< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: General Background on the Book of Romans

Monday, August 27, 2007

General Background on the Book of Romans

Paul wrote this letter from Corinth about AD 56-57. Unlike the other letters he wrote, he didn’t start this church. He didn’t know the people there and hadn’t even been to Rome yet. It was probably started by Jews who had come to faith during Pentecost. So he introduces himself in the beginning.

His aim was to convince his readers that whether they came from Jewish or pagan backgrounds, they face the same issue – how to enter a right relationship with God.
The gulf between human sin and guilt and a divine holiness and perfection cannot be bridged by any mortal effort, only by Christ.

Based on scripture, Paul argued that by God’s action in Christ, the church has become the new Israel, receiving both the promises and the mission of the old Israel: the gift of salvation and the call to proclaim it and lead others (both Jew and Gentile) into a common community of faith.

Because God shows no partiality and values us equally, we likewise should treat one another as equals. Though human sin has a variety of expression, all are rooted in a common rebellion against God.

The basic breakdown of Romans is:

- Paul introduces himself
- He presents the facts of the Gospel
- He declares his allegiance to it
- He tells of the lostness of all mankind and the necessity of God’s intervention
- He presents the good news, “Salvation is available to all.” “We are saved by grace through faith in Christ and His finished work. Only through Him can we stand before God justified.”

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