There are 27 books in the New Testament and most of these books are actually letters (sometimes called "epistles"). The book of Romans, for example, was a letter which Paul wrote to the believers who were living in the city of Rome. Have you ever written a letter as long as the one Paul wrote to the Romans? The New Testament also contains letters that are short in length (see Second and Third John, for example).
In the Gospels we learn that Christ died. In the New Testament letters we learn why Christ died (see for example 2 Corinthians 5:21 and 1 Peter 3:18). The Gospels tell me that Christ rose again from the dead. The letters help me to understand how this wonderful resurrection can change my life (Romans 6:4,5,9,10,11; 2 Corinthians 5:15). They also help me to understand what the living Lord Jesus is doing for me today (see Romans 8:34 and the entire book of Hebrews). The Gospels give us the facts about the death and resurrection of Christ. The letters (the epistles) explain those facts.
The book of Romans was written by the Apostle ___________ (Romans 1:1). Paul wrote this letter about 56 A.D. when he was in the city of Corinth. Paul had never been to the city of Rome, but he was praying that God would make it possible for him to go to this great city and be with the believers who lived there (see Romans 1:10-12). Rome was the capital city of the Roman Empire. Can you find the cities of Corinth and Rome on a map? (You can use the map in your Bible.)
The very first verse in Paul's letter to the Romans tells us what this book is all about (notice the last four words): "the _______________of _______." The word "gospel" means good news. Before Paul ever arrived at the city of Rome, he wanted to send a letter which would carefully explain the good news of salvation to these believers.
The book of Romans carefully shows how a man can be right with God. Paul was not ashamed of this GOOD NEWS, because it was "the power of God unto _______________________ to every one that B _____________________" (Romans 1:16). In fact, if you were to study the life of Paul you would discover that he was put to death in the city of Rome because he fearlessly preached this wonderful good news of salvation. They put Paul to death, but the Book of Romans which tells about this good news lives on!
As we read the book of Romans we should remember that this was a letter written by Paul and sent to the believers living in Rome. But we should also remember, that as we read the Bible (any of the 66 books) we are reading a love letter, written by the living God and sent personally to me and to you. Even in the book of Romans we can read of God's amazing love toward us (see Romans 5:8 and 8:35-39)!
This letter to the Romans can be divided into five major parts:
Let us briefly look at each of these 5 parts:
PART 1--ALL MEN ARE GUILTY BEFORE GOD.
IN GODS SIGHT...
How many are righteous (3:10)? __________
How many are God-seekers (3:11)? ________
How many are good (3:12)? _____________
How many are sinners (3:23)? _____________
Because of man's sinfulness, all the world is G_________________ before God (see Romans 3:19). Have your recognized this fact when it comes to your own heart?
"Who knowing the ____________________ of God, that they who commit such things (the things described in verses 29-31) are worthy of D_______________" (Romans 1:32). Are you guilty of any of the sins mentioned in Romans 1:29-31? _____ Are you worthy of death (Rom. 1:32)? ______
An ungodly and unrighteous person deserves God's W___________ (Romans 1:18) and God's J______________________ (Romans 1:32). See also Romans 2:3,5,8,9.
PART 2--GOD JUSTIFIES THE SINNER WHO BELIEVES
I am guilty before God and I deserve death and hell, and the death penalty must be paid. God the righteous Judge cannot overlook sin. The Lord Jesus came to earth and paid the death penalty for me. He died as my Substitute.
"Christ died for the ____________________" (Romans 5:6).
"Christ died for ______" (Romans 5:8).
"Who was delivered for ________ offences" (Romans 4:25).
When the sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, God justifies him and the believer's faith is "counted for ___________________________" (Romans 4:5). Jesus takes my penalty (see Romans 5:6,8) and I take His perfect righteousness (see Romans 3:22; 4:3,5).
Read Romans 5:9. If Christ had not died on the cross, do you think it would have been possible for us to be justified? ______ But because Christ did die for us (Romans 5:6-11), God is free to be gracious to us and to put on our account the very righteousness of Christ. We are no longer guilty, condemned sinners because we are now IN CHRIST (see Romans 8:1):
The judgment came down upon Christ so that it would not have to come down upon me (Romans 8:3).
THE NEW VERDICT: NOT GUILTY! (Romans 3:24)
THE FREE GIFT: E____________________ L__________ (Romans 6:23).
PART 3--THE BELIEVING SINNER CAN HAVE VICTORY OVER SIN
I MUST BELIEVE THESE TWO GREAT FACTS AND COUNT ON THEM AS BEING TRUE:
Fact Number 1--I DIED! Can you list several verses in Romans Chapter 6 that show us this? ______________________ As far as my old sinful life is concerned, when Jesus died, I died too!
Fact Number 2--I HAVE A NEW LIFE! Can you list two verses in Romans Chapter 6 that show us this? ______________ Jesus Christ rose again from the dead and I share His wonderful life!
Questions to ponder:
How does water baptism picture these great facts?
How does Galatians 2:20 teach the same thing as Romans Chapter 6?
As a Christian I still have a battle because SIN DWELLS WITHIN ME. Can you find verses in Romans chapter 7 that show us that the believer still has a battle with sin? ________________________
What (or Who) else dwells within me to help me to have victory over sin (Romans 8:2,4,5,9,10,11,13,14,15,16)? __________________ The Spirit who lives within can help me win over sin!
So far in the letter to the Romans Paul has been writing about the good news of salvation. But the early Christians knew that the Jewish people, for the most part, rejected Christ as Saviour and did not want anything to do with the so-great salvation that Paul was writing about.
This was a problem to the early Christians because they knew that the Jews were God's chosen people. What would happen to them? Would God cast His people away? The Jews rejected the Lord Jesus. Would God also reject them? In Romans chapters 9-11 Paul answers these important questions.
The Jews were chosen by God and were indeed a PRIVILEGED PEOPLE (Romans 9:4-5), and yet when Christ came they rejected Him (Romans 9:32).
Today God is still working with the Jews, just as He is working in the hearts of every man and woman, boy and girl. God invites all men to come to His Son and be saved (Romans 10:9-13).
Has God cast away His people the Jews? Will God break the promises which He made
to His people? What is the answer to this question (Romans 11:1)?
__________________________ God has a wonderful future for the nation of Israel
If I really believe that God has saved me and given me a new life, that should make a huge difference in the way I live. If Christ died for me, should I not live for Him? In Old Testament times, when a Jewish man brought a sacrifice before the Lord (a sheep or goat or some other animal), he was saying, "Lord, this animal is Yours. I'm giving it to You completely." Then the animal was put to death. What are the believers to bring before God as a sacrifice (Romans 12:1)? _________________________________ Is it a living or a dead sacrifice? _______________ Have YOU brought this sacrifice?
Many people find that the letter to the Romans is a very helpful Book to use in witnessing to others and to use in showing them God's good news of salvation. It is possible to show a person how to be saved, just by using the Book of Romans. The following matching exercise will should you how to do this.
Put the correct letter next to each verse below (you may need to put more than one letter in some cases):
|___D____ Romans 1:16
___B____ Romans 1:32
________ Romans 3:10
________ Romans 3:12
________ Romans 3:22
|_______ Romans 3:23
_______ Romans 4:3
_______ Romans 4:5
_______ Romans 5:6
|_______ Romans 5:8
_______ Romans 6:23
_______ Romans 10:9
_______ Romans 10:10
Here is something you can try with a believing friends, a classmate in church or with a parent or brother or sister at home. Use these five verses: 1) Romans 3:10; 2) Romans 3:23; 3) Romans 6:23 (the first part); 4) Romans 10:9; 5) Romans 6:23 (the last part). Pretend you are witnessing to an unsaved person. As carefully as you can, try to explain to this person how he (or she) can become a Christian. Use the five verses given above as you do this.
With a little practice you should be ready to share the good news of salvation with a person who really needs to hear this message. You can even mark your Bible to help you find the verses. For example, right after Romans 3:10 you can write down Romans 3:23 (in small letters). This will remind you to turn to Romans 3:23 next. Then after Romans 3:23 write down Romans 6:23, and after Romans 6:23 write down Romans 10:9, etc. After you share this message with others a few times, you won't even need these reminders. You will remember where the verses are found. The more you give verses away to others, the more those verses will stick in your memory!
* * * * * * * * *
God's righteousness makes
it possible to know the Living God
and to be able to live rightly before Him!
For a verse by verse study of the entire book of Romans, see click here.