II ROMANS Intro
INTRODUCTION TO STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS
We did a study of Romans in 2006, but I feel the book is of such great importance that we should study it again after finishing our studies in The Acts.
Before getting into the book itself, we must take a close look at the author. This man, as its author, gives this book a standing and importance far beyond any casual religious treatise.
The Apostle Paul was raised in a probably affluent family in the city of Tarsus. Tarsus was in an out-of-the-way Roman province, but it was of sufficient importance that the citizens were granted the distinction of Roman citizenship. His later training was in Jerusalem, “at the feet of Gamaliel”, one of the most respected Jewish teachers. He was trained to be a religious teacher and became a part of the most
strict religious sect of the Jews, the Pharisees. These were the most rigidly exact and highly respected of all Jewish teachers.
As Saul of Tarsus, he was completely dedicated to the Law and to the God who gave it. His faith was absolute. Beyond a doubt, this is why God chose him to be His premier proclaimer of the Gospel, not only to the Gentiles of his day, but to the whole world in the centuries to come. The Roman letter has been the primary revelation of God’s total will for the people in His Kingdom during and since New Testament days.
The key to Paul’s message is “The Gospel”, of which he firmly states,”I am not ashamed”. The Gospel is not just the story of the coming of the Messiah, in fulfillment of prophecy. It is the evidence of the loving nature of God, and His desire to bring man into a close, personal relationship with Him. We will spend more time looking into the real depth of the meaning of “The Gospel”, as we progress in our studies of this important book.
The other vital subjects Paul is to reveal are Truth, Righteousness, Faith, Grace and Justification. These are not terms for theologians to bandy about and discuss in their elite groups. They comprise the very essence of our relationship with our Creator and the very keys to our hope of eternal life, when this short existence shall end. For this reason we shall spend much time digging into the true essence of these terms and the demands they make on our spiritual growth.
I hope you will take seriously our coming study in the book of Romans. There is no book which gives us a clearer picture of the mind of God and His plan for our life here, and in the eternity to come. No book in the New Testament does more to clear away the cobwebs woven by the devious minds of men, and to clarify the true desire of God for His Kingdom and its subjects. Paul warns in the first chapter of those who profess to be wise but prove themselves to be fools by ignoring the truth of God. Let us probe his words to find how we can avoid this error.