“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."--Matthew 5:13

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Introduction to Paul's Epistle to the Romans

After having taken a look at specific verses in the Bible for the last couple of months, I have decided to take a more in depth look at the book of Romans. My resources for this study will include the English Standard Version of Scripture, John MacArthur’s commentary on Romans, and my own personal notes and thoughts that I have compiled over the years.

Of the letters written by the Apostle Paul, his letter to the Roman church is the longest. Paul’s purpose for writing the letter, stated in 1:16-17, is to proclaim that the gospel of Christ is “the power of God for salvation for everyone that believes”. This includes those who are not Jews. He proves this by showing how our righteousness does not come from ourselves, but from God. It is He who justifies sinners by their faith in the finished work of Christ alone. 

Paul also wrote to officially introduce himself to the Roman believers. Although Paul had never visited there, we know that he planned to be there soon because he wrote to edify the believers (1:11), preach the gospel (1:15), and so that the Romans would be able to pray for him (15:30) and help him with his planned ministry in Spain (15:28). 

Many scholars believe that Paul wrote this letter from Corinth during his third missionary journey in approximately 57 A.D. Shortly after this, Paul was arrested upon returning to Jerusalem.

Throughout this study, I will discuss difficult doctrines, such as original sin, election, and the sovereignty of God. I hope that the Lord will encourage you through your reading as we traverse the theologically challenging epistle of Paul to the Romans.

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