The "Epistles" are a collection of letters addressed to the earliest Christians by the first great teachers of the faith, some of the letters being of earlier date than even the Gospels themselves. The collection in somewhat its present form is known to have existed in the first Christian century, and the authorship of the more important Epistles is practically unquestioned. Most of them were the work of St. Paul, who dispatched them to the various churches he had founded, or to others which he hoped to visit.
"Romans" is not the earliest in date of these Epistles, but as far back as the fourth century it was placed first in the collection, presumably because of its importance. It was written by Paul before he himself visited Rome as described in Acts 27, the Roman church having been already established by another tradition, says by St. Peter. The chief theme of the Epistle is Paul's teaching, that righteousness is won by faith in Christ, not by adherence to the Jewish law.
The Bible and Its Story
F.R. Niglutsch 1906
Romans Chapter 1
The apostle's commission 1-7. Prays for the saints at Rome, and expresses his desire to see them 8-15. The gospel way of justification by faith, for Jews and Gentiles 16-17. The sins of the Gentiles set forth.
Romans Chapter 2
The Jews could not be justified by the law of Moses, any more than the Gentiles by the law of nature 1-16. The sins of the Jews confuted all their vain confidence in their outward privileges 17-29.
Romans Chapter 3
Objections answered 1-8. All mankind are sinners 9-18. Both Jews and Gentiles cannot be justified by their own deeds 19-20. It is owing to the free grace of God, through faith in the righteousness of Christ 21-31.
Romans Chapter 4
The doctrine of justification by faith is shown by the case of Abraham 1-12. He received the promise through the righteousness of faith 13-22. And we are justified in the same way of believing 23-25.
Romans Chapter 5
The happy effects of justification through faith in the righteousness of Christ 1-5. That we are reconciled by his blood 6-11. The fall of Adam brought all mankind into sin and death 12-14. The grace of God, through the righteousness of Christ, has more power to bring salvation, than Adam's sin had to bring misery 15-19, as grace did super abound 20-21.
Romans Chapter 6
Believers must die to sin, and live to God 1-2. This is urged by their Christian baptism and union with Christ 3-10. They are made alive to God 11-15. And are freed from the dominion of sin 16-20. The end of sin is death, and of holiness everlasting life 21-23.
Romans Chapter 7
Believers are united to Christ, that they may bring forth fruit unto God 1-6. The use and excellence of the law 7-13. The spiritual conflicts between corruption and grace in a believer 14-25.
Romans Chapter 8
The freedom of believers from condemnation 1-9. Their privileges as being the children of God 10-17. Their hopeful prospects under tribulations 18-25. Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer 26-27. Their interest in the love of God 28-31. Their final triumph, through Christ 32-39.
Romans Chapter 9
The apostle's concern that his countrymen were strangers to the gospel 1-5. The promises are made good to the spiritual seed of Abraham 6-13. Answers to objections against God's sovereign conduct, in practicing mercy and justice 14-24. God's dealing both with Jews and Gentiles 25-29. The falling short of the Jews is owing to their seeking justification, not by faith, but by the works of the law 30-33.
Romans Chapter 10
The apostle's earnest desire for the salvation of the Jews 1-4. The difference between the righteousness of the law, and the righteousness of faith 5-11. The Gentiles stand on a level with the Jews, in justification and salvation 12-17. The Jews might know this from Old Testament prophecies 18-21.
Romans Chapter 11
The rejection of the Jews is not universal 1-10. God overruled their unbelief for making the Gentiles partakers of gospel privileges 11-21. The Gentiles cautioned against pride and unbelief, The Jews shall be called as a nation, and brought into God's visible covenant again 22-32. A solemn adoring of the wisdom, goodness, and justice of God 33-36.
Romans Chapter 12
Believers are to dedicate themselves to God 1-2. To be humble, and faithfully to use their spiritual gifts, in their respective stations 3-8. Exhortations to various duties 9-16.
And to peaceable conduct towards all men, with forbearance and benevolence 17-21.
Romans Chapter 13
The duty of subjection to governors 1-7. Exhortations to mutual love 8-10. To temperance and sobriety 11-14.
Romans Chapter 14
The Jewish converts cautioned against judging, and Gentile believers against despising one the other 1-13. And the Gentiles exhorted to take heed of giving offence in their use of indifferent things 14-23.
Romans Chapter 15
Directions how to behave towards the weak 1-7. All to receive one another as brethren 8-13. The writing and preaching of the apostle 14-21. His purposed journeys 22-29. He requests their prayers 30-33.
Romans Chapter 16
The apostle recommends Phebe to the church at Rome, and greets several friends there 1-16. Cautions the church against such as made divisions 17-20. Christian salutations 21-24. The epistle concludes with ascribing glory to God 25-27.
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