is weaker in their faith. Paul teaches that we should learn how to humbly choose not to offend our brother or sister in Christ.

Lesson 16 – Chapter 15 - Part 1 -Apr. 20, 2022

Introduction

Paul opened Chapter 14 encouraging believers to help those who are “weak in the faith.”  Here he addresses “we who are strong.”  There are certain responsibilities that come with growing and maturing in the faith: namely, bearing one another’s burdens and glorifying God together. This is Paul’s continued exhortation for brotherly love and mutual kindness among Christians.

 

Lesson 16 - Chapter 15 - Part 2 - Apr. 27, 2022

Introduction

In the last part of Chapter 15, Paul declares his satisfaction with the work he has done with the saints at Rome, but immediately acknowledges the power of Christ working in him. He then repeats his plans to visit Rome after preaching the Gospel in Spain. Before he can come, he must take a dangerous trip to Judea to deliver much needed goods to the saints in Jerusalem. He solicits the prayers of God’s people. Once he has completed his assignment, he looks forward to his visit to Rome where he can be refreshed and enjoy the company of the saints.  Chapter 15 essentially completes Paul’s doctrinal teachings and spiritual encouragement. The concluding Chapter 16 is basically made up of salutations and acknowledgements. 

 

Lesson 17- Chapter 16 - Part 1 - May 4, 2022

Introduction

Chapter 16, the last of this epistle concludes with various salutations. The  names which are recorded are chiefly Greek; most likely inhabitants of Greece, who had removed to Rome for purposes of commerce, various trades or persecution.  Some of them had been converted under the ministry of the apostle Paul, during his preaching in Corinth and other parts of Greece.  Like Christ, the Chief Shepherd, Paul knew his sheep by name and had a personal interest in each of them.  

Nine women are mentioned in this Chapter. Paul is often criticized for being against women, but no man has done more to bring women into a station of dignity and honor at a time when women were widely unrepresented and overlooked.

Paul’s greetings are followed by some warnings of those to avoid. He closes with a great and familiar benediction.

 

Lesson 17- Chapter 16 - Part 2 - May 11, 2022

Introduction

True to form, Paul ends his epistle to the fledging church at Rome with some final thoughts and greetings from those in Corinth where he was at the time. His final benediction is a well-designed review of some of his major points in his letter.