You will find an introduction to the book of Romans, here.
You will find an outline of the entire book of Romans, here.
A prayer to use before reading Scripture, A prayer of John Calvin:
May the Lord grant that we may engage in the heavenly contemplation of the mysteries of God’s heavenly wisdom with ever increasing devotion to God’s glory and our edification. Amen.
II. Romans 5:1-8:39 God’s People in Christ as the True Humanity :
A. 5:1-11 From Faith to Hope
5:1-5 Peace, Patience, and Hope
5:6-11 The Death of the Messiah and the Love of God
B. 5:12-21 From Adam to the Messiah
C. 6:1-23 Baptism and Freedom When Paul writes about “sin”, while including an understanding of sin as a behavior, he also means sin as status. Just as “righteousness” is primarily a status, so “sin”. The end of chapter 5 raises the question in 6:1 which Paul now goes on to answer. Part of the ancient worldview, of which Paul is a part, recognizes two worlds or two ages- the present age and the age to come. In the same way, Paul can write of two kingdoms or dominions, sin and grace.
6:1-11 Dying and Rising with the Messiah: Notice the importance of baptism in Paul’s discussion. Romans was written approximately 20 years after Jesus death and resurrection and by this time, baptism is closely linked to Christ’s death and resurrection. The early church understood that baptism unites us with Christ in real and important ways.
“Body” in verse 6 does not mean simply the physical body. It means the entire person.
6:12-14 The End of Sin’s Reign: These verses transition Paul’s argument of v 1-11 into the discussion of 15-23. Paul contrasts the reign of sin (death) with the reign of grace (life).
6:15-23 Slavery and Freedom: Paul returns to the question from verse 1, “Why not sin?” This time his answer assumes we all have an allegiance to something which shapes our behavior. Freedom from sin does not mean we are to have no allegiance to anything/anyone. There is a paradox (v 18) that in being set free from the reign of sin, Christians are still slaves, but slaves of righteousness.
D. 7:1-8:11 The Life the Law Could Not Give :
7:1-6 Coming Out from Under the Law: Paul uses the analogy of marriage to illustrate his point.
7:7-12 The Arrival of the Law:Sin Seizes Its Chance: The Law is not sin, but it makes one aware of sin. The Law makes sin known. Yet Sin takes advantage of the Law.
7:13-20 Living Under the Law: Sin Works Death
7:21-25 Reflecting on the Law: God’s Law and Sin’s Law: These passages (7:7-25) are often interpreted as describing the discrepancy between what we hope to do and what we actually do. Paul W. Meyer in his commentary on Romans says this passage is about more than failed intentions.
“It is the much more shocking encounter with sin’s power to use genuine devotion to the true God, channeled through adherence to God’s own law, to bring about exactly the opposite of what one has hoped for: a perverted relationship to God in place of an authentic one, evil in place of the good, death in place of life. That yields a far more sinister perception of evil operating at the very center of religious life to debase it and turn it into slavery.It is this slavery from which Paul gratefully acknowledges having been set free by Christ.” (Meyer,1057)
8:1-11 God Gives Life Through the Son and the Spirit: This is Paul’s conclusion to the argument he began at 7:1. Notice in verses 9-11 how closely Paul links “Belonging to Christ”, “Being in the Spirit”, “God’s Spirit dwelling in you”, “Christ’s Spirit”, “Christ in you”,”the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead”.
“[The Spirit] is another word for God’s life-giving power present through Jesus to all who belong to him, active already in their lives in spite of the mortality that still belongs to the body,…The Spirit is neither only a mind-set nor merely the external power by which God raised Jesus from the dead. It is also the power of the risen Jesus to take men and women into his power and reshape life to make it well pleasing to God-thus doing what the law could not do and reversing the power of sin.” (Meyer, 1058)
E.8:12-30 The Inheritance Guaranteed : Paul looks to the future. In the midst of an unredeemed world, Paul writes of Christian hope in God’s faithfulness, confidence in God.
8:12-17 Led by the Spirit:
8:18-30 The Renewal of All Things
III. Romans 9:1-11:36 God’s Promises and God’s Faithfulness Paul has made the case that Jew and Gentile are equal before God and has argued that Jesus death and resurrection, not Torah, save human beings. If this is true, what does it mean to be “God’s people”? Is Israel now rejected? And if so, what does this say about God’s covenantal faithfulness? In this section of Romans, Paul answers these questions. Paul addresses Israel’s unbelief in Jesus, reinterprets Torah to show how God has been at work in the world and how God has been faithful to the promises God made to Israel.
A. 9:1-5 Paul’s Grief Over Israel’s Failure to Believe, Despite Being Promise Bearer: Paul’s statement in verse 3 echoes Moses in Exodus 32:32.
B. 9:6-29 The Story of Israel, from Abraham to the Exile, Displays God’s Justice in Judgment and Mercy: Paul draws a distinction between the children of God and the descendants of Abraham. (see Romans 2:28-29). Election is God’s gift, not human achievement- just as justification is also.
C. 9:30-10:21 God’s Covenant Faithfulness Revealed in the Messiah: Paul reinterprets Torah as being about the Messiah.
9:30-33 Faith, Works, and the Stumbling Stone: Who or what is the “stone” of verse 33? It could be Torah. It could be God (Isaiah 8:12-14). It could be the Messiah. Various commentators support each view.
10:1-21 God’s Righteousness and the Worldwide Mission: Verse 4 “end” can also be translated as “goal”, “accomplish” or “fulfillment”.
D. 11:1-36 The Salvation of “All Israel” in Fulfillment of God’s Unbreakable Promises