Introduction (Romans 1:1-17)
The theme of the Book of Romans is the “righteousness of God.” It was written by the Apostle Paul from the Greek city of Corinth in AD 57. The political climate in the capital had not yet deteriorated for the Roman Christians, as Nero (last Roman emperor) wouldn’t begin his persecution of them until he made them scapegoats after the great Roman fire in AD 64. Therefore, Paul wrote to a church that was experiencing a time of relative peace, but a church that he felt needed a strong dose of basic gospel doctrine. 1
The city of Corinth was a major focus for Apostle Paul’s ministry. The city had a reputation for sexual promiscuity and idol worship.2 When Paul wrote in Romans about the sinfulness of humanity or the power of God’s grace to miraculously and completely change lives, he knew what he was talking about. This played out before his eyes every day.
Apostle Paul had never been to Rome when he wrote the letter to the Romans, though he desired to go there (Acts 19:21; Romans 1:10–12). Paul always took opportunities to personalize his letters and personally connect with his audience so that the message of the gospel might be received.
The primary theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans is the revelation of God’s righteousness in His plan for salvation. A gospel of power for everyone who believes:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17)
What would the Apostle Paul say today about America or your city or town? Just as the early Christians needed a strong dose of basic gospel doctrine, I believe today’s church and America could use the same. 2 Timothy 4:3 (TPT) 3 For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear.”
All Scripture is God breathed! “Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
“But if anyone spreads false teaching that does not agree with the healthy instruction of our Lord Jesus, teaching others that holy awe of God is not important, then they prove they know nothing at all! It’s obvious they don’t value or hold dear the healing words of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 They are covered with the clouds of conceit. They are loaded with controversy, and they love to argue their opinions and split hairs. The fruit of their ministry is contention, competition, and evil suspicions.“
5 They add misery to many lives by corrupting their minds and cheating them of the truth. They equate the worship of God with making great sums of money. (1 Timothy 6:3-5 TPT)
16 “I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved—the Jew first, and then people everywhere!” (Romans 1:16 TPT)
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
1 Swindoll, Charles, Romans, insight for living, insight.org
2 David G. Horrell, Corinth, Bible Odyssey, bibleodyssey.org
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.