Argument & Summary – Romans
2012 Romans Argument and Summary
Will be revised throughout the study. Last revision December, 2017
"God’s righteousness revealed in justification and sanctification by grace through faith to Jew and Gentile"
The argument of Paul’s letter is that God is perfectly righteous and mankind is sinful. Mankind’s relative righteousness is not good enough for heaven, and God cannot overlook sin and admit sinners into His presence because that would compromise His character. Therefore, God credits his righteousness to Jew and Gentile by grace through faith based upon Jesus’ substitutionary death for sin. God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith in justification, sanctification, and glorification, not by law and works. And though the nation of Israel is presently under God’s discipline, God’s promises still remain, and Israel will be saved in the future. Meanwhile all those justified, sanctified, and glorified—believers, both Jews and Gentiles—are a new priesthood and serve God in many ways.
God solved the sin problem by offering legal righteousness to mankind based upon the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Jesus Christ took mankind’s deserved judgment upon himself. Mankind gains Jesus’ righteousness by faith in him. This is the everlasting life good news or gospel (Romans 1-5). But Paul does not end there. He demonstrates that though indwelling sin remains, it does not need to rule a believer. The believer’s identification with Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit provide the way for experiential sanctification, successful Christian living, and experiential righteousness (Romans 6-8). Paul then answers the question, if Israel is God’s elect nation, why is she not reaping God’s blessing? The answer is that Israel rejected Messiah Jesus and God’s righteousness that is through him. Presently, God is using Israel’s unbelief to bring salvation blessings to Gentiles and to provoke Israel to turn from unbelief to belief in Messiah Jesus. In the future she will believe in Messiah Jesus and that remnant will experience the fulfillment of God’s promised covenants to her (Romans 9-11). Paul’s final section presents God’s challenges, blessings, opportunities, and warnings for believers as they live the Christian way of life (12-16).