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Romans, The Letter of Paul to the


The Letter of Paul to the, the longest of Paul’s letters, generally regarded as the most important for understanding his theological message. Among other things, the letter focuses on explaining how God’s righteousness has been manifested through faith apart from works of the law, and on the consequences of such grace for the salvation of the Gentiles and the unity of God’s people.

Outline of Contents


I. Introduction (Rom 1:1-17)

A. Salutation (Rom 1:1-7)

B. Thanksgiving (Rom 1:8-15)

C. Summary of Paul’s gospel (Rom 1:16-17)

II. Wrath now revealed on all (Rom 1:18-3:20)

A. Gentiles under the power of sin (Rom 1:18-32)

B. Jews under the power of sin (Rom 2:1-29)

C. Objection (Rom 3:1-8)

D. Judgment on both Jews and Greeks (Rom 3:9-20)

III. Righteousness now revealed to all (Rom 3:21-4:25)

A. Righteousness by faith to all, Jews and Gentiles (Rom 3:21-31)

B. Scripture proof: Abraham made righteous by faith (Rom 4:1-25)

IV. The life of righteousness by faith (Rom 5:1-8:39)

A. God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1-11)

B. The way Jesus mediates God’s righteousness (Rom 5:12-21)

1. Sin and death through first Adam (Rom 5:12-14)

2. Acquittal, life, and grace through Christ (Rom 5:15-21)

C. Replies to objections that grace fosters immorality (Rom 6:1-8:39)

1. If grace overcomes sin, why not sin more to receive more grace? (Rom 6:1-7:6)

a. Response: can the baptized behave in the ways of the old life? (Rom 6:1-14)

b. Response: can a freed slave still serve an old master? (Rom 6:15-23)

c. Response: can a widow who remarries return to her deceased husband? (Rom 7:1-6)

2. Objection: if a believer is liberated from the law, is the law therefore sinful? (Rom 7:7) Response: a heart corrupted by sin, not the law, is sinful (Rom 7:7-25)

3. The believer is not lawless but walks by the Spirit in love (Rom 8:1-39)

V. Objection: why be a Jew? and Paul’s answer (Rom 9:1-11:36)

A. To Israel belong special privileges (Rom 9:1-5)

B. Israel’s rejection, even if final, is not a failure on God’s part (Rom 9:6-13)

C. God’s selection of Gentiles, even if arbitrary, is not unjust (Rom 9:14-29)

D. God’s selection is not arbitrary: everyone, Jew or Gentile, who turns to God will be saved (Rom 9:30-10:21)

E. The Jewish rejection is not final (Rom 11:1-32)

1. A remnant has accepted the gospel (Rom 11:1-6)

2. God uses the rejection of Jews (Rom 11:7-24)

3. All Israel will be saved (Rom 11:25-32)

F. Doxology of praise to God (Rom 11:33-36)

VI. God’s righteousness in the daily life of the believer (Rom 12:1-15:13)

A. Introduction (Rom 12:1-2)

B. Response to insiders (Rom 12:3-13)

C. Response to outsiders (Rom 12:14-13:7)

1. Persecutors (Rom 12:14-21)

2. Governing authorities and state (Rom 13:1-7)

D. Response to all: love (Rom 13:8-10)

E. Urgency imposed by the approaching end (Rom 13:11-14)

F. Weak and strong in Rome (Rom 14:1-15:13)

VII. Paul’s travel plans (Rom 15:14-29)

VIII. Conclusion (Rom 15:30-33)

IX. Appendix: recommendation, greetings, warning against false teachers (Rom 16:1-23)

X. Letter closing (Rom 16:25-27)