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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Romans

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16

Book Overview - Romans

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE EPISTLE OF ROMANS

January 2013Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme - The Doctrines of the New Testament Church

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given,

that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Ephesians 3:8

Structural Theme - The Doctrine of Justification Through Faith in Jesus Christ

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:16-17

Imperative Theme - Offering Our Lives as a Living Sacrifice to Take the Gospel to the Nations

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Romans 1:5

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,

according to the commandment of the everlasting God,

made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Romans 16:26

INTRODUCTION TO THE PAULINE EPISTLES

There are thirteen letters authored by Paul the apostle that have been preserved in the New Testament, with the book of Hebrews often attributed to him as well. Paul never saw the Lord Jesus Christ in His natural form, as did the twelve apostles who traveled with Him. He only saw Him in His glorified state. Yet, he understood more about the resurrection of Christ than those who witnessed it, and he wrote more about Jesus' work of redemption than any of the twelve. This is because a believer's spiritual eyes see more of God's redemptive work than his physical eyes. Paul learned to know God by listening to the voice of his spirit, which are his spiritual eyes. Thus, he was able to perceive more than the other apostles saw with their physical eyes beholding Jesus in the flesh for three years. Because of Paul's writings, the Word of God is our spiritual revelation of Jesus, and we, too, must walk by faith in His blessed Word and not by sight.

In this introduction to the Pauline epistles, we will look at (A) Historical Background, (B) Authorship, (C) Paul's Biography, (D) Date, (E) Recipients, (F) Characteristics, (G) Purpose, and (H) Thematic Scheme.

A. Historical Background - In discussing the historical background of the Pauline epistles, we will look at (1) Letter Writing in the Ancient World, (2) The New Testament Epistles, (3) and Paul's "Lost Epistles."

1. Letter Writing in the Ancient World- The English word "epistle" is simply a transliteration of the Greek word " επιστολή" (epistole), which literally means, "a message, or a communication." This word is derived from the Greek verb " επιστέ λλω" (epistello), which means, "to send one a message, to write a letter." During the New Testament era, epistles were usually written on the cheaper papyrus rather than expensive parchments, which were animal skins. Robert Gundry tells us the average size of a piece of papyrus sheet measured around 9½ in. x 11in, which is close to the size of today's sheet of writing paper. These ancient sheets of papyrus could hold 150-200 words, depending upon the size of the letters. In the ancient Graeco-Roman world that Paul the apostle lived, private letters, or epistles, averaged ninety words in length, which could easily fit upon one sheet of papyrus. When we consider some of the literary works of the Romans , which were addressed to a general audience, such as the writings of Cicero and Seneca, we find them averaging two hundred words, still within the size of one sheet. These ancient letters usually opened with a greeting, which indicated the name of the sender and recipient, along with some well wishes. After the main body that followed, the letter closed with a farewell, which may have included additional greetings, and it closed with a possible signature. Thus, we recognize the format of the Pauline epistles. However, Paul's epistles were much longer than the average epistle of his day, ranging from 335 words in Philemon up to 7 ,101words in the epistle of Romans , with an average length of about 1 ,300 words per epistle. Thus, Paul created a new style of epistle; one that was much longer than the average letter, yet still personal, and one that was theological in its content. In addition, it was customary for a person to hire a professional scribe, called an amanuensis, to write letters; for the papyrus sheet was rough and difficult to write on without effort. These scribes would use shorthand for rapid dictation and later write down the letter. Paul makes a number of references to the fact that he used an amanuensis, and on one occasion, this scribe identifies himself ( Romans 16:22). On other occasions, Paul makes it a point to tell his readers that the final greeting was written by his own hand, perhaps to verity its authenticity. There was no public postal system during Paul's day. This meant that letters were carried by personal friends on foot, which meant much more effort and, thus, importance to the recipients of such letters back then than we would feel today. 1]

1] Robert H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, revised edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House), 245-246.

2. The New Testament Epistles - Of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, twenty-one of them are epistles. The epistles of three New Testament apostles, Peter, John , and Paul, as well as James and Jude , brothers of the Lord, along with the Gospels by the Evangelists, were collected and circulated among the early churches. Paul writings were given the status of having divine authority and even brought into equal recognition with the Old Testament Scripture by Peter the apostle.

2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

All of Paul's epistles were originally written in the Greek language. Albert Barnes says this language was understood by the Romans and spoken extensively throughout the Empire. It was taught to the youth of Rome and fashionable to be able to understand it. Cicero says, "…Greek poetry is read among all nations, Latin is confined to its own natural limits, which are narrow enough." (Oration for A. L. Archiae) 2] In fact, the Jews of the Diaspora understood and read from the Septuagint when there was not yet a Latin translation of the Old Testament Scriptures. 3]

2] Cicero, The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol 2, trans. C. D. Yonge (London: G. Bell & Sons, Ltd, 1917), 121.

3] Albert Barnes, The Epistle to the Romans , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

3. Paul's "Lost Epistles" - We know that Paul makes references to other epistles, which we sometimes call the "lost letters" ( 1 Corinthians 5:9, 2 Corinthians 2:3-4, Colossians 4:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Peter 3:15).

1 Corinthians 5:9, "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:"

2 Corinthians 2:3-4, "And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you."

Colossians 4:16, "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea."

2 Thessalonians 2:15, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

2 Peter 3:15, "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;"

Some scholars suggest that these lost epistles have been preserved in part or whole in various places in the Pauline body of epistles, and their arguments are worth consideration. However, the fact remains that these thirteen epistles have been divinely inspired and preserved for us and placed within the Holy Bible as a perfect fit to make up God's story of redemption for mankind. What letters he did write that we no long have preserved were not necessary for our redemption. We may say the same about the fact that most of Jesus Christ's childhood and early life are not recorded, simply because this information is not relevant for our redemption. There is much information that the Holy Bible does not contain, but what God has done for us in the Scriptures through His divine providence is to place particular books in a particular order that guides each of us through our unique plan of redemption. The Pauline epistles are woven and fitted together in a way that defies man's ability to organize it. When we study the themes of each of Paul's letters, we find each one unique and special and fitted together to form an intended message for our lives.

B. Authorship- All internal and external evidence supports Pauline authorship of those epistles that carry his title. The early Church fathers make direct statements declaring Pauline authorship, as well as direct quotes, strong allusions and weak allusions. Direct quotes are word for word citations from this book, strong allusions are apparent paraphrases, and weak allusions are words or phrases that appear to come from this book.

1. Ignatius (A.D 35 to 107) - Ignatius, one of the earliest bishops of the church at Antioch, tells us that Paul the apostle wrote his epistles and that in them he was speaking as Christ.

"I know both who I Amos , and to whom I write. I am a condemned Prayer of Manasseh , ye have been the objects of mercy; I am subject to danger, ye are established in safety. Ye are the persons through whom those pass that are cut off for the sake of God. Ye are initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel with Paul, the holy, the martyred, the deservedly most happy, at whose feet may I be found, when I shall attain to God; who in all his Epistles makes mention of you in Christ Jesus." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 12)

"Let Christ speak in us, even as He did in Paul. Let the Holy Spirit teach us to speak the things of Christ in like manner as He did." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 15)

2. Polycarp (A.D 69 to 155) - In his letter to the church at Philippians , Polycarp tells us that Paul the apostle taught the word of truth, that he wrote a letter to the Philippians and then he quotes from 1 Timothy 6:7; 1 Timothy 6:10 and 2 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 6:2. This tells us that Polycarp was familiar with the Pauline epistles and that he held them in esteem as the "word of truth." It also tells us that these epistles were circulating and probably collected together into a single body during the latter part of the first century.

"For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom" of the blessed and glorified Paul. Hebrews , when among you, accurately and stedfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter, which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbour, ‘is the mother of us all.'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 3)

"‘But the love of money is the root of all evils.' Knowing, therefore, that ‘as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out,' let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness; and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 4)

"and that if we live worthily of Him, ‘we shall also reign together with Him,'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 5)

"‘Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world?' as Paul teaches." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 11)

3. Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200) - Irenaeus makes frequent use of the Pastoral Epistles.

"Inasmuch as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, "minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith," (Against Heresies 1.Preface 1)

1 Timothy 1:4, "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."

"Such are the words and deeds by which, in our own district of the Rhone, they have deluded many women, who have their consciences seared as with a hot iron." (Against Heresies 1137)

2 Timothy 3:6, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"

"But as many as separate from the Church, and give heed to such old wives' fables as these, are truly self-condemned; and these men Paul commands us, ‘after a first and second admonition, to avoid.'" (Against Heresies 1163)

Titus 3:10, "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;"

"…and from them "knowledge, falsely so called," received its beginning, as one may learn even from their own assertions…" (Against Heresies 1234)

1 Timothy 6:20, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:"

"…according to the meaning of the Greek word, because she secretly stirred up men), without the knowledge of the Demiurge, to give forth profound and unspeakable mysteries to itching ears." (Against Heresies 2212)

2 Timothy 4:6, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."

4. Caius (early 3rd c.) - Eusebius quotes Caius, a Roman presbyter, telling us that Paul was the author of thirteen epistles, not counting Hebrews.

"There flourished many learned men in the Church at that time, whose letters to each other have been preserved and are easily accessible. They have been kept until our time in the library at AElia, which was established by Alexander, who at that time presided over that church. We have been able to gather from that library material for our present work. Among these Beryllus has left us, besides letters and treatises, various elegant works. He was bishop of Bostra in Arabia. Likewise also Hippolytus, who presided over another church, has left writings. There has reached us also a dialogue of Caius, a very learned Prayer of Manasseh , which was held at Rome under Zephyrinus, with Proclus, who contended for the Phrygian heresy. In this he curbs the rashness and boldness of his opponents in setting forth new Scriptures. He mentions only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle, not counting that to the Hebrews with the others. And unto our day there are some among the Romans who do not consider this a work of the apostle." (Ecclesiastical History 6201-3)

5. Origen (A.D 185 to 254) - Eusebius quotes Origen as telling us that Paul was the author of thirteen epistles.

"In the fifth book of his Expositions of John"s Gospel, he speaks thus concerning the epistles of the apostles: "But he who was "made sufficient to be a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit," that Isaiah , Paul, who "fully preached the Gospel from Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum," did not write to all the churches which he had instructed and to those to which he wrote he sent but few lines." (Ecclesiastical History 6257)

Origen mentions six of Paul's letter being of Pauline authorship.

"And we say to those who hold similar opinions to those of Celsus: ‘Paul then, we are to suppose, had before his mind the idea of no pre-eminent wisdom when he professed to speak wisdom among them that are perfect?' Now, as he spoke with his customary boldness when in making such a profession he said that he was possessed of no Wisdom of Solomon , we shall say in reply: first of all examine the Epistles of him who utters these words, and look carefully at the meaning of each expression in them--say, in those to the Ephesians , and Colossians , and Thessalonians, and Philippians , and Romans ,--and show two things, both that you understand Paul"s words, and that you can demonstrate any of them to be silly or foolish." (Against Celsus 3221)

Regarding the book of Hebrews , Origen tells us through Eusebius that he doubted Paul's authorship, though he acknowledged that it contains Paul's thoughts. Origen further states that the ancient tradition holds to a Pauline authorship.

"In addition he makes the following statements in regard to the Epistle to the Hebrews in his Homilies upon it: ‘That the verbal style of the epistle entitled "To the Hebrews ," is not rude like the language of the apostle, who acknowledged himself "rude in speech," that Isaiah , in expression; but that its diction is purer Greek, any one who has the power to discern differences of phraseology will acknowledge. Moreover, that the thoughts of the epistle are admirable, and not inferior to the acknowledged apostolic writings, any one who carefully examines the apostolic text will admit.' Farther on he adds: ‘If I gave my opinion, I should say that the thoughts are those of the apostle, but the diction and phraseology are those of some one who remembered the apostolic teachings, and wrote down at his leisure what had been said by his teacher. Therefore if any church holds that this epistle is by Paul, let it be commended for this. For not without reason have the ancients handed it down as Paul"s. But who wrote the epistle, in truth, God knows. The statement of some who have gone before us is that Clement, bishop of the Romans , wrote the epistle, and of others that Luke , the author of the Gospel and the Acts , wrote it.' But let this suffice on these matters." (Ecclesiastical History 62511-14)

6. The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200) - The Muratorian Canon, an ancient Latin document dated around A.D 200, is considered the earliest attempt at listing the canonical books of the New Testament. It was discovered in Ambrosian Library in Milan and formerly in the monastery of Bobbio. It tells us that Paul the apostle was the author of all thirteen epistles that are credited to his name. This ancient manuscript also an order of the writing of the Pauline epistles. However, The Muratorian Canon makes no reference to the book of Hebrews.

"As to the epistles of Paul, again, to those who will understand the matter, they indicate of themselves what they are, and from what place or with what object they were directed. He wrote first of all, and at considerable length, to the Corinthians, to check the schism of heresy; and then to the Galatians , to forbid circumcision; and then to the Romans on the rule of the Old Testament Scriptures, and also to show them that Christ is the first object in these;—which it is needful for us to discuss severally, as the blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John , writes to no more than seven churches by name, in this order: the first to the Corinthians, the second to the Ephesians , the third to the Philippians , the fourth to the Colossians , the fifth to the Galatians , the sixth to the Thessalonians, the seventh to the Romans. Moreover, though he writes twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for their correction, it is yet shown—i.e, by this sevenfold writing—that there is one Church spread abroad through the whole world. And John too, indeed, in the Apocalypse, although he writes only to seven churches, yet addresses all. He wrote, besides these, one to Philemon , and one to Titus , and two to Timothy, in simple personal affection and love indeed; but yet these are hallowed in the esteem of the Catholic Church, and in the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline." (Fragments of Caius 33)

7. Cyprian (d 258) - Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, supported Pauline authorship and frequently quotes from many of his epistles.

8. Victorinus (d. A.D 305) - Victorinus, bishop of Pettau, tells us Paul was the author of his New Testament epistles.

"In the whole world Paul taught that all the churches are arranged by sevens, that they are called seven, and that the Catholic Church is one. And first of all, indeed, that he himself also might maintain the type of seven churches, he did not exceed that number. But he wrote to the Romans , to the Corinthians, to the Galatians , to the Ephesians , to the Thessalonians, to the Philippians , to the Colossians; afterwards he wrote to individual persons, so as not to exceed the number of seven churches." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John 1:16)

9. Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) - Eusebius, the earliest Church historian, tells us that the early church fathers agreed without dispute that Paul was the author of his thirteen epistles plus the epistle to the Hebrews.

"Paul"s fourteen epistles are well known and undisputed. It is not indeed right to overlook the fact that some have rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews , saying that it is disputed by the church of Rome, on the ground that it was not written by Paul. But what has been said concerning this epistle by those who lived before our time I shall quote in the proper place." (Ecclesiastical History 335)

"Since we are dealing with this subject it is proper to sum up the writings of the New Testament which have been already mentioned. First then must be put the holy quaternion of the Gospels; following them the Acts of the Apostles. After this must be reckoned the epistles of Paul; next in order the extant final former epistle of John , and likewise the epistle of Peter, must be maintained. After them is to be placed, if it really seem proper, the Apocalypse of John , concerning which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. These then belong among the accepted writings. Among the disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the Song of Solomon -called epistle of James and that of Jude , also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John , whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name." (Ecclesiastical History 3251-3)

He mentions Caius, who was disputing about the thirteen Pauline epistles.

"There flourished many learned men in the Church at that time, whose letters to each other have been preserved and are easily accessible. They have been kept until our time in the library at Aelia, which was established by Alexander, who at that time presided over that church. We have been able to gather from that library material for our present work. Among these Beryllus has left us, besides letters and treatises, various elegant works. He was bishop of Bostra in Arabia. Likewise also Hippolytus, who presided over another church, has left writings. There has reached us also a dialogue of Caius, a very learned Prayer of Manasseh , which was held at Rome under Zephyrinus, with Proclus, who contended for the Phrygian heresy. In this he curbs the rashness and boldness of his opponents in setting forth new Scriptures. He mentions only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle, not counting that to the Hebrews with the others. And unto our day there are some among the Romans who do not consider this a work of the apostle." (Ecclesiastical History 6201-3)

10. Athanasius (A.D 296 to 373) - Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, supported Pauline authorship of his thirteen epistles as well as the epistle to the Hebrews.

"Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles (called Catholic), seven, viz. of James , one; of Peter, two; of John , three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two to the Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John" (Festal Letters 395)

11. Gregory Nazianzen (A.D 329 to 389) - Gregory Nazianzen, one of the Cappadocian fathers, supported Pauline authorship of fourteen epistles, which included Hebrews.

After listing the books of the Old Testament canon he says, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament. First, to the Hebrews Matthew the saint composed what was according to him the Gospel; second, in Italy Mark the divine; third, in Achaia Luke the all-wise; and John , thundering the heavenlies, indeed preached to all common men; after whom the miracles and deeds of the wise apostles, and Paul the divine herald fourteen epistles; and catholic seven, of which one is of James the brother of God, and two are of Peter the head, and of John again the evangelist, three, and seventh is Jude the Zealot. All are united and accepted; and if one of them is found outside, it is not placed among the genuine ones." (PG 38 Colossians 845) (author's translation) 4]

4] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

He makes a similar statement again:

"Indeed Matthew wrote to the Hebrews (the) miracles of Christ, and Mark to Italy, Luke to Achaia, and above all, John , a great preacher who walked in heaven, then the Acts of the wise apostles, and fourteen epistles of Paul, and seven catholic epistles, being of James , one, and two of Peter, and three of John again, and Jude is seven. You have all. And if there is some (other than) these seven, not (are they) among the genuine ones." (Carminum 1) (PG 37 Colossians 474) (author's translation)

He also supported Pauline authorship by frequently quoting from his epistles.

"Let Paul reprove you with those bitter reproaches, in which, after his list of the Gifts of Grace, he says, Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? etc." (Orations 278)

"I pass over the honours they pay to reptiles, and their worship of vile things, each of which has its peculiar cultus and festival, and all share in a common devilishness; so that, if they were absolutely bound to be ungodly, and to fall away from honouring God, and to be led astray to idols and works of art and things made with hands, men of sense could not imprecate anything worse upon themselves than that they might worship just such things, and honour them in just such a way; that, as Paul says, they might receive in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet, in the very objects of their worship" (Orations 396)

"With Paul I shout to you with that loud voice, ‘Behold now is the accepted time; behold Now is the day of salvation;' and that Now does not point to any one time, but is every present moment." (Orations 4013)

"Being perfected by the spirit, do not make the Spirit your own equal. If I yet pleased men, says Paul, I should not be the servant of Christ." (Orations 3717)

12. Jerome (A.D 342to 420) - Jerome tells us that Paul was the author of his thirteen epistles. He leaves the authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews undecided.

"He then, in the fourteenth year of Nero on the same day with Peter, was beheaded at Rome for Christ"s sake and was buried in the Ostian way, the twenty-seventh year after our Lord"s passion. He wrote nine epistles to seven churches: To the Romans one, To the Corinthians two, To the Galatians one, To the Ephesians one, To the Philippians one, To the Colossians one, To the Thessalonians two; and besides these to his disciples, To Timothy two, To Titus one, To Philemon one. The epistle which is called the Epistle to the Hebrews is not considered his, on account of its difference from the others in style and language, but it is reckoned, either according to Tertullian to be the work of Barnabas, or according to others, to be by Luke the Evangelist or Clement afterwards bishop of the church at Rome, who, they say, arranged and adorned the ideas of Paul in his own language, though to be sure, since Paul was writing to Hebrews and was in disrepute among them he may have omitted his name from the salvation on this account. He being a Hebrew wrote Hebrew, that is his own tongue and most fluently while the things which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek and this is the reason why it seems to differ from other epistles of Paul. Some read one also to the Laodiceans but it is rejected by everyone." (Lives of Illustrious Men 5)

13. Theodoret of Cyrrus (A.D 393-466) - Theodoret tells us that Paul wrote fourteen epistles.

"The blessed Paul wrote fourteen epistles. And the order, which we have in the books, I do not think to have been made. But just as the divine David composed the holy Psalm , having received the operation of the all-holy Spirit. And certain others he compiled these with each others as they then wished. And they on the one hand send out a spiritual fragrance, but not they have from the order of the time, thus also these apostolic epistles being laid together are found. For indeed, the one to the Romans was written by the divine Paul; however, it received the first order, but it was written last of all, being sent out from out of Asia, and Macedonia, and Achaia. For first indeed, I think he wrote the ones to the Thessalonians earlier; for this one [first epistle] the divine apostle sent from Athens when writing to them he taught; for in the midst of the epistle he said thus, ‘Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timothy, our brother, and faithful servant of God, and fellow worker in the Gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith;' and again in a little while passing to them the second epistle. And we are teaching from the knowledge of the [book of] Acts , how leaving Athens the wonderful Paul reached Corinth; and he spend much more time there. After these things, I think he wrote the first one to the Corinthians. And while staying in Ephesus at that time he wrote this one; for surely, about the end of the epistle he says, ‘And I will abide in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a great and effectual door has opened to me; and (there are) many adversaries.' And after he preached in Ephesus, in Macedonia, and to the Achaians, and to the Corinthians, it permits, he teaches from the knowledge of the [book of] Acts. And the second to the Corinthians after this I think he wrote; for indeed according to the promise reaching them, and while living a short time in Macedonia, there he wrote, and this he made clear again in the same epistle. [cols 37B-40A]…I think the fifth to write (was) the first one to Timothy. For after indeed the earlier one he says thus, ‘Just as I besought you to abide in Ephesus, while I go into Macedonia. And the history of the (book) of Acts teaches us also, when he first left for Macedonia 40B]…after this I think he wrote the one to Titus; for in those (epistles) while he was still living in those parts, he announced that he would overtake them. 40D]…and from Corinth he wrote the one to the Romans; for indeed he first commends Phebe, saying she is a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. And the Cencreaens are of the region of Corinth. 41B]…Last indeed the one to the Romans was written from Asia, and Macedonia, and Achaia, and in order the seventh, as we have shown of the apostolic epistles. For indeed he wrote the others from Rome. And on the one hand, I think he wrote the one to the Galatians; for before the journey into Macedonia, he passed through the region of Phyrgia and Galatia, preaching the Gospel. After a certain time in Macedonia, and in Achaia, and indeed having spent time in Asia, he then took off to Judea 41B-C]…And after these things he wrote to the Philippians from Rome, and it is clear (at) the end of the epistle. Clearly, he teaches us (at) the end; for he says, ‘They of the household of Caesar greet you.' And also indeed at the same time he wrote to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. 41C-D]…And in the one to the Colossians he also mentions Onesimus, ‘For with Onesimus,' he says, ‘the faithful and beloved brother, who is of you, they shall know all things here.' Indeed, before the two of these (epistles) the one to Philemon was determined. 41D-44A]…After these he wrote to the Hebrews , and indeed from Rome, as he taught at the end; for he says, ‘Those of Italy greet you.' 44A]…And last of all he wrote the second one to Timothy…he wrote from Rome." 44A] (PG 82cols 37B to 44A) (author's translation)

C. Paul's Biography - Paul's biography discusses (1) Paul's Early Years, (2) Paul's Physical Appearance, (3) Paul's Conversion and Silent Years, (4) Paul's Calling and Missionary Work, (5) Paul's Release from the First Roman Imprisonment, (6) Paul's Death.

1. Paul's Early Years- Paul the apostle was a man of great zeal and achievement. He was born of Jewish parents in the city of Tarsus, the chief city of Cilicia, where Greek culture predominated. In this city was a great university, which Strabo (63 B.C. to A.D 24?), the Greek historian and geographer, was known for its enthusiasm for learning, especially in the area of philosophy. Strabo said this university surpassed those at Athens, Alexandria, and all others in its passion for learning. 5] It is from this upbringing that we see why Paul was a man of zeal and great achievement; for he was raised in an atmosphere of physical and mental achievement around the university in Tarsus. We know nothing about his parents, apart a comment made by Paul calling himself the son of a Pharisee ( Acts 23:6). Of his siblings we only know that he had a sister, for Paul's nephew helped him escape harm ( Acts 23:16).

5] Strabo writes, "The inhabitants of this city apply to the study of philosophy and to the whole encyclical compass of learning with so much ardour, that they surpass Athens, Alexandreia, and every other place which can be named where there are schools and lectures of philosophers." (Geography 14513) See The Geography of Strabo, vol 3, trans. H. C. Hamilton and W. Falconer (London: George Bell and Sons, 1889), 57.

Acts 23:6, "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."

Acts 23:16, "And when Paul"s sister"s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul."

Since ancient times, a Jewish child was exposed to three levels of education at the respective ages of five, ten, and fifteen, at which levels they studied the Mikra, Mishnah, and Gemara or Talmud. Their secular education was tied to their study of the Law of Moses. 6] Therefore, Saul would have been introduced to the Hebrew Scriptures at an early age, and studies through his early teenage years. Paul would have been then admitted into the Jewish community as a competent and instructed member. All Jewish boys were also to be trained in a trade about this age, which was believed to help a person live a balanced life. 7] For Paul, we know that he was trained as a tent-maker ( Acts 18:3). If the parents wanted their children to acquire additional education, they sent them to Jerusalem, where there were schools of well-known rabbis. 8] Paul was probably sent to Jerusalem to further his training in Jewish law as a teenager. In his quest for education, he found himself seeking a meaning in life that went beyond his reasoning. Because of his Jewish heritage, he was later trained in the strictest of sect of the Jews, that of a Pharisee, and in this training, he sat under the most well known Hebrew teacher of his day, a man called Gamaliel ( Acts 22:3).

6] Nathan Drazin, History of Jewish Education from 515 B.C.E. to 222 C.E. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1940), 14.

7] One Jewish rabbi wrote, "Excellent is the study of the Law combined with some worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin out of mind. But all study of the Law without some labor comes in the end to naught and brings sin in its train." (Aboth 22) See Nathan Drazin, History of Jewish Education from 515 B.C.E. to 222 C.E. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1940), 20.

8] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Education."

Acts 18:3, "And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers."

Acts 22:3, "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."

In these two educational environments, Paul was yet to find a purpose in life. He could quote the Greek poets ( Acts 17:28), but that did not bring him close to God. Yes, he came closer to discovering the truth at the feet of Gamaliel than at the University of Tarsus, but it did not answer the most important question in life, "What is the meaning of life, and why am I here?" He had seen man's wisdom at its best as he studied Greek philosophy. He had seen man's religion at its best as he studied under Gamaliel. Both failed to explain the meaning of life.

In addition to his educational achievements, Paul's claim to be a Roman citizen from Tarsus tells us that his family was one of wealth and standing ( Acts 22:28). One commentator says that Paul was a Roman citizen because Tarsus was a Roman colony, and all those born in such a city were Roman citizens by birth. However, his Christian faith took him away from the prestige wealth that he could have enjoyed by his father's heritage, and it removed him from the recognition of the Pharisees that he had worked so hard to achieve. Becoming a Christian cost Paul his career, his wealth, and his respect among his family and colleagues.

Acts 22:28, "And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born."

Regarding Paul's zeal as a Pharisee and as an apostle to the Gentiles, we have to ask ourselves what was it that drove him to exert so much energy in his careers. Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that Paul was torn from his birth place of Tarsus and taken to Jerusalem to train in the Jewish law. Such an experience changes a person's perspective on life. Often, when a person is placed in a new culture, he is less likely to settle down into the routine customs of a local culture. While those who spend their lives in their home town tend to settle into a routine, a stranger tends to become more industrious than the local residents in a community simply because he is no longer closely attached to those around him. He is free to focus his energies on a career. For example, I was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. However, when I left town to attend college and seminary, my views on life greatly changes. I was in these "foreign" cities for a purpose. While the local residents were going fishing and doing other simply entertainment, I was busy with studies or a job. I was not attached to the local community anymore, except the local church. Because I was "away from home," I busied myself with things to do. Otherwise, had I remained in my small town, I would have been more narrow-minded and less apt to be industrious in regards to a career. Paul was a person with a mission, wherever he lived. He was not settled down to a slow, simply lifestyle.

2. Paul's Physical Appearance- We do find a physical description of Paul the apostle in several ancient sources. Philip Schaff tells us the oldest extant picture of Paul is found on "a large bronze medallion" unearthed in the cemetery of Domitilla, a member of the Flavian family, and dated back to the late first century or early second century. He says this artifact portrays Paul "with apparently diseased eyes, open mouth, bald head and short thick beard, but thoughtful, solemn, and dignified." 9] The ancient New Testament apocryphal writing called The Acts of Paul and Thecla also gives us a description of Paul's appearance, "And he saw Paul coming, a man small in size, bald-headed, bandy-legged, well-built, with eyebrows meeting, rather long-nosed, full of grace. For sometimes he seemed like a Prayer of Manasseh , and sometimes he had the countenance of an angel." (The Acts of Paul and Thecla, paragraph 2) 10] F. F. Bruce tells us that although The Acts of Paul and Thecla, an early Church document, is "admittedly a romance written by an orthodox presbyter of Asia about A.D 160 ," it appears "to embody the genuine tradition of the Apostle's personal appearance." 11] A spurious document of the fourth century entitled the Philopatris and once ascribed to Lucian, describes Paul as "the bald-headed, hooked-nosed Galilaean who trod the air into the third heaven, and learnt the most beautiful things." (Philopatris 12) 12] John Malala of Antioch (late 6th c.) describes the apostle, saying, "Paul was in person round-shouldered with a sprinkling of grey on his head and beard, with an aquiline nose, greyish eyes, meeting eyebrows, with a mixture of pale and red in his complexion, and an ample beard. With a genial expression of countenance, he was sensible, earnest, easily accessible, sweet, and inspired with the Holy Spirit." (Farrar) (Chronographia 10) (PG 97 Colossians 389) 13] We have a similar description from Nicephorus Callistus (A.D 1256 to 1335), saying, "Paul was short, and dwarfish in stature, and, as it were, crooked in person and slightly bent. His face was pale, his aspect winning. He was bald-headed, and his eyes were bright. His nose was prominent and aquiline, his beard thick and tolerably long, and both this and his head were sprinkled with white hairs." (Farrar) (Historia Ecclesiastica 237) (PG 145 Colossians 853C-D) 14]

9] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 295.

10] The Acts of Paul and Thecla, trans. M. B. Riddle, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 8, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, c 1886, 1916), 486.

11] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 263.

12] F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1879), 628.

13] F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1879), 628; Ludovici Dindorfii, Ioannis Malalae Chronographia, in Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, ed. B. G. Niebuhrii (Bonnae: Impensis ed. Weberi, 1831), 257. Dindorfii's work arranges this passage in Chronographia 10332, while Farrar references it in 10257.

14] F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1879), 628.

3. Paul's Conversion and Silent Years- Paul first appears in Scripture as a witness of the stoning to death of Stephen ( Acts 7:58). The Scriptures then reveal a man who is full of zeal and passion to both keep the Mosaic Law and to persecute the Christians who contradict his theology. He led the Jews in the first major campaign to persecute the Church. In his zeal, he went as far as Damascus looking for any believer who confessed Christ Jesus. It was in this spirit that Paul was confronted with the first of many divine visitations that would mark his life as the greatest sinner and the greatest soul winner of all time.

Hippolytus (A.D 170 to 236) tells us that Paul was converted on the Damascus Road ( Acts 9:1-19) one year after the Lord's assumption (A.D 34).

"And Paul entered into the apostleship a year after the assumption of Christ; and beginning at Jerusalem, he advanced as far as Illyricum, and Italy, and Spain, preaching the Gospel for five-and-thirty years. And in the time of Nero he was beheaded at Rome, and was buried there." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 13) (ANF 5)

Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, records the tradition that Paul was converted the same year that Stephen was stoned.

"The Blessed Paul was made a disciple to the Faith, in the year in which Stephen was stoned, at the end of the reign of Tiberius; and after he had been baptized by Hanania in Damascus, he received the degree of Apostleship, that is to say, of Catholicity, by ordination of the Apostles in Antioch, and began teaching from Jerusalem to Illyricum, beyond Rome." 15]

15] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, in Horae Semiticae, vol 11 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1916), 1.

However, Frank Goodwin and other scholars date Paul's conversion in 36 A.D. 16] He remained in Damascus for some three years preaching the Gospel ( Acts 9:20-25, Galatians 1:17-18). At some point during his stay there, he journeyed to Arabia and back to Damascus, very possibly to the historic site of Mount Sinai. Around A.D 39, because of the persecution that arose against him, he journeyed back to Jerusalem, where he met Peter and James for the first time and where his conversion in Christianity was formally accepted as authentic ( Galatians 1:18-20). After declaring to the apostles how he had been converted and preached the Gospel, he decided to remain in Jerusalem for a while ( Acts 9:26-29) and preach. Again, because of persecution, the believers in Jerusalem sent him down to Caesarea and off to Tarsus of Cilicia, his place of birth ( Acts 9:30, Galatians 1:21-24). Sometime around A.D 43, Barnabas journeyed to Tarsus and found Paul and took him back to Antioch of Syria, where they ministered together a year ( Acts 11:25-26). In A.D 44Barnabas and Paul took a love offering to the saints in Jerusalem because of a severe famine ( Acts 11:29-30; Acts 12:25). This was Paul's second trip to Jerusalem.

16] Frank J. Goodwin, A Harmony and Commentary on the Life of St. Paul according to the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1951), 19.

4. Paul's Calling and Missionary Work- Paul and Barnabas were sent out from the church at Antioch around A.D 46-48 and spent two years on their first missionary journey ( Acts 13:1 to Acts 14:28). Around A.D 48-50, fourteen years from his conversion, having moved about in the regions of Syria and Cilicia preaching the Gospel, Paul returned Jerusalem for the third time and attended the First Jerusalem Council in order to defend the work that he had been doing among the Gentiles ( Acts 15:2, Galatians 2:1-10). At this time, the church at Jerusalem began to recognize that Paul had a divine calling as an apostle to the Gentiles and they gave to him their blessings for he and Barnabas to go to the Gentiles. Paul embarked on his second missionary journey with Silas, which lasted from A.D 50 to 52 ( Acts 15:36 to Acts 18:22). Paul very likely wrote 1,2Thessalonians from the city of Corinth on this journey (A.D 51). After a short furlough, Paul began his third and longest missionary journey (A.D 53to 57) ( Acts 18:23 to Acts 20:38). He worked in Ephesus for about three years (A.D 53-56), at which time he wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians (A.D 56). Having moved into Macedonia, he then wrote his second epistle to the Corinthians (A.D 56). He then visited the church at Corinth, and having wintered their (A.D 56-57), he wrote his epistle to the Romans before setting forth on his long trip to Jerusalem with the offering from the Gentile churches. Thus, Paul spent approximately ten years (A.D 48 to 57) in intensive evangelism and church planting in the Roman provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia, and Asia. Paul was led by the Holy Spirit as he strategically worked in the principal cities of these Roman provinces, knowing that the churches planted there would be able to influence the minor surrounding cities.

He finished his third missionary journey having arrived in Jerusalem in A.D 57. There he was arrested and spent two years in prison at Caesarea (A.D 58-59). After his long trip by sea and survival from a shipwreck, Paul arrived in Rome, where he would spend the next two years (A.D 60-62). It was during this imprisonment that he would write his prison epistles ( Ephesians ,, Philippians ,, Colossians , and Philemon). Having been freed, Paul continued on some unrecorded missionary journeys, where he wrote his first epistle to Timothy and the epistle to Titus. Paul was later arrested and wrote his second and final epistle to Timothy just before his death in Rome in A.D 66 to 68.

He probably wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians in A.D 51, sixteen years after his conversion. If he wrote his second epistle to Timothy in A.D 66, shortly before his death, this would give Paul a ministry of about thirty years.

Saul of Tarsus most likely changed his name to Paul during his first missionary journey, as was a common practice in that day for those who had much intercourse with Romans or Greeks. The book of Acts refers to Saul's surname for the first time when Paul began his first missionary journey in Acts 13:9, "Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,"

Jerome (A.D 342to 420) tells us that Saul changed his name to Paul because this was the name of his first convert (Lives of Illustrious Men 5). 17] We find the story of the conversion of Sergius Paulus in Acts 13:4-12, where we also find Paul being called by his new name for the first time ( Acts 13:9).

17] Jerome writes, "As Sergius Paulus Proconsul of Cyprus was the first to believe on his preaching, he took his name from him because he had subdued him to faith in Christ." Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, trans. Ernest C. Richardson, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol 3, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1906), 362.

Acts 13:7, "Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God."

Others suggest that Saul was given his Latin surname "Paul" because of his small stature, since the name "Paulus" means "little." Marvin Vincent says that "Paul" "was a favorite name among the Cilicians, and the nearest approach in sound to the Hebrew ‘Saul.'" 18] Anyone who has ever traveled abroad has had the experience of a foreigner struggling to pronounce one's name correctly. This foreigner will often articulate a corrupted version or simply given such a person a more familiar name that is easy to pronounce. Thus, we can see that the Roman people could better remember and pronounce the name "Paul" and perhaps stumble over the unfamiliar name of "Saul." In addition, a person carrying a Jewish name in a Roman world might be discriminated against as opposed to someone carrying a true Roman name. In either case, it was to Saul's advantage to give himself a Roman name because of his international travels.

18] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol 3 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, c 1890, 1905), 1.

5. Paul's Release from the First Roman Imprisonment - Testimony from the New Testament- Regarding Paul's life and ministry after his first release from Roman imprisonment around A.D 62, we have no clear record within the New Testament writings, except what we can glean from Paul's Prison and Pastoral Epistles. Luke remains silent on this issue as he closes the book of Acts with Paul still imprisoned in Rome. Before his imprisonment, Paul writes to the church at Rome, telling them that he fully intends to preach the Gospel in Rome ( Romans 15:24). We do have evidence within Paul's Prison Epistles that he intended on returning immediately to Macedonia and Asia upon his release from prison ( Philippians 2:24, Philemon 1:22). We have a comment in his letter to Titus , which was written after his Roman imprisonment, stating that Paul did visit the island of Crete ( Titus 1:5). We have the epistle of 2Timothy written just before his death to give us an idea that he continued busily in the ministry and faced a second Roman trial which cost him his life. Beyond these references, we must go to the writings of the early Church fathers.

Romans 15:24, "Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company."

Philippians 2:24, "But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly."

Philemon 1:22, "But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you."

Titus 1:5, "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:"

Clement of Rome (c. A.D 96) - The earliest witness alluding to Paul's release from his first Roman imprisonment comes from Clement of Rome, who says, "After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects." (The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians Romans 5:6-7) 19]

19] Clement of Rome, The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 1, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, c 1885, 1913), 6.

The Muratorian Canon (A.D 180) - The second witness comes from The Muratorian Canon, which tells us in the account of Acts that Paul visited Spain. It reads "Moreover, the Acts of all the Apostles are comprised by Luke in one book, and addressed to the most excellent Theophilus, because these different events took place when he was present himself; and he shows this clearly i.e, that the principle on which he wrote was, to give only what fell under his own notice- by the omission of the passion of Peter, and also of the journey of Paul, when he went from the city- Rome- to Spain." 20]

20] The Muratorian Canon, Fathers of the Third Century: Hipplytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix, trans. S. D. F. Salmond, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 5, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Buffalo, New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1886), 603.

Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) - The church historian Eusebius tells us that Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment and faced a second one that resulted in his martyrdom.

"Festus was sent by Nero to be Felix"s successor. Under him Paul, having made his defense, was sent bound to Rome. Aristarchus was with him, whom he also somewhere in his epistles quite naturally calls his fellow-prisoner. And Luke , who wrote the Acts of the Apostles, brought his history to a close at this point, after stating that Paul spent two whole years at Rome as a prisoner at large, and preached the word of God without restraint. Thus after he had made his defense it is said that the apostle was sent again upon the ministry of preaching, and that upon coming to the same city a second time he suffered martyrdom. In this imprisonment he wrote his second epistle to Timothy, in which he mentions his first defense and his impending death." (Ecclesiastical History 2221-2)

"Whence it is probable that Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles at that time, continuing his history down to the period when he was with Paul. But these things have been adduced by us to show that Paul"s martyrdom did not take place at the time of that Roman sojourn which Luke records. It is probable indeed that as Nero was more disposed to mildness in the beginning, Paul"s defense of his doctrine was more easily received; but that when he had advanced to the commission of lawless deeds of daring, he made the apostles as well as others the subjects of his attacks." (Ecclesiastical History 2226-8)

"What do we need to say concerning Paul, who preached the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and afterwards suffered martyrdom in Rome under Nero?" (Ecclesiastical History 312)

Athanasius (A.D 296 to 373) - Athanasius tells us Paul preached in Rome, and as far as Spain, implying his first release, "This explains why the saintC:Documents and SettingsGAERIEDesktopChurch Fathers v 2NPNF 2-04footnotefn 98.htm- P 9849_3517427 was zealous to preach as far as Illyricum, and not to shrink from proceeding to Rome, or even going as far as the Spains, in order that the more he laboured, he might receive so much the greater reward for his labour." (Festal Letters 494) 21]

21] Athanasius, Select Writings and Letters of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, trans. Archibald Roberts, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 4, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1892), 559.

Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315 to 386) - Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that Paul preached as far as Spain.

"With this Holy Spirit Paul also had been filled after his calling by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let godly Ananias come as a witness to what we say, he who in Damascus said to him, The Lord, even Jesus who appeared to thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And straightway the Spirit"s mighty working changed the blindness of Paul"s eyes into newness of sight; and having vouchsafed His seal unto his soul, made him a chosen vessel to bear the Name of the Lord who had appeared to him, before kings and the children of Israel, and rendered the former persecutor an ambassador and good servant,--one, who from Jerusalem, and even unto Illyricum, fully preached the Gospel, and instructed even imperial Rome, and carried the earnestness of his preaching as far as Spain, undergoing conflicts innumerable, and performing signs and wonders. Of him for the present enough." (Catechetical Lectures 1726) 22]

22] Cyril of Jerusalem, The Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem, trans. Edwin H. Gifford, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 7, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1894), 130.

Epiphanius (A.D 315 to 403) - Epiphanius, in his discussion on the succession of the bishops of the church at Rome, says, "Paul even reached Spain, while Peter made frequent visits to Pontus and Bithynia." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 27: Against Carpocratians 65) 23]

23] Ephiphanius,The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1978, 1987), 104; Ephiphanius, S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 212.

Jerome (A.D 342to 420) - Jerome refers to the testimony of the earlier church fathers and says, "Paul was dismissed by Nero, that the gospel of Christ might be preached also in the West." (Lives of Illustrious Men 5)

John Chrysostom (A.D 347 to 407) - John Chrysostom writes, "For after he had been in Rome, he returned to Spain, but whether he came thence again into these parts, we know not." (Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:20) 24]

24] John Chrysostom, Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians ,, Ephesians ,, Philippians ,, Colossians , Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus , and Philemon , in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol 13, ed. Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956), 515.

Theodore of Mopsuestia (A.D 350 to 428) - J. B. Lightfoot cites Theodore of Mopsuestia, who testifies of Paul's first release and second Roman imprisonment whereby he was martyred. He says that Paul was "set free by the judgment of Nero and ordered to depart in safety. But after stopping two years at Rome, he departed thence and appears to have preached to many the teaching of godliness. However, coming a second time to Rome, while still stopping there; it happened that by the sentence of Nero he was punished with death for his preaching of godliness." 25] (Argumentum ad Ephesio) 26]

25] J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays (London: Macmillan and Co, 1893), 426.

26] H. B. Swete, Theodori Episcopi Mopsuesteni in Epistolas B. Pauli Commentarii: The Latin Version with the Greek Fragments, vol 1 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1880), 117.

Pelagius (A.D 354to 420/40) - According to J. B. Lightfoot, Pelagius testifies of Paul's first release. Lightfoot says, "Commenting on the Apostle"s request to Philemon ‘to prepare him a lodging,' he says: ‘Here it is shown that on the first occasion he was sent away from the city'; though of the journey to Spain he speaks more doubtfully." (Commentary on Philemon 1:22, Romans 15:24). 27]

27] J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays (London: Macmillan and Co, 1893), 426-427; See also Alexander Souter, Pelagius's Expositions of the Thirteen Epistles of St Paul, 3vols, in Text and Studies: Contributions to Patristic and Biblical Literature, vol 9, ed. J. Armitage Robinson (Cambridge: The University Press, 1922).

Theodoret (A.D 393to 466) - J. B. Lightfoot cites Theodoret in his comments on Philippians 1:25, who says "and the prediction was fulfilled; for at first he escaped the wrath of Nero." Then, after quoting 2 Timothy 4:16-17 and appealing to the last verses in the Acts , he continues, "Thence (i.e. from Rome) he departed to Spain, and carried the divine gospel to the inhabitants of that part also, and so he returned, and was then beheaded." (PG 82col 56A) In his commentary on Psalm 116, Theodoret says, "Finally indeed also, he [Paul] set foot in Italy, and he was allow unto Spain, and he brought salvation to the islands in which he was disposed across the sea."(PG 80 Colossians 1805C) (author's translation) See also Theodoret's comments on 2 Timothy 4:17 (PG 82col 855A-B). 28]

28] J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays (London: Macmillan and Co, 1893), 427.

Venantius Fortunatus (A.D. c 530 to c 610) - Venantius Fortunatus, the Latin poet, says Paul went to Spain, and as far as Britain. He writes, "Transit et Oceanum, vel qua facit insula portum; Quasque Britannus habet terras, atque ultima Thyle." (The Life of Martin 3) (PL 88 Colossians 406A)

George Knight says there is no testimony from the early Church fathers that contradicts the witnesses that say Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment, that the earliest testimony of Clement of Rome comes from someone who was alive during Paul's imprisonment in Rome, and that the New Testament Pauline epistles support. 29]

29] George W. Knight III, The Pastoral Epistles, in The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992), 19.

As Paul the apostle was faithful in a little, God gave him the office of a teacher. We know this because twice in the book of Timothy, Paul calls himself an apostle, teacher, and a preacher of the Gospel. Thus, Paul walked in a number the five-fold offices. Also note that Paul is included in the list of prophets and teachers found in Acts 13:1. Song of Solomon , as Paul accepts the office of an apostle by faith in Acts 13, God also entrusted to him the signs of an apostle, as he needed them on the mission field.

6. Paul's Death- One of the most popular tradition tells us that Paul was beheaded in Rome on June 29, A.D 66 Clement of Rome (A.D 96) tells us that Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome at the hands of their leaders.

"But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience." (The First Epistle of Clement 5)

Tertullian (A.D 160-225) tells us that Paul was martyred in Rome.

"Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord"s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile!" (The Prescription Against Heretics 36)

Peter of Alexandria (d.c 311) - Peter, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that Peter and Paul were martyred in the city of Rome.

"Thus, Peter, the preferred of the apostles, having been apprehended and imprisoned often and disgraced, was later crucified in Rome. And the preferred Paul, often handed over and being endangered unto death, many times indeed having contended and boasted in much persecution and affliction, in the same city also he himself was beheaded with a sword." (Epistola Canonica, canon 9) (author's translation) (PG 18484D-485A)

Lactantius (A.D 240-320) tells us that Peter ministered in Rome, where he was crucified and Paul killed.

"And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the Lord… He [Nero] it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul…" (Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died 2)

Eusebius (A.D 260-340) tells us that Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome under Nero by citing Tertullian and Dionysius.

"When the government of Nero was now firmly established, he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself even against the religion of the God of the universe. To describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that have recorded his history in most accurate narratives, every one may at his pleasure learn from them the coarseness of the man"s extraordinary madness, under the influence of which, after he had accomplished the destruction of so many myriads without any reason, he ran into such blood-guiltiness that he did not spare even his nearest relatives and dearest friends, but destroyed his mother and his brothers and his wife, with very many others of his own family as he would private and public enemies, with various kinds of deaths. But with all these things this particular in the catalogue of his crimes was still wanting, that he was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion. The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this. He writes as follows: ‘Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine, particularly then when after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. We glory in having such a man the leader in our punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of great excellence.' Thus publicly announcing himself as the first among God"s chief enemies, he was led on to the slaughter of the apostles. It Isaiah , therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. Hebrews , in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: ‘But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.' And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his epistle to the Romans , in the following words: ‘You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time.' I have quoted these things in order that the truth of the history might be still more confirmed." (Ecclesiastical History 2251-8)

Jerome (A.D 342-420) gives us a brief summary of the life and death of Paul. Jerome says that Paul was beheaded in the fourteenth year of Nero, which would have been A.D 76 or 68. As a Roman citizen Paul would have been exempted from torture, as many other Christians were experiencing at this time.

"Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Giscalis in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia. Sent by them to Jerusalem to study law he was educated by Gamaliel a most learned man whom Luke mentions. But after he had been present at the death of the martyr Stephen and had received letters from the high priest of the temple for the persecution of those who believed in Christ, he proceeded to Damascus, where constrained to faith by a Revelation , as it is written in the Acts of the apostles, he was transformed from a persecutor into an elect vessel. As Sergius Paulus Proconsul of Cyprus was the first to believe on his preaching, he took his name from him because he had subdued him to faith in Christ, and having been joined by Barnabas, after traversing many cities, he returned to Jerusalem and was ordained apostle to the Gentiles by Peter, James and John. And because a full account of his life is given in the Acts of the Apostles, I only say this, that the twenty-fifth year after our Lord"s passion, that is the second of Nero, at the time when Fetus Procurator of Judea succeeded Felix, he was sent bound to Rome, and remaining for two years in free custody, disputed daily with the Jews concerning the advent of Christ. It ought to be said that at the first defence, the power of Nero having not yet been confirmed, nor his wickedness broken forth to such a degree as the histories relate concerning him, Paul was dismissed by Nero, that the gospel of Christ might be preached also in the West…..He then, in the fourteenth year of Nero on the same day with Peter, was beheaded at Rome for Christ"s sake and was buried in the Ostian way, the twenty-seventh year after our Lord"s passion." (Lives of Illustrious Men 5)

John Chrysostom (A.D 347-407) believed that Peter and Paul were buried in Rome, thus implying that they died as martyrs in that city.

"Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, from thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder ( φριξατε) at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord." (Comments on Romans 16:24, Homily 32)

D. Dates- The early Church fathers who list the order of writing of the Pauline epistles are not consistent with one another. Perhaps the earliest document in existence that mentions the order of writing of the Pauline letters can be found in The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200). This late second century document is the earliest catalogue of New Testament books found to date.

"As to the epistles of Paul, again, to those who will understand the matter, they indicate of themselves what they are, and from what place or with what object they were directed. He wrote first of all, and at considerable length, to the Corinthians, to check the schism of heresy; and then to the Galatians , to forbid circumcision; and then to the Romans on the rule of the Old Testament Scriptures, and also to show them that Christ is the first object in these;—which it is needful for us to discuss severally, as the blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John , writes to no more than seven churches by name, in this order: the first to the Corinthians, the second to the Ephesians , the third to the Philippians , the fourth to the Colossians , the fifth to the Galatians , the sixth to the Thessalonians, the seventh to the Romans. Moreover, though he writes twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for their correction, it is yet shown—i.e, by this sevenfold writing—that there is one Church spread abroad through the whole world. And John too, indeed, in the Apocalypse, although he writes only to seven churches, yet addresses all. He wrote, besides these, one to Philemon , and one to Titus , and two to Timothy, in simple personal affection and love indeed; but yet these are hallowed in the esteem of the Catholic Church, and in the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline." (Fragments of Caius 3: Canon Muratorianus 3) (ANF 5)

Theodoret of Cyrrus (A.D 393-466) provides the dates of the writings of the Pauline epistles. Here is a translation by Nathaniel Lardner, in which he pieces together Theodoret's order of their writing:

"I will show, says Hebrews , the order of the apostle's epistles: The blessed Paul wrote fourteen epistles; but I do not think that he assigned them that order which we now have in our Bibles 37B]…The epistle written by the divine Paul to the Romans , stands first in order; nevertheless, it is the last of those which were sent from Asia, Macedonia, and Achaia: the two epistles first written are, the two epistles to the Thessalonians 37C]…next, the two epistles to the Corinthians 40A]…the fifth, in order of time, is the first to Timothy 40B]…the next, is that to Titus 40C]…the epistle to the Romans is the seventh 40D]…The other epistles were sent from Rome; the first of these I take to be that to the Galatians 41C]…From Rome likewise he sent the epistles to the Philippians , and that to the Ephesians 41C]…and to the Colossians , in which last he also mentions Onesimus 41D]…for which reason the epistle to Philemon may be supposed to have been written before, for in it he desires, that Onesimus may be received 44A]…afterwards he wrote the epistle to the Hebrews , and from Rome, as the conclusion shows: ‘They of Italy salute you.' The last of all his epistles is the second to Timothy. This is the order of the epistles in point of time 44A]...The epistle to the Romans has been placed first, as containing the most full and exact representation of the Christian doctrine, in all its branches; but some say, that it has been so placed out of respect to the city to which it was sent, as presiding over the whole world 44B]." (PG 82cols 37-44) 30]

30] Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 5 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 17.

Another modern proposal for dating the Pauline epistles would be:

A.D 49: Galatians , James

A.D. Romans 50-51: 1 & 2Thessalonians

A.D. Romans 53-55: 1 & 2Corinthians

A.D 55-56: Romans ,, Mark ,, Philemon , Colossians

A.D 60-61: Ephesians ,, Luke ,, Acts , Philippians

A.D. Romans 62-63: 1 Timothy ,, Titus , 2Timothy

A.D. Romans 63-69: 1 & 2 Peter ,, Matthew , Hebrews

A.D 70-95: Jude ,, John 1, 2, 3John

A.D 95: Revelation

R. Garland Young proposes the following dates:

1Thessalonians (50-51 C.E.)

2Thessalonians (50-52) (70-90?)

1Corinthians (54-56)

2Corinthians (54-56)

Galatians (55?)

Romans (55-56)

Philippians (57-59? 60-65?)

Philemon (57-59? 60-65?)

Colossians (60-65) (70-90?)

Ephesians (60-65) (70-90?)

1Timothy (60-65) (85-100?)

Titus (60-65) (85-100?)

2Timothy (60-65) (85-100?)

E. Recipients- The New Testament epistles were not written to the unbelievers, but to the believers. For example, you cannot take a sinner and convince him that he needs to tithe and pray in tongues every day. These letters were written specifically to the Church. Kenneth Hagin says:

"I've still got every Bible I ever had, and in every one of them, you can readily see where they are worn the most - over in the Epistles. Why? Those are the letters that were written to me! The four Gospels were not written to me, they were written for me. The Old Testament was not written to me, it was written for me. Do you understand the difference?" 31]

31] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Purposes and Pursuits (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 118-9.

The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200), an ancient Latin document dated around A.D 200, reveals to us that the early Church fathers viewed the recipients of the Pauline epistles being addressed to the Catholic Church at large.

"Moreover, though he writes twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for their correction, it is yet shown—i.e, by this sevenfold writing—that there is one Church spread abroad through the whole world. And John too, indeed, in the Apocalypse, although he writes only to seven churches, yet addresses all. He wrote, besides these, one to Philemon , and one to Titus , and two to Timothy, in simple personal affection and love indeed; but yet these are hallowed in the esteem of the Catholic Church, and in the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline." (Fragments of Caius 3: Canon Muratorianus 3) (ANF 5)

Paul addresses his Church epistles to the "saints." This description for his recipients reflects the underlying theme of his epistles, which is the sanctification of the Church. In contrast, Peter addresses his first epistle to the "the strangers scattered," or "sojourners," which is a reflection of its theme of the perseverance of the saints.

F. Literary Style - The literary style of the Pauline epistles will discuss (1) Introductions to the Epistles, (2) Structure of the Epistles, and (3) Comparison of Pauline Epistles to Other Writings of the early Church.

1. Introductions to the Epistles- Paul opens each of his epistles with greetings. Paul prayed that God's grace, mercy, and peace would be with the believers. This means that the very virtues that God will bestow upon His children in heaven are available for us now. We can walk in the very peace today that we are to inherit in heaven. The joy that we will feel in heaven is available for us today.

2. Structure of the Epistles- Paul then takes the first half of his epistle to teach his readers doctrinal truths. He then takes the second half of his letters to show them how to apply these truths to their daily living. (We may compare this two-fold structure to the book of Exodus , where Moses gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments as doctrine, and followed it by giving them the statutes as a practical way of applying this doctrine.) For example, in his Roman epistle, Paul takes the first eleven chapters to explain God's plan of salvation for all of mankind. He then explains to the believers that the Church is one body, both Jews and Gentiles, with various gifts ( Romans 12:1-8). This Church is united within a society and obligated to godly behaviour with others outside of the Church ( Romans 12:9-21). They are also obligated to civil duties under a government that is ordained of God ( Romans 13:1-7). For the Jews, these civil duties are in agreement with the Mosaic Law ( Romans 13:8-10). Paul then exhorts the church at Rome to treat one's fellow believer with love as an example to the society and government in which they live ( Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13). Christ's eminent return is reason enough to follow Paul's exhortations ( Romans 13:11-14). He takes a special problem, which is foods, to show the believers how to work together despite their differences ( Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13). Thus, we see in a nutshell how to apply the Gospel in our relationship to the Church, to society in general, to governmental authorities, and finally to individual believers. We see that the Church is structured within the society, which is structured under a ruling government. Within this structure, the believers are to be an example of love in how they treat one another so that the society of unbelievers may see the love of God.

If we examine the epistle to the Ephesians , we see how Paul discusses the theme of God the Father's divine plan of redemption for mankind in the first three chapters. He then takes the last three chapters to teach the Church how to live so that the Church can help fulfill the Father's will.

I could give similar illustrations with other Pauline epistles. But each of Paul's exhortations towards conduct is explained in light of the doctrinal teaching that precedes it in the epistle.

3. Comparison of Pauline Epistles to Other Writings of the Early Church- As one takes it upon himself to read and become familiar with some of the writings of the New Testament Apocrypha and other epistles of the early Church fathers, it becomes clear that the New Testament epistles are complete in their teachings. There is nothing missing in the New Testament Scriptures regarding Church doctrine. Nor are there any further revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ found in the New Testament Apocrypha. The New Testament epistles contain all of the codes of conduct that the early Church needed to order their lives according to the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles. All of the other early epistles seem to repeat the teachings of these canonical epistles.

G. Purpose- The first epistle to the New Testament Church by the hands of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ was written at the first church council in the fifteenth chapter of the book of Acts. What caused the need for this first epistle to be written? The occasion was the need to interpret the teachings of the Old Testament and of the Lord Jesus Christ in the light of the foreign cultures outside the nation of Israel.

For example, as an African missionary, I talk with American and Canadian pastors who are shepherding African congregations or Bible schools. In this "foreign" culture, so distant from Western civilization, these pastors have difficulty distinguishing between genuine marriages, common-law-marriages and those who are just living together in fornication. This is because the customs of marriage are so foreign. When these African men are chosen to be church leaders and pastors, they have to meet the qualifications of being the husband of one wife. If they had children from several relationships, how does one determine if these were marriages of acts of fornication? One pastor told me that he learned to use the custom of a bride price as evidence of a legal marriage. Otherwise, the need for a marriage ceremony was required for members of his church.

The early Church accepted only the epistles of the New Testament apostles as having the divine authority to establish these new guidelines of conduct for churches everywhere. Each New Testament epistle that was written to the Church by these apostles was occasioned by the need to interpret the teachings of the New Covenant into an unfamiliar culture of people who were being evangelized. Thus, each Pauline epistle, although it may be occasioned by a particular need and have a particular theme, is based upon the underlying theme of laying the foundation, or guidelines, of Christian conduct for the early Church.

INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF ROMANS

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Epistle of Romans in Church History- Paul's epistle to the church at Rome is considered the greatest writing of all his New Testament epistles. Perhaps it is "the most important book theologically" in the entire Bible because it is as close to a systematic theology of the Christian faith as can be found in the Holy Scriptures. 32] Some would say that it is the greatest letter of all time. Matthew Henry suggests it has been placed at the beginning of the New Testament epistles because of its "superlative excellency of the epistle, it being one of the longest and fullest of all, and perhaps because of the dignity of the place (the city of Rome) to which it was written." 33] No other book in the Scriptures tears down man's attempts to justify himself and brings mankind to the foot of the Cross as does this epistle. Paul systematically confronts every argument of man's reasoning about his own goodness until his only hope rests in God's mercy and grace. No other New Testament document expounds more clearly upon the greatest theme of all of human history, which is the redemptive love and grace of God. As L. M. Grant notes, Paul most likely wrote this great letter from the depraved city of Corinth, where the grace of God had seen its greatest fullness, reviving and saving the souls of those in the lowest state of humanity. 34]

32] William MacDonald, The Epistle to the Romans , in Believer's Bible Commentary, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction."

33] Matthew Henry, Romans , in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

34] L. M. Grant, "Comments on the Book of Romans ," [on-line]; accessed 6 March 2010; available from http://www.biblecenter.org/commentaries/lmg 49_romans.htm; Internet.

Throughout Church history, the epistle to the Romans has played a key role in most of the spiritual revivals that have taken place. John Chrysostom (A.D 347-407) opens his commentary on Romans by stating that he had this epistle read to him numerous times in a week. 35]

35] John Chrysostom writes, "As I keep hearing the Epistles of the blessed Paul read, and that twice every week, and often three or four times, whenever we are celebrating the memorials of the holy martyrs, gladly do I enjoy the spiritual trumpet, and get roused and warmed with desire at recognizing the voice so dear to me, and seem to fancy him all but present to my sight, and behold him conversing with me." (Argument to the Epistle of Romans)

Augustine (354-430), bishop of Hippo, who laid the foundation for the Catholic Church, was converted in A.D 380 while reading Romans 13:13-14. He writes, "No further would I read, nor did I need; for instantly, as the sentence ended,—by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart,—all the gloom of doubt vanished away." (Confessions 81229)

The fires of the Reformation were fanned by Martin Luther (1483-1546) when he discovered in the epistle to the Romans that salvation came by faith alone. As he began to expound this great epistle to his students at the University of Wittenburg, German in November 1515, he began to struggle with the concept of salvation by faith in God alone. He said, "I greatly longed to understand Paul's Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, ‘the righteousness of God,' because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust…Night and day I pondered until I was the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by his faith." Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us though faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through the open doors into paradise." 36] He later wrote a commentary on Romans by introducing it with these words, "This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter to much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes." 37]

36] Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand - A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville, TN: The Parthenon Press, 1950), 65; translated from D. Martin Luthers Werke: kritische Gesammtausgabe, band LIV: Schriften 1543/46 (Weimar Edition), 185.

37] Martin Luther, Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans , trans. Andrew Thornton [on-line]; accessed 6 March 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html; Internet.

William Tyndale (1494-1536), the great martyr of the Church because of his translation of the Holy Bible into English, commented in his prologue to epistle to the Romans that it was "the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament," and, "a light and a way in unto the whole scripture," and, "No man verily can read it too oft, or study it too well; for the more it is studied, the easier it is; the more it is chewed, the pleasanter it is; and the more groundly it is searched, the preciouser things are found in it." 38]

38] William Tyndale, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures (Cambridge: The University Press, 1848), 484; see F. F. Bruce, Romans , in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, Grand Rapids, ed 1990), 5.

John Calvin (1509-64), the Swiss Reformer, says in his argument to the epistle of Romans , "…that if a man have attained unto the true understanding of it, he hath a speedy passage made him unto all the most secret treasures of the Scripture." 39]

39] John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans , trans. Christopher Rosdell, ed. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1844), xxiii.

John Wesley (1703-91) received the assurance of his salvation when he heard the preface to Martin Luther's commentary on Romans read, which took place on the evening of May 24, 1738 while attending a society meeting at Aldersgate Street. Wesley wrote in his journal, "About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken my sins away, even mine; and saved me from the law of sin and death." (Journal no 2from Feb 1, 1738 to Aug 12, 1738) 40] John Wesley went on to lead one of the great evangelical revivals of the eighteenth century.

40] John Wesley, The Journals of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., vol 1, ed. Nehemiah Curnock (London: Robert Culley, 1909), 475-476; William MacDonald, The Epistle to the Romans , in Believer's Bible Commentary, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction"

Multitudes of others that cannot be listed have been changed by the words of this profound letter. Thus, we see how the letter to the Romans has served throughout the ages as a lighthouse to keep Christianity on course when it seemed to have lost itself in the sea of man's corruption and rebellion against Almighty God. The epistle to the Romans tells the unbeliever how to be saved as well as giving the believer a lifetime of instruction on how to live the Christian life. It also gives to the believer his identification with Christ and with the nation of Israel and with the Church in general. Woodrow Kroll says, "Herein are recorded the doctrines of justification, sanctification, divine election, condemnation, the perseverance of the saints, total depravity, the last judgment, the fall of Prayer of Manasseh , the revelation of God in nature, the final restoration of the Jews, and many more." 41] It would take a lifetime for any biblical scholar to study and adequately understand all of the doctrines in the Roman epistle. It serves as a gateway to the New Testament epistles as does the Gospel of Matthew serve as a gateway that brings us from the Old Testament into the New Covenant in Christ Jesus. Therefore, this commentary serves as a humble attempt to spend my lifetime searching out the great truths of this extraordinary epistle that has shaped the history of mankind more than any other single document every written by the hand of man.

41] Woodrow Michael Kroll, in The Epistle to the Romans , in The KJV Bible Commentary, eds. Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow M. Kroll (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1994), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction."

Introductory Material- The introduction to the epistle of Romans will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 42] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

42] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

HISTORICAL SETTING

"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture

if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."

(J. Hampton Keathley) 43]

43] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the epistle of Romans will provide a discussion on its historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the early Church tradition that the apostle wrote his epistle to the Romans from Corinth around A.D 57-58 towards the end of his third missionary journey because His work was complete in the East and he desired to evangelize the West.

I. Historical Background

During the first century A.D. the Roman Empire "controlled most of the known world," 44] being described by Philip Schaff as "stretching from the Euphrates to the Atlantic, and from the Libyan desert to the banks of the Rhine." 45] Virtually every culture and nation had become subject to its cruel force and dominion. At the heart of this power lay the splendid city of Rome. According to ancient tradition, the city of Rome was originally founded in 753 B. C. 46] By the time of the New Testament, Rome had become the center of the civilized world, a busy metropolis teaming with people from all over the world. Scholars note the discovery of an ancient inscription at Ostia, Rome's seaport, in 1941indicating Rome had a population of 4 ,100 ,000 during the first year of Tiberius' reign (A.D 14), many of which were slaves. 47] When Paul visited the city in the sixty's, he must have seen its fabulous wealth and buildings that would have moved any visitor to awe. Its mixture of foreign citizens introduced the inhabitants to strange new customs as well as an array of ancient beliefs and idolatry. We know from the ancient Latin writings that there was a large community of Jews in Rome by the second century B.C. 48]

44] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Roman Empire."

45] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 47.

46] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Roman Empire."

47] Woodrow Michael Kroll, The Epistle to the Romans , in The KJV Bible Commentary, ed. Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow M. Kroll (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1994), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction."

48] American Journal of Archaeology 41 1945], 438; Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), 299.

The Christians who lived in the city of Rome lived under the very shadow of the most powerful person on earth at this time, the Emperor of Rome, who declared himself deity. News of the Emperor must have entered into their homes daily and affected their way of thinking. The Roman Empire was man's greatest effort to build a civilization using human might and human wisdom. Those who lived under the rule of the Romans were forced to do so because of their sheer military power.

A. The Founding of the Church at Rome- When and how the church at Rome was founded is not clearly recorded in ancient history; however, there are a number of theories. One of the oldest traditions is that Peter the apostle founded the church. However, it was more likely founded by Jewish converts from Rome on the Day of Pentecost, or by Jewish or Gentile converts who later moved to Rome, such as those sent forth by Paul or by the church at Antioch. These three traditions are discussed below.

1. By Peter the Apostle- A tradition that was embraced in the early centuries of the Church said that Peter the apostle founded the church at Rome, a tradition that was based on the roles that Peter and Paul played in Rome during the later part of their ministry. This tradition was quickly embraced by the emerging Roman Catholic Church of the following centuries.

a) Irenaeus (A.D 130-200) - Irenaeus tells us that Peter and Paul founded the church in Rome.

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church." (Against Heresies 311)

"by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul;…The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate." (Against Heresies 332-3)

b) Clement of Alexandria (A.D 150-212) - Clement of Alexandria tells us that Peter preached in Rome.

" Mark , the follower of Peter, while Peter publicly preached the Gospel at Rome before some of Caesar's equites…" (Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus: I- Comments On the First Epistle of Peter) (ANF 2)

"Again, in the same books Clement has set down a tradition which he had received from the elders before him, in regard to the order of the Gospels, to the following effect. He says that the Gospels containing the genealogies were written first, and that the Gospel according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances:—Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous, entreated Mark…" (Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus: IV- From the Books of the Hypotyposes Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 614) (ANF 2)

c) Tertullian (A.D 160 to 225) - Tertullian testifies to Peter's ministry in Rome and of his martyrdom there.

"Let us see what milk the Corinthians drank from Paul; to what rule of faith the Galatians were brought for correction; what the Philippians , the Thessalonians, the Ephesians read by it; what utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood." (Against Marcion 45)

"For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter." (The Prescription Against Heretics 32)

"Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord"s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile!" (The Prescription Against Heretics 36)

d) Pseudo-Tertullian: Poem Against the Marcionites (A.D 267) - The Poem Against the Marcionites refers to Peter's leadership over the Roman church and his martyrdom.

"Of whom the first whom Peter bade to take his place and sit Upon this chair in mightiest Rome where he Himself had sat, was Linus, great, elect, And by the mass approved. And after him Cletus himself the fold's flock undertook; As his successor Anacletus was By lot located: Clement follows him; Well known was he to apostolic men: Next Evaristus ruled without a crime The law. To Sixtus Sextus Alexander Commends the fold: who, after he had filled His lustral times up, to Telesphorus Hands it in order: excellent was Hebrews , And martyr faithful." (Five Books in Reply to Marcion 3359-373) (ANF 4)

e) Hippolytus (A.D 170 to 236) - Hippolytus tells us the tradition that was handed down to him, which describes Peter's widespread apostolic ministry as well as his death at the hands of Nero in Rome.

"Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner." (The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus, Pt 249: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End)

f) Peter of Alexandria (d.c 311) - Peter, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that Peter and Paul were martyred in the city of Rome.

"Thus, Peter, the preferred of the apostles, having been apprehended and imprisoned often and disgraced, was later crucified in Rome. And the preferred Paul, often handed over and being endangered unto death, many times indeed having contended and boasted in much persecution and affliction, in the same city also he himself was beheaded with a sword." (Epistola Canonica, canon 9) (author's translation) (PG 18484D-485A)

g) Lactantius (A.D 240-320) - Lactantius tells us that Peter ministered in Rome, where he was crucified and Paul killed.

"And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the Lord… He [Nero] it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul…" (Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died 2)

h) Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) - Eusebius says that Peter the apostle went to Rome in order to contend with Simon the sorcerer ( Acts 8:18-24) during the reign of Claudius (A.D 41to 54).

"Immediately the above-mentioned impostor was smitten in the eyes of his mind by a divine and miraculous flash, and after the evil deeds done by him had been first detected by the apostle Peter in Judea, he fled and made a great journey across the sea from the East to the West, thinking that only thus could he live according to his mind. And coming to the city of Rome, by the mighty co-operation of that power which was lying in wait there, he was in a short time so successful in his undertaking that those who dwelt there honored him as a god by the erection of a statue. But this did not last long. For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter of life. He like a noble commander of God, clad in divine armor, carried the costly merchandise of the light of the understanding from the East to those who dwelt in the West, proclaiming the light itself, and the word which brings salvation to souls, and preaching the kingdom of heaven." (Ecclesiastical History 2144-6)

This statement acknowledges Peter's presence in Rome during this period of Roman rule. The Scriptures themselves give us evidence of Peter's presence in Rome ( 1 Peter 5:13).

1 Peter 5:13, "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

Eusebius quotes Tertullian, and Gaius, who lived during the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, as stating that Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome.

"It Isaiah , therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. Hebrews , in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: ‘But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.' And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his epistle to the Romans , in the following words: ‘You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time.' I have quoted these things in order that the truth of the history might be still more confirmed." (Ecclesiastical History 2255-8)

Eusebius quotes Ireaneus where he mentioned the founding of the church by Peter and Paul.

"The blessed apostles having founded and established the church, entrusted the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul speaks of this Linus in his Epistles to Timothy. Anencletus succeeded him, and after Anencletus, in the third place from the apostles, Clement received the episcopate. He had seen and conversed with the blessed apostles, and their preaching was still sounding in his ears, and their tradition was still before his eyes. Nor was he alone in this, for many who had been taught by the apostles yet survived." (Ecclesiastical History 561-2)

Eusebius tells us that Peter was the first bishop of Rome in a long succession of bishops.

"For they say that all the early teachers and the apostles received and taught what they now declare, and that the truth of the Gospel was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter, but that from his successor, Zephyrinus, the truth had been corrupted." (Ecclesiastical History 5283)

i) Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315-386) - Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that Peter and Paul were over the church at Rome.

"And he so deceived the City of Rome that Claudius set up his statue, and wrote beneath it, in the language of the Romans , ‘Simoni Deo Sancto,' which being interpreted signifies, ‘To Simon the Holy God .' As the delusion was extending, Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right…" (Catechetical Lectures 614-15)

j) Epiphanius (A.D 315-403) - Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, lists the succession of Roman bishops, telling us that Peter and Paul were first.

"For the bishops at Rome were, first, Peter and Paul, the apostles themselves who were also bishops—then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, a contemporary of Peter and Paul whom Paul mentions in the Epistle to the Romans." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis Heresy 27: Against Carpocratians 62) 49]

49] The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1987), 104; See S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 210.

"At Rome the first Apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul."" 50] (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 27: Against Carpocratians 65) 51]

50] Peter Kirby, "Was Peter Crucified in Rome Under Nero?," ([email protected]) 16 Jun 1997 [on-line]; accessed 3April 2010; available from http://www.blondguys.net/1997/jun 97/0194.html; Internet.

51] The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1978, 1987), 103-104; S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 211.

"In any case, the order of the succession of bishops at Rome is Peter and Paul, Linus and Cletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Xystus, Telesphorus, Hyginus, Pius, and Anicetus, whom I mentioned above, on the list. (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 27: Against Carpocratians 67) 52]

52] The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1987), 104; See S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 212.

k) The Apostolic Constitutions (late 4th c.) - The Apostolic Constitutions, a collection of ecclesiastical law that is believed to have been compiled during the latter half of the fourth century, gives us a list of the earliest bishops, mentions the fact that Paul and Peter ordained the first bishops over the church in Rome.

"Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these…Of the church of Rome, Linus the son of Claudia was the first, ordained by Paul; and Clemens, after Linus" death, the second, ordained by me Peter" (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles 7446)

l) Opatus of Milevis (fl. A.D 370) - Opatus tells us that Peter was the first bishop of Rome.

"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head--that is why he is also called Cephas ["Rock"]--of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists Romans 2:2 [A.D 367]) (PL 11cols 947-948) 53]

53] Peter Kirby, "Was Peter Crucified in Rome Under Nero?," ([email protected]) 16 Jun 1997 [on-line]; accessed 3April 2010; available from http://www.blondguys.net/1997/jun 97/0194.html; Internet.

m) Jerome (A.D 342to 420) - Jerome tells us the tradition that Peter went to Rome during the second year of Claudius and headed the church there for twenty-five years, (a length of time that appears chronologically impossible) at which time he was martyred at the hands of Nero in A.D 68, being nailed upside down.

"Simon Peter the son of John , from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion--the believers in circumcision, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia--pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to over-throw Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord. He wrote two epistles which are called Catholic, the second of which, on account of its difference from the first in style, is considered by many not to be by him. Then too the Gospel according to Mark , who was his disciple and interpreter, is ascribed to him. On the other hand, the books, of which one is entitled his Acts , another his Gospel, a third his Preaching, a fourth his Revelation , a fifth his "Judgment" are rejected as apocryphal. Buried at Rome in the Vatican near the triumphal way he is venerated by the whole world." (Lives of Illustrious Men 1)

Jerome also tells us that Peter died around A.D 68 on the same day as Paul.

"He then, in the fourteenth year of Nero on the same day with Peter, was beheaded at Rome for Christ"s sake and was buried in the Ostian way, the twenty-seventh year after our Lord"s passion." Lives of Illustrious Men 5)

n) John Chrysostom (A.D 347-407) - John Chrysostom believed that Peter and Paul were buried in Rome, thus implying that they died as martyrs in that city.

"Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, from thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder ( φριξατε) at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord." (Comments on Romans 16:24, Homily 32)

o) Augustine of Hippo (A.D 353-430) - Augustine believed that Peter was the first bishop of Rome.

"However, if all men throughout all the world were of the character which you most vainly charge them with, what has the chair done to you of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and which Anastasius fills to-day…" (Against the Letters of Petilian, the Donatist, Bishop of Cirta ) (NPF 1 4)

Thus, Roman Catholic tradition considered Peter to be the founder and first bishop of the church at Rome. Today however, most Protestant scholars have given up on this view when considering additional evidence. Although early Church tradition places Peter in Rome during his martyrdom, most scholars believe that Peter was still in Jerusalem at the time of the first Jerusalem council in A.D 50 ( Acts 15:1-29). It is not impossible that Peter could have traveled to Rome, founded the church and returned to Jerusalem by A.D 50, but scholars do not see this as a likely option. The fact that a church existed in Rome before this date is supported by Suetonius' statement that Claudius banished Jews from Rome in A.D 49 because of the riots and controversies over one named "Chrestus." 54] However, the Scriptures suggest that Peter was still in Jerusalem while the church in Rome was in existence.

54] Suetonius writes, "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Claudius 254) See Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, trans. Joseph Gavorse, in The Modern Library of the World's Best Books (New York: The Random House, 1931), 226.

In addition, if Peter had been in Rome as a possible founder when Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans in A.D 57, he would have certainly referred to Peter somewhere in this letter. Luke would have certainly given Peter this recognition in the book of Acts. Peter would have most likely met Paul on his arrival near Rome and been referred to during his initial imprisonment and trial. If Peter had founded the church, Paul would not have desired to have fruit among them ( Romans 1:13) nor attempted to lay a foundation of the Gospel in Rome where another apostle had been ( Romans 15:20). In Paul's prison epistles, there is not one reference to Peter's work in Rome. Therefore, most scholars believe that Peter and Paul did not arrive in Rome until after A.D 60, after the writing of the Roman epistle. Finally, tradition states that Linus was the first bishop of Rome, and Clement, the second. 55]

55] The Apostolic Constitution says, "Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these…Of the church of Rome, Linus the son of Claudia was the first, ordained by Paul; and Clemens, after Linus" death, the second, ordained by me Peter." (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles 7446)

Therefore, these quotes by Irenaeus and Eusebius very likely mean that Peter and Paul established the church on proper doctrines and set it in order in much the same way that Paul sent Timothy to set the church in Ephesus in order. In addition, Peter and Paul could have brought these Christians under their apostolic authority after A.D 60, long after these believers began to meet in Rome. That Isaiah , they established more firmly a church that had already been founded. This is easy to conclude since we know that Paul did not literally found the church in Rome.

Donald Guthrie adds to this idea by saying that Paul's recognition of the church at Rome was under his own commission to visit and establish in the faith ( Romans 1:11) coupled with the fact that Paul refrained from building on another man's foundation ( Romans 15:20), indicates that there was no other apostolic authority over the church. 56]

56] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 403.

Romans 1:11, "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;"

Romans 15:20, "Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man"s foundation:"

If Peter did not plant the church at Rome, then how was it initially started? It is believed that none of the New Testament apostles founded the church at Rome. Paul certainly did not found it as is shown within the Roman letter ( Romans 1:8-15; Romans 15:14-33). We also see in Acts 28:21-22 how the Roman Christians initially received Paul upon his first arrival in Italy with questions about who he was and what his message was all about.

Acts 28:21-22, "And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against."

Acts 28:21-22 confirms that Paul could not have founded the Church at Rome since they knew very little about him. There are two other ways that the church in Rome could have been established. It could have been founded by Jewish converts on the day of Pentecost, or by other converts who later made their way to Rome in a random manner, even by direct efforts of Paul's converts to go to Rome for the purpose of starting a church.

2. By Jewish converts from Rome on the Day of Pentecost- Ambrosiaster (4th C.), the fourth century Latin father, states in his preface to his commentary on Romans that the church was not founded by an apostle, but by Hebrew Christians. His comments lead us to believe that the church was started Jewish converts, but grew because of a large number of Gentile converts.

"It is established that there were Jews living in Rome in the times of the apostles, and that those Jews who had believed (in Christ) passed on to the Romans the tradition that they ought to profess Christ but keep the law….One ought not to condemn the Romans , but to praise their faith; because without seeing any signs or miracles and without seeing any of the apostles, they nevertheless accepted faith in Christ, although according to a Jewish rite." (Prologue to Romans) (PL 17 Colossians 47A) 57]

57] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 301-302.

Jews lived all over the civilized world during the first century A.D. Barry Smith gives us a very detailed description of how the Jews populated Rome and how their presence was viewed by the Romans. Ancient Jewish historians tell us that during Pompey's campaign through Palestine in 63 B.C, many Jews were taken captive and sent to Rome as slaves (Antiquities 1441-5; Wars 171-7; Appian, The Syrian Wars 51 58] and The Mithridatic Wars 117; 59] see also Philo 60]). Thus, the Jewish population in Rome could have been quite large by the time of the New Testament. To Cicero, the Jews were a threat to Roman interests. He tells us that by the middle of the first century, there was a large population of Jews in Rome, many of whom had become citizens and taken elected positions in popular assemblies. 61] The Latin historian Suetonius states that of those who mourned Julius Caesar's funeral pyre, the Jewish population was over-represented. 62] Josephus tells us that in the year A.D 4, over 8 ,000 Roman Jews joined a delegation of fifty from Jerusalem who had been sent to Rome to oppose the appointment of Archaleus, Herod's son (Antiquities 17111). Josephus also tells us that the emperor Tiberius later drafted about 4 ,000 Jews from Rome in its military service (Antiquities 1835) Thus, ancient history indicates that the Jews in Rome were playing an important role in Roman society during the first century. Dio Cassius tells us that the Jews gained enough influence among Roman aristocrats to gain religious protection. 63] Most likely, it was some of these influential Jews at Rome who were wealthy enough to take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost who brought back the message of Peter of Jesus' resurrection. These Jewish converts likely also held enough influence to bring Roman Gentiles into their synagogues as early converts to Christianity. 64]

58] Appian's Roman History, vol 2, trans. Horace White, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, c 1912, 1962), 199-200.

59] Appian's Roman History, vol 2, trans. Horace White, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, c 1912, 1962), 467-469.

60] Philo, A Treatise on the Virtues and on the Office of Ambassadors Addressed to Caius 17. See The Works of Philo Judaeus, vol 4, trans. C. D. Yonge (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1855), 125.

61] Cicero writes, "You know how numerous that crowd Isaiah , how great is its unanimity, and of what weight it is in the popular assemblies... But to resist this barbarous superstition were an act of dignity, to despise the multitude of Jews, which at times was most unruly in the assemblies in defence of the interests of the republic, was an act of the greatest wisdom." (Pro Flacco 28). See Cicero, The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol 2, trans. C. D. Yonge (London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd, 1917), 454.

62] Suetonius writes, "At the height of the public grief a throng of foreigners went about lamenting each after the fashion of his country, above all the Jews, who even flocked to the place for several successive nights." (Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Caesar 84) See Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, trans. Joseph Gavorse, in The Modern Library of the World's Best Books (New York: The Random House, 1931), 48.

63] Dio Cassius writes, "This nation [Jews] exists among the Romans also, and though often diminished has increased to a very great extent and has won its way to the right of freedom in its observances." (Roman History 3717) See Dio's Rome, vol 2, trans. Herbert Baldwin Foster (Troy, New York: Pafraets Book Company, 1905), 63.

64] Barry D. Smith, The Letter to the Romans , in Religious Studies 2033: The New Testament and its Context (Crandall University, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 22May 2010; available from http://www.abu.nb.ca/courses/NTIntro/Col.htm; Internet, 24; see also Albert Barnes, The Epistle to the Romans , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

There is evidence from Scripture that as early as the 40's Jewish converts were in Rome. In the book of Acts , Paul met two Christians during his second missionary journey named Aquila and Priscilla. They had moved to the city of Corinth after having been banished from Rome.

Acts 18:1-2, "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them."

Suetonius speaks of such a banishment of all the Jews from Rome by the emperor Claudius (A.D 41to 54) during the years A.D 49 or 50.

"He banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus…" (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Claudius 254) 65]

65] Suetonius writes, "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Claudius 254) See Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, trans. Joseph Gavorse, in The Modern Library of the World's Best Books (New York: The Random House, 1931), 226.

Scholars believe that this Latin author is most likely referring to the same incident that is mentioned in Scripture. It is suggested that the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Messiah so incited the Jewish population of Rome that their disturbance caused their expulsion. According to Dio Cassius, Claudius did not expel all Jews but forbade all meeting together. 66]

66] Dio Cassius writes, "As for the Jews, who had again increased so greatly that by reason of their multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city, lie did not drive them out, but ordered them, while continuing their traditional mode of life, not to hold meetings." (Roman History 6066) See Dio's Roman History, vol 7, trans. Earnest Cary, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, 1955), 383.

Therefore, the church at Rome was fairly well established by the time of Paul met Aquila and Priscilla during his second missionary journey. It had been in existence long enough for Paul to say at the end of his third missionary journey that their faith had been spoken of throughout the world.

Romans 1:8, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."

It is believed that none of the New Testament apostles founded the church at Rome. Paul certainly did not found it as is shown in the Roman letter. The fact that there were Jews and proselytes from Rome at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:10) tells us that was possible that some of these embraced the Christian faith and started a church in Rome upon their return around A.D 30.

Acts 2:10, "Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,"

We also know that many of these Jews who were converted to Christianity on the day of Pentecost returned to their foreign cities with a new understanding of the coming Messiah. If we read Romans 16:7, we find Paul addressing two members of the church at Rome who were Christians before his conversion in A.D 37.

Romans 16:7, "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

Paul also refers to one named Rufus in his epistle.

Romans 16:13, "Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."

Scholars believe that this person was the son of the man who carried the cross of Jesus Christ.

Mark 15:21, "And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross."

Thus, it is possible that these three particular Jewish converts, Andronicus, Junia and Rufus, could have helped found the church at Rome between A.D 30,37.

We also know from the Holy Scriptures that there were enough of these Jewish Christians to require the attention of the church leaders in Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was the central focus of the Jews of the Diaspora and these Jewish converts who returned to their foreign cities after the day of Pentecost were addressed in New Testament epistles by James the brother of the Lord ( James 1:1) and by Peter the apostle ( 1 Peter 1:1).

James 1:1, " James , a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."

1 Peter 1:1, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,"

F. F. Bruce tells us that as late as the time of Hippolytus (A.D 170-236), the church at Rome held to some features of religious practice that proclaimed its Jewish origin. 67] He cites the Apostolic Tradition, which reads:

67] F. F. Bruce, Romans , in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, Grand Rapids, ed 1990), 17.

"Let those who are to be baptized be instructed that they bathe and wash on the fifth dayof the week. If a woman is in the manner of women, let her be set apart and receivebaptism another day. Those who are to receive baptism shall fast on the Preparation of the Sabbath. On theSabbath, those who are to receive baptism shall all gather together in one place chosenaccording to the will of the bishop." (Apostolic Tradition 205-7) 68]

68] Translation cited from "The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome," [on-line]; accessed 4April 2010; available from http://www.bombaxo.com/hippolytus.html; Internet. This translation is based on Bernard Botte, La tradition apostolique de Saint Hippolyte, essai de reconstitution, in Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen, heft 39. Sources Chretiennes, 11bis. (Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1984) and Gregory Dix, The Treatise on theApostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, Bishop and Martyr (London: Alban Press, 1992).

William Lane comments on this citation by explaining that "the purificatory bath prescribed on Maundy Thursday for candidates for baptism on Easter Sunday presents affinities with sectarian Jewish rites." 69] Lane also cites a statement by Ambrosiaster from his preface to his comments on Romans , which says, "The Romans had embraced the faith of Christ, albeit according to the Jewish rite, although they saw no sign of mighty works or any of the apostles." 70] Therefore, a popular view is that the church at Rome was started by early Jewish converts who returned to Rome with the message of the Messiah.

69] William L. Lane, Hebrews 1-8, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 47A (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lix.

70] Ambrosiaster, in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, vol 811, ed. H. J. Vogels (1961), 6; see also PL 17 cols 47-48.

3. By Jewish or Gentile converts who later moved to Rome- If these Jewish converts did not found the church in Rome, then the second most probable way that the church at Rome would be by Jewish Christians from Palestine or Gentile Christians from Asia making their way to Rome at random times and collected themselves together as a church. Since the Jews who were converted on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem would not have felt the need to separate themselves from the Jewish community back in Rome, it would be unlikely that they would have formed "churches" without outside influence at a later date when these people began to be called "Christians" ( Acts 11:26). Before this date, the Jewish converts would not have recognized themselves as a separate group.

This missionary effort could have very well have come from Paul's converts. As an example, Luke records for us how laymen spontaneously founded the famous church in Antioch. J. Vernon McGee makes the proposition that Paul met Aquila and Pricilla in Corinth ( Acts 18:1-3), worked with them in Ephesus, and they eventually made their way back to Rome to help establish the church there. McGee believes that Paul's greeting to this couple in Rome ( Romans 16:3) indicates their return to work there. In other words, Paul the apostle could have founded the church in Rome by "long distance." 71]

71] J. Vernon McGee, The Epistle to the Romans , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction."

Louis Berkhof suggests that the thriving church at Antioch was a likely source of evangelism to the city of Rome. He says that the active communication between Syria and Rome makes it likely that some Gentile converts made their way to Rome with the purpose of establishing a church. 72]

72] Louis Berkhof, Introduction to the New Testament, electronic edition 2004-04-02 (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library) [on-line]; accessed 23April 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/berkhof/newtestament.html; Internet, 79.

Regardless of which view on takes on the founding of the church in Rome, it was founded by those who migrated from the East to the West and brought the message of the Gospel with them.

After the church at Rome was founded, by whoever it was, there could have been a good deal of communication between Jerusalem and Rome to facilitate the growth of this church as they talked about the work and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the early apostles. In this way, the church at Rome could have become familiar with Paul the apostle.

Paul's epistle to the church at Rome implies that it had no particular leadership structure of elders because Paul does not address them at all. They were united by a common faith as they met together to worship and experience the presence of the Lord. Most likely, Peter and Paul came to Rome years after it had started and helped to organize it with a body of leadership. These two apostles led them into the fullness of the message of the Gospel and were used by God to establish this group of believers.

B. The Composition of the Church at Rome - Gentile Content- As to the identity and composition of the church at Rome, most scholars conclude that it was made up of a majority of Gentiles along with a minority of Jewish converts. Ambrosiaster's statement that the church was founded by Hebrew Christians leads us to believe that the church was started by Jewish converts, but grew because of a large number of Gentile converts. 73] As the Jewish converts were driven out by Claudius in A.D 49, this would have automatically given the Gentiles a disproportionately larger representation in the church. Although this edict would have ended with the death of Claudius in A.D 54, many of these Jews would have decided not to return.

73] See Ambrosiaster, Prologue to Romans (PL 17 Colossians 47A).

There are a number of references within the Roman epistle that supports this belief. Paul opens his epistle to the Romans by stating that the Gospel message is directed to all nations ( Romans 1:5-6), which places emphasis upon Gentile readers.

Romans 1:5-6, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:"

Paul indicates early in the letter that he was addressing a Gentile audience when he says, "even as among other Gentiles" ( Romans 1:13).

Romans 1:13, "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles."

Paul appears to be describing a pagan background prior to conversion instead of a Jewish background in Romans 6:18-19 when he says they were formerly servants of uncleanness and iniquity.

Romans 6:18-19, "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."

Paul later speaks directly to his Gentile readers when discussing how they were wild olive branches that had been grafted into the true olive tree ( Romans 11:13-24).

Romans 11:13, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:"

Paul closes his epistle with Old Testament references about how God called the Gentiles to salvation ( Romans 15:9-12).

Romans 15:9-12, "And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust."

His letter to them was because of his ministry to the Gentiles.

Romans 15:15-16, "Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."

In his epistle to the Philippians , written during Paul's Roman imprisonment, he makes mention of these brethren in Rome. In this epistle, Philippians 4:22 refers to Gentile converts in this epistle.

Philippians 1:13-14, "So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."

Philippians 4:21-22, "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar"s household."

In addition, from the greetings given by Paul in chapter 16 to the Romans , it is clear that he was addressing more Gentiles than Jews. This also indicates a largely Gentile congregation.

Jewish Content- Although the church at Rome may have been largely Gentiles, early church history indicates that there were Jews among its congregation. Paul does address the Jews directly several times in his epistle to the Romans , referring to Abraham as "our father" and "brethren…that know the law."

Romans 2:17, "Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,"

Romans 4:1, "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?"

Romans 7:1, "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?"

Paul's reference to "our fathers" in 1Corinthians when addressing a Gentile audience weakens this view that "Abraham…our father" was directed entirely to Jews.

1 Corinthians 10:1, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;"

Paul's indirect references to the Jews in several passages of Romans further weaken the force of Paul's attention to Jews in the epistle to the Romans. For example, in Romans 10:1-2 and Romans 11:28-31, he refers to the Jews as "they." In Romans 9:3, the Jews are called "my brethren, my kinsmen" instead of "our brethren."

Romans 10:1-2, "Brethren, my heart"s desire and prayer to God for Israel Isaiah , that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."

Romans 11:28, "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers" sakes."

Romans 9:3, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"

The fact that Paul refers to the Old Testament a great deal, explaining the Mosaic Law and the faith of Abraham, does not necessarily indicate that he was addressing Jews. It appears instead that Paul is trying to teach the Gentiles to appreciate the heritage of the Jewish people and to understand their continued role in God's divine plan of election. This is the very argument that Paul makes in Romans 15:27 when he tells the Gentiles that their financial contribution is based upon their debt to Israel's spiritual contribution to the Gentiles.

Romans 15:27, "It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."

We can also determine from the passage in Acts 28:16-28 that the church was largely Gentile.

The decree made by the emperor Claudius during the years A.D 49 or 50 could have contributed to the fact that fewer Jews were in the church at Rome when Paul wrote his letter. For many of the Jewish converts who departed probably never returned allowing the Gentiles to dominate the Roman church.

Paul did finally reach the church of Rome around A.D 60, but it certainly was not in the way that he expected to make the journey. The shipwreck indicates that Satan made every attempt to hinder Paul both before ( Romans 1:13) and during this journey ( Acts 27-28), perhaps because of the impact that such a visit to the capital of the civilized world would make upon humanity.

Romans 1:13, "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles."

C. The Size of the Church at Rome- As to the size of the church in membership, Tacitus (A.D 55-120), the Latin historian, offers us a glimpse of the Neronian persecutions against the church in A.D 64after the great fire that destroyed much of the city of Rome. In this description by Tacitus, he refers to an "immense multitude" of Christians who were arrested that year. The church seems to have enjoyed healthy church growth up to that time.

"But neither human help, nor imperial munificence, nor all the modes of placating Heaven, could stifle scandal or dispel the belief that the fire had taken place by order. Therefore, to scotch the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. First, then, the confessed members of the sect were arrested; next, on their disclosures, vast numbers were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race. And derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beasts' skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and, when daylight failed were burned to serve as lamps by night. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing with the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man." (Annals 1544) 74]

74] Tacitus: The Histories, vol 4, trans. Clifford H. Moore, and The Annals, trans. John Jackson, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, 1952), 283-285.

By the end of the first century, Clement of Rome (c. A.D 96) tells us that a "great multitude" had become martyrs by his day. Most likely, many of these martyrs were Romans , which indicates that the church in Rome had many converts.

"To these men (Peter and Paul) who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is to be added a great multitude of the elect, who, having through envy endured many indignities and tortures, furnished us with a most excellent example. Through envy, those women, the Danaids and Dircae, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with stedfastness, and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed that saying of our father Adam, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.' Envy and strife have overthrown great cities and rooted up mighty nations." (1Clement 6)

Irenaeus tells us that Polycarp (A.D 69-155) converted many souls in Rome to the faith by confronting the teachings of the heretic Anicetus.

"To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,--a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,--that, namely, which is handed down by the Church." (Against Heresies 334)

Irenaeus (A.D 130-200) also tells us that this church later came to hold a pre-eminent position of authority among the churches of the early centuries.

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre-eminent authority, that Isaiah , the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." (Against Heresies 332)

We see evidence of this pre-eminence when Clement of Rome (c. A.D 96) wrote his epistle to the church of Corinth to deal with division in this church. 75] Here we see a word of authority coming from the bishop of Rome to a church in Greece.

75] See Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (ANF 1).

The church in Rome eventually became the most prominent church in the early centuries, which resulted in it becoming the seat of the Roman Catholic traditions. The church at Rome continued its leading role well into the Reformation of Martin Luther during the sixteenth century.

II. Authorship and Canonicity

In establishing the authorship of the New Testament writings, one must also deal with the issue of canonicity, since apostolic authority was the primary condition for a book to be accepted into the biblical canon of the early Church. This section will evaluate three phases in the development of the canonicity of the epistle of Romans: apostolic authority, church orthodoxy, and catholicity. The first phase of canonization is called apostolic authority and is characterized by the use of the writings of the apostles by the earliest Church father in the defense of the Christian faith (1st and 2nd centuries). The second phase of canonization is called church orthodoxy and is characterized by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). The third phase of canonization is characterized by the general acceptance and use of the books of the New Testament by the catholic church, seen most distinctly in the early Church councils (4th century).

A. Apostolic Authority- Scholars generally agree that the New Testament canon went through several phrases of development in Church history prior to its solidification in the fourth century. F. B. Westcott says the earliest phase is considered the apostolic age in which "the writings of the Apostles were regarded from the first as invested with singular authority, as the true expression, if not the original source, of Christian doctrine and Christian practice." He says the "elements of the Catholic faith" were established during this period in Church history. 76] At this time, the early Christian Greek apologists defended the catholic faith during the rise of the heresies of the second century using the writings that carried the weight of apostolic authority. The Church clung to the books that were either written by the apostles themselves, such as Matthew ,, John , Peter, and Paul, or directly sanctioned by them, such as Mark and Luke , the assistances of Peter and Paul respectively, and the epistles of James and Jude , the brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, scholars believe apostolic authority was the primary element in selecting the canonical books. This phase is best represented by evaluating the internal evidence of the authorship of these New Testament books and by the external witnesses of the early Church fathers who declare the book's apostolic authorship and doctrinal authority over the Church.

76] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 21. The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200) alludes to the criteria of apostolic authority for the New Testament writings, saying, "The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome. And therefore it also ought to be read; but it cannot be made public in the Church to the people, nor placed among the prophets, as their number is complete, nor among the apostles to the end of time." (Fragments of Caius 33) (ANF 5); Corey Keating says, "In the first two centuries, ‘apostolic authority' was the important factor in deciding to keep or reject a particular writing." See Corey Keating, The Criteria Used for Developing the New Testament Canon in the First Four Centuries of the Christian Church (2000); accessed 15 April 2012; available from http://www.ntgreek.org/SeminaryPapers/ChurchHistory/Criteria%20for%20Development%20of%20the%20NT%20Canon%20in%20First%20Four%20Centuries.pdf; Internet.

The fact that Paul declares himself the author of the Roman epistle, along with its internal characteristics that are distinctly Pauline, with its historical illusions that coincide with the book of Acts and other Pauline epistles, and with the fact that all of the church fathers universally accepted this epistle as genuine together make a case for Pauline authorship that no one has been able to tear down in the last two thousand years. Thus, internal and external evidence gives strong support to Pauline authorship for Romans.

1. Internal Evidence- There is strong internal evidence that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was the author of the great epistle to the Romans. There are three traditional arguments for its authenticity to be found within its internal evidence: its declaration, its style and its theology.

a) The Author Reveals His Identity- We have both direct and indirect identification of the author within the text of this epistle.

i) His Name is Paul- As is his custom in all thirteen epistles attributed to him, he declares his authorship in the opening verse of Romans ( Romans 1:1).

Romans 1:1, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,"

ii) His Indirect Identity - There are also several statements within the epistle that could only refer to Paul, with no other New Testament figure fitting this description. Paul was the only New Testament figure that was called "the apostle of the Gentiles" ( Romans 11:13), whose ministry was confirmed with signs and wonders, and having fully preached the Gospel throughout the East and Asia Minor ( Romans 15:15-20).

Romans 11:13, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:"

Romans 15:19, "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."

iii) References to Common Events in Romans and Other New Testament Books- There are a number of references to events in the book of Acts and 1Corinthians that are connected to this letter and to the church at Rome. For example:

(1) Paul's close association with Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned in four New Testament books (see Acts 18:2-3; Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26, Romans 16:3-5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:19). There are numerous other individuals and fellow workers of Paul that are mentioned in more than one New Testament book.

(2) The collection for the saints from the Gentile churches, which Paul himself brought to Jerusalem, is mentions in four New Testament books (see Acts 24:17, Romans 15:25-26 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, 2 Corinthians 8-9).

(3) Paul explains his apprehension about his visit to Jerusalem when bringing the love offering from the Gentile churches in two New Testament books (see Acts 20:22-23 and Romans 15:30-31).

(4) Paul expresses his intent to visit Rome in two New Testament books (see Acts 19:21 and Romans 1:13; Romans 15:23-24).

In addition, there are other examples of New Testament passages that parallel one another regarding the life and ministry of Paul.

(5) References to Paul's conversion experience are found in two New Testament (see Acts 9:1-25; Acts 22:1-21; Acts 26:1-23, Galatians 1:11-24). Other parallel passages about Paul's ministry are found in various New Testament passages (see Acts , 2 Corinthians 11:22 to 2 Corinthians 12:10, Galatians 2:1-14, Philippians 3:4-11).

Such passages mentioned above serve to link Paul as the author of his thirteen epistles.

b) Its Style, Structure and Vocabulary is Pauline- In addition, the structure, style and vocabulary of the book of Romans are all strongly Pauline when compared to his other New Testament epistles. Regarding structure, he begins with his typical salutation, deals with doctrine at lengthy, and finishes with practical living. Regarding vocabulary, he uses the word "grace" in each benediction found within his epistles.

Once any scholar establishes Pauline authorship to just one of the thirteen Pauline epistles, he established a standard of comparison that can be used to support Pauline authorship to the other twelve epistles. With the Corinthian and Galatian letters establishing undeniable Pauline authorship based upon their content, the epistle to the Romans naturally is allowed to come under the same authorship because of common structure, style and vocabulary.

c) Its Doctrinal Themes are Pauline- The doctrinal positions taught within the epistle of Ephesians are clearly Pauline with its characteristic emphasis upon justification by faith and the theology of the Cross.

2. External Evidence - The Church fathers were in universal agreement as to the Pauline authorship of the thirteen epistles New Testament epistles authored under his name. Thus, external evidence supports Pauline authorship of the book of Romans without exception.

It is easy to see how canonicity is a testimony to Pauline authorship when we understand that the debates of the early Church fathers to accept the general epistles of 2Peter, 2,3John, and Jude was simply a debate about their authorship. Apostolic authorship meant that the works were authentic, and thus, authoritative. It was the writing's apostolic authority that granted its inclusion into the New Testament canon. Therefore, canonicity was based upon apostolic authority, and this apostolic authority was based upon the authenticity of the writing, and its authenticity was based upon the fact that it was a genuine work of one of the apostles or one who was serving directly under that apostolic authority.

B. Church Orthodoxy- The second phase in the development of the New Testament canon placed emphasis upon Church orthodoxy, or the rule of faith for the catholic Church. F. B. Westcott says, "To make use of a book as authoritative, to assume that it is apostolic, to quote it as inspired, without preface or comment, is not to hazard a new or independent opinion, but to follow an unquestioned judgment." 77] The early Church fathers cited these apostolic writings as divinely inspired by God, equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures. They understood that these particular books embodied the doctrines that helped them express the Church's Creed, or generally accepted rule of faith. As F. B. Westcott notes, with a single voice the Church fathers of this period rose up from the western to the eastern borders of Christendom and became heralds of the same, unified Truth. 78] This phase is best represented in the writings of the early Church fathers by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). These collected works of the apostles were cited by the church fathers as they expounded upon the Christian faith and established Church orthodoxy. We will look at two aspects of the development of Church Orthodoxy: (1) the Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy and (2) Early Versions.

77] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 12.

78] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 331.

1. Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy- From the earliest records of church history to the present, Paul has been attributed to the authorship of the epistle to the Romans. The early Church fathers make direct statements declaring Pauline authorship, as well as direct quotes, strong allusions and weak allusions. Direct quotes are word for word citations from this book, strong allusions are apparent paraphrases, and weak allusions are words or phrases that appear to come from this book. The earliest person to attribute this letter to Paul was the heretic Marcion. Clement of Rome, Ignatius and Polycarp quote from it in the first century, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Theophilus and Irenaeus in the second century, and Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian in the third century. By the end of the second century it was well attested to by the early Church fathers, as were all of the Pauline epistles. It was not until the eighteenth century that its authorship was brought into question by liberal scholars. Thus, the epistle of Romans was used by the Church fathers to establish Church orthodoxy.

Here are a few of the earliest quotes from the epistle of Romans. 79]

79] There are many other citations available from the early Church fathers that I have not used to support the traditional views of authorship of the books of the New Testament. Two of the largest collections of these citations have been compiled by Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768) in The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, 10 vols. (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829, 1838), and by Jacques Paul Migne (1800-1875) in the footnotes of Patrologia Latina, 221vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1844-55) and Patrologia Graecae, 161vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1857-66).

a) Clement of Rome (c. A.D 96) - In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Clement of Rome appears to describe the same Gentile vices that Paul discusses in chapter 1of Romans.

"…and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them." (1Clement 35)

He also discusses the relationship between the strong and the weak Christians in much the same way that Paul discussed it in chapter 14of Romans.

"…and let every one be subject to his neighbour, according to the special gift bestowed upon him. Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect unto the strong." (1Clement 38)

b) Ignatius (A.D 35 to 107) - Ignatius, one of the earliest bishops of the church at Antioch, quotes from Paul the apostle in his epistle to the Ephesians by naming him as the author.

"Wherefore it behoves us also to live according to the will of God in Christ, and to imitate Him as Paul did. For, says Hebrews , ‘Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.'" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 3)

"Nor indeed do ye hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ, the true Shepherd and Teacher. And ye are, as Paul wrote to you, ‘one body and one spirit, because ye have also been called in one hope of the faith. Since also "there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.' Such, then, are ye, having been taught by such instructors, Paul the Christ-bearer, and Timothy the most faithful." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6)

"Wherefore Paul exhorts as follows: ‘The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle towards all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.'" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 15)

c) Polycarp (A.D 69 to 155) - The epistle of Polycarp quotes from the epistle of Romans.

"But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also…" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 2)

Romans 8:11, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

"And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always ‘providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man;'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 6)

Romans 12:17, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men."

"…for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and ‘we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself.'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 6)

Romans 14:10-12, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

d) The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200) - The Muratorian Canon, an ancient Latin document dated around A.D 200, tells us that Paul the apostle wrote the epistle to this church at Rome in order to explain the order of the Holy Scriptures and how all of them pointed to Christ.

"As to the epistles of Paul…and then to the Romans on the rule of the Old Testament Scriptures, and also to show them that Christ is the first object in these." (Fragments of Caius 33) (ANF 5)

e) Clement of Alexandria (A.D 150 to 215) - Clement of Alexandria quotes Romans 11:22 and acknowledges Pauline authorship.

"‘Behold, therefore,' says Paul, ‘the goodness and severity of God: on them that fell severity; but upon thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness,' that Isaiah , in faith in Christ." (The Instructor 18)

He then quotes Paul from Romans 3:21-22; Romans 3:26; Romans 7:12.

"Wherefore also Paul says, ‘But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested;' and again, that you may better conceive of God, ‘even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ upon all that believe; for there is no difference.' And, witnessing further to the truth, he adds after a little, ‘through the forbearance of God, in order to show that He is just, and that Jesus is the justifier of him who is of faith.' And that he knows that what is just is good, appears by his saying, ‘So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good,' using both names to denote the same power." (The Instructor 18)

f) Origen (A.D 185 to 254) - Origen mentions the epistle to the Romans as one of Paul's epistles.

"And we say to those who hold similar opinions to those of Celsus: ‘Paul then, we are to suppose, had before his mind the idea of no pre-eminent wisdom when he professed to speak wisdom among them that are perfect?' Now, as he spoke with his customary boldness when in making such a profession he said that he was possessed of no Wisdom of Solomon , we shall say in reply: first of all examine the Epistles of him who utters these words, and look carefully at the meaning of each expression in them--say, in those to the Ephesians , and Colossians , and Thessalonians, and Philippians , and Romans ,--and show two things, both that you understand Paul"s words, and that you can demonstrate any of them to be silly or foolish." (Against Celsus 3221)

2. Manuscript Evidence - Paul's epistles are found in numerous early Greek manuscripts. One of the earliest manuscripts, the Chester Beatty codex (p 46), which was probably written in Egypt near the end of the second century, contains eight Pauline epistles ( Romans , 1 & 2 Corinthians ,, Galatians ,, Ephesians ,, Philippians ,, Colossians , 1Thess) and the epistle of Hebrews. 80] It probably contained the entire Pauline corpus in its original collection. There are a number of third century manuscripts that contain portions of the Pauline corpus, and a number of fourth century manuscripts that originally contained the entire New Testament (Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Sinaiticus). These ancient manuscripts containing the collective body of Pauline epistles testify to the fact that the Church at large circulated these writings as a part of its orthodox faith.

80] Philip W. Comfort, and David P. Barrett, eds, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, c 1999, 2001), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "P 46 (P. Chester Beatty II + P. Mich. Inv 6238)."

Various titles to the epistle of Romans occur in these ancient manuscripts. The oldest manuscripts, such as Aleph, A, B, and C, use the title "To the Romans." Adam Clarke tells us later manuscripts added additional words, such as, "The Epistle of Paul to the Romans , The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans , The Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans." 81] Some of these titles attest to Pauline authorship.

81] Adam Clarke, The Epistle to the Romans , in The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (New York: Peter D. Meyers, 136), 19.

3. Early Versions- The earliest translations of the New Testament, written when the canon was being formed, included the Pauline epistles; 82] the Old Latin (2nd to 4th c), the Coptic (3rd to 4th c), the Peshitta (4th c), the Armenian (5th c), the Georgian (5th c), and the Ethiopic (6th c). 83] The Pauline epistles would not have been translated with the other New Testament writings unless it was considered a part of the orthodox beliefs of the Church at large.

82] Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (Oxford: University Press, 1968), 69-86.

83] The Old Latin Bible manuscripts of the fifth century, Codex Bezae (Gospels, Acts , Catholic epistles), Codex Claromontanus (Pauline epistles), and Codex Floriacensis ( Acts , Catholic epistles, Revelation) were used prior to Jerome's Vulgate (beginning A. D 382), and these Old Latin manuscripts testify to the canonization of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament at an early date. See Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, eds, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, c 1966, 1968, 1975), xxxi-xxxiv.

C. Catholicity- The third and final phase of New Testament canonicity placed emphasis upon the aspect of catholicity, or the general acceptance of the canonical books. F. B. Westcott says, "The extent of the Canon, like the order of the Sacraments, was settled by common usage, and thus the testimony of Christians becomes the testimony of the Church." 84] This phase is best represented in the period of Church councils of the fourth century as bishops met and agreed upon a list of canonical books generally accepted by the catholic Church. However, approved canons were listed by individual Church fathers as early as the second century. These books exhibited a dynamic impact upon the individual believers through their characteristic of divine inspiration, transforming them into Christian maturity, being used frequently by the church at large. We will look at two testimonies of catholicity: (1) the Early Church Canons, and (2) Early Church Councils.

84] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 12.

1. Early Church Canons - The thirteen Pauline epistles are found within the earliest Church canons and versions. Thus, they support the epistle of Romans as a part of the body of Pauline epistles. It is listed in the two earliest canons. Tertullian (A.D 160-225) tells us that Marcion the heretic accepted it in his Instrumentum (A.D 140) (ANF 3), 85] and it is found in The Muratorian Canon as one of Paul's thirteen New Testament epistles (A.D 180) (Fragments of Caius 3: Canon Muratorianus 2) (ANF 5). It is found in every canonical list thereafter. Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) includes them in his list of "acknowledged books." 86] Athanasius gives us a canonical list that includes them (c 367). 87] Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315-386) includes them in his list. 88]

85] See Against Marcion 517.

86] See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 331-7; 324-25.

87] Athansius, Festal Letters 395 (Easter, 367) (NPF 2 4)

88] See Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 436 (NPF 2 7)

2. Early Church Councils- The earliest major Church councils named the Pauline epistles as authentic writings; Nicea (c 325-40), Hippo (393), Carthage (397), and Carthage (419). This would not have been done unless the church at large believed them to be canonical.

During the fourth century, the Roman emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity and ordered Eusebius to produce fifty copies of the Scriptures. 89] The production and distribution of these Bibles, along with the Church synods that followed, served to confirm the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as canonical and authoritative. The early Church traditions of authorship and authenticity became firmly embedded within their canonicity. Therefore, citations of the New Testament Scriptures and later manuscript evidence after this period of Church history only serve to repeat traditions that had already become well-known and established among the churches of the fourth century.

89] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, fourth edition (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 422-426.

III. Date and Place of Writing

From internal evidence of Romans and Acts , we can determine somewhat accurately when and where this epistle was written based upon Paul's comments about the collection for the saints and his apprehensive trip to Jerusalem and then Rome. Most scholars believe that Paul wrote the epistle to the church at Rome while visiting the church at Corinth around the year A.D 57 to 58.

A. Date- Since Paul was sending greetings from individuals who were established members of the church at Corinth ( Romans 16:23), he was most likely writing from the city of Corinth.

Romans 16:23, "Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother."

Since Gaius was his host at the time of writing, and Gaius was a resident of Corinth, most scholars agree with Corinth as the place of writing.

We also know that Paul had to have written this epistle during his third missionary journey because of the people and events taking place in the epistle. Paul implies in his Roman epistle that he had been a missionary for many years, having "fully preached the Gospel of Christ" in the East ( Romans 15:19; Romans 15:23). These verses indicate that Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans during his later missionary journeys.

Romans 15:19, "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."

Romans 15:23, "But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;"

Since Paul wrote from the city of Corinth, he could not have written to the Romans during his first missionary journey, for the church at Corinth was not founded. Because Paul refers to Aquila and Priscilla in the epistle of Romans ( Romans 16:3), he could not have written the Roman epistle during his second missionary journey, because it was at this time Paul first met two Jews named Aquila and Priscilla, at which time he founded the church at Corinth.

Romans 16:3, "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:"

Acts 18:1-2, "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them."

Thus, Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans while in the city of Corinth on his third missionary journey.

In addition, we are able to fix an approximate date to Paul's first visit to Corinth by looking to secular history for the date of Gallio as proconsular over Achaia ( Acts 18:12). C. M. Kerr says, "As Achaia was reconstituted a proconsular province by Claudius in 44AD, the accession of Gallio to office must have been subsequent to that date, and has been variously placed at A.D 51-53." 90]

90] C. M. Kerr, "Gallio," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Acts 18:12, "And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,"

This couple had been driven from Rome by Claudius during the early 50's. Therefore, Paul met them in Corinth in the early to mid-50's. On his third missionary journey, he returned to Ephesus and stayed there three years ( Acts 20:31). During that stay, he probably wrote the first epistle to the Corinthians and makes a reference to the fact that Aquila and Priscilla were still in the city of Ephesus, where he had left them.

1 Corinthians 16:19, "The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."

Acts 18:19, "And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews."

Paul most likely wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians while in Ephesus, where we find Aquila and Priscilla. Since the epistle to the Romans places Aquila and Priscilla in Rome ( Romans 16:3), it means that they had returned to Rome after their lengthy stay in the city of Ephesus. For in Acts 18:19, Paul had sent them to Ephesus during his second missionary journey. Therefore, Paul probably sent this couple to Rome sometime during his stay in Ephesus. This means that at least three to four years had elapsed since their expulsion from Rome, meaning that they returned to Rome in the late 50's.

Paul also makes a reference in this epistle to a particular event in which he is taking an offering to the saints at Jerusalem.

Romans 15:25-26, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem."

Therefore, he had to have written his letter to the Romans shortly after writing 1,2Corinthians since he was organizing the collection in these two letters ( 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 and 2Corinthians 8-9) and the collection was ready by the time he wrote to the church at Rome. Paul makes several references in his epistle to Rome of his intent to visit the church at Rome after his upcoming visit to Jerusalem ( Romans 1:10-15; Romans 15:28-29).

Romans 1:15, " Song of Solomon , as much as in me Isaiah , I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

Romans 15:28-29, "When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ."

These references in the epistle of Romans are very likely referring to Paul's journey back to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey. After having spent three years in Ephesus ( Acts 20:31) during the years 53-56, he made his way through Macedonia and Achaia before sailing to Jerusalem ( Acts 19:21). He spent three months in these regions ( Acts 20:1-3) then headed to Jerusalem with the collection from the saints in 57 after which he intended on going to Rome and Spain. It was during his last stay in Corinth in late 57 or early 58 that he probably wrote to the church at Rome with the full intent of visiting them after delivering the offering to the church at Jerusalem ( Acts 19:21 and Romans 1:10-15; Romans 15:24-29).

Acts 20:31, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

Acts 19:21, "After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

Acts 20:1-3, "And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia."

C. Nell states that Festus was appointed in the place of Felix in A.D 60 after Paul had been in prison at Caesarea for two years ( Acts 24:27), 91] which places Paul in Jerusalem for the last time in A.D 58. Thus, we can date the epistle to the Romans in late A.D 57 or early 58.

91] C. Nedd, Romans , in The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002), "Introduction."

B. Place of Writing - Both internal and external evidence support a place of writing in Corinth.

1. Internal Evidence- From the internal evidence of several Scripture passages, most scholars believe that Paul wrote this epistle from the city of Corinth during his final stay in Macedonia at the end of his third missionary journey. It was on the eve of Paul's departure to Jerusalem with the collection for the poor saints, during a time when all prophecies gave Paul warnings that bonds and afflictions awaited him at Jerusalem. Paul probably wrote this epistle using Tertius as his scribe ( Romans 16:22) while sitting in the home of Gaius, who was hosting him at the time in Corinth ( Romans 16:23) and it was sent to Rome by the hands of Phebe ( Romans 16:1-2). We can draw this conclusion from two lengthy passages in Romans 16:1-27 and Acts 20:1-6.

a) Romans 16 - Paul sends greetings from the citizens of the city of Corinth to the church at Rome - The fact that Paul wrote his epistle to the church at Rome from the city of Corinth could be concluded from the last chapter of the Roman epistle. In this passage, Paul sends greetings from citizens of the city of Corinth to the church at Rome.

(1) Phebe- We find in Paul's closing remarks in his epistle to the Romans a reference to Phebe, who lived in Cenchrea, a seaport city seven or eight miles east of Corinth on the Isthmus of Corinth, the seaport to the west being Lecheum. It appears that Paul placed this letter into her hands and sent her to Rome to deliver it.

Romans 16:1, "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also."

(2) Gaius- Paul also sends greetings from Gaius, who was a member of the church at Corinth.

Romans 16:23, "Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother."

Gaius is mentioned two others times in the Scriptures in reference to Macedonia and Corinth.

Acts 19:29, "And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul"s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre."

1 Corinthians 1:14, "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;"

(3) Erastus- Paul also sends greetings from a certain Erastus, who was "the chamberlain of the city."

Romans 16:23, "Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother."

Robert Gundry tells us that a first century inscription was discovered in Corinth reading, "Erastus, the commissioner of public works, laid this pavement at his own expense." He acknowledges to that a commissioner is not the same as city treasurer, they could be "roughly Synonymous." Therefore, it is possible that the Erastus of Acts 19:22 is the same individual of the Song of Solomon -called "Erastus inscription" found at Corinth. 92] In addition, Erastus is mentioned two other times in the New Testament, where he is associated with Macedonia and Corinth. Thus, he is considered by scholars as the chamberlain of the city of Corinth.

92] Robert H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, revised edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House), 278.

Acts 19:22, "So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season."

2 Timothy 4:20, "Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick."

(4) Timothy and Sosipater- The fact that Paul mentions Timothy as a "workfellow" in this epistle beside the name of Sosipater indicates that they were traveling with him.

Romans 16:21, "Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you."

We see these two individuals with Paul in Macedonia during the proposed time of writing of this epistle. This would support the belief that Paul wrote from the city of Corinth.

Acts 20:4, "And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus."

Some scholars use Acts 20:4 to show Gaius, as well as Timothy and Sosipater (Sopater), accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey when he wrote his epistle to the Romans. However, it can be debated whether or not this Gaius of Derbe is the same Gaius of Romans 16:23.

b) Acts 20:1-6 - The events recorded in Acts 20:1-6 match the events in the Roman epistle. This passage of Scripture tells us that Paul spent a short period of time in Macedonia before departing for Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey. Those individuals that accompanied Paul in this passage also match the list found in Romans 16.

2. External Evidence- Early Church tradition supports the view that Paul wrote the epistle of Romans from Corinth.

a) Theodoret of Cyrrus (A.D 393-466) - Theodoret writes, "…and from Corinth he wrote the one to the Romans; for indeed he first commends Phebe, saying she is a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. And the Cenchreaens are of the region of Corinth." [PG 82col 41B] (author's translation)

b) Euthalius (5th c.) - In his argument to the epistle of Romans , Euthalius (5th c.) writes, "This one he sent from Corinth, although not have seen the Romans , yet hearing about them and desiring to see them." (PG 85 Colossians 748A) (author's translation)

c) Pseudo-Athanasius (Synopsis of Sacred Scripture) (4th-6th c.) - In the Synopsis of Sacred Scripture, Pseudo-Athanasius begins his summary of Romans by saying, "And this one, the one to the Romans , he writes from Corinth, having never seen the Romans , but having heard about them, and having desired to see them." (PG 28 Colossians 412D) (author's translation)

d) Ebedjesu (d 1318) - Ebedjesu, the Syrian bishop, reflects medieval tradition by saying Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans from the city of Corinth. 93]

93] Ebedjesu writes, "Besides these there are fourteen epistles of the great Apostle Paul, viz, the Epistle to the Romans , written from Corinth." See Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 4 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 321; George Percy Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol 2 (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), 362.

e) The Authorized Version (1611) - Euthalius, an unknown deacon of the fifth century, is believed to have provided the testimonies for the subscriptions to the Pauline epistles found in the Authorized Version (1611). 94] However, not all of these subscriptions match the comments of Euthalius (compare the differences in 1,2Corinthians and 2Thessalonians). Thus, the committee of the Authorized Version probably relied on various sources for their subscriptions. A subscription attached to this epistle of Romans in the Authorized Version (1611) reflects ancient church tradition, reading, "Written to the Romanes from Corinthus and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea." 95]

94] Matthew George Easton, "Subscriptions," in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c 1897), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

95] The Holy Bible: A Facsimile in a reduced size of the Authorized Version published in the year 1611, ed. Alfred William Pollard (Oxford: The University Press, 1911).

IV. Recipients

In his opening salutation, Paul was clearly addressing this epistle to believers, and particularly, to the church at Rome ( Romans 1:7; Romans 1:15).

Romans 1:7, "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Romans 1:15, " Song of Solomon , as much as in me Isaiah , I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

As cited above, Clement of Rome (A.D 96), writing to the church at Corinth, shows himself acquainted with the contents of the epistle to the Romans (1Clement 35, 38). This supports the tradition that Paul's epistle to the Romans was destined for the church at Rome rather than any other destination.

As was discussed above in the composition of the church at Rome under the section on Historical Background, there is much internal evidence within the Roman epistle to suggest that this church was made up largely of Gentile converts with a smaller group of Jews believers.

All of Paul's epistles were intended for believers, in contrast to unbelievers. Romans 1:7 tells us that the epistle of Romans is directed to Christians. Even those passages in Paul"s epistles concerning falling away, such as Galatians 5:4 and Romans 8:13(a), are directed to the believer. Paul did not add the phrase, "and to all lost Church members." Therefore, this epistle is not to the lost person, even though every church has some lost people who come to attend their services. Why: because the carnal man cannot understand the things of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:14)?

Romans 1:7, "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Galatians 5:4, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

Romans 8:13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

V. Occasion

In the opening and closing of his epistle to the church at Rome, Paul makes several references to his intent to visit them after taking an offering to Jerusalem ( Romans 1:10-15; Romans 15:28-29) so that he might impart to them some spiritual give ( Romans 1:11) as well as preach the Gospel to them ( Romans 1:15).

Romans 1:15, " Song of Solomon , as much as in me Isaiah , I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

Romans 15:28-29, "When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ."

In fact, Paul declares his passion and earnest desire to visit Rome several months prior to writing to them when addressing the believers in Ephesus. In Acts 19:21 Paul declares that he "must also see Rome," in the sense of a divine decree rather than out of personal interest.

Acts 19:21, "After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

What would have occasioned his desire to visit Rome?

A. Paul's Work Was Complete in the East - Although Paul began his missionary efforts in the remote provinces of the Roman Empire, we see how his extensive travels brought him nearer and nearer to the capital of this great world power. We see in Romans 15:23 a hint that Paul felt he had completed his work in Asia Minor and Greece and was thus driven further to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Romans 15:23, "But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;"

The further he advanced with the Gospel, the greater his desire grew to march into the very heart of Rome's power and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see this spirit of conquest in Acts 19:21.

Acts 19:21, "After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

In Acts 25:11 Paul literally called for an audience with the Emperor himself.

Acts 25:11, "For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar."

B. The Testimonies of Aquila and Priscilla Encouraged Paul to Visit Rome- We call also see Paul working together with Aquila and Priscilla in the city of Corinth in the same trade.

Acts 18:1-3, "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers."

Paul would have listened intently as he heard this couple describe the grace of God that was at work in the church at Rome. This also would have occasioned Paul's earnest desire to visit Rome. Through Aquila and Prisilla, or some other believers, Paul had become acquainted with many believers at Rome. The list of greetings in his closing chapter testifies to this. Paul's testimony of unceasing prayer for them in Romans 1:9 tells us that Paul had become personally involved in their lives.

Romans 1:9, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Song of Solomon , that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;"

This bonding of friendship and love would have move Paul to desire such at visit to Rome.

His excitement of finally having the opportunity to visit the saints at Rome seems to have moved him to sit down and write them a letter so that they too might have the same anticipation and excitement that he felt at the time. How often, when coming home from the mission field, have I called or sent e-mails to my family informing them of my upcoming trip home. Paul felt this same excitement in his epistle to the Romans. Because Paul could not set off for Rome immediately, most scholars conclude that Paul sent this letter by the hands of Phebe, a faithful member of the church at Cenchrea.

Romans 16:1-2, "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also."

Paul wrote this letter to the Romans from the city of Corinth. With its two seaports, he could have taken a ship from the eastern seaport and headed for Antioch and Caesarea. From the western port, he could sail over the Gulf of Corinth to Brundisium and the Appian Way, which led to Rome. At the city of Corinth, Paul stood between the East and the West. Although his work was complete in the East and he was determined to head west, the only thing that held him from heading to the western port was the collection for the saints. He chose to first deliver this offering to the saints at Jerusalem before heading west. For this offering from the Gentiles churches to the church at Jerusalem may have served to bring unity between Christians of two different cultures. Song of Solomon , rather than having the money sent, Paul knew the importance of delivering it personally. This unity would directly affect the success of his endeavors to reach as far as Spain, with the church at Rome possibly serving as his Western base of financial support.

LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)

"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.

If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."

(Thomas Schreiner) 96]

96] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.

Within the historical setting of the early church, the authors of the New Testament epistles chose to write to various groups of believers using the literary style of the formal Greco-Roman epistle, which contains a traditional salutation, the body, and a conclusion. Thus, the New Testament epistles are assigned to the literary genre called an "epistle." In the introductory section of literary style, a comparison will be made of the Pauline epistles, as well as a brief look at the grammar and syntax of the epistle of Romans.

VI. Comparison to the Pauline Epistles

Paul's epistle to the Romans makes it a unique document so that it serves as the foundational epistle of Paul's nine church epistles.

A. Comparison to the Book of Galatians in Doctrinal Themes- Matthew Poole says the subject matter of the epistles of Romans and Galatians is similar, being justification by faith alone apart from the Law. 97] J. B. Lightfoot calls the epistle of Galatians , which he believes was written under pressure and emotion, a "rough model" of the finished product found in Romans , which he believes Paul wrote "at [his] leisure." 98] Jack MacGorman, one of my New Testament professors, said that the best commentary on the epistle of Romans is the book of Galatians , and the best commentary on Galatians is Romans. 99] Although Galatians has a controversial tone and Romans carries a peaceful tone, they both deal with similar teachings. Both emphasize the fact that man is justified by faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ entirely apart from the Mosaic Law. This was a difficult message for the Jewish converts to grasp as they so tightly held to circumcision, as well as the Gentiles who held tightly to their wisdom ( 1 Corinthians 1:17-29). Both deal with the observations of special days and ceremonies. Both refer to life in the spirit verses the flesh. Both deal with faith in Christ verses works of the Law. Both refer to circumcision and the life of Abraham.

97] Matthew Poole says, "The subject matter of it [the Epistle of Romans] seems to be much the same with the Epistle to the Galatians." See Matthew Poole, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans , in Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, vol 3 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1852), 477.

98] J. B. Lightfoot says, "The Epistle to the Galatians stands in relation to the Roman letter, as the rough model to the finished statue…" See J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (London: MacMillan and Co, 1910), 49.

99] Jack MacGorman, "Class Notes," in "New Testament Greek Class," Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, Fall Semester, 1981.

B. Comparison to the Book of 1Corinthians in Application of the Christian Life- Because the epistle to the Romans was written sometime after Paul wrote his two epistles to the Corinthians, and because Romans is a systematic approach to the Gospel, some of the incidental passages in 1Corinthians reoccur in Romans. For example, the question of foods and what to eat is dealt with in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; 1 Corinthians 10:14 to 1 Corinthians 11:1 as well as in Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:6. Teachings on the members of the body of Christ and their functions occurs in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 as well as in Romans 12:3-8. The analogies between Adam and Christ occur in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:45-50 as well as in Romans 5:12-19. The collection for the saints can be found in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, 2 Corinthians 8-9 as well as in Romans 15:25-32.

C. Comparison of Usage of the Old Testament- The epistle to the Romans goes into great detail about Old Testament themes. Paul freely quotes from the Old Testament as if his readers were somewhat familiar with them. In this way, Paul is able to show God's plan of salvation for the entire world, and thus, support his call to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. In fact, within the thirteen epistles of Paul, when he uses the phrase "it is written," over half of them are used within the epistle of Romans alone.

D. Comparison of Style: Lengthy Introduction and Closing- Because Paul did not know many of the people personally scholars feel that it was more appropriate to address these Christians at Rome with a lengthy introduction and closing. In this way, Paul hopes to strengthen his acquaintance with them before he arrives.

E. Comparison of Style: Its Doctrinal Themes are Structured in the Form of a Debate- It is clear to the casual reader that Paul builds his doctrinal themes and arguments upon a question and answer framework as if he were dialoging with someone. If we had been with Paul on his missionary journeys and entered into the synagogues with him or heard him debating with the Gentiles, we would have heard these questions being raised repeatedly. Paul is simply playing the role that he so often played in the situations, where he debated with others on the divine themes of salvation.

Within the context of a defensive writing, Henry Alford notes that Paul frequently uses a "play on words" with similar sounds in order to give force to some expressions in Romans. He uses frequent antitheses to made his point as well as side thoughts using parentheses, all of which can be challenging to "disentangle" without close examination. 100]

100] Henry Alford, Romans , in The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002), "Introduction."

F. Comparison of Style: Organized Somewhat as a Systematic Theology- The major feature of Paul's epistle to the church at Rome is the fact that its doctrines are laid out as close to a systematic theology as any book in the entire Scriptures. Although several major doctrines are not addressed, Paul lays down a careful and orderly exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

G. Comparison of Tone: Less Personal than Other Pauline Epistles- Perhaps because Paul did not found the church at Rome, and thus had little apostolic authority over it, he makes fewer references to himself in this lengthy epistle than in his other twelve epistles. In addition, the book of Romans is less personal than his other epistles. This means that he was not dealing with particular issues within the church at Rome or with particular individuals. He was moderately acquainted with some of the individuals and their difficulties, but he did not yet have the apostolic authority to charge the Romans about particular tasks. This epistle and the one to the Colossians are the only two in which Paul wrote without having any personal dealings. All other Pauline epistles are occasional in that Paul deals with particular issues with which he is personally involved. Thus, Romans is more formal and less personal than any of his other epistles.

H. Comparison of Readership: Addresses Both Jewish and Gentile Readers- Because the church at Rome was made up of both Jews and Gentiles, Paul's epistle to the Romans addressed important issue to both groups. For the Jews, the two of the most difficult doctrines for them to accept were justification by faith alone apart from the Mosaic Law and the inclusion of the Gentiles into God's divine plan of redemption. Paul dealt at length with both issues in this epistle. Paul explained how salvation through faith came through Abraham. He also addressed the issue of the casting off of the Jews and the grafting in of the Gentiles. The Gentiles needed a clear understanding of man's depravity in rebellion against a holy God as well as a lesson in Jewish history. To this group, Paul emphasized the condition of man's heart and God's wrath as well as how God elected Israel as His chosen people and how the Mosaic Law revealed the need of salvation for all of mankind.

VII. Grammar and Syntax

I. Grammar and Syntax: Frequently Used Words- The theme of a book in the Holy Bible can often be seen in the frequent use of particular words. This is clearly the case of the epistle of Romans. Everett Harrison says the epistle is full of theological terms, such as "sin, wrath, death, law, righteousness, reckon, faith, life, hope, circumcision and uncircumcision, Israel and the Gentiles." 101] Noting the "theological significance" of the epistle of Romans , Leon Morris says the most frequently used nouns are θεό ς (God) (at least 153times), νό μος (law) (72times), χριστό ς (Christ) (65 times), ἁ μαρτί α (sin) (48 times), κύ ριος (Lord) (43times), and πί στις (faith) (40 times). 102] Two of the most important family of words that are used frequently within this epistle are "righteousness" (66 times) and "Gospel" (14times).

101] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 306-307.

102] Leon Morris, "The Theme of Romans ," Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F.F. Bruce, eds. W. Ward Gasque and Ralph P. Martin (Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1970), 250.

1. Righteousness- The word "righteousness" occurs more in Romans than in any other book in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, this word occurs most often in the books of Psalm , Proverbs and Isaiah. The word "righteous," or some form of it, is used sixty-six (66) times in the epistle of Romans out of two hundred fifteen (215) uses in the New Testament.

δικαιοκρισί α G 1341 righteous judgment 1of 1

δί καιος G 1342 righteous 7 of 76

δικαιοσύ νη G 1343 righteousness 36 of 85

δικαιό ω G 1344 to be righteous 15 of 36

δικαί ωμα G 1345 righteousness 5 of 10

δικαί ως G 1346 righteously 0 of 5

δικαί ωσις G 1347 justification 2of 2

2. Gospel- The word "Gospel" appears ten times in the epistle of Romans and the verb "to evangelize" form occurs four times. This word literally means "the good news."

ευαγγελί ζω G 2097 to evangelize 4of 52

ευαγγέ λιον G 2098 gospel 10 of 74

ευαγγελιστή ς G 2099 evangelist 0 of 3

THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."

(Andreas Ksenberger) 103]

103] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.

Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the epistle of Romans , an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the epistle of Romans for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.

VIII. Purpose

The fundamental purpose for the nine Church Epistles is doctrinal, for God used Paul to lay down the doctrines for the New Testament Church, as he built upon the foundational teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to a doctrinal purpose, Paul's epistles give practical instructions on how to apply the teachings of the New Testament Church to the believer's daily conduct.

A. Doctrinal: To Establish them in the Faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ( Romans 1:16 to Romans 11:36) - The most obvious reason for writing to the Romans was to put into writing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, thus creating a doctrinal writing.

1. Doctrinal as a Means of Gaining Missionary Support from the Church At Rome (Sponsorship) - Everett Harrison suggests that Paul saw Rome as a strategic location in the West, much as the church at Antioch served as a strategic home base in the East; 104] and awe know that the church at Ephesus served in Asia Minor. If he was planning on reaching Spain, he needed a home church out of which to work. Therefore, Paul gives the church at Rome an expanded version of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, revealing how this message was for all men, both Jews and Gentiles. Paul opens and closes his epistle ( Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26) with the declaration that the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be taken to all nations, and adds a call to the church at Rome to help fulfill this missionary assignment. ( Romans 1:6)

104] Everett F. Harrison, "Introduction," in Romans , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 10, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, and Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Section 5: Occasion and Purpose."

Romans 1:5-6, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:"

Romans 16:26, "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"

Thus, Paul tells the church at Rome the overall assignment of the Church, which is to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. This assignment has been given to all who are called in Christ Jesus. Therefore, Paul hoped to challenge them to stand up and answer the call of spreading the Gospel to the West. In this way, he hoped to gain both the financial support as well as the prayer support of the church at Rome in order to reach as far as Spain.

2. Doctrinal as a Means of Giving a Comprehensive Message of the Gospel to the Church at Rome in order to Establish Them in Their Faith (Pastoral) - Paul could have also perceived that the church in Rome lacked direct apostolic ministry and needed to hear a coherent message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see a hint of this purpose in Romans 15:15 when Paul says that he has written to them as a way to "put them in mind" of certain points of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:15, "Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,"

These believers had relied upon bits and pieces of information gathered from travels abroad. Thus, Paul endeavored to give them a comprehensive message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, a study of the Pauline salutations reveals that he always used the word "church" or "saint" to directly address an organized group of believers. In his epistle to the Romans , Paul uses the unique phrase, "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints." This implies that this church was not a closely-knit church organization, but rather a loose group of believers meeting at various houses in the city.

As an apostle to the Gentiles, Paul's visit would place a stamp of approval on this church and position it under his apostolic ministry. It would also establish them in their faith as they are refreshed, which is stated in Romans 1:11; Romans 15:32.

Romans 1:11, "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;"

Romans 15:24, "Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company."

Romans 15:32, "That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed."

Thus, we see Paul's intent to give the church at Rome a foundation, and establish it so that is could grow and prosper in unity.

3. Doctrinal as a Means of Permanently Recording His Message If He Perishes (Systematic Theology) - The most widely held view of the purpose of this epistle is that it serves as a full statement of Paul's doctrinal position on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everett Harrison notes that Paul knew of the dangers that awaited him in Jerusalem ( Acts 20:22-23). In fact, the Jews were lying wait to seize him before he reached Jerusalem ( Acts 20:3). Paul evens asks the church at Rome to pray for his safety and deliverance from the Jews in Jerusalem so that he could make his way to Rome ( Romans 15:31-32). Therefore, Paul had a need to put the calling and commission of the New Testament Church into written form, which was to take the proclamation of the Gospel to all the world. This Paul felt compelled to do in case he never made it to Rome. 105]

105] Everett F. Harrison, "Introduction," in Romans , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 10, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, and Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Section 5: Occasion and Purpose."

This epistle was Paul's attempt to reveal the "mystery of God's will." that mystery which had been hidden in ages past but now made know unto us by the Spirit ( Ephesians 1:9-12; Ephesians 3:1-13). Thus, the message found in the epistle to the Romans finds it purpose as a call for all believers to work together to take the Gospel to all nations. This epistle served as a challenge for the Church of Rome to continue his work, even after he is gone. Here in this epistle, Paul organized and summarized all that he stood for and debated in various situations over the past twenty years of ministry.

Acts 20:22-23, "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me."

Acts 20:3, "And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia."

Romans 15:31-32, "That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed."

4. Doctrinal as a Means to Defend His Message Against Accusations of the Judaizers (Apologetic:) - If we look at how Paul structures his presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the church at Rome, we cannot avoid picturing Paul in the Jewish synagogue of some Greek city contending with his opponents. From the passages of Romans 3:8; Romans 3:31; Romans 6:1; Romans 6:15; Romans 7:7; Romans 7:13; Romans 9:1-4, it becomes clear that Paul had often faced opposition when preaching the Gospel in synagogues and foreign cities. These opponents accused Paul of preaching a ridiculous message. They said that his message promoted sin so that grace could abound, and of making void the Mosaic Law, and even of declaring that the Law is sin. After going through a number of these apologetic confrontations, Paul would have noticed that his accusers repeated common arguments. Paul seems to address these frequently asked questions in his Roman epistle. These Judaizers may show up in any of the churches that Paul was working with and attempt to destroy his integrity, and thus, his message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, we are led to conclude that one of the purposes of Paul's writing this epistle is to defend the accuracy of his message against such roving Judaizers.

Conclusion- The doctrinal purpose of the epistle of Romans reflects the foundational theme of establishing the doctrines of the New Testament Church. It reflects the secondary theme in expounding upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

B. Practical: To Exhort the Romans to Offer Their Lives to Proclaim the Gospel to the Nations ( Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:33) - We clearly see the occasion of Paul's writing his epistle to the church at Rome as his anticipation of visiting them soon. There are a number of practical purposes identified by scholars.

1. To Exhort the Romans to Offer Their Lives to Proclaim the Gospel to the Nations- Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:33 as Paul calls the church to offer themselves as living sacrifices and serve according to their proportion of faith in an effort to bring all nations to faith in Christ Jesus.

2. To Reconcile the Jews and Gentiles in Their Doctrine - A few scholars see the possibility that the epistle to the Romans was written with a specific occasion in mind. They say that Paul was seeking to join the Jewish and Gentile Christians together into doctrinal unity. If the church at Rome had not yet received a visit from an apostle in order to establish its doctrine, these believers would have a mixture of beliefs that needed correcting. For example, the Jewish converts in Rome may not have fully understood the acceptance of the Gentiles and the doing away of circumcision. The Gentiles may have claimed equal status with the Jews, not understanding the important role of election of the nation of Israel. According to Romans 14, there could have been a conflict of whether to eat meats or not. We see an illustration in Acts 6:1-6 where there was contention between the Jews and the Greeks in the church at Jerusalem. Thus, it is easy to imagine that such an issue may have occurred in the church at Rome.

Acts 6:1. "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews , because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration."

We also find a comment from Paul to these clear racial divisions within the Greek societies of his day when writing to the church at Colossi.

Colossians 3:11, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Paul dealt at length with circumcision and Jewish doctrines that had been placed upon the churches of Galatia. He also dealt with persecutions from Judaizers in other epistles, such as 2Corinthians. In addition, J. Vernon McGee says that the word "grace" in Paul's greetings was a formal greeting used in Greek letters of his day, while the word "peace" was the customary Jewish greeting. 106] Thus, we see a clear distinction in these two cultures that consistently addressed in Paul's epistles.

106] J. Vernon McGee, The Epistle to the Romans , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Romans 1:1.

Within the pages of this epistle to the Romans , which purpose was to stir up the church at Rome to fulfill God's call to take the Gospel to all nations, may be hidden other minor messages. For example, two of the most difficult doctrines for Jewish converts to accept were justification by faith alone apart from the Mosaic Law and the inclusion of the Gentiles into God's divine plan of redemption. Paul dealt at length with both of these issues in this epistle. Paul explained how salvation through faith came through Abraham. He also addressed the issue of the casting off of the Jews and the grafting in of the Gentiles. Yet, Paul emphasizes the fact that the Jews will again be grafted into the body of Christ. There may have been tensions in the church at Rome between the Jews and Gentiles and this epistle would have exhorted them to maintain unity in order to fulfill God's call to take the Gospel to the nations. Paul makes a distinction between these two groups throughout the epistles, yet manages to weave them together as a fulfillment of God's plan for His glorious Church. He tells us that the Gospel is for both Jews and Greeks ( Romans 1:16).

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

He uses the first few chapters of this epistle to build a cast of argument for the need of salvation for all peoples, both Jews and Gentiles.

Romans 3:29, "Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:"

He then takes three chapters (9-11) to explain the roles of the Jews and the Gentiles in God's great plan of salvation. Paul even closes his epistle with a warning to avoid divisions among the brethren.

Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

Adam Clarke gives us a lengthy list of verses that illustrate Paul's attempts to reconcile the Gospel message to the Jews and Gentiles. 107]

107] Adam Clarke, The Epistle to the Romans , in The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (New York: Peter D. Meyers, 136), 3.

a) Circumcision- After saying that "he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit" ( Romans 2:28-29), Paul immediately justifies circumcision by saying, "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." ( Romans 3:1-2)

b) The Mosaic Law- After saying, "Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." ( Romans 3:28), Paul immediately justifies the Law by saying, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." ( Romans 3:31). After saying, "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." ( Romans 7:6), Paul immediately justifies the Law by saying, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." ( Romans 7:7)

c) Israel's Role in Divine Election - After explaining the failure of the role of the Mosaic Law by saying, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" ( Romans 8:3), Paul justified the role of the nation of Israel by saying, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." ( Romans 9:1-3) After saying that Israel failed in its role of pursuing God's standard of righteousness by saying, "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;" ( Romans 9:31-32), Paul immediately justified their zeal for God by saying, "Brethren, my heart"s desire and prayer to God for Israel Isaiah , that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." ( Romans 10:1-2) After saying that God rejected Israel and received the Gentiles by saying, "But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." ( Romans 10:20-21), Paul immediately says that Israel will be reconciled by saying, "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." ( Romans 11:1)

Thus, the epistle to the Romans purposes to bring unity to the Jewish peoples and the Gentile believers by explaining their joint role in divine election so that together they may fulfill God's call to take the Gospel to all nations.

Conclusion- The practical purpose of the epistle Romans reflects the third theme of the office and ministry of the God the Father in proclaiming the Gospel to the nations.

IX. Thematic Scheme

Introduction- Each book of the Holy Scriptures contains a three-fold thematic scheme in order to fulfill its intended purpose, which is to transform each child of God into the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29). The primary, or foundational, theme of a book offers a central claim that undergirds everything written by the author. The secondary, or structural theme, of the book supports its primary theme by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" made by the author as it fully develops the first theme. Thus, the secondary theme is more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary content of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. 108] The third theme is imperative in that it calls the reader to a response based upon the central claim and supporting evidence offered by the author. Each child of God has been predestined to be conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures, and they alone, have the power to accomplish this task. This is why a child of God can read the Holy Scriptures with a pure heart and experience a daily transformation taking place in his life, although he may not fully understand what is taking place in his life. In addition, the reason some children of God often do not see these biblical themes is because they have not fully yielded their lives to Jesus Christ, allowing transformation to take place by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, a child of God is not willing to allow Him to manage his life and move him down the road that God predestined as his spiritual journey. This journey requires every participant to take up his cross daily and follow Jesus, and not every believer is willing to do this. In fact, every child of God chooses how far down this road of sacrifice he is willing to go. Very few of men and women of God fulfill their divine destinies by completing this difficult journey. In summary, the first theme drives the second theme, which develops the first theme, and together they demand the third theme, which is the reader's response.

108] For an excellent discussion on the use of claims, reasons, and evidence in literature, see Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003).

A. Primary Theme (Foundational) of the Epistle of Romans: The Establishment of Church Doctrines- Introduction- The central theme of the Holy Bible is God's plan of redemption for mankind. This theme finds its central focus in the Cross, where our Lord and Saviour died to redeem mankind. The central figure of the Holy Scriptures is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Cross is the place where man meets God and where we die to our selfish ambitions and yield our lives to the God who created all things. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are not intended to be a precise record of ancient history. Rather, its intent is to provide a record of God's divine intervention in the history of mankind in order to redeem the world back to Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary.

Every book of the Holy Bible makes a central claim that undergirds the arguments or message contained within its text. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD," to which all additional material is subordinate. The bulk of the material in the Old Testament is subordinate in that it serves as reasons and evidence to support this central claim. This material serves as the secondary theme, offering the literary structure of the book. In addition, the central claim calls for a response, which is stated in the following verse, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." ( Deuteronomy 6:5) Such a response is considered the third, imperative theme that runs through every book of the Holy Scriptures.

This central claim is the primary, or foundational, theme and is often obscured by the weight of evidence that is used to drive the central message, which weight of evidence makes up the secondary theme; and thus, it contains more content than the primary theme. Therefore, the secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scripture are generally more recognizable than the primary theme. Nevertheless, the central claim, or truth, must be excavated down to the foundation and made clearly visible in order to understand the central theme driving the arguments contained within the book. Only then can proper exegesis and sermon delivery be executed.

1. The Central Themes of the New Testament Epistles: Sanctification of the Believer- There are twenty-one epistles in the New Testament, which the early Church recognized as having apostolic authority so that they were collected into one body, circulated among the churches, an eventually canonized. While the Gospels emphasize the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the process justification of the believer, New Testament epistles emphasize the redemptive plan of the Holy Spirit as He works in the process of sanctification for each believer. Thus, the work of sanctification serves as the underlying theme of all twenty-one epistles. In addition, each one emphasizes a different aspect of this divine process of sanctification and they are organized together so that the New Testament is structured to reflect the part of our spiritual journey called sanctification In order to express this structure, each of these epistles have different themes that are woven and knitted together into a unified body of teachings which will bring the believer through the process of sanctification and ready for the rapture of the Church into a place of rest in the glorious hope revealed in the book of Revelation. Therefore, the New Testament epistles were collected together by topic by the early Church.

Of the twenty-one epistles, there are thirteen Pauline epistles and eight designated as General, or Catholic, epistles. We can organize these twenty-one epistles into three major categories: (1) there are epistles that emphasize Church doctrine, which are the nine Pauline epistles of Romans to 2Thessalonians; (2) there are those that deal with Church order and divine service, which are 1,2Timothy, Titus and Philemon; 109] and (3) there are those that stress perseverance in the Christian faith, which are Hebrews and the seven General Epistles. 110] Within Hebrews and the General Epistles, we note that the first three epistles exhort the believer to persevere under persecutions, which come from without the Church ( Hebrews ,, James , 1Peter), while the other five epistles emphasis perseverance against false doctrines, which come from within ( 2 Peter , 1, 2, 3 John , Jude).

109] For the sake of developing thematic schemes, the epistle of Philemon will be grouped with the Pastoral Epistles as did the Church fathers.

110] For the sake of developing thematic schemes, the epistle of Hebrews will be grouped with the General Epistles, although many of the early Church fathers followed the tradition of grouping it with the Pauline epistles.

2. The Central Theme of the Church Epistles: The Establishment of Church Doctrines - Of the thirteen Pauline epistles, nine are addressed to seven particular churches. By the third century, the early Church fathers testified as to the emphasis that Paul placed upon church doctrine in his epistles. For example, Gregory of Nazianzus (A.D 329 to 389) says that Paul wrote the Church epistles in order that the doctrines of the Church are "beyond question."

"At this point of my discourse I am truly filled with wonder at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit; how He confined the Epistles of the rest to a small number, but to Paul the former persecutor gave the privilege of writing fourteen. For it was not because Peter or John was less that He restrained the gift; God forbid! But in order that the doctrine might be beyond question, He granted to the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more, in order that we all might thus be made believers." (Lectures 1018) (NPF 2 7)

Isidore of Pelusium (A.D. d 450) calls Paul "the expounder of the heavenly doctrines." (Epistolarum 17) (PG 78 Colossians 184C). In his preface to his commentaries on the Pauline Epistles, Theodoret of Cyrrus (A.D 393-466) writes, "I know to be sure how I cannot escape the tongue of the fault-finders when attempting to interpret the doctrine of the divine Paul." (author's translation) 111] These nine "Church" epistles establish the doctrines of the New Testament Church. Thus, we may call the first nine Pauline epistles "Church Epistles." In these epistles Paul builds his Church doctrine upon the foundational teachings laid down by Christ Jesus in the Gospels. We acknowledge that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." ( 2 Timothy 3:16) Thus, every book of the Bible will contain doctrine, but these other books do not "add" to Church doctrine; rather, they support the doctrine laid down in the Gospels by Jesus Christ and in these nine Pauline epistles. For example, in the Pastoral Epistles, Paul tells Timothy and Titus to teach sound doctrine ( 1 Timothy 1:10, 2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1), a doctrine that is not contained within the Pastoral Epistles themselves. Therefore, Paul must be referring to doctrine that he taught to the churches, and most certainly doctrine that is contained within the Church epistles. Another example can be found in Hebrews 6:1-2, which refers to the six foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church, doctrines that are not contained within the epistle of Hebrews. This epistle, rather, exhorts us to persevere in the divine doctrine that has previously been laid down, and a doctrine that is most certainly contained within the Church epistles.

111] Theodoret, Preface to Interpretation XIV Epistolarum Sancti Pauli Apostoli (PG 82col 36A).

In order to identify this New Testament doctrine, we must first go to the six foundational doctrines mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-2 in order to identify this doctrine. This passage tells us that everything Jesus Christ said and taught in the Gospels can be summed up in the six foundational doctrines of Christ listed in Hebrews 6:1-2.

Hebrews 6:1-2, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

Here we find the six foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church, which were first laid down by Christ in the Gospels.

1. repentance from dead works

2. faith toward God

3. baptisms

4. laying on of hands

5. resurrection of the dead

6. eternal judgment

If one were to go through the four Gospels, he would find that all of Christ's teachings could be placed under one of these six doctrines. Later, the Heavenly Father used Paul to build upon these foundational doctrines through the Pauline epistles in order to establish the Church doctrinally. Before His departure, Jesus Christ told His disciples that He had many things to teach them, but they were not yet ready ( John 16:12).

John 16:12, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."

John 16:12 tells us that the message of the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught His disciples was still incomplete at the time of His departure. This implies that we should look to the Epistles to find its fullness. Therefore, it is upon these six foundational doctrines of Christ that Paul lays down the doctrines of the Church. Paul builds upon the two doctrines of repentance from dead works and faith toward God by teaching on the justification of the believer through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul builds upon the two doctrines of baptisms and of the laying on of hands by teaching on the work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Paul builds his eschatology that Jesus began in the Gospels in the two doctrines of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment by teaching on the future glorification of the Church, which falls under the divine foreknowledge and election of God the Father. Thus, the Church epistles can be grouped by the three-fold office and ministry of the Trinity.

B. Secondary Theme (Structural) of the Epistle of Romans - The Doctrine of Justification Through Faith in Jesus Christ- An Exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - Introduction- The secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scriptures support the primary themes by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" of the book made by the author. Thus, the secondary themes are more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary structure of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch declares that the Lord God of Israel is the only God that man should serve, and man is to love the Lord God with all of his heart, mind, and strength, a statement found in the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which is the foundational theme of the Old Testament. The books of Hebrew poetry provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his heart as its secondary theme. The books of the prophets provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his mind as its secondary theme, as he set his hope in the coming of the Messiah to redeem mankind. The historical books provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his strength as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the four Gospel writers is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. In addition, each Gospel writer offers evidence as its secondary theme to support his claim. The Gospel of John offers the five-fold testimony of God the Father, John the Baptist, the miracles of Jesus, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself as its secondary theme. Matthew expounds upon the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures as its secondary theme; Mark expounds upon the testimony of the miracles of Jesus as its secondary theme; Luke expounds upon the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye-witnesses and well as that of the apostles in the book of Acts as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pauline Church Epistles is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone how the power to redeem and transform man into the image of Jesus, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. The epistle of Romans supports this claim by offering evidence of mankind's depravity and God's plan of redemption to redeem him as its secondary theme. The epistles of Ephesians and Philippians expound upon the role of God the Father in His divine foreknowledge as their secondary theme; the epistles of Colossians and Galatians expound upon the role of Jesus Christ as the head of the Church as their secondary theme; the epistles of 1, 2 Thessalonians , 1, 2Corinthians expound upon the role of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying the believers as their secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pastoral Epistles is that believers must serve God through the order of the New Testament Church. The epistles of 1, 2Timothy expound upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Titus expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a renewed mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Philemon expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a genuine lifestyle, which is its secondary theme.

The central claim of the General Epistles is that believers must persevere in the Christian faith in order to obtain eternal redemption. The epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter modify this theme to reflect perseverance from persecutions from without the Church. The epistle of Hebrews expounds upon the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of James expounds upon a lifestyle of perseverance through the joy of the Holy Spirit, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of 1Peter expounds upon our hope of divine election through God the Father, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3, John and Jude reflect perseverance from false doctrines from within. The epistle of 2Peter expounds upon growing in the knowledge of God's Word with a sound mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 1, 2, 3John expound upon walking in fellowship with God and one another with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Jude expounds how living a godly lifestyle with our bodies, which is its secondary theme.

The Apocalypse of John , though not considered an epistle, emphasizes the glorification of the Church, giving believers a vision of the hope that is laid up before them as a source of encouragement for those who persevere until the end. The central claim of the book of Revelation is that Jesus Christ is coming to take His Bride the Church to Glory. The secondary theme supports this claim with the evidence of Great Tribulation Period.

1. The Secondary Theme of the Church Epistles- Within the nine Pauline "Church" epistles there are three epistles that serve as witnesses of the doctrine of justification through Jesus Christ ( Romans ,, Galatians , Colossians); three serve as witnesses of the doctrine of sanctification by the Holy Spirit ( Romans , 1,2Thessalonians, 1,2Corinthians); and three testify of the doctrine of glorification by God the Father ( Romans ,, Ephesians , Philippians). Note that the secondary epistles of Thessalonians and Corinthians can be considered as one witness because they share the same theme with their primary epistles. Noting that the epistle of Romans reflects all three aspects of Church doctrine in his exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the early Church fathers recognized the doctrinal preeminence of the epistle of Romans. For example, Theodoret of Cyrrus writes, "The epistle to the Romans has been placed first, as containing the most full and exact representation of the Christian doctrine, in all its branches; but some say, that it has been so placed out of respect to the city to which it was sent, as presiding over the whole world." (PG 82col 44B) 112] In the same way that the Gospel of John serves as the foundational book of the Gospels as well as the entire New Testament, the epistle of Romans serves as the foundational epistle of the Church epistles because it carries all three themes that the other eight epistles will build upon.

112] See Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 5 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 17.

As mentioned above, Paul's church doctrine builds upon the six-fold doctrine of Christ listed in Hebrews 6:1-2. This means that all of the Pauline church doctrine can be grouped within one of these six foundational doctrines of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. This is what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 and Ephesians 2:20 when he said that he was laying the foundation of Church doctrine in which Jesus Christ Himself was the foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Also,

Ephesians 2:20, "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

Thus, Paul's doctrine can be placed into three groups of doctrine: (1) the foreknowledge, calling and glorification of God the Father, (2) the justification by Jesus Christ His Song of Solomon , and (3) the sanctification of the Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:29). In fact, the six foundational doctrines of Hebrews 6:1-2 can also be placed under the same three-fold office and ministry of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit by placing two doctrines under each one. Therefore, we will find that the themes of each of the Pauline "Church" epistles finds itself grouped under Paul's three-fold grouping of justification, sanctification and glorification, and this three-fold grouping is laid upon the six-fold foundation of:

1. Repentance from dead works Justification Jesus Christ

2. Faith toward God Justification Jesus Christ

3. The doctrine of baptisms Sanctification Holy Spirit

4. Laying on of hands Sanctification Holy Spirit

5. Resurrection of the dead Glorification God the Father

6. Eternal judgment Glorification God the Father

The doctrine of faith towards God builds upon the doctrine of repentance from dead works, which is the doctrine of Justification; for we must first repent of our sins in order to receive Christ's sacrificial death for us. The doctrine of the laying on of hands builds upon the doctrine of baptisms, which is the doctrine of Sanctification. After partaking of the three baptisms (baptism into the body of Christ, water baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit), we move into our calling and anointing through the laying on of hands. The doctrine of eternal judgment builds upon the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which is the doctrine of Glorification. These are the three parts of our redemption that are addressed by the six foundational doctrines that Jesus Christ laid down in the Gospels and Acts. Thus, Paul builds upon these three foundational doctrines of Christ within his nine "Church" epistles.

The epistle of Romans plays a key role in the Church Epistles in that it lays a foundation of doctrines upon which the other eight Epistles build their themes. A mediaeval proverb once said, "All roads lead to Rome." 113] This means that anywhere in the ancient Roman Empire, when someone embarked on the Roman road system, if one traveled it long enough, it would lead him to the city of Rome. In a similar way, as all roads lead to Rome, so do all of Paul's Church Epistles proceed from the book of Romans. In other words, the themes of the other eight Church Epistles build upon the theme of Romans. Thus, the epistle of Romans serves as a roadmap that guides us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and into the process of sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit and finally into the Father's eternal plan in the lives of mankind through His foreknowledge and divine election, which themes are further developed in the other eight Church Epistles. However, the epistle of Romans is presented largely from the perspective of God the Father divinely orchestrating His plan of redemption for all mankind while the other eight epistles place emphasis upon the particular roles of one of the God-head: the Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. The systematic teachings laid forth in the book of Romans serves as a foundation upon which the other eight epistles to New Testament churches are built. For example, the letter to the Ephesians places emphasis upon the Father's divine election and equipping of the Church in order to fulfill the purpose and plan of God the Father upon this earth. Philippians emphasizes partnership as we give ourselves to God the Father in order to accomplish His will on this earth. The epistle to Colossians emphasizes the preeminence of Christ Jesus over the Church. Galatians emphasizes the theme of our deliverance and justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone. The theme of 1,2Thessalonians emphasizes the sanctification of the whole Prayer of Manasseh , spirit, soul, and body in preparing us for Christ's Second Coming 1,2Corinthians take us to the Cross and shows us the life of sanctification as we live in unity with one another so that the gifts of the Spirit can manifest through the body of Christ, which serves to edify the believers. Paul deals with each of these themes systematically in the epistle to the Romans. Thus, these other eight Church epistles emphasize and expand upon individual themes found in the book of Romans , all of which are built upon the three-fold office and ministry of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For this reason, Romans serves as a foundation of the doctrine of Christ Jesus upon which all other New Testament epistles are built.

113] The Milliarium Aureum was a monument erected in the central forum the ancient city of Rome by Emperor Caesar Augustus. All of the roads built by the Romans were believed to begin at this point and transgress throughout the Empire. The road system of the Roman Empire was extraordinary, extending east to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and west to the British Isles, and north into central Europe and south into northern Africa. See Christian Hlsen, The Roman Forum: Its History and Its Monuments, trans. Jesse Benedict Carter (New York: G. E. Stechert & Co, 1906), 79; Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 1 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), 1.

a) The Doctrine of the Office and Ministry of God the Father- The epistle of Ephesians is built upon the theme of God the Father's office and ministry of orchestrating a divine plan of redemption for mankind. While Romans takes a broad view of the Father's redemptive plan for all of mankind, Ephesians focuses entirely upon the role of the Church in this great plan. And in order for the believer to partake of this divine plan, the Father provides His spiritual blessings in heavenly places ( Ephesians 1:3) so that we, the Church, might accomplish His divine purpose and plan on earth. Man's role is to walk worthy of this calling ( Ephesians 4:1) and to fight the spiritual warfare through the Word of God ( Ephesians 6:10-13). The epistle of Philippians, which also emphasizes the work of God the Father, reveals how the believer is to serve God the Father so that He can fulfill His divine purpose and plan on earth. In this epistle the believer is to partner and give to support God's servants who are accomplishing God's purposes ( Ephesians 1:5) and in turn, God will provide all of his needs ( Philippians 4:19). While Ephesians places emphasize upon the Father's role in the Church's glorification, Philippians emphasized the believer's role in fulfilling the Father's divine plan of redemption. Ephesians reveals how it looks in Heaven as the Father works redemption for the Church, and Philippians reveals how the Church looks when it is fulfilling the Father's redemptive plan. Reading Ephesians is like sitting in Heaven while looking down upon earth and getting a divine perspective of the Father's role in redemption, while reading Philippians is like sitting on the front row of a local church watching men work through the Father's role in redemption. Thus, the epistle of Philippians is a mirror image of Ephesians.

b) Jesus Christ the Song of Solomon - The epistle of Colossians reveals the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the Church and His preeminence over all Creation. Man's role is to fulfill God's will through the indwelling of Christ in him ( Colossians 1:9; Colossians 4:12). The epistle of Galatians, which also emphasizes the work of Jesus the Son in our redemption, teaches us how Jesus Christ has delivered us from the bondages of this world ( Galatians 1:4). Man's role is to walk as a new creature in Christ in order to partake of his liberties in Christ ( Galatians 6:15). While the epistle of Colossians emphasizes the role of Jesus Christ our Lord in our justification, Galatians emphasizes our role in having faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Colossians reveals how it looks in Heaven as Jesus the Son works redemption, while Galatians reveals how the Church looks when it is walking in the Lordship of Jesus Christ and giving Him preeminence in our daily lives. Reading Colossians is like sitting in Heaven while looking down upon earth and getting a divine perspective of the Son's role in redemption, while reading Galatians is like sitting on the front row of a local church watching men work through the Son's role in redemption. Thus, the epistle of Galatians is a mirror image of Colossians.

c) God the Holy Spirit - The epistles of 1,2Thessalonians teach us the office of the Holy Spirit, which is to sanctify the believer in spirit, soul and body ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23) in order to prepare him for the Second Coming of Christ Jesus ( 2 Thessalonians 1:10). The epistles of 1,2Corinthians, which also emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in our redemption, reveals how the believer is to live a crucified life of walking in love and unity with fellow believers ( 1 Corinthians 16:13-16) in order to allow the gifts of the Spirit to work in and thru him as he awaits the Second Coming of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 1:7). While the epistles to the Thessalonians emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification, the epistles to the Corinthians emphasize our role in this process 1,2Thessalonians reveal how it looks in Heaven as the Holy Spirit works redemption, while 1,2Corinthians show us how the Church looks when it is going through the difficult process of sanctification through the work of the Holy Spirit. Reading 1,2Thessalonians is like sitting in Heaven while looking down upon earth and getting a divine perspective of the Holy Spirit's role in redemption, while reading 1,2Corinthians is like sitting on the front row of a local church watching men work through the Holy Spirit's role in redemption. Thus, the epistles of Corinthians are a mirror image of the epistles of Thessalonians.

Finally, the epistle of Romans deals briefly with all three doctrines in systematic order as Paul the apostle expounds upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ ( Romans 1:16-17) in order to establish the saints in the Christian faith ( Romans 16:25-27).

d) Illustration of Emphasis of Two Roles in the Pauline Epistles - We find a discussion of the important of the two-fold aspect of the writer and the reader in Booth-Colomb-Williams' book The Craft of Research. 114] These three professors explain that when a person writes a research paper he must establish a relationship with the intended reader. He does this by creating a role for himself as the writer and a role for the reader to play. This is because conversation is not one-sided. Rather, conversation, and a written report, involved two parties, the reader as well as the writer. Thus, we see how God has designed the Pauline epistles to emphasize the role the writer, by which we mean divine inspiration, and the reader, who plays the role of a believer endeavoring to become indoctrinated with God's Word.

114] Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003), 17-25.

Perhaps a good illustration of this two-fold aspect of the Trinity's role and perspective of redemption being emphasized in Ephesians , Colossian and 1,2Thessalonians and man's role and perspective being emphasized in Philippians ,, Galatians , 1,2Corinthians is found in a dream that the Lord gave to me in the mid-1990's. I was serving in my church Calvary Cathedral International in the ministry of helps as an altar worker. This meant that during each altar call we were to follow those who responded to the altar call back into a prayer room and pray with them. One Sunday morning the Lord gave me a dream in which I found myself in my local church during an altar call. As people responded and began to step out into the aisle and walk forward I saw them immediately transformed into children of light. In other words, I saw this transformation taking place in the spiritual realm, though in the natural we see nothing but a person making his way down the aisle. However, I saw these people transformed from sinners into saints in their spirits. I later made my way to church that morning, keenly aware of my impressionable dream a few hours ago. During church the altar call was made, people responded and I followed them into the prayer room along with the associate pastor and other altar workers. Suddenly, the associate pastor, Tom Leuther, who was over the altar work, received an emergency call and had to leave the prayer room. He looked at me and quickly asked me to lead this brief meeting by speaking to those who had responded and turn them over to prayer ministers. As I stood up and began to speak to these people I remembered my dream and was very aware of the incredible transformation that each one of them had made. Thus, Ephesians , Colossian and 1,2Thessalonians discussion redemptive doctrine from a spiritual perspective while Philippians ,, Galatians , 1,2Corinthians discuss doctrine from a natural, practical perspective, which we see being worked out in the daily lives of believers. In the natural we see a dirty sinner weeping before the altar, but with our spiritual eyes we see a pure and holy saint clothed in white robes.

2. The Secondary Theme of the Epistle of Romans - In identifying the secondary theme of the New Testament epistles, we must keep in mind that most of Paul's epistles are built upon the format of presenting a central theme, or argument, that runs throughout the entire epistle. This central theme is usually found within the first few verses of each epistle, and often within the closing verses. The first part of the Pauline epistles usually gives the doctrinal basis for this argument, and the last part gives the practical side of living by this doctrine. So it is with the epistle to the Romans , which teaches doctrine in 1-11and application of this doctrine in 12-16. In addition, Paul builds his general argument by developing a number of specific arguments. A reader must not lose sight of this general argument, or central theme, as he interprets the specific arguments; for the major argument undergirds the minor ones. For the Church Epistles, the foundational theme is the establishment of Church doctrine. In addition, each Church epistle has a unique secondary theme that emphasizes a particular aspect of this Church Doctrine. Therefore, as a collection, the nine Church epistles establish the doctrines of the New Testament Church, presenting the doctrines that are sufficient for our redemption.

The secondary, or structural, themes of each the New Testament epistles can be found in the open verses or passages of each book, and often in the closing verses. This is certainly the case with the epistle to the Romans. The opening verse of Romans contains the phrase "separated unto the gospel of God." Therefore, under the foundational theme of the establishment of the doctrines of the New Testament Church, the secondary theme of the epistle to the Romans is to reveal God the Father's plan of redemption for mankind through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations for their obedience towards faith in God, which is presented in Romans 1-11. Thus, this exposition of redemption is largely viewed from the role of God the Father is planning man's redemption. 115]

115] Leon Morris compares the frequency of the words θεό ς (God) (at least 153times) and χριστό ς (Christ) (65 times) to conclude the epistle of Romans exemplifies "the dominance of the God-theme." See Leon Morris, "The Theme of Romans ," Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F.F. Bruce, eds. W. Ward Gasque and Ralph P. Martin (Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1970), 263.

The secondary theme of the epistle of Romans is the doctrine of justification through faith in Jesus Christ, a theme that has long been identified scholars. For example, The Muratorian Canon, an ancient Latin document dated around A.D 200, tells us that Paul the apostle wrote the epistle to this church at Rome in order to explain the order of the Holy Scriptures and how all of them pointed to Christ, saying "As to the epistles of Paul…and then to the Romans on the rule of the Old Testament Scriptures, and also to show them that Christ is the first object in these." (Fragments of Caius 33) (ANF 5) This is why we see Paul using many Old Testament passages and themes in order to explain to the Gentile church in Rome that the Gospel has always been intended for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews, that it is not a "Jewish Gospel," but Good News for all mankind. Thus, this Epistle expounds on God the Father's plan of redemption for all of mankind. In fact, the epistle of Romans can be described as an exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In his prologue to the epistle of Romans , Martin Luther notes the Epistle's emphasis on the Gospel in his acknowledgment of the preeminence of Romans , saying, "This letter [Romans] is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel." 116] John Calvin says the opening verses of this Epistle serve as a clear, but concise, definition and description of the "Gospel." 117] This Epistle offers a lengthy exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for it goes into great depth describing the depraved condition of sinful Prayer of Manasseh , his need for justification by faith alone, and his need for a lifestyle of faith in order to reach his future glorification. Thus, John Calvin describes the theme of Romans as justification by faith, saying, "And so he entereth into the principal question of the whole Epistle, viz, that we are justified by faith; wherein he is occupied unto the end of the fifth chapter." 118] In his prologue to the epistle of Romans , William Tyndale writes, "Forasmuch as this epistle is the principal and most excellent part of the new Testament and most pure evangelion, that is to say, glad tidings, and that we call gospel…" 119]

116] Martin Luther, Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans , trans. Andrew Thornton [on-line]; accessed 6 March 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html; Internet.

117] John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans , trans. Christopher Rosdell, ed. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1844), 4-5, 7.

118] John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans , trans. Christopher Rosdell, ed. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1844), xxiv.

119] William Tyndale, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures, ed. Henry Walter (Cambridge: The University Press, 1848), 484.

C. Third Theme (Supportive) of the Epistle of Romans - The Crucified Life of the Believer (Offering Our Lives as a Living Sacrifice to Take the Gospel to the Nations) - Introduction- The third theme of each book of the New Testament is a call by the author for the reader to apply the central truth, or claim, laid down in the book to the Christian life. It is a call to a lifestyle of crucifying the flesh and taking up one's Cross daily to follow Jesus. Every child of God has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29), and every child of God faces challenges as well as failures in the pursuit of his Christian journey. For example, the imperative theme of the Old Testament is that God's children are to serve the Lord God with all of their heart, mind, and strength, and love their neighbour as themselves ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

The child of God cannot fulfill his divine destiny of being conformed into the image of Jesus without yielding himself and following the plan of redemption that God avails to every human being. This 4-fold, redemptive path is described in Romans 8:29-30 as predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. The phase of justification can be further divided into regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance. Although each individual will follow a unique spiritual journey in life, the path is the same in principle for every believer since it follows the same divine pattern described above. This allows us to superimpose one of three thematic schemes upon each book of the Holy Scriptures in order to vividly see its imperative theme. Every book follows a literary structure that allows either (1) the three-fold scheme of Father, Song of Solomon , and Holy Spirit: or (2) the scheme of spirit, soul, and body of man; or (3) the scheme of predestination, calling, justification (regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance), and glorification in some manner.

1. The Third Imperative Theme of the Church Epistles- Thus, the nine Church Epistles emphasis the office and ministry of God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. Each of these epistles also reveals a central truth about our Christian life, or a secret truth, or a divine guiding principle, by which we can walk victorious in this life.

a) God the Father. According to Ephesians, the way that God the Father fulfills His divine plan through the Church is by our submission to one another ( Ephesians 4:1-2; Ephesians 5:21) and praying in the Spirit ( Ephesians 6:18); thus, the enemy of our divine destiny is putting on the old man and walking like the Gentiles in their futile minds ( Ephesians 4:17). Philippians expands upon this central truth by explaining the secret to God supplying all of our needs when we take care of God's servants first ( Philippians 2:20); thus, the enemy to having our needs met is selfishness ( Philippians 2:21).

b) Jesus the Son. According to Colossians the secret of walking in the fullness and riches and completeness of Christ is by setting our minds on things above ( Colossians 3:1-2); thus, the enemy of a full life in Christ is minding these earthly doctrines ( Colossians 2:20-23). Galatians expands upon this central truth by telling us the secret to walking in liberty from the bondages of this world is by being led by the Spirit ( Galatians 5:16); thus, the enemy of our freedom is walking in the flesh, which brings us back into bondage ( Galatians 5:17).

c) God the Holy Spirit. 1Thessalonians reveals to us that the way we are motivated and encouraged to go through the process of sanctification is by looking for and waiting expectantly for the Second Coming of Christ; thus, the enemy of our sanctification is being ignorant of His Second Coming and pending judgment. 1Corinthians expands upon this central truth of sanctification by telling us that the secret to walking in the gifts of the Spirit is by walking in unity within the body of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 1:10); thus, the enemy of walking in the gifts is strife and division ( 1 Corinthians 1:11).

d) Summary- All three of these doctrines (justification, sanctification and glorification) reveal the process that God is taking every believer through in order to bring him from spiritual death and separation from God into His eternal presence, which process we call divine election. God's will for every human being is justification through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on Calvary as He serves as our Great High Priest at the right hand of the Father, into sanctification by the Holy Spirit and into divine service through the laying on of hands, until we obtain glorification and immortality by the resurrection from the dead and are judged before the throne of God. If God be for us, who can be against us? Thus, the nine Church Epistles emphasis the office and ministry of God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.

2. The Third Imperative Theme of the Epistle of Romans - The third theme of each of Paul's church epistles is an emphasis on how to apply the doctrinal truths laid down in the epistle to the Christian life. It is a life of crucifying the flesh and taking up our Cross daily to follow Him. This is the emphasis in Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:33 as Paul calls the church to offer themselves as living sacrifices and serve according to their proportion of faith in an effort to bring all nations to faith in Christ Jesus. Notice how Paul opens and closes the epistle of Romans with the same phrase in Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26 about obedience to the faith among all nations.

Romans 1:5, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:"

Romans 16:26, "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"

These are key verses in understanding the supportive theme of the book of Romans; for when a person is living a crucified life, his conduct will testify of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his community, society and nation. Every child of God has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29). The epistle of Romans emphasizes one aspect of this conformity through the crucified life of faith and obedience in Him.

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Figure 1 - The Themes of the Pauline Church Epistles

X. Literary Structure

The literary structure of the epistle of Romans must follow the thematic scheme of the book. It is important to note that such a breakdown of this book of the Holy Bible was not necessarily intended by the original author, but it is being used as a means of making the interpretation easier. It is hoped that this summary and outline can identify the underlying themes of the book, as well as the themes of its major divisions, sections, and subsections. Then individual verses can more easily be understood in light of the emphasis of the immediate passages in which they are found.

In looking for a structure to the epistle to the Romans , we first look into its secondary theme, which is the exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More specifically, this exposition is presented in the form of a presentation of God the Father's divine plan of redemption for mankind, both for the Church (1-8) and for the nation of Israel (9-11). At the conclusion of Paul's exposition of God's plan to redeem the Church in chapter 8 we find a summary of the Father's four-fold divine plan of redemption as predestination, calling, justification and glorification ( Romans 8:29-30).

Romans 8:29-30, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Song of Solomon , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

In the epistle of Romans , Paul's presentation of the Father's four-fold plan of redemption will focus primarily upon the Father's work of justification in redeeming mankind through His Son Jesus Christ, while minimizing on the aspects of predestination, calling and glorification. Thus, we can outline this Epistle by divided it into the topics of predestination, calling, justification and glorification; for in these four phases of redemption a person is brought into conformity to the image of His Son. Therefore, this is the structure that I use to outline the book of Romans.

In Romans 1:1-7 Paul reveals the fact that God the Father has predestined man's redemption through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Roman Romans 1:8 to Romans 3:20 Paul reveals how God has called Gentiles through the Gospel of His Son ( Romans 1:8-17) because mankind has rejected God's call through the revelation of His creation ( Romans 1:18-32), through man's conscience ( Romans 2:1-16), and through the Mosaic Law ( Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20). In this section revealing God's call to mankind, Paul expound s upon His method of divine judgment because of the fact that all have sinned, the Jew as well as the Gentile. In the longest section of the epistle of Romans ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 8:16), Paul expounds upon God's established method of justification for mankind by faith in His promises, and man's conversion by faith in Christ and new walk with God. After discussing the need for the individual to be justified by faith in God ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25), Paul explain a believer's position in Christ and life of sanctification through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit (5-8). In Romans 8:17-28 Paul briefly discusses the final phase of man's redemption with comments of his future glorification. He then sums up the four phases of God's plan of redemption for mankind in Romans 8:29-39. The first eight chapters deal with the work of Christ in an individual. Then, in Romans 9:1 to Romans 11:36 Paul begins to explain the larger picture of how the nation of Israel has been divinely elected to bring the Church, which has been grafted into Israel's promises, into the overall purpose of God, resulting in the final glorification of Israel and the Church, and of creation itself. In Romans 9-11Paul explains how God has grafted the Gentiles into Israel according to His abundant mercy. Therefore, we should heed chapters 12-15 in learning how to serve the Lord because of His mercy bestowed upon us.

In a sense, Paul builds his arguments for justification by faith in Jesus Christ upon the Old Testament Scriptures. For example, Romans 1:18 to Romans 2:16 reveals the depravity of the Gentiles, as reflected in Genesis 1-12. Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20 shows that the Jews partake of depravity, and also stand in need of redemption, as reflected in Genesis 13to Malachi. In Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25 Paul extracts the redemptive message embedded within the Old Testament Scriptures and uses the examples of Abraham's and David's justification by faith in God. Upon this foundation he builds his arguments for God's plan of redemption for the New Testament Church ( Romans 5-8), which redemption is part of God's great plan of redemption for His people Israel ( Romans 9-11).

I. The Salutation: Predestination of the Gospel ( Romans 1:1-7) - This passage of Scripture is called the salutation and is found in all thirteen of Paul's New Testament epistles and is used as an introduction to his letters. Paul wrote his salutations as a signature of authenticity ( 2 Thessalonians 3:17) just like we place our signature today at the end of a document. He may have written entire epistles as indicated in Philemon 1:19. However, there are indications in six of his epistles that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of his letters (see Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, Philemon 1:19).

2 Thessalonians 3:17, "The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write."

The salutation to the Romans in Romans 1:1-7 clearly reflects the theme of this great epistle, in which Paul prepares to set forth an exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Woven within this salutation is a clear reference to God's the Father's divine plan of redemption as He foresaw man's fall from grace and the need to redeem him though Christ Jesus. Therefore, these verses serve as a platform upon which Paul then launches into the most divinely orchestrated and organized presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ every declared from human lips, a declaration which Paul had spent years learning and refining and defending as he traveled throughout his missionary journeys, speaking in the Jewish synagogues and from house to house with the Gentiles. We see in the phrases like "separated unto the gospel of God" ( Romans 1:1), "promised beforehand" ( Romans 1:2), "concerning His Son Jesus Christ" ( Romans 1:3), "declared to be the Son of God with power" ( Romans 1:4), and "for obedience to the faith among all nations" ( Romans 1:5), a description of how God has predestined mankind to be justified before Him through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, Romans 1:1-7 serves as a condensed summary of the contents of this epistle.

II. Doctrinal Message: The Doctrine of Justification (An Exposition of The Gospel of Jesus Christ) ( Romans 1:8 to Romans 11:36) - In Romans 1:8 to Romans 11:36 Paul the apostle gives an exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but it is presented from the perspective of the office and ministry of God the Father as He makes a way of justifying mankind and bringing him into his eternal glory in Heaven. Thus, we can describe Romans 1:8 to Romans 11:36 as an exposition of the doctrine of justification through faith in Jesus Christ. The body of the epistle of Romans discusses God the Father's method of justification for mankind ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 8:16), while His predestination is emphasized in the introduction ( Romans 1:1-7), His divine calling introduces this section of doctrine ( Romans 1:8 to Romans 3:20), and His plan of glorification for the Church ( Romans 8:17-28) and for Israel are given ( Romans 9:1 to Romans 11:36) are given last.

In this grand exposition of the doctrine of justification through faith in Jesus Christ Paul uses a number of examples to explain God's way of justifying mankind. For example, Abraham's faith is used to explain how we also put our faith in Christ to be justified before God. The analogy of Adam being a type and figure of Christ is used to explain how divine grace takes effect in the life of the believer. He uses the example of the laws of slavery and freedmen to explain our need to walk in our new lives, no longer under the bondages of sin. The illustration of marriage and widowhood is used to explain how we are now free from the Law and bound to Christ. It is very likely that the Lord quickened these examples and analogies to Paul while he sought to understand and explain this doctrine of justification in the synagogues and to the Gentiles during his years of evangelism and church planting. Song of Solomon , when he sat down to write out an exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul drew upon many of the examples that he had used over the years under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

A. The Calling of the Gentiles and Jews ( Romans 1:8 to Romans 3:20) - In Roman Romans 1:8 to Romans 3:20 Paul reveals how God has called Gentiles and Jews through the Gospel of His Son ( Romans 1:8-17) because (1) mankind has rejected God's call through the revelation of His creation ( Romans 1:18-32), which revelation bore witness to man's understanding of God through his mind, (2) man has rejected God's call through his conscience ( Romans 2:1-16), which conscience is the voice of man's heart, (3) and man has rejected God's call through the Mosaic Law ( Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20), which bears witness to man's unrighteous deeds and actions of his body. Thus, God has testified of Himself to man's mind, spirit, and body, the triune make-up of man. In this section revealing God's call to mankind, Paul expound s upon His method of divine judgment because of the fact that all have sinned, the Jew as well as the Gentile.

1. The Calling of the Gentiles through the Gospel ( Romans 1:8-17) - In Romans 1:8-17 Paul begins a discussion on the calling of the Gentiles by explaining his divine call to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. He will offer a pray of thanksgiving for God's work in the lives of the believers in Rome ( Romans 1:8-12), then express his desire to visit Rome in order to bear fruit in this harvest field based upon his debt to all of mankind as an apostle of Jesus Christ ( Romans 1:13-15). He then expresses his inner compulsion to preach the Gospel, trusting in its power to transform lives ( Romans 1:16-17).

a) Paul's Prayer of Thanksgiving ( Romans 1:8-12) - Paul begins many of his epistles with a prayer, a feature typical of ancient Greco-Roman epistles as well, 120] with each prayer reflecting the respective themes of these epistles. For example, Paul's prayer of thanksgiving to the church at Rome ( Romans 1:8-12) reflects the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in redeeming mankind. Paul's prayer of thanks for the Corinthians ( 1 Corinthians 1:4-8) reflects the theme of the sanctification of believers so that the gifts of the Spirit can operate through them as mature believers walking in love. Paul's prayer to the Corinthians of blessing to God for comforting them in their tribulations ( 2 Corinthians 1:3-7) reflects the theme of higher level of sanctification so that believers will bear the sufferings of Christ and partake of His consolation. Paul's prayer to the Ephesians ( Ephesians 1:15-22) reflects the theme of the believer's participation in God the Father's great plan of redemption, as they come to the revelation this divine plan in their lives. Paul's prayer to the Philippians ( Philippians 1:3-11) reflects the theme of the believer's role of participating with those whom God the Father has called to minister redemption for mankind. Paul's prayer to the Colossians ( Colossians 1:9-16) reflects the theme of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the life of every believer, as they walk worthy of Him in pleasing Him. Paul's prayer of thanksgiving to the Thessalonians ( 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4) reflects the theme of the role of the Holy Spirit in our complete sanctification, spirit, soul, and body. Paul's second prayer of thanksgiving to the Thessalonians ( 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4) reflects the theme of maturity in the believer's sanctification.

120] John Grassmick says many ancient Greek and Roman epistles open with a "health wish" and a prayer to their god in behalf of the recipient. See John D. Grassmick, "Epistolary Genre," in Interpreting the New Testament Text, eds. Darrell L. Bock and Buist M. Fanning (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2006), 232.

Romans 1:8-12 serves as an introduction to a people that Paul does not know personally. Therefore, he begins by praying for them and expressing his deep desire to visit them.

b) Paul's Desire to Visit Rome ( Romans 1:13-15) - After praying for the saints in Rome ( Romans 1:8-12), Paul declares his desire to visit Rome ( Romans 1:13-15). His debt to the Greeks and barbarians reflects his sense of God's call to the Gentiles to receive salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

c) The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ( Romans 1:16-17) - Romans 1:16-17 serves as a transitional statement as well as a concise summary of the Gospel of Jesus, which Paul is about to spend most of this book expanding upon. These are the key verses of the book of Romans that identify its theme. In this Epistle Paul declares the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which reveals God's plan of redemption for mankind, and serves as the power to justify mankind back to God. The Almighty God will affect His purpose and plan for man through the power of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul will spend the first eleven chapters of Romans showing us God's role in bringing about this magnificent plan of redemption to mankind; and he will take the rest of this Epistle teach us our role in supporting this plan in the societies that each of us live in.

In the midst of our human depravity, God has called mankind to faith in Him as a means of justification ( Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20). Our justification ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25) will result in reconciliation with God ( Romans 5:1-21). We maintain this position of reconciliation through sanctification ( Romans 6:1 to Romans 8:16), which results in our glorification ( Romans 8:17 to Romans 11:32). Thus, Paul will take us through a journey of redemption.

2. God's Wrath Reveals Man's Rejection of His Call ( Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20) - Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20 gives us a lengthy teaching on the depravity of mankind, both Gentile and Jew. Throughout this lengthy passage Paul will explain how man's sinful nature serves as a testimony of why God is righteousness in inflicting His wrath upon mankind from heaven, as stated in Romans 1:18, which is the underlying theme of this passage in Romans. Since the Gospel of Jesus Christ declares man's depravity and God's righteous judgments, then man's depravity also serves to reveal God's righteous judgments. In this passage of Scripture Paul builds a case for man's depravity so that he can explain in the subsequent passage of God's only way of justification for mankind, which is through faith in Jesus Christ.

The first way that we understand God's standard of righteousness is to be made aware of His divine wrath that rests upon a depraved humanity. Therefore, Paul will first expound upon man's unrighteousness, or depravity, and show how God has given man over to his unrighteous passions. God pours out His divine wrath because He has revealed His divine nature to mankind ( Romans 1:19-20), and they have rejected it ( Romans 1:21). Thus, Paul proves that God's standard of righteousness for mankind has been revealed to him since he was created in the Garden of Eden. There Isaiah , therefore, no excuse for sin and depravity. Rather, it is a choice that man makes for himself.

In Romans 1:18-32 Paul reveals man's depravity and rejection of God. He explains how God has revealed Himself to mankind ( Romans 1:19-20) and how man has fully rejected Him ( Romans 1:21-32). Thus, we understand why God the Father has destined all of mankind to divine wrath. Paul then broadens his definition of depravity by addressing those who condemn evil and consider themselves moral and good as he reveals their sinful nature through their conscience ( Romans 2:1-16). In Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20 Paul further broadens his definition of man's depravity to include the Jew. He directly addresses the Jews as he uses the Law to convict them of their sins. In Romans 3:9-20 Paul draws his argument to a conclusion by stating that both Jews and Gentiles are both under sin. Song of Solomon , although the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, these oracles only declare that all have sinned.

Thus, Paul proves in his arguments that man has rejected the three witnesses of God the Father. Mankind has rejected the witness of creation ( Romans 1:18-32), the witness of his conscience ( Romans 2:1-16), and the witness of the Law ( Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20). He has rejected the physical testimony of creation, the testimony of his heart through his conscience, and the testimony of his understanding through the Law, which witnesses have testified to man's spirit, soul and body ( 1 John 5:19).

1 John 5:19, "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."

Here is a proposed outline:

a) God's Call through Natural Revelation: Testimony to Man's Mind ( Romans 1:18-32) - In Romans 1:18-32 Paul first reveals how God's wrath is at work within the Gentiles as they reject His revelation to them seen in creation ( Romans 1:18-19), which bears witness to man's mind and understanding. (This general revelation of God to the Gentiles stands in comparison to the special revelation given to the Jews through the Mosaic Law, whom Paul will address in the passage that follows.) When the Gentiles reject God, He pours out His divine wrath by turning them over to their uncleanness, to work all manner of depravity. God turns them over to a reprobate mind as a form of judgment; thus, their judgment has already begun by God turning them over to their wicked passions, for in hell they will be totally consumed with their tormenting passions. These pagans have begun to experience hell on earth in a lifestyle of blind depravity. Thus, God's wrath is seen in their darkened minds and perverted lifestyles, being completely alienated from God ( Romans 1:20-32), living a life of partial torment.

b) God's Call through Man's Conscience: Testimony to Man's Heart ( Romans 2:1-16) - Romans 1:18-32 reveals the fallen nature of the world, in particular, the Gentiles in their heathen idolatry. He then broadens his definition of depravity in Romans 2:1-16 by addressing those who condemn evil and consider themselves moral and good by showing their sinful nature. This passage focuses upon the man who lives by his conscience to discern between good and evil. Song of Solomon , in this passage Paul writes, under divine inspiration, that the best moral man is also judged as being in sin because he does the same things that the heathen do, living contrary to the law of their conscience. The testimony of the conscience, which is the voice of man's heart, bears witness to human depravity. It is not enough to have a moral law, but one must do what this law says, or be condemned. The conscience of the Gentiles had born witness that they were sinners. The Jews had violated their conscience when they broke the commandments and statutes of the Mosaic Law. This passage of the Scripture also reveals the distinctions in divine judgment between the Jews and the Gentiles.

c) God's Call through the Mosaic Law: Testimony to Man's Actions ( Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20) - In Romans 1:18-32 Paul reveals man's depravity and rejection of God. He then broadens his definition of depravity in Romans 2:1-16 by addressing those who condemn evil and consider themselves moral and good by showing their sinful nature. Now in Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20 Paul further broadens his definition of man's depravity to include the Jew. Throughout this lengthy passage of Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20 Paul is attempting to explain how man's sinful nature serves as a testimony of God's righteousness in inflicting His wrath upon mankind from heaven ( Romans 1:18), which is the underlying theme of this passage of Scripture.

In Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20 Paul turns to the Jews who justify themselves in the Law, which reveals man's actions. Paul offers a more lengthy discussion about the depravity of the Jew than the Gentiles because they had been given the oracles of God and had been used under the old covenant to reveal God's standard of justification to the world.The Jews, who observe the disgusting behavior of the heathen take comfort in their traditions and conservative lifestyles. Yet, they too are condemned by the very Law they serve. Paul first rehearses the multitude of boasts that the Jews make in their religious heritage ( Romans 1:17-20). He then reveals that all such boasting is in vain as he exposes their hearts ( Romans 2:21-24). He explains that true circumcision is that of the heart, and not of the flesh ( Romans 2:25-29). He next explains to them the advantages of being a Jew ( Romans 3:1-8). Paul then quotes from the Law (primarily Psalm and Isaiah) to reveal how God's wrath has been placed upon them also. Paul uses the Law to reveal how everyone is in a state of sin, even the Jew. He directly addresses the Jews as he uses the Law to convict them of their sins ( 1 Timothy 1:8).

1 Timothy 1:8, "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;"

Although the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God ( Romans 3:1-8), these oracles only declare that all have sinned ( Romans 3:9-20). He explains that all men, Jews and Gentiles, are under sin ( Romans 3:9). They have a wicked heart ( Romans 3:10-12), and speak wicked words from their minds ( Romans 3:13-14), and commit deeds of wickedness with their bodies ( Romans 3:15-17), because they have no fear of God in their hearts ( Romans 3:18). The Law has simply served to reveal man's sinful nature rather than justify him ( Romans 3:19-20).

i) The Jew Makes His Boast in God ( Romans 2:17-20) - In Romans 2:17-20 Paul rehearses the multitude of boasts that the Jews make in their religious heritage. However, the following passage will reveal that all such boasting is in vain has he exposes their hearts ( Romans 2:21-24).

ii) The Jew as a Sinner ( Romans 2:21-24) - After acknowledging the Jews' claims to a right standing before God and Prayer of Manasseh , Paul pulls back the curtain of their heart in Romans 2:21-22 and reveals the wickedness found within the Jewish society. He was a Jew himself and knew how many of them lived a sinful lifestyle while having an outward form of their Jewish religion and traditions.

iii) True Circumcision ( Romans 2:25-29) - In Romans 2:25-29 Paul explains true circumcision as being of the heart, and not of the flesh. Circumcision was the way a Jew made a distinction between him and a Gentile. In this passage Paul will use the example of Jewish proselytes who converted the Judaism and kept the law with religious zeal while some of their fellow Jews in the synagogues lazily followed the Law because they were trusting in their Jewish birth for justification before God. Paul argues that these Jewish proselytes should be credited with righteousness before the lazy Jews. Paul then concludes that God makes a distinction between a Jew and a Gentile by looking at the heart, and not at the flesh.

iv) The Advantage of the Jews: God's Oracles ( Romans 3:1-8) - In Romans 3:1-8 Paul explains the advantage of being a Jew, which is the fact that to them God delivered the oracles of God. These oracles would include the Mosaic Law as well as the many times God spoke to Israel through the prophets.

v) The Law has Declared Both Jews and Gentiles as Sinner ( Romans 3:9-20) - Although the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God ( Romans 3:1-8), these oracles only declare that all have sinned ( Romans 3:9-20). He explains that all men, Jews and Gentiles, are under sin ( Romans 3:9). They have a wicked heart ( Romans 3:10-12), and speak wicked words from their minds ( Romans 3:13-14), and commit deeds of wickedness with their bodies ( Romans 3:15-17), because they have no fear of God in their hearts ( Romans 3:18). The Law has simply served to reveal man's sinful nature rather than justify him ( Romans 3:19-20).

B. God's Righteousness (or Justification) Revealed Through The Gospel of Jesus Christ: Justified by Faith in Christ ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25) - Having established the fact that all are under sin and subject to God's eternal wrath ( Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20), Paul then presents the answer of how man finds a right standing with God, which has been revealed since the Old Testament patriarchs ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25). Righteousness has always come by faith in God apart from works, and today it comes by faith in Jesus Christ alone ( Romans 3:21-31). Paul then supports this statement by looking at the example of Abraham's faith ( Romans 4:1-25). His justification with God did not come by works ( Romans 4:1-8), nor by circumcision and the Law ( Romans 4:9-12), but by faith in the promises of God ( Romans 4:13-25).

1. Righteousness Is by Faith Alone ( Romans 3:21-31) - In Romans 3:21-31 Paul explains that righteousness is by faith in God alone apart from works.

2. Righteousness Imputed Under the Old Covenant ( Romans 4:1-25) - In Romans 4:1-25 Paul spends some time in the Old Testament explaining exactly how Abraham was justified by faith apart from his works. Paul will follow this passage by explaining how righteousness is imputed under the new covenant ( Romans 5:1-21).

a) Justification by Faith Alone: The Examples of Abraham and David ( Romans 4:1-8) - In Romans 4:1-8 Paul goes back to the Old Testament and finds several verses that clearly distinguish between justification by faith verses works. He finds two witnesses to prove his point, using examples in the lives of two patriarchs, Abraham and David. Abraham was a man who trusted in God's promises and found favor and right standing with Him before the Law was instituted. David, who lived under the Law, was a man who partook of the blessedness of his sins being forgiven. It is interesting to note that the same Hebrew word ( חשׁב) (H 2803), translated "impute," or "count," is used in both of the two Old Testament quotes used by Paul to explain justification by faith.

Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD and he counted it to him for righteousness."

Psalm 32:1-2, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."

Here is a proposed outline:

i) The Example of Justification Before the Law ( Romans 4:1-3) - In Romans 4:1-3 Paul uses Abraham as an example of God's standard of justification for mankind before the Law. God may have spoken to a number of individuals through the course of ancient history, but Abraham became the first man to hear and obey God's voice. He was the first to respond to God's voice in obedience, trust His word, and yield to God's divine providence and provision. Abraham became the first man in history to demonstrate genuine faith in God. As such, he became the father of all who will believe in God.

ii) The Example of Justification Under the Law ( Romans 4:4-8) - While Abraham serves as Paul's example from the Old Testament of how God justifies a man who places his faith in God's Word and obeys it before the Law ( Romans 4:1-3), David serves as an example of a man whom God imputed righteousness through the forgiveness of sins under the Law ( Romans 4:4-8).

b) Righteousness by Faith is for the Uncircumcised as Well as the Circumcised ( Romans 4:9-12) - In Romans 4:9-12 Paul clearly explains that righteousness was imputed to Abraham while he was in uncircumcision. This conclusion supports Paul's next statement that the divine blessings and promises were imparted to Abraham because of his faith and not under any of the conditions of the Law.

c) The Promise Came to Abraham by Faith ( Romans 4:13-16) - In Romans 4:13-16 Paul begins to explain that the promise of receiving God's divine blessings came to Abraham, not because he obeyed the Law, but because he believed God's Word that was spoken to him. Paul explains that divine wrath is produced when a person lives under the Law because a person will always be found a transgressor in some aspect. Therefore, God chose to bless Abraham and his (spiritual) seed on the basis of their faith in His Word; for under these conditions God could make the promise sure to every child of Abraham by faith, since God was distributing it by His grace, and not by their good works. Otherwise, they would all be found disqualified as recipients of His promise.

d) God's Promise To Abraham Described ( Romans 4:17-22) - Romans 4:17-22 tells us what God's promise was to Abraham and how he believed against hope. Romans 4:23-25 will add that this promise was to us also, because we are his seed.

e) Righteousness by Faith for Us Today ( Romans 4:23-25) - Because God justifies mankind by faith alone apart from the Law, then we, too, are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.

D. Justification Reconciles Man Under God's Grace: Indoctrinated to Understand our New Life in Christ ( Romans 5:1-21) - Having proven God's way of justifying man through the redemption in Christ Jesus ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25), Paul then explains how this affects the life of every believer by positioning him under divine grace to receive from God's benefits ( Romans 5:1-21). Man now stands in a position of grace because he has been reconciled back to God. This passage of Scripture reveals that divine grace now reigns in our lives because He has imparted His divine nature within us through the impartation of the Holy Spirit so that we can overcome life's tribulations ( Romans 5:1-5). He explains why God provided His atonement for us (because of His great love for us) ( Romans 5:6-11), and how God positions us in His grace (through the obedience of one many were made righteous) ( Romans 5:12-21).

1. To Whom Righteousness Is Imputed: The Process of Developing Our Faith ( Romans 5:1-5) - Romans 5:1-5 tells us to whom God imputes righteousness. Righteousness is imputed to those who place their faith in Christ Jesus. The passage also reveals to us that our faith must go through several phases in order to be perfected. As believers that know God"s Word and His promises, we still find ourselves in tribulations ( Romans 5:3). Before we were saved, we were overcome by tribulations. As God's children, something within us moves us to patiently stand upon God"s Word during these times of trial ( Romans 5:3). As we endure trials and see how God gives us the victory, we gain the experience of knowing His Word is sure and firm ( Romans 5:4). Therefore, the next time a trial comes, our hope in God is stronger, because we know that God is with us and His Word will prevail over the trial ( Romans 5:4). Our hope is never disappointed, because God"s Word is always sure ( Romans 5:5). When a believer has gone through these phases, his faith becomes steadfast. This is the testimony of Abraham in the previous passage of Scripture, when he stood for many years through trials to see God's Word come to pass in his life ( Romans 4:1-25). The child of God has learned that God"s love for him is the reason for such divine involvement in his life ( Romans 5:5). He loves God enough to face tribulations with a new attitude of faith and trust that God will make a way. God is faithful to always make a way for those who stand upon His Word. This is why Paul said that "faith, which worketh by love" ( Galatians 5:6). We have a similar statement in Hebrews 10:36 that refers to our need for patience in order to receive God's promises.

Hebrews 10:36, "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

This passage of Scripture provides the first mention in the book of Romans of the Holy Spirit at work in our justification. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a tremendous evidence of one's salvation. The indwelling of the Spirit is our "seal" of our eternal inheritance ( Ephesians 1:14). We can imagine Paul making this argument in the Jewish synagogues of partaking of the Holy Spirit and God's grace because of one's salvation.

Ephesians 1:14, "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

2. Why Righteousness Is Imputed ( Romans 5:6-11) - In Romans 5:1-21 Paul applies this principle of God imputing righteousness to the believer. He tells us to whom God imputes righteousness (for all of mankind in his depravity) ( Romans 5:1-5), and why God imputes righteousness (because of His great love for us) ( Romans 5:6-11), and how God imputes righteousness (through the obedience of one, many were made righteous) ( Romans 5:12-21).

3. How Righteousness Is Imputed ( Romans 5:12-21) - In Romans 5:1-21 Paul applies this principle of God imputing righteousness to the believer. He tells us to whom God imputes righteousness ( Romans 5:1-5), and why God imputes righteousness (because of His great love for us) ( Romans 5:6-11), and how God imputes righteousness (through the obedience of one, many were made righteous) ( Romans 5:12-21). This passage of Scripture contrasts Adam with Jesus in order to explain how God imputes righteousness to us. Paul makes the claim that sin entered the world by one Prayer of Manasseh , bringing death upon all of humanity ( Romans 5:12). He then supports his claim with a number of arguments ( Romans 5:13-17): (1) Adam was from one offence unto many deaths; Jesus was from grace unto many gift of eternal life, (2) Adam was from judgment to condemnation; Jesus was from righteousness to justification, (3) Adam was from one disobedience unto many sinners; Jesus was from one obedience unto many righteous. Paul concludes with the statement that eternal life through God's grace is now available to all of mankind through faith in Jesus Christ ( Romans 5:18-21).

E. The Believer's Life of Justification: Sanctification by Being Led by the Spirit ( Romans 6:1 to Romans 8:16) - We have been declared sinners ( Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20), justified through faith in Jesus Christ ( Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25), and positioned under God's grace ( Romans 5:1-21). Paul then explains the process of how we are to walk in our lives ( Romans 6:1 to Romans 8:16). We must first reckon ourselves dead to sin ( Romans 6:1-14) and free from the Law ( Romans 6:15 to Romans 7:6). Paul then takes a moment to explain that the Law is holy as evidenced by our struggle to overcome the very sins that are declared by the Law ( Romans 7:7-25). Paul then reveals the secret to walking in the liberty of Christ Jesus, which is found as we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:1-16). We learn from this passage that as we are led by the Holy Spirit we are walking in our justification provided to us by God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. Thus, justification is maintained by walking in the Spirit, but man returns to condemnation by walking in the flesh.

1. Sanctification thru Death with Christ ( Romans 6:1-14) - In order to begin the process of sanctification, we must first reckon ourselves dead to sin. Note that the words "dead, death, died" are used 13times in Romans 6:1-14. The words "life, live, liveth, alive" occur 5 times in Romans 6:1-14.

2. Sanctification thru Liberty In Christ ( Romans 6:15 to Romans 7:6) - After we reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God ( Romans 6:1-14), we must then understand that we are free from the Law ( Romans 6:15 to Romans 7:6).

3. Sanctification Confirms the Law ( Romans 7:7-25) - We must first reckon ourselves dead to sin ( Romans 6:1-14) and free from the Law ( Romans 6:15 to Romans 7:6). Paul then takes a moment to explain that the Law is holy as evidenced by our struggle to overcome the very sins that are declared by the Law ( Romans 7:7-25).

For example, our two little children did not know that it was wrong to hit each other until Mom and Dad told them that it was against the rules. They thought that they could say "No!" to us when they felt like it and it was ok, until we laid down the law and punished them for not obeying. The older they get, the more they learn what is right and wrong ( Romans 7:7).

Unfortunately, even when children are told what is right and wrong, their inborn sinful nature often rules them and they yield to their flesh, rather than to their conscience. Sin takes advantage of the fleshly make-up of Prayer of Manasseh , and tempts him contrary to his heart ( Romans 7:8).

When young children die, they die in innocence and go to heaven. But as they grow older, they learn between right and wrong, and become more and more accountable the older they get. As some age of accountability, God sees their sin and holds them accountable. At that time, they must repent under the shed blood of Jesus, or face hell. Therefore, Romans 7:9 says that we were alive at one time, but when the commandment, sin and its accountability also rose up, and condemned us to death; for we broke the laws we were given.

Thus, it appears that the very laws that were given to us to keep us from death were used to condemn us in our sins ( Romans 7:10). Sin itself, using these commandments, let us deceitfully into our transgressions and separated us from God ( Romans 7:11).

Our very sins demonstrate that the commandments were correct, even though we did not obey them ( Romans 7:12). In fact, our very sins were revealed to be exceeding sinful because they were declared so in the commandments ( Romans 7:13).

Although we have been born again in the spirit, we still live in this fleshly body, which is still bound and subject to sinful desires ( Romans 7:14). Therefore, we sometimes yield to the flesh and sin, although in our hearts we know that it is wrong. This can often confuse us in our walk with the Lord ( Romans 7:15). But these sins serve to demonstrate that the Word of God is holy and pure, while our transgressions are sinful ( Romans 7:16).

For we soon realize that it is not our hearts that are desiring sinful Acts , but it is a result of yielding to our fleshly nature that causes us to sin ( Romans 7:17-18). In this struggle to do right, we as Christians come face to face with the reality that our flesh is at war with our spirits ( Romans 7:19-21). We see that the inward Prayer of Manasseh , our spirit, always desires the ways of God ( Romans 7:22), but the outward body of flesh always desires the things of this world ( Romans 7:23). This is discussed further in Galatians 5:16-18.

Our conscience condemns us for our actions of yielding to the flesh ( Romans 2:15) and we cry out for a way to overcome this struggle ( Romans 7:24). Thank God that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts to lead us through this dilemma. We now know that with our minds, we can choose to yield to the flesh or to the spirit ( Romans 7:25). Thus, when we choose to walk in the spirit, our conscience no longer condemns us of sin ( Romans 8:1).

4. Sanctification in the Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:1-16) - In Romans 8:1-16 Paul reveals the secret to walking in the liberty of Christ Jesus, which is found as we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit. We learn from this passage that as we are led by the Holy Spirit we are led into the process of sanctification.

F. The Fulfillment of our Justification Comes when We are Glorified by Divine Election: Glorification ( Romans 8:17-28) - Romans 8:17-28 deals with the topic of the redemption, or glorification, of the Church. The final stage of man's justification takes place at the time of our redemption from our mortal bodies ( Romans 8:23). This event is called glorification. Paul then launches into the lengthiest discussion of the doctrine of divine election found in the Holy Scriptures. He first explains that our struggles in sanctification will bring us into God's divine glory, for which we were divinely elected to share with Him because of His great love for us ( Romans 8:17-28).

Romans 8:23, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

G. Summary of God's Divine Plan of Redemption ( Romans 8:29-39) - Having taken us through God's plan of redemption for mankind in Romans 1:16 to Romans 8:28, Paul summarizes this four-fold plan as predestination, calling, justification, and glorification in Romans 8:29-30. In light of this exegesis of God's method of justification in Romans 1-8, Paul declares that every child of God is more than a conqueror because of God's great love for us ( Romans 8:31-39). Note that the word "sanctification" is not used in this four-fold plan of redemption. As Christians we want to place the process of sanctification immediately after our justification because we view God's plan of redemption as following the time-line of the Church's redemption; however, God's plan of redemption for the Church is subjected to His plan of redemption for Israel. In other words, God's plan of redemption for the Church follows the time-line of Israel's redemption, which Paul is about to explain in Romans 9-11. This means that the Church's sanctification in preparation for Christ Jesus' Second Coming is a part of God's plan to redeem Israel; but Israel's justification is not complete until they turn to Him at His Second Coming. Therefore, the word justification is used in Romans 8:29 in relation to Israel's time-line of accepting the Messiah, rather than the Church's time-line of the Second Coming.

H. Israel's Role in the Redemption of the Church ( Romans 9:1 to Romans 11:32) - Paul next explains the role of Israel in His plan of election and glorification for the Church. Chapter nine discusses Israel's past election by God ( Romans 9:1-33), while chapter ten explains Israel's current role in divine election ( Romans 10:1-21). Chapter eleven explains Israel's future role in God's plan of election ( Romans 11:1-32). These passages serve to explain how Israel and the Church are one. But its primary emphasis is to show that the Church's glorification is dependent upon and awaiting Israel's restoration and glorification.

Having revealed God's plan for the church in the first eight chapters, we can say, "But wait a minute, the story of redemption is not complete. What about Israel and the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures? How does this plan a role in the Church's redemption? The story of redemption is more glorious than has been revealed up to now. Romans 9:1 to Romans 11:36 expounds upon God's plan of divine election for His people Israel. In this lengthy passage Paul will quote directly from no less than twenty-seven passages in the Old Testament, and with others implied, thus relying heavily upon his knowledge of these Scriptures in order to establish his points concerning Israel's divine election. He will quote from eleven books of the Old Testament, relying heavily upon the book of Isaiah ( Isaiah 10, Genesis 3, Hosea 3, Deuteronomy 3, Exodus 2, Leviticus 1, 1 Kings 1, Job 1, Psalm 1, Joel 1, Malachi 1).

Paul has just explained the glorification of the Church in Romans 8:17-39. He will now turn his attention to the restoration and redemption of Israel as a part of this overall plan. The reason is because the Church's glorification is wrapped up and dependent upon Israel's glorification. God's redemptive plan for Israel was never nullified, but only postponed while provision was made to include the Gentiles into this wonderful plan. Israel's restoration will also mean the glorification of the Church ( Romans 11:11-12) In other words, the Gentiles have been grafted into the vine, not taken the place of Israel, as Paul will explain in Romans 11:15-19. This is exactly what Jesus meant in John 4:22 when He said that "salvation was of the Jews."

Paul will begin this lengthy passage in Romans 9-11by stating Israel's divine plan of redemption as "the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" ( Romans 9:4). He will say that God is "over all" ( Romans 9:5). That Isaiah , God is watching over His divine plan of redemption to perform it. Paul will take three chapters to explain how God is performing His plan in and through Israel. Thus, the word of God has taken effect, as Paul asks rhetorically in Romans 9:6 a.

Chapter nine discusses Israel's past election by God ( Romans 9:1-33), while chapter ten explains Israel's current role in divine election ( Romans 10:1-21). Chapter eleven explains Israel's future role in God's plan of election ( Romans 11:1-32). These passages serve to explain how Israel and the Church have become one body in God's plan of redemption.

However, the fact that the epistle of Romans separates the discussion of the divine election of Israel from its discussion of the election of the Church reveals that God has a parallel, but unique, plan for His people Israel. Old Testament prophecy supports this unique plan that God is orchestrating through Israel by the very fact that many of these prophecies are for Israel and not the Church.

The fact that Paul takes three chapters to discuss Israel's redemption reveals the love and importance that this subject had in his heart. His opening statements in Romans 9:1-3 express his sorrow and pain because of their rejection of Christ. If Paul the apostle could have chosen his own calling, he would have wanted to evangelize his own people Israel, whom he loved. In God's divine order, He sent Peter to the Jews and Paul far away to the Gentiles.

Paul will open this lengthy passage by explaining that God's plan of redemption for Israel is only for those Israelites who have chosen to believe in the promises to Israel; for he says, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed," ( Romans 9:8).

1. Election Revealed in Israel's Past Election ( Romans 9:1-33) - In Romans 9:1-33 Paul discusses God's role of divine election for Israel in the past. This passage of Scriptures reveals God's sovereignty as He his intervened in the affairs of Israel in order to bring about His divine purpose and plan of redemption to them. See also Isaiah 40:12-31 on this subject.

a) Israel's Failure in Recognizing and Fulfilling their Divine Election ( Romans 9:1-5) - In Romans 9:1-5 Paul expresses the deepest sorrow of any expressed in his thirteen epistles as he explains how Israel failed to recognize and fulfill God's plan for their election as His chosen people.

b) Israel's Election is Based Upon God's Promises ( Romans 9:6-13) - In Romans 9:6-13 Paul explains how Israel's election before God did not come because of their physical birth as the descendants of Abraham. It came, rather, because of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In addition, the Gentiles have been grafted into the vine of Israel, and become partakers of her promises. Although Israel has failed God, Paul explains how the word of God has taken effect not only for Israel, but also for the Gentiles who have been grafted into this vine. Paul had written earlier to the Galatians and called those who are in Christ as the "Israel of God" ( Galatians 6:16). This phrase also described the biological Israelites as those who had accepted the Messiah as well as those Gentiles who had been grafted into the vine of Israel, as we will describe in Romans 11:17-20.

Galatians 6:16, "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."

Paul is able to call the Church the "Israel of God," because the Gentiles have been grafted in, or included in, Israel's election and blessed with their promises. The Gentiles are now covered by the blessings of Israel. When God looks down from Heaven He sees His people Israel, and makes no distinction between the natural vine that those grafted in; for all are partaking of the same promises and blessings that were given to Israel.

i) Paul's Testimony of the Son of Promise ( Romans 9:6-9) - Romans 9:6-9 serves as a Paul's testimony of Isaac serving as a son of promise that established faith as the rule for God reckoning a man righteous. These verses also serve as a summary of Abraham's genealogy in recorded in Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 25:11. This genealogy records God's promise and His fulfillment of a son for Abraham and Sarah, with Abraham's faith to believe in God.

ii) Paul's Testimony of Divine Election: The Elder Shall Serve the Younger ( Romans 9:10-13) - Romans 9:10-13 serve as a testimony of Jacob's election serving as a son of promise that established faith as the rule for God reckoning a man righteous. These verses also serve as a summary of Isaac's genealogy in Genesis 25:19 to Genesis 35:29. This genealogy records God's promise and His fulfilment of an elected son to fulfil His promise of raising a nation of righteous offspring on the earth in order to fulfil His divine plan of redemption for mankind.

c) God's Promises Based upon His Mercy ( Romans 9:14-33) - In Romans 9:14-33 Paul qualifies God's method of divine election, basing it upon His promises to Abraham, and He bases His promises to Abraham upon His mercy towards mankind.

2. Election Revealed in Israel's Present Rejection ( Romans 10:1-21) - In Romans 10:1-21 Paul discusses God's role of divine election for Israel in the present.

3. Election Revealed in Israel's Future Salvation ( Romans 11:1-32) - In Romans 11:1-32 Paul discusses God's role of divine election for Israel in the future. He will explain how Israel has rejected the Messiah. Although a remnant has been saved ( Romans 11:1-6), the rest have been blinded ( Romans 11:7-10). This has opened the door for the Gentiles to be grafted into the vine of Israel ( Romans 11:11-24), who shall later be restored to Him because they are His elect ( Romans 11:25-32).

a) Israel Has Stumbled, but a Remnant Endures ( Romans 11:1-10) - In Romans 11:1-10 Paul explains how Israel has rejected the Messiah. Although a remnant has been saved ( Romans 11:1-6), the rest have been blinded ( Romans 11:7-10).

i) The Remnant of Israel ( Romans 11:1-6) - In Romans 11:1-6 Paul explains how a remnant of Israel has remained faithful to God's promises. Paul uses himself as an example of this remnant ( Romans 11:1), and he gives an example from the Old Testament of this remnant during the time of Elijah when Israel had rejected God ( Romans 11:2-4). Paul says this remnant remains based upon God's grace and not because of anyone's good works before Him.

ii) The Blinding of the Jews ( Romans 11:7-10) - The Jews are looking for a king as their Messiah, the Lion of Judah, as they did in the first century of Christ and not as a Suffering Servant. Therefore, they did not recognize Jesus when He first came as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. However, this passage of Scripture seems to indicate that the Jews will receive Jesus in His Second Coming, when He appears from heaven in all of His glory. They will see Him as a King and receive Him at that time.

b) The Grafting in of the Gentiles ( Romans 11:11-24) - In Romans 11:11-24 Paul explains how the door of opportunity has opened for the Gentiles to be grafted into the vine of Israel ( Romans 11:11-16). He adds a warning to the Gentiles not to boast of themselves because it is still God's mercy towards Israel that supports their opportunity for salvation ( Romans 11:17-24).

c) The Restoration of Israel ( Romans 11:25-32) - Romans 11:25-32 will talk about the restoration of the nation of Israel and its effects upon the Gentiles. When God brings the nation of Israel into its fullness, blessings will also come upon the Gentiles. This is a clear passage that reveals a little known truth. This verse shows that as God blesses the earthly Jerusalem, thus will blessings come upon the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the Church. For example, God restored the nation of Israel in 1948. Thus, God is also restoring the Church to its former glories of the first century. We can watch the events happen to Israel as a nation and predict that God will also soon bring these same blessings upon the Church.

The reason that Paul follows his discussion on the glorification of the Church in Romans 8:17-39 with a discussion of Israel's future glorification in Romans 9-11is because the Church's glorification is awaiting for and dependent upon Israel's glorification. I believe that the Jews will largely turn to Jesus Christ as their Messiah at His Second Coming when He sets up His earthly kingdom and reigns from the holy city of Jerusalem; for at that time they will see Him as a conquering king rather than a suffering servant seen in his First Coming. It is at this time that the will Church will also be glorified and the nations will be blessed.

4. Conclusion: Praise to God for His Love for Mankind ( Romans 11:33-36) - Romans 11:33-36 serves as a conclusion to the exposition of the doctrine of justification by faith in Jesus Christ, and as summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This burst of praise and glory to God is the result of being overwhelmed with the grace and mercy of God for redeeming a fallen race of depraved humanity. This revelation into the depths of God's love in Romans 11:33-36 is the result of the revelation of God's divine plan of divine for Israel and the Gentiles through His divine foreknowledge of predestination, calling, justification, and glorification ( Romans 8:29-30). Earlier, in Romans 8:31-39, Paul burst forth into similar praise as a result of the first eight chapters in which Paul examines the depths of man's sinfulness and the extent to which God went to reconcile mankind back to Himself.

Paul began this passage on the divine election of the nation of Israel ( Romans 9-11) with the words, "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:" ( Romans 9:2-3) But his examination of God's redeeming love for them brings him out and into a moment of praise and glory to God for orchestrating such a marvelous plan of redemption. Paul's burst of praise for God's redemptive work for his people Israel and the Church in the closing remarks in Romans 11:33-36 is the result of Paul's intense love and sorrow for his nation as a fellow Jew; so that Paul's sorrow will be followed with joy as prophesied in Psalm 126:6 and Isaiah 51:11.

Psalm 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Isaiah 51:11, "Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."

III. Applying the Gospel to our Lives ( Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:13) - After Paul declares the Gospel in the first eleven chapters, he devotes rest of the chapters to the practical application of the Gospel in the life of the individual. This two-fold aspect of doctrinal and practical teachings is typical of the Pauline epistles. Romans 1:16-17 serves as a summary of the Gospel of Jesus, which Paul spends much of this Epistle expanding upon. These are the key verses of the book of Romans in which Paul declares the power of the Gospel, revealing God's plan of redemption for mankind. The Almighty God will affect His purpose and plan for man through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He will spend the first eleven chapters show to us God's role in bringing about this Plan of Redemption to mankind. He will take the rest of his Epistle teach us our role in supporting this plan in the societies that each of us live in, as we apply the Gospel to our relationships with others.

Paul explains how believers, both Jews and Gentiles, are united as one body in Christ ( Romans 12:1-8). The Church is also united within a society, so that this obligates us to social duties with our fellow man ( Romans 12:9-21). The Church is also related to the government of that society. Therefore, it has civil duties in relation to its leaders ( Romans 13:1-7). These civil duties do not conflict with the Mosaic Law found within Scripture. In fact, these principles are found within the Law ( Romans 13:8-10). Paul then exhorts the church at Rome to treat one's fellow believer with love as an example to the society and government in which they live ( Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13). Christ's eminent return is reason enough to follow Paul's exhortations ( Romans 13:11-14). He takes a special problem, which is foods, to show the believers how to work together despite their differences ( Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13). Thus, we see in a nutshell how to apply the Gospel in our relationship to the Church, to society in general, to governmental authorities, and finally to individual believers. We see that the Church is structured within the society, which is structured under a ruling government. Within this structure, the believers are to be an example of love in how they treat one another so that the society of unbelievers may see the love of God. This is how the Gospel is taken to a nation, which is the third and supporting theme of Romans.

A. The Gospel in Relation to One Body in Christ ( Romans 12:1-8) - In Romans 12:1-8 Paul explains how believers, both Jews and Gentiles, are united as one body in Christ. This passage of Scripture initially deals with a believer offering himself in Christian service. We are told to offer our lives in "spiritual service" to the Lord ( Romans 12:1). When we begin to renew our minds with God's Word ( Romans 12:2) and serve Him within the body of Christ, we discover that God has given each one of us a gift. When Romans 12:6 says, "having then gifts," it implies that God has given every member of the body of Christ a gift. As we look at Romans 12:3 we find where "God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," or, He has assigned to every one of us a particular gift of Christian service. This is stated in another way in Romans 12:4 when it says "but all members do not have the same function," which means that each member does have a particular function. As we continue to read, we find that Paul lists the Christian services in Romans 12:6-8.

1. Our Offering of Spirit, Soul and Body to God ( Romans 12:1-3) - This passage of Scripture deals with three-fold make-up of man; the body, the mind and the spirit. Since man is a 3-fold creature, his spirit is made new in the rebirth. But the mind and body have to be dealt with, and made to conform to the Word of God. Romans 12:1 deals with the body, which must offer itself in service to God. Romans 12:2 refers to the mind, which must be renewed. Romans 12:3 refers to the heart, which must walk humbly before God and others.

Romans 12:1 tells us to offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices. We begin doing this in our Christian life by serving in the local church in the ministry of helps. Romans 12:2 then tells us that as our mind becomes renewed by the Word of God, we will begin to know God"s will, His plan and purpose, for our lives. Romans 12:3 tells us to remain humble in his relationships with others. Thus, as a person begins to yield his life to Jesus ( Romans 12:1), and renews his mind with the Word of God ( Romans 12:2) and to minister to others in love and humility ( Romans 12:3), the gifts will begin to operate in his life. Thus, Romans 12:6-8 list the gifts that operate in the body of Christ.

Therefore, if we are faithful to obey Romans 12:1-2, we will be led into the ministry and gifts that God has given to us as discussed in Romans 12:6-8. We will not operate in the gifts of God without being faithful in the local church and learning God"s Word.

2. Many Members, but One Body ( Romans 12:4-5) - In Romans 12:4-5 Paul makes a brief statement regarding the fact that there are many members that make up the body of Christ, but only one body. Paul offers a more extensive discussion on this topic in 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 and Ephesians 4:15-16.

3. The Gifts of Christian Service ( Romans 12:6-8) - In Romans 12:6-8 Paul lists the various gifts given to each member of the body of Christ. He begins this topic by exhorting the Romans to present their bodies as a living sacrifice unto the Lord. This gifts operate in each believer as one takes a step of faith and serves others as unto the Lord.

B. The Gospel in Relation to Social Duties ( Romans 12:9-21) - Romans 12:9-12 focuses on the church's social duty to society. The Church is also united within a society, so that this obligates us to social duties with our fellow man ( Romans 12:9-21).

In contrast to dealing with those who have particular gifts in Romans 12:6-8, Romans 12:9-21 deals with virtues in which all members of the body of Christ must walk. However, just as Paul dealt with the priority of the love walk after teaching on the gifts of the Spirit in 1Corinthians 12-14, so does he follow a teaching of the gifts with a passage on love.

C. The Gospel in Relation to Civil Duties ( Romans 13:1-7) - Romans 13:1-7 deals with submission to authorities. The Church is also related to the government of that society. Therefore, it has civil duties in relation to its leaders ( Romans 13:1-7). Paul knew that the Romans were not pleased with the ways that the Jews were conducting themselves in Rome. He was very aware of how Claudius had expelled the Jews from Rome in A.D 50, just seven years earlier ( Acts 18:2). Therefore, Paul takes time in his epistle to exhort the believers in Rome to honor those in authority. Paul did not want them to partake of civil rebellions in the Capitol.

Acts 18:2, "And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them."

D. The Gospel in Relation to the Law ( Romans 13:8-10) - The Church is related to the government of its society. Therefore, it has civil duties in relation to its leaders ( Romans 13:1-7). These civil duties do not conflict with the Mosaic Law found within Scripture. In fact, these principles are found within the Law ( Romans 13:8-10).

E. The Gospel in Relation to Other Believers ( Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13) - In Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13 Paul exhorts the church at Rome to treat one's fellow believer with love as an example to the society and government in which they live ( Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13). Christ's eminent return and future judgment is reason enough to follow Paul's exhortations to put on Christ Jesus and walk as children of light ( Romans 13:11-14). He takes a special problem, which is foods, to show the believers how to work together despite their social differences ( Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13).

1. Exhortation to Put on Christ ( Romans 13:11-14) - In Romans 13:14-14 Paul exhorts the church to put on Christ Jesus and walk in the light of the Gospel in light of His eminent return and future judgment of the world.

2. Respecting Cultural Differences Among Believers ( Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13) - The church at Rome was composed of both Jewish and Gentile converts. Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13 is about the eating of meats by some Church members and abstinence by others very likely includes a reference to the cultural differences between the Roman Gentiles and Jews. The Jewish converts were still being particular about observing the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays. But for such observances the Romans had no interest. The Jews also carried many traditions of meats and other foods, which the Romans did not observe. Thus, Paul was telling each culture to respect the cultural differences of the other seeing they are doing it as unto the Lord. The Jews observed their cultural traditions as a way of worshipping the Lord. The Romans avoided such traditions as a way of expressing their liberties in Christ Jesus.

IV. Illustration of the Gospel in Paul's Life ( Romans 15:14 to Romans 16:27) - Paul closes his Epistle to the church at Rome by illustrating the message of the Gospel in his own life. Paul explains his intent and purpose of visiting them ( Romans 15:14-33). He sends greetings to many individuals at Rome ( Romans 16:1-16). He gives a final warning about divisions in the church ( Romans 16:17-20). He sends greetings from members of the church at Corinth ( Romans 16:21-24). He closes with a doxology ( Romans 16:25-27).

A. Paul's Intent to Visit Rome ( Romans 15:14-33) - In Romans 15:14-33 Paul expresses his intent to visit Rome on his way to Spain. Paul had a great vision, to preach the gospel to those who have not heard. He prayed towards that vision.

B. Paul's Greetings to the Church in Rome ( Romans 16:1-16) - In Romans 16:1-16 Paul sends greetings to many individuals in the church at Rome. The verbs used in this passage are imperatives in the Greek, telling them to greet those in Rome.

C. Warnings About Divisions ( Romans 16:17-20) - In Romans 16:17-20 Paul warns the believers in Rome about causing divisions.

D. Greetings from Believers in Corinth ( Romans 16:21-24) - In Romans 16:21-24 Paul sends greetings from others believers in the church at Corinth.

E. The Doxology ( Romans 16:25-27) - Romans 16:25-27 serves as the doxology to the epistle of Romans.

XI. Outline of Book

The following outline is a summary of the preceding literary structure; thus, it reflects the theological framework of the epistle of Romans: its purpose, its three-fold thematic scheme, and its literary structure. As a result, this outline offers sermon sections that fit together into a single message that can be used by preachers and teachers to guide a congregation or class through the epistle of Romans. This journey through Romans will lead believers into one aspect of conformity to the image of Christ Jesus that was intended by the Lord, which in this book of the Holy Scriptures is to prepare Christians to offer themselves as living sacrifices and serve according to their proportion of faith in an effort to bring all nations to faith in Christ Jesus.

I. The Salutation: Predestination of the Gospel— Romans 1:1-7

II. Doctrinal Message: The Gospel of Jesus Christ— Romans 1:8 to Romans 11:36

A. The Calling of Gentiles & Jews— Romans 1:8 to Romans 3:20

1. The Calling of the Gentiles thru the Gospel— Romans 1:8-17

a) Paul's Prayer of Thanksgiving — Romans 1:8-12

b) Paul's Desire to Visit Rome — Romans 1:13-15

c) The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ— Romans 1:16-17

2. God's Wrath Reveals Man's Rejection of His Call— Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20

a) God's Call thru Natural Revelation— Romans 1:18-32

b) God's Call thru Man's Conscience— Romans 2:1-16

c) God's Call thru the Mosaic Law— Romans 2:17 to Romans 3:20

i) The Jew Makes His Boast in God — Romans 2:17-20

ii) The Jew as a Sinner — Romans 2:21-24

iii) True Circumcision — Romans 2:25-29

iv) The Advantage of the Jews: God's Oracles — Romans 3:1-8

v) The Law has Declared All as Sinner — Romans 3:9-20

B. God's Righteousness Revealed In Christ— Romans 3:21 to Romans 8:16

1. Righteousness by Faith in Christ Alone— Romans 3:21-31

2. Righteousness Imputed Under the Old Covenant— Romans 4:1-25

a) Justification by Faith Alone— Romans 4:1-8

b) Righteousness by Faith for All — Romans 4:9-12

c) The Promise Came to Abraham by Faith — Romans 4:13-16

d) God's Promise to Abraham Described — Romans 4:17-22

e) Righteousness by Faith for Us Today— Romans 4:23-25

3. Justification Reconciles Man to God— Romans 5:1-21

a) To Whom Righteousness is Imputed— Romans 5:1-5

b) Why Righteousness Is Imputed— Romans 5:6-11

c) How Righteousness Is Imputed— Romans 5:12-21

4. The Believer's Life of Justification— Romans 6:1 to Romans 8:16

a) Sanctification thru Death with Christ— Romans 6:1-14

b) Sanctification thru Liberty In Christ— Romans 6:15 to Romans 7:6

c) Sanctification Confirms the Law— Romans 7:7-25

d) Sanctification in the Holy Spirit— Romans 8:1-16

C. Glorification by Divine Election: Glorification — Romans 8:17-28

D. Summary of God's Divine Plan of Redemption — Romans 8:29-39

E. Divine Election and Israel's Redemption— Romans 9:1 to Romans 11:32

1. Election Revealed in Israel's Past Election— Romans 9:1-33

a) Israel's Failure in Recognizing their Election — Romans 9:1-5

b) Israel's Election Based on God's Promises — Romans 9:6-13

c) God's Promises Based upon His Mercy — Romans 9:14-33

2. Election Revealed in Israel's Present Rejection— Romans 10:1-21

3. Election Revealed in Israel's Future Salvation— Romans 11:1-32

a) Israel Has Stumbled, but a Remnant Endures— — Romans 11:1-10

i) The Remnant of God— Romans 11:1-6

ii) The Blinding of Israel— Romans 11:7-10

b) The Grafting in of the Gentiles— Romans 11:11-24

c) The Restoration of Israel— Romans 11:25-32

I. Conclusion— Romans 11:33-36

III. Hortative (Practical Application) - The Gospel in Action— Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:13

A. The Gospel in Relation to One Body in Christ— Romans 12:1-8

1. Our Offering of Spirit, Soul and Body to God — Romans 12:1-3

2. Many Members, but One Body — Romans 12:4-5

3. The Gifts of Christian Service — Romans 12:6-8

B. The Gospel in Relation to Social Duties — Romans 12:9-21

C. The Gospel in Relation to Civil Duties— Romans 13:1-7

D. The Gospel in Relation to the Law— Romans 13:8-10

E. The Gospel in Relation to Other Believers— Romans 13:11 to Romans 15:13

1. Exhortation to Put on Christ — Romans 13:11-14

2. Respecting Cultural Differences Among Believers — Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13

IV. Illustration- Closing Remarks— Romans 15:14 to Romans 16:27

A. Paul's Intent to Visit Rome— Romans 15:14-33

B. Paul's Greetings to the Church in Rome— Romans 16:1-16

C. Warnings About Divisions— Romans 16:17-20

D. Greetings from Believers in Corinth— Romans 16:21-24

E. Doxology— Romans 16:25-27

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alford, Henry. Romans. In The Biblical Illustrator. Ed. Joseph S. Exell. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002.

Alexander, William. The Epistles of St. John. In The Expositor's Bible. Eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1956. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001.

Barmby, J, and J. Radford Thomson. Romans. In The Pulpit Commentary. Eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM]. Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001.

Barnes, Albert. The Epistle to the Romans. In Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Bruce, F. F. Romans. In Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, Grand Rapids, ed 1990.

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