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Reading Romans

The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans is the most influential book written. No other book in history compares to Romans.

Romans teaches faith and grace.  

Paul tells the story of predestination. Reading Romans gives an understanding of judgment and the worthiness of God to judge. History is revealed from an eternal perspective. Paul writes about how to live in the faith along with a verse most needed for those living today:

There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

The word condemnation describes our generation. It means “judgment upon us by our own actions.” This sentencing of consequences continues to spiral downward in our emotions and relationships. Mocking, despair, depression, and unhappiness plague too many.

Remember, Paul writes the entire book of Romans so that we can live without condemnation.

Let me explain how to read Romans.  

First, warning… warning… warning! 

Don’t get tied in intellectual knots over the difficulties of the doctrines taught in Romans. Protestants split from Catholics, Presbyterians disagreed with Wesleyans, and even Martin Luther, entranced with Romans and its teaching on justification by faith, debunked James as The Epistle of Straw because the letter focuses on works.

Read the book of Romans from the perspective of Paul’s intentions when he wrote the letter – that the righteous shall live by faith (1:17), with the entire book explaining both theologically and practically how this can be achieved.

Below is Pastor Grant’s (or the OG outline) for reading and getting the correct sense of what Romans teaches. Pull out your Bible now and read the following:

First, Romans 1:1 to 7 and then skip down and read verses 16-17.  This section explains Jesus, Paul’s ministry, and our calling. Paul’s favorite expression is to begin all of his letters with grace and peace (v. 7). And the most important lesson in Christianity – living by faith.  

Romans 3:21-24.  Read this twice and understand Paul’s explanation for everything wrong with the world and with you. All of us need to diagnose our problems and the solution as sin covered by grace. Grace is a gift of God.

Romans 5:1-5.  I’ve read this many times when I’ve officiated memorial services. Verse 5 says that we can have hope that doesn’t fail or disappoint.  

Romans 8.  If you have time, read the entire chapter. If not, focus on verses 1 and 2, 15-17, and 26-28. Verses 26 through 39 have more promises for living in victory than any other chapter in the Bible.

Romans 10.  Verse 9 is a short verse that can be used to share the gospel with a friend. Also, Paul’s challenge to you – your purpose as a follower – is in verses 14 to 17.

Romans 12.  I memorized verse 1 years ago:  Present yourselves a living and holy sacrifice. The rest of the chapter details humility, gifts of the Spirit, and living in peace with one another.

Quickly look at Romans 15:1-2 in which Paul summarizes Jesus’s teaching about loving thy neighbor.

Almost done. Read Romans 16. Note Paul challenges two sisters to live in unity. Then he commends both women and men for serving God. Finally, Paul concludes with a great doxology in verses 25 to 27:

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! 

Amen.