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Romans-Detailed Outline
A. Introduction
Romans 1:1-7 Salutation: Paul introduced himself, said he was “set apart” for the gospel. He was servant as well as apostle. Paul explored meaning of Gospel. Jesus was a descendant of David; has Spirit of holiness; Son of God. Believers have received grace and apostleship to call others to Jesus.
Romans 1:8-15 Thanksgiving: Paul writes about the occasion for the letter. He prayed for them constantly. Wished to see them for mutual encouragement. Had planned to visit them many times, but it never worked out.
B. How the Gospel Relates to Salvation
Romans 1:16-3:20 Condemnation
Romans 1:16-17 Gospel is the revelation of God’s righteousness. “The righteous will live by faith”. Gospel includes salvation for everyone…Jew and Gentile.
Romans 1:18-3:20 World’s Need for Salvation
Romans 1:18-32 Condemnation of the Gentile world. Men have sinned and are without excuse. They have evidence of God’s power and deity from the natural world. Sins are evidenced in idolatry and sexual impurities.
Romans 2:1-16 Condemnation of the Jews: Those who judge others will themselves be judged. God’s judgments were intended to lead others to repentance and forgiveness. Those who are stubborn and unrepentant are storing up God’s wrath against themselves. The self-righteous are as guilty as the unrighteous. God’s judgment is absolutely impartial. God’s judgment will fall on the Jews because they have not kept his revelation.
Romans 2:17-3:8 The Specific Sins of the Jews
Romans 2:17-29 Along with special privileges come special responsibilities. Paul lists the ways in which Jews felt superior over Gentiles. Describes specific privileges of being a Jew… the Law, relationship to God, understanding of his will, and being a guide for others. Jews have failed to live up to the teachings they all knew. Instead of being humble about that, they’ve all been boasting. Jews felt secure in circumcision, yet they do not keep the law’s requirements. Being a Jew is determined by inward character, not outward signs.
Romans 3:1-8 God’s faithfulness: Despite Jews’ failures, God is still faithful to them. The nation has been entrusted with God’s very words. Some have argued that if sinning brings out God’s mercy, people should sin as much as possible, thereby bringing out the best in God. Paul rejects this argument: “Their condemnation is deserved”.
Romans 3:9-20 Scriptural proofs of man’s sinfulness: Quotes from scripture regarding man’s failings (Not direct quotes, but summation of various passages). This is equally true for Jews as well as Gentiles.
Romans 3:21-5:21 Justification
Romans 3:21-26 Restatement of justification, i.e., “How good do we have to be?” Since all have sinned, all must be saved. Justification came through redemption that came through Christ. The cross changed relationship forever between God and people. Most thought change would happen at end times. Paul maintained change had already taken place through Cross. People could not change things on their own; God did.
Romans 3:27-31 Key is faith (not works). Those who cannot accept justification by faith must prove it with their lives. They will find their lives are not up to the task. Justification must be available to all.
Romans 4:1-25 Examples of Justification From Old Testament
Romans 4:1-5 Case of Abraham: Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Occurred before any requirement of circumcision had been made).
Romans 4:6-8 Situation involving David: Blessed is the man whose offenses have been forgiven. God never withdrew his support from David.
Romans 4:9-17 God’s promise to Abraham: Promise preceded circumcision. Therefore, Abraham is father of all who believe (even the uncircumcised). Promise came through faith, not the law. Faith is superior to law in terms of being justified before God. Abraham is father “of many nations” – i.e., father of all.
Romans 4:18-25 Abraham’s faith is a model for all. Despite physical evidence to contrary, Abraham
believed God’s promise. He and Sarah were beyond childbearing age when Isaac was born. God waited until all human possibilities had passed. All past events were recorded for future generations to learn from them. We learn that the same God who raised Jesus from the dead made it possible for Abraham and Sarah to have a son. Abraham and we are justified.
Romans 5:1-11 Fruits of justification. Justification has results. The one who is justified enjoys peace and joy. Because they have hope in the glory of God even suffering has new meaning. Suffering has a value – leads to perseverance, endurance. Behind all this is the love of God. It is the Spirit that mediates the blessings of Christ to God’s people. God’s love came just at the right time
Romans 5:12-21 Comparison of Adam and Christ: Just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam) so will justification enter through one man’s redemption (Christ). All are descendants of Adam and have been born into a world where sin is. But the grace that came through Jesus far exceeded Adam’s sin. Those who receive God’s grace and gift of righteousness live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ. The one whom God acquits is made righteous and has new life. Because the Law reveals sin, grace is all the more visible and exceeds sin.
Romans 6:1-8:17 Sanctification
Romans 6:1-14 Freedom from sin: Some argued that men should sin, so that God’s grace can even more abound. Paul said that those who have new life have already escaped sin’s claim. People have died with Christ and will come to new life with him. Since Christ is not subject to sin, neither are believers. Instead people should put themselves at God’s disposal, to serve him. Sin is no longer their master because they are no longer under law, but are under grace.
Romans 6:15-23 Slaves of righteousness. Slaves must do as their master tells them. Believers are now under a new Master…righteousness (not sin). Freed from sin, they are now free to offer a new obedience to God. God has emancipated them from sin, are now free to be slaves of righteousness (Free to be bound into the service of God).
Romans 7:1-6 Freedom from the Law: Uses illustration that the death of a husband sets a woman free to marry again. In like manner, death of the law sets believers free to unite with Christ. The former life was based on lower instincts, where sinful passions existed. Believer has now entered a new life where the law no longer rules.
Romans 7:7-25 Does the Law equate with sin? No…the Law was given by God. Purpose of the law was to delineate right from wrong. But because of the law, people now know sin. Paul uses example of the commandment: Do not covet. The desire is wrong, yet it is so natural, all people do this. Generally no harm comes from desire, but the law determines this a sin. The problem, however, is not with the law, but with sin. The law is good, holy, and was given by a holy God. The law exposed sin’s real character. People simply cannot comply with what the law demands.
Romans 8:1-11 A new life, created by the Spirit. There is no condemnation for those united with Christ. In Christ the life-giving law of the Spirit has set us free. Believer can choose between either the higher or lower nature. People live on the higher (spiritual) nature, which is the outlook of the Spirit. The Spirit produces goodness in man. Because they have been justified, the Spirit forms their outlook.
Romans 8:12-17 Life in the Spirit: All who are moved by the Spirit are the sons of God. Believers have entered that life, now they must live it on that level. They can do it because the Spirit enables them, dwells in them. They are justified, in a new relationship with God. Paul uses the image of children inheriting their father’s estate. In like manner, the sons of God also inherit, are heirs.
Romans 8:18-8:39 Glorification
Romans 8:18-30 Suffering and the Christian: Present suffering will pale in comparison to the splendor that waits. One day there will be no more suffering. In the meantime, God helps man in his sufferings through the Spirit. Even the universe awaits the end of suffering, and has hope for the New Age. Christians have the first fruits (the Spirit) but long for the full harvest. Though salvation is certain, we await in hope and endurance. Our own prayers are inadequate, but the Spirit pleads for us. It is God’s plan to govern all, and that all should work for good. God calls people to respond in faith; they are justified.
Romans 8:31-39 Victory through God’s love. If God is with us who can be against us? God has already given his son, what would He not do for us. No one can stand against God; God stands on our side. Jesus also pleads our case to the Father. Believers also have Jesus as a model in suffering. Regardless of trials, victory will be ours through him who loved us. There is nothing in death or life…that can separate us from the love of God. Christians are in a whole new situation; it is a new day.
C. How the Gospel Relates to Israel
Romans 9 Selection
Romans 9:1-5 Failure of the Jews to accept Christ as the Messiah: Their unbelief evokes great grief and despair within Paul. Paul offers to suffer the judgment of God, if they would only change. He lists their privileges: God’s sons, covenants, temple, law, and promises
Romans 9:6-13 God’s selective purpose: God’s promises are not synonymous with Abraham’s descendants. God chose Isaac, not Ishmael; God chose Jacob and disregarded Esau
(Ishmael and Esau would also have been Abraham’s descendants). God chooses to whom his promises will apply. He is now free to choose those who have faith like Abraham, but are not his descendants (i.e., Gentiles)
Romans 9:14-29 God is free to choose. God chooses from among the Gentiles as well as the Jews. If God only showed mercy to those who “earned” it, it wouldn’t be mercy. Paul uses examples of Pharaoh and Moses, pot and potter. God used Pharaoh to bring justice to light. Unlike the pot, man is still responsible for his actions. God’s whole purpose is that there should be vessels for his mercy. God was merciful towards the Jews because His plan included birth of Jesus. Hence, God is free to choose or reject – from among Jews and Gentiles. Paul reminds them of the promises that a remnant shall be saved. Both Jews and Gentiles are free to love, obey God. This is based on the Old Testament witness.
Romans 9:30-35 Why did the Jews fail? Jews failed because they tried to earn God’s favor. Lacked the quality of faith in God. Jews were caught in “stumbling-stone” of Jesus. Jews could not accept Jesus, “tripped” over him. Jews tripped over the very stone that would have saved them.
Romans 10 Rejection
Romans 10:1-13 Two kinds of righteousness: Jews believed righteousness was necessary, but they wrongly tried to do it their own way. Jews have not been able to accept that God rights the wrong for those who have faith. Christ brought that righteousness; people cannot earn it. People cannot win God’s favor by exhibiting certain behaviors. Paul quotes Moses, Deuteronomy. They did not earn the Promised Land; it was given as gift. In like manner, Jesus was given as gift. Jews do not have to search for him any more (not in heaven/hell). The word is near them…on lips and in hearts. Inward acceptance equates with outward expression. There is enough righteousness for both Jew and Gentile.
Romans 10:14-21 Israel has no excuse for failing. Responsibility for refusing God’s message lies with the Jews. God gave every possible opportunity for them to receive it. God sent prophets; Jews heard Gospel message (If the Gentiles could get it, the Jews have no excuse). Even Isaiah challenged the notion that Jews would forever be God’s chosen.
Romans 11 Restoration
Romans 11:1-10 The remnant. So has God completely rejected his people? No He hasn’t! Paul uses example of Elijah to introduce the concept of a remnant. Not all Jews have been unfaithful (Paul himself is counted as one). Everything is according to God’s original plan. God himself has selected the remnant…through grace.
Romans 11:11-24 The role of the Gentiles in God’s plan: Rejection by Jews opened way for Gentiles to be included. A word of warning is given to the Gentiles. Just as God did not spare the Jews, he will not spare them if they make themselves superior. Paul uses two metaphors to make his point. If the first portion of the dough is consecrated, so is the whole lump. The nature and health of a tree depends on its root. The Gentiles are the “whole lump” and the “tree”. The Jews are the “first portion” and the “root”. The Gentiles must not allow themselves to feel superior, filled with pride. Faith and pride are mutually exclusive.
Romans 11:25-32 Future salvation of Israel: Paul warns the Gentiles that the Jews will be welcomed back as God’s people. God’s mercy will extend to the Jews as well. The blindness of the Jews was necessary to include Gentiles. When Gentiles have been saved, the Jews will receive God’s mercy. God’s word is true; the final word is that God stands by his choosing of the Jews. Ultimately, God gives mercy and salvation to all.
Romans 11:33-36 Doxology: God is to be praised for his mercy in saving both Jew and Gentile. It is an act of God’s free grace.
D. How the Gospel Relates to Conduct
Romans 12 Social Responsibilities
Romans 12:1-2 The basics of Christian behavior. Believers should devote themselves entirely to serving God, doing his will. Having faith in God means wanting to do what God wills. These are all people who have already entered into that “new life”. Their nature has already been transformed. Do not conform but be transformed.
Romans 12:3-8 Putting others first: Believers have a diversity of gifts, with those come responsibilities. People are to act in harmony with each other. Every gift is important; no one can lord it over another. Paul uses analogy of the body; they have different functions but are all united with Christ. Paul lists some of the various positions (gifts) needed within the church.
Romans 12:9-21 Above all, express love. The Christian will love others and express this love. The Christian will seek to do the good that is God’s will. There can be no Christianity without fellowship. There can be no fellowship if people are haughty. If a believer suffers evil, he must overcome that evil with good.
Romans 13 Civil Responsibilities
Romans 13:1-7 Submit to civil authorities. Being inaugurated into a new life does not give license to disregard authorities. God has appointed officials. Christians must accept the existing order of society. This includes paying taxes in full.
Romans 13:8-10 God’s will is love. All the commandments can be summed up: Love your neighbor as yourself. To obey God is to love your neighbor and to seek his good.
Romans 13:11-14 Salvation is near. Christians should take seriously the need for righteousness. Paul expected the second coming to be near.
Romans 14-15:13 Congregational Responsibilities
Romans 14:1-12 Issues involving food and drink. The “weaker” members refused to eat meat or drink wine. They should not be judged, but accepted as full members in the faith. Each person should decide for him or herself what is appropriate for their Christian faith. All should give thanks to God, act in obedience to Christ. Paul did not impose rules, regulations on conduct during worship. Main point is not to judge one another.
Romans 14:13-23 Consideration of each other: Issues of food and drink pale in comparison to
well-being of fellow member. Believers should abstain from conduct that causes another to stumble. Everything is pure, but not everything edifies another. The kingdom of God is not about food or drink, but about peace and joy. Work for peace and build up for the common good.
Romans 15:1-13 There is unity through love. Those who are strong are strong to help with the burdens of others. Accepting those burdens goes beyond tolerance. It actually requires renunciation of one’s own freedoms for others. Jesus was the example all shuld follow. The source of this strength will be found in God. Only when worshipers accept one another is real worship possible.
E. Epilog
Romans 15:14 -21 Purpose in writing: Explains why he is writing to them even though he did not found the church. They didn’t need him to write, but he wished to refresh their memories. God has appointed him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. It was God’s gift to him; he is merely demonstrating the gift
Romans 15:22-33 Future plans: His work in unchurched areas prevented him from visiting beforehand. That work is now finished. He plans to go to Spain and will stop in Rome on his way through. He hopes they will support his ministry there. First, however, he must take the collection to Jerusalem. He asks for their prayers that his errand might find acceptance. Then he will be able to come with a happy frame of mind and in peace.
Romans 16:1-16 Greetings: Paul greets various people by name. It is likely that Phoebe carried the letter to Rome. Priscilla and Aquila, who met him in Corinth, have apparently returned to Rome. Paul asks that they greet each other with a kiss of peace.
Romans 16:17-20 A warning against false teachers. He says they do not serve God, but are only interested in serving themselves. They stir up quarrels and lead people astray. They are not identified, so obviously the congregation knew who they were.
Romans 16:21-24 Greetings from those with Paul:
Romans 16:25-27 Praise to God. Once again, God is praised for His mercy in what He has done through Christ. It is God’s will that all be saved. God alone has power to protect and save.

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