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Romans. Date : 57/58 Written From : Corinth, 3 rd miss. Tour Themes : Being right with God; Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way; Treat each other respectfully ; Plans for Spain. Paul was in Corinth (Rom 15 & 16). He had wanted to visit them in Rome but had not been able to come.

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Date: 57/58

Written From: Corinth, 3rd miss. Tour

Themes: Being right with God;

Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way;

Treat each other respectfully ;

Plans for Spain

Paul was in Corinth (Rom 15 & 16).
  • He had wanted to visit them in Rome but had not been able to come.
  • For now he is going to Jerusalem to take the collection.
  • Then he will come to Rome.
  • He wants them to help send him to Spain.
  • Paul wrote Romans ca. 57/58.
church in rome
Church in Rome
  • We don’t know how it was started.
  • Perhaps by Jews who had gone home from Jerusalem on Pentecost – Acts 2.
  • It was there at least by 49; Priscilla and Aquila had to leave during Claudius’ edict.
claudius edict
Claudius’ Edict

“Because the Jews of Rome were indulging in constant riots at the instigation of Chrestus, Claudius expelled them.” (Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 25)

  • Most historians think “Chrestus” is a reference to Christ.
  • The Jews and Jewish Christians were likely arguing (fighting) over Jesus as the Messiah.
reasons for romans
Reasons for Romans
  • Introduce himself – he had not been there.
  • Ask their help for his mission to Spain.
  • To reconcile Jewish and Gentile groups in the Church.
    • In the absence of Jewish Christians, the Church continued to grow – became primarily Gentile.
After the Jews returned, both groups struggled with leadership, how things should be done, etc.
  • By this time the Church was primarily Gentile and no longer associating with the synagogues. So things were very different.
  • Since the Gentiles were the majority and in leadership, they looked down on the Jews.
  • Both Jews and Gentiles need to learn to accept each other and work together.
Rom 16:1-2 is a recommendation for Phoebe.
  • Phoebe is taking the letter. She needs their help in making plans for Paul’s ministry to Spain.
  • Paul calls Phoebe a deacon in the Church at Cenchreae and a patron for his own work and the Church in Cenchreae.
main ideas of romans
Main Ideas of Romans
  • Rom 1:16-17

“In it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed, . . . For ‘the one who is righteous will live by faith.”

  • 1:18-4:25 Being righteous through faith
    • Jews and Gentiles are the same before God
    • Both are sinful; both need redemption
    • Both are save the same way, through faith
5:1-8:39 The Life available in Christ
    • 5 peace with God
    • 6 sanctification – living the life Christ lived
    • 7 freedom from condemnation
    • 8 the help of God’s spirit
  • 9-11 Where does Israel fit in with God’s plan and how should we view Israel?
12:1-21 A plan for Life
    • We should offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice.
    • The way we think should be shaped by God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness rather than by the world around us.
  • 13:1-7 Be responsible citizens
  • 13:8-14 Love should be the determining factor in our relationships.
14:1-15:13 Love those who do not agree with you
    • “Weak” and “strong”
      • Food offered to idols; observance of special days
    • These things are not matters of doctrine.
  • 15:14-16:27 Paul’s travel plans, future plans for ministry in Spain, trip to Jerusalem, Phoebe, greetings to many in the congregation
house churches in rome
House Churches in Rome
  • Several house (tenement) churches
    • Priscilla & Aquila – 16:3, 5
    • Asyncritus, Phlegon, … 16:14, 15
    • Philologus, Julia 16:15
    • 16:10
    • 16:11
    • 14 other individuals named associated with other house churches

Figure 1. A Hypothetical Roman Tenement Building. In the upper-left corner, a chamberpot is being dumped on the street below. In the lower-right corner, a chamberpot is being emptied into a barrel located under a staircase. Both methods of waste disposal were common in ancient Rome (based on Macaulay) From:

romans today
Romans Today
  • We must realize no one has an advantage before God because of who we are.
  • We must be careful about our attitude toward others.
  • Within the Church social status should not be an issue.
  • We need to learn to work together in spite of our differences.
Much of the time, the issues we fight about are not salvation issues.
  • If something is not a salvation issue, why should we make it a test of fellowship.
    • The tests of fellowship that we sometimes use may be more an issue of feeling comfortable.
  • Unless we allow God through his Spirit to shape our thinking we will think and act like the world (ch. 12).
pictures of rome
Pictures of Rome