Main Lessons – Romans
Romans Main Lessons to Remember
From Romans 1, Foundations for ministry, God’s righteousness and faith in the gospel, rejection of God’s revelation
- Jesus Christ is the son of David (human) and the son of God (deity), and the Old Testament and his resurrection verify who he is.
- Paul, an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, prayed and worked so the Roman believers would grow in the faith, be established in the faith, and that all will be encouraged in the faith.
- Paul was obligated to spread the gospel, was eager to do so, and not ashamed of the gospel.
- Eternal salvation can be gained by believing in Jesus Christ for it.
- God is righteous to forgive sins and grant eternal life because he judged all sin on Jesus Christ.
- The knowledge that God exists, his nature, and that he is the creator is available to all people.
- People who reject God do so of their free will, and when people persist in this rejection, God gives them over to their destructive sin patterns.
From Romans 2, Self-righteous judging, God judges all people, religious hypocrisy
- It is wrong to judge others—to self-righteously criticize, to ascribe guilt, and to pass condemnation as if one were the righteous standard and had that authority. God will judge those who judge others.
- God is the impartial judge of all people—believers and unbelievers.
- Many Jewish believers did not do what they said they believed, and so were self-righteous hypocrites. Believers should understand Scripture and correctly apply it.
From Romans 3, All people are sinful, justified freely through faith
- God gave the Bible through Israel for Israel to record, to spread, and to protect.
- God is faithful to Israel even though she did not always believe him.
- All people, Jew and Gentile, fail to meet God’s righteous standard and are judged as sinful.
- God will justify anyone who believes in his Son, Jesus Christ.
- God will not justify anyone who attempts to gain justification by obeying the law.
- Romans 3 uses words that identify and explain our so great salvation—righteousness, unrighteous, condemnation, sin, sinned, justified, justifier, faith, believe, grace, redemption, and propitiation.
From Romans 4, Righteousness is credited through faith
- Abraham and David illustrate the truth that God gives His righteousness to people through faith (to people who believe him) and not by works.
- Faith righteousness was credited to Abraham before he was circumcised.
- God promised Abraham and his seed that he will be heir of the world through faith, before the Mosaic Law was given.
- Paul concludes that God works by grace through faith, not by law and works.
- Abraham is a lesson to all of us that we should believe God’s promises. Paul refers to Genesis 15:6 to demonstrate that justification is through faith—believing God’s promise.
From Romans 5, Justification gives many benefits
- I can know I am justified because I have believed Jesus died for my sins—he substituted himself for me—and arose from the dead (Romans 5.1,6,8,9,16,18).
- Since I am justified by God I also have peace with him because Jesus paid the sin debt and now I am God’s adopted son or daughter (Romans 5.1).
- I can confidently expect to see God’s glory in heaven. Furthermore, I can rest assured that tests and trouble make me a stronger believer if I trust God with my day to day life (Romans 5.2-4).
- Though I still may sin, because of my spiritual rebirth God no longer thinks of me as helpless, ungodly, a sinner, or His enemy (Romans 5.6,8,10).
- God my heavenly father lets me know that He loves me through the Holy Spirit who now lives inside of me (Romans 5.5).
- Even though death in all its forms came because of sin, it has no authority to dominate me because I possess the free grace gift of justification resulting in eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5.10,17,20-21).
- God’s word tells me what sin is, yet God’s grace is greater than sin and forgives me for my sin (Romans 5.20-21).
From Romans 6, Union with Christ makes the Christian way of life possible
- When anyone believes in Jesus Christ as savior, at that moment that person is united with Christ and identified with Christ (baptized into Christ) in Christ’s death and resurrection. The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings this about (Romans 6.3,4,5; 1 Corinthians 12.12-13; Galatians 3.26-27).
- Because Christ died to sin, we believers also died to sin with him. The one who dies is no longer under the authority of the previous master or king. In this case the sinful nature, personified as a ruler, king, or legal power no longer has authority over the believer. This is a fact (Romans 6.2,6,7,11,18,22).
- We believers need to know this, consider it as true, and apply it or act on this truth every day (Romans 6.6,9,11,12,13).
- We apply the truth of Romans 6 when we stop presenting ourselves to deposed king sin, and instead present ourselves to God for righteousness. We do this each time we are tempted to sin. We say no to sin and yes to God and righteousness (Romans 6.13-14).
- The result is that we, in fact, live in newness of life, in resurrection kind of life. When we apply this in experience we live as God’s slaves, we become more sanctified in life, and we recognize that eternal life is ours (Romans 6.4,5,22).
- The main point that Paul is teaching is that believers do not need to give in to temptations by "king" sin. Sin no longer has authority over us. We are now God’s slaves and as slaves we should obey him. Furthermore, we gain amazing benefits: benefits now from obeying God, and benefits in the future. All of this is possible because when we believed in Christ as savior we were baptized into Christ and so are in relationship or union with him.
From Romans 7, The sinful nature inside
- Jewish believers died to the Law. Therefore, they are not under its authority as the way to live the Christian life. Paul built on this to teach that neither the Mosaic Law nor any other set of rules are the standard for Jews or Gentiles to live the Christian life (Romans 7.4,6,8,11,14).
- The Law is good because it teaches God holiness, teaches about sin, and teaches about God’s plan, but it provides no ability (Romans 7.7,12,13).
- The sinful nature uses the Mosaic Law, other rules, and even our conscience to try get us to sin (Romans 7.8,11,13).
- The person and work of Jesus Christ is the basis for the Christian life (Roman 7.4,25).
- Believers serve in the Christian life based upon our present relationship with Christ and through the Holy Spirit (Romans 7.4,6,25).
- Indwelling sin, our sinful nature, is the reason that we sin even when we do not want to and the reason that we do not always do what we should do. So we have an inner conflict between what God (law of God) and we want as believers (new man in Christ), and what our sinful nature wants (law of sin). This is a constant struggle and we lose if we attempt to serve God in our own power (Romans 7.15-25)
From Romans 8, The Holy Spirit inside
- Christ’s death on the cross not only provided justification, it also provided sanctification. And the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus—the Holy Spirit living in us and empowering us—makes it possible to live righteously and serve God, not serve sin. We can live the resurrection kind of life now. The challenge to each of us is to consciously rely on the Holy Spirit to live in us and through us each hour of each day (Romans 8.1-13).
- The Holy Spirit gives each of us confidence that we are children of God. But if we do not know God’s word or if we reject God’s word about everlasting life we will be pushing against the Holy Spirit working in us and so may question our everlasting life (Romans 8.14-15).
- Every believer in Christ possesses an inheritance that we will come into in the future—we will be honored with Christ (Romans 8.17).
- The present world is characterized by suffering due to sin, but the future redemption of believers and the creation of the new heavens and new earth will free creation from the curse (Romans 8.18-25).
- There are times, especially during intense suffering, when we do not even know what to pray. At these times the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of each believer, in some way steps in and prays for us to our heavenly father (Romans 8.26-27).
- God promises to work all things in our lives together for our good. Not everything in our lives is good, but God works them all together for good (Romans 8.28).
- God has a salvation plan from start to finish for each believer. We are secure in this plan because it is based upon Jesus Christ and his completed work on the cross, his resurrection, and his intercession for us (Romans 8.29-34).
- God keeps every believer totally secure in his love. No one or nothing can break that love, and this love was demonstrated through Christ and we experience it because we are related to Christ (Romans 8.35-39).
From Romans 9, God’s Promise and Israel
- Romans 9 is not about choosing individuals for everlasting salvation. God called, chose, and formed the nation Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be the nation through whom he will redeem the world—the redemptive nation. (Romans 9.1-13; 11.1-2)
- God is free and sovereign. He can do what he wants to do. He is the creator and king over all creation. A free person can choose to limit himself in order to accomplish his good will. Human free will does not intrude upon that. God has planned that people may freely choose him and this honors God more than He making all choices for them. Our choices will either honor God or bring dishonor to him (Romans 9.6, 14-27).
- God formed the church, a unique spiritual body made up of Jews and Gentiles, not to replace Israel in His plan, but to prod Israel to realize that righteousness is only gained by faith (Romans 9.23-24; 10.19; 11.11).
- Israel’s present unbelief did not annul God’s purpose for Israel. She continues to hold her redemptive purpose in God’s plan. Romans 9-11 teach that Israel will be grafted back into their root. There is a remnant that will accept the Messiah in the future. We ought to pray for Israel and witness to them (Romans 9.27; Romans 11.1-2, 11.23-32).
- Eternal salvation (justification) is by faith for both Jew and Gentile (Romans 9.30-33.
From Romans 10, Israel Needs Faith Righteousness
- Paul prayed for the salvation of Israel—that Israel would recognize the Messiah and believe in him, thus gaining God’s righteousness. We can also pray that people will know that Jesus is the only savior and believe in him (Romans 10.1).
- Israel, in her religious zeal without right knowledge, tried to gain righteousness by works and so missed God’s righteousness which comes only through faith. Religious people, in their zeal for good works, often miss the gospel message. Carefully explain the why and how of God’s righteousness and that we gain it by grace through faith (Romans 10.1-4).
- The message that Israel must believe was available to them. That message is that Jesus is the Messiah: he came from heaven and was born as a man; and he was crucified for the sins of the world and then arose from the dead—the incarnation and resurrection. This is what Israel struggled with. They need to hear and believe this message (Romans 10.5-9).
- Faith is the requirement, but faith must have the right object. Jesus, God in the flesh, the Messiah is the only right object of faith. This is true for both Jew and Gentile (Romans 10.10-11).
- The world needs proclaimers of the good news about Jesus Christ because without the right knowledge of the gospel people will not know about Jesus and God’s righteousness gained only by faith (Romans 10.13-17).
- Israel has had the good news of God’s salvation given to her over the years. She has rejected the gospel, but Gentiles have accepted it. We are to continue proclaim the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 10.18-21).
Romans 11, God will end Israel’s temporary rejection with Israel’s regathering and salvation
- The Israelites are still God’s choice nation and though they are under God’s discipline and hardening due to their unbelief, there is always a remnant of Israeli believers, and in the future after God completes his plan for the Gentiles, called the fullness of the Gentiles, Israel will believe in Messiah, be restored, and blessed by God (Romans 11.25-29).
- Meanwhile, God is working through all who believe in Messiah, and these are mainly Gentiles. They are grafted into God’s believing kingdom, and make up a new body, the church, which Paul names in Romans 16.1,5,23 and many of his letters (Romans 11.24-25).
- God is infinitely wonderful and all glory belongs to him. We cannot advise God nor deserve anything from him. Yet he works through and blesses all who believe him (Romans 11.33-36).
From Romans 12, a new kind of priesthood
- Believers are priests and as such we should begin and end each day by presenting ourselves to God and for his service. Our life should be marked by being in God’s service all the time, wherever and whenever. This is to be a constant attitude, and also our choice whenever the time arises and it is appropriate. We are in his service. This is reasonable because of who God is and our relationship to him (Romans 12.1-2).
- As priests we need a genuine transformation away from the values, the lifestyles, the thinking of the unbelieving world and this comes by a change in knowledge and thinking. We take on God’s thoughts and throw off the world’s thoughts through knowing and using God’s word Romans 12.1-2).
- Spiritual gifts are the ability God gives each believer to serve him and his church. We do not all have the same gift, but each gift is a gracious blessing from God and we are to serve by means of that gift and do so knowing that we are serving God and the body of Christ (Romans 12.3-8).
- God has given believers the ability to trust him for whatever he asks us to do. Whatever God calls us to do he gives us the ability to trust him to do his work. This is not a spiritual gift of faith (Romans 12.3).
- Paul adds twenty items that our attitudes and relationships with other believers should include; and he names eight ways we ought to think toward and treat all people, believers and non-believers. It pays to review and apply these (Romans 12.9-21).
From Romans 13, Authority, godly love, godly behavior, put on armor and Christ
- God designed the principle of authority for the benefit of creation. Every authority governs by God’s placement or permission. This passage sets the principle of submission to authority, and omits exceptions. We are to obey governing authorities. But if there is a conflict between human authority and God’s authority, Peter and others said that we must obey God rather than man (Moses, Exodus 1.15-22; Daniel, Daniel 3.8-18; 6.1-28; Peter, Acts 4.19-20; 5.27-29; Paul, Romans 13.1-2).
- Romans 13 gives three fundamental statements about authority: 1. The ruling authority is God’s servant, whether the ruler recognizes it or not; 2. The governing authority is supposed to punish evil behavior and promote good behavior; 3. We obey rightful authority because it is the right thing to do (conscience sake) and because disobedience can bring punishment (brings wrath, Romans 13.3-5).
- Jesus taught that there are two areas of obligation—to God and to Caesar (Matthew 22.15-22; Mark 12.13-17; Luke 20.19-26). We owe obedience and taxes to “Caesar.” God wants us to pay taxes because taxes pay the governing authorities to work. We owe godly love to our neighbor because godly love to our neighbor fulfills God’s moral laws for society which protect and bless society, and reflects God’s love to people (Romans 13.6-10).
- The return of Jesus Christ for his church and then later to finalize human history is now closer than when we believed the gospel. Therefore, Paul emphasizes six things to do: 1) wake up to Christian living, 2) put off sinful deeds and habits, 3) put on the spiritual armor for protection, 4) behave properly, 5) put on the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, and 6. do not put yourself in situations where you might sin. We can summarize all six as keep spiritually alert and become more Christ-like (Romans 13.11-14).
From Romans 14. Give freedom instead of judgments and obstacles
- Not every believer has reached the same level of spiritual growth. We need to recognize this and accept all believers. God has accepted all believers based on the death and resurrection of Christ. People have liberty within the Bible’s worldview. And, biblically named sins do not fall in the category of Christian liberty (Romans 14).
- The stronger or more mature believer should not look down on or show contempt for the younger or more immature believer who does not been taught and does not understand Christian liberty (Romans 14.1-3).
- The weak or more immature believer should not criticize or judge a stronger believer who knows and uses Christian liberty. Remember, all believers will be evaluated by God (Romans 14.3-4, 10-13).
- The more mature believer modifies his liberty when around a weaker believer, and has the privilege of helping that one become more mature by instructing and encouraging him.
- Each believer must be convinced about Christian liberty as it applies to non-essential activities or doubtful things. He believes before God that he has liberty to eat, drink, or do whatever. This is living by faith in God’s revelation, the Bible. If one acts against his conscience, even if the action is allowed, he sins (Romans 14.14, 22-23).
From Romans 15, Think like Christ toward one another; Christ works through Paul; and Prayer
- Remember the doctrine of doubtful things for weaker and stronger believers, for Jews and Gentiles, that Paul taught them in Romans 14. The strong believer should help the weak believer so that the weaker and stronger may grow and glorify God (Romans 15.1-2).
- Jewish and Gentile believers are to accept each other to God’s glory, and should demonstrate grace to each other, even if they are weak and confused (Romans 15.5-7).
- Our Christian service centers on Christ working through us, not what we do ourselves (Romans 15.18).
- The Holy Spirit works in believers for successful ministry (Romans 15.13,16,19).
- Prayer for those in ministry is authorized by Christ and motivated by the love that the Holy Spirit puts in us (Romans 15.30).
- Paul’s pattern of prayer for those in speaking ministries should include prayer for protection, prayer that the service will be acceptable to the believers, and that afterward God’s messenger may will reap joy and rest (Romans 15.30-32).
From Romans 16, Personal notes and greetings
- All believers, young or old, men or women, prominent or unknown, can serve the LORD and his church with distinction no matter what spiritual gift and abilities they have (Romans 16.1-16).
- Trouble makers may be found in many churches. They are self-centered, they flatter, and they are skilled talkers. They will try to insert false doctrine and cause divisions in the congregation. Do not allow them to gain a foothold in the church (Romans 16.17-18).
- God establishes believers in the faith through the gospel about Jesus Christ and teaching the Scriptures (Romans 16.25-26).
- The gospel has been made known and available to all the nations (probably Gentiles here) and they should believe it (Romans 16.26).
- Give honor to God who is wise and powerful (Romans 16.25-27).
- We have access to our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ (Romans 16.27).