Zion Baptist Church
Friday, July 21, 2017
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The Book of Romans
 
Introduction to the Book of Romans
 
Author
     The history of the early church can be associated with the personal history of the Apostle Paul. Acts 9:26-28, And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.  Paul was born in the city of Tarsus one the centers of learning in the Eastern world.  He inherited a unique status in that he was born a Roman citizen and he was also a Jew from birth.  Philippians tells us that Paul’s Jewish heritage was flawless.   Philippians 3:4-6, Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  Paul was a tentmaker by trade. Acts 18:2-3, And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.  He studied Jewish law under Gamaliel a Pharisee and a doctor of the law.  Acts 22:3, I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.  He was very knowledgeable in the Jewish religion. Galatians 1:14, And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
     Paul was present at the stoning of Stephen.  Acts 7:58, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.  He was a fanatical persecutor of the early church both imprisoning and putting believers in Jesus Christ to death.  Acts 22:4-5, And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.  Christians everywhere were afraid of Paul.  Acts 9:13, Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:  Acts 9:26, And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.  Based on attitude and action Paul would be considered the most unlikely candidate for salvation and yet God sovereignty saved him on the Road to Damascus. Acts 9:1-6, And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.  Because of his salvation Paul became a witness of the resurrection of Christ and a commissioned apostle.  Galatians 1:11-15, But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
     Paul regarded himself as a special apostle to the Gentiles. Acts 9:15, But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: He was a pioneer missionary laboring in untouched fields. Besides Romans Paul is credited with writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colosians, Philemon, I & II Timothy, I & II Corinthians, I & II Thessalonians, Galatians, Titus, and some scholars believe he is responsible for writing the book of Hebrews.
     When persecution began against Christianity under the Roman Emperor Nero, Paul was imprisoned in Rome about A.D. 64-67.  Tradition records that Paul was beheaded about A.D. 67 in Rome.
 
Contribution
     The book of Romans was not designed to be a tract for sinners, but a doctrinal treatise for the Christian faith.  Romans 1:15-17, So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  The gospel message found in the book is based on faith.  Sinners are not only saved by faith in Jesus Christ, but they must daily walk by faith.  The book deals with the great doctrinal words of the Christian faith; gospel, resurrection, salvation, belief, faith, righteousness, wrath, judgment, repentance, sin, law guilt, justification, redemption, propitiation, grace, imputation, peace, reconciliation, atonement, sanctification, adoption, glorification, hope, election, foreknowledge, and predestination. 
     The first eight chapters manifest God’s magnificent plan of redemption through Christ.  Paul shows how a lost, guilty man can receive the righteousness of Christ, be given a justified standing before God, and thus forever be delivered from the penalty of sin.  Then he revealed how a saved man can gain the sanctified life or victory over the power of the indwelling sin nature through the enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Finally, he demonstrates how the believer will eventually be delivered from the presence of sin through the change of his mortal, corruptible body into a glorified state.
     Chapters 9-11 explain how God’s plan in blessing the Gentiles can be harmonized with the unconditional covenant promises given to Israel.  How can the Gentiles be absolutely sure that God will complete His announced program for them when He has not yet fulfilled the promises given to ancient Israel? 
     Chapters 12-15 Paul writes about the Christian’s relationship to other Christians in the life of the local church, the believers attitude toward the unsaved, especially government leaders, and the deportment of believers in areas not specifically spelled out in Scripture.
     Paul concludes his letter wanting to inform the Roman Christians of his future plans to visit them and sending greeting to many of his spiritual acquaintance residing in Rome.
 
 
 
 
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867