Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans

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Therefore I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise… This passage of Paul became to me a gateway into heaven. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken my sins away, even mine. The Book of Romans has life changing truth but it must be approached with effort and determination to understand what the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul.

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.

Enduring Word Bible Commentary Romans Chapter 1

Paul : The life and ministry of the Apostle Paul also known as Saul of Tarsus is well documented in Acts chapters 8 through 28, as well as Galatians 1 and 2, and 2 Corinthians 11 and It is almost universally agreed that Paul wrote Romans from the city of Corinth as he wintered there on his third missionary journey as described in Acts This is based on Romans and along with 1 Corinthians A variety of commentators pick the date of writing anywhere from 53 to 58 A.

When Paul wrote the Book of Romans, he had been a Christian preacher for some 20 years. On his way to Jerusalem, he had three months in Corinth without any pressing duties. He perhaps thought this was a good time to write ahead to the Christians in Rome, a church he planned to visit after the trip to Jerusalem. What if he were unable to make it to Rome?

Then he must write them a letter so comprehensive that the Christians in Rome had the gospel Paul preached, even if Paul himself were not able to visit them. Because of all this, Romans is different than many of the other letters Paul wrote churches. Other New Testament letters focus more on the church and its challenges and problems. The Letter to the Romans focuses more on God and His great plan of redemption. It may be that he memorized it and that the reading of it became a part of virtually every meeting of the Roman church.

As well, many scholars Bruce and Barclay among them believe that an edited version of Romans — without the personal references in Romans 16 — was distributed widely among early churches as a summary of apostolic doctrine. He is first a servant of Jesus Christ , and second called to be an apostle.


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Separated to the gospel of God : The idea of being an apostle is that you are a special ambassador or messenger. It is the gospel of God in the sense that it belongs to God in heaven. Paul may here refer to his former state as a Pharisee , which literally signifies a separatist , or one separated.


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  • Before he was separated unto the service of his own sect ; now he is separated unto the Gospel of God. The gospel of God : Other New Testament letters focus more on the church and its challenges and problems; Romans focuses more on God. Romans is a book about God. No topic is treated with anything like the frequency of God. Everything Paul touches in this letter he relates to God.

    In our concern to understand what the apostle is saying about righteousness, justification, and the like we ought not to overlook his tremendous concentration on God. In comparison, note the frequency of other words used in Romans: law 72 , Christ 65 , sin 48 , Lord 43 , and faith Romans deals with many different themes but as much as a book can be, it is a book about God. There are many important words in the vocabulary of Romans we must understand. Which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

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    Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;. He promised before through His prophets : This gospel is not new, and it is not a clever invention of man. The center of Christianity is not a teaching or a moral system, it is a Person: Jesus Christ. This Jesus has both a human origin born of the seed of David according to the flesh , and an eternal existence declared to be the Son of God.

    The resurrection of Jesus shows His divine power because He rose by His own power: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again John In this place the word signifies such a manifest and complete exhibition of the subject as to render it indubitable. The really significant background, though, is its use in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to render the divine name, Yahweh… Christians who used this as their Bible would be familiar with the term as equivalent to deity.

    The gospel gave Paul and the church grace and apostleship , and one reason those two gifts were given was to produce obedience to the faith. The gospel is big enough and great enough for the whole world; it must go out to impact all nations. The gospel had reached the Roman Christians, demonstrating that they are the called of Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

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    For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

    Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you but was hindered until now , that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. To all who are in Rome : Paul had never been to Rome, and he did not found the Roman church. It seems the church in Rome began somewhat spontaneously as Christians came to the great city of the Empire and settled there.

    There is also no Biblical or historical evidence that the Apostle Peter founded the church in Rome. Acts describes how there were people from Rome among the Jews present at the Day of Pentecost; so when they returned home, there was a Christian community in Rome.

    Beyond that, the origins of the church in Rome are somewhat obscure, but Christians continually migrated to Rome from all parts of the Empire. Even so, through mutual acquaintances or through his travels, Paul knew many of the Christians in Rome by name because he mentions them in Romans Even if Paul only knew many of the Roman Christian by acquaintance, he knew two things about them and every true Christian.

    He knew they were beloved of God and that they were saints. Grace to you and peace from God : Paul formally addresses his readers with his familiar greeting, combining the Greek greeting of grace with the Jewish greeting of peace. This grace and peace is not the kind wish of a man; they are gifts , coming from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world : Paul was thankful for the good reputation of the church in Rome. Because of its location, this church had a special visibility and opportunity to glorify Jesus throughout the Empire. These Christians had to be strong.

    Paul may have used the "Jew first" approach to counter such a view.

    Paul's Letters: a Quick Overview - Whiteboard Bible Study

    Paul begins with a summary of Hellenistic Jewish apologist discourse. Paul draws heavily here from the Wisdom of Solomon. Several scholars believe the passage is a non-Pauline interpolation. On the traditional Protestant interpretation, Paul here calls out Jews who are condemning others for not following the law when they themselves are also not following the law.

    Stowers writes, "There is absolutely no justification for reading —5 as Paul's attack on 'the hypocrisy of the Jew. That popular interpretation depends upon anachronistically reading later Christian characterizations of Jews as 'hypocritical Pharisees '". Paul says that a righteousness from God has made itself known apart from the law, to which the law and prophets testify, and this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus to all who believe. In chapters five through eight, Paul argues that believers can be assured of their hope in salvation , having been freed from the bondage of sin.

    Paul teaches that through faith , [] [] the faithful have been joined with Jesus [] and freed from sin.

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    In chapters 9—11 Paul addresses the faithfulness of God to the Israelites , where he says that God has been faithful to his promise. Paul hopes that all Israelites will come to realize the truth [—5] since he himself is also an Israelite, [] and had in the past been a persecutor of Early Christians. In Romans 9—11 Paul talks about how the nation of Israel has been cast away, and the conditions under which Israel will be God's chosen nation again: when Israel returns to its faith, sets aside its unbelief.

    In Romans , Paul says that humans are under the law while we live: "Know ye not From chapter 12 through the first part of chapter 15, Paul outlines how the Gospel transforms believers and the behaviour that results from such a transformation. This transformation is described as a "renewing of your mind" , [41] a transformation that Douglas J. Paul goes on to describe how believers should live. Christians are no longer under the law, that is, no longer bound by the law of Moses, [44] but under the grace of God, see Law and grace. We do not need to live under the law because to the extent our minds have been renewed, we will know "almost instinctively" what God wants of us.

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