Romans 1:1-17 (Introduction)

Rom 1:1-2       What does it mean to be a bond-servant of Christ Jesus?  See 1 Cor 6:19-20.  Why was it necessary for Paul to mention his apostolic authority in this letter to the Romans, whereas it was unnecessary to do so in his letters to the Thessalonians and Philippians?  See Rom 1:10.  For what specifically had God set Paul apart?  In light of the charge by some that the gospel cannot be true since that would mean God’s promises to the Jews had failed seeing that so many of them were rejecting it, why is it significant that Paul says it was promised beforehand in the Scriptures?  What Scriptures does Paul refer to?

Rom 1:3-7     Who does the gospel of God concern as of central importance?  Who was Jesus according to the flesh?  Why is this significant?  See Jer 33:15-17, Luke 1:31-33.  Who was He according to the spirit of holiness?  What is the great significance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead to His claims that He was the Son of God?  See Jn 2:18-22, Mat 27:39-43.  Did Paul’s apostleship to the Gentiles derive from the 12 apostles in Jerusalem?  From whom did it derive?  What was the purpose of his apostleship?  See Rom 1:5.  What impression do we get from Rom 1:5-7 as to the composition of the Roman church?  See also Acts 18:2.  How would Paul’s words in Rom 1:6-7 have been an encouragement to the Gentile believers in Rome who were beginning to face the challenge of the Judaizers that they were not true Christians if they did not keep the Law of Moses?

Rom 1:8-10   Who did Paul view as the mediator of his prayers to God?  See Rom 1:8.  Is that different from the Roman church of today?  Why was he so thankful to God for the Roman believers?  Is our Christian faith as noteworthy in our secular culture as was the Romans so as to be talked about around the world?  How often did Paul pray for the Romans?  Are we as unfailing in our prayers for Christians we’ve never met and churches we’ve never visited?  What was his great request in regard to the Romans?  See Rom 1:10.

Rom 1:11-15 Why was Paul anxious to visit the church in Rome and “preach the gospel” to them?  See Rom 1:11,13.  Did Paul understand “preach the gospel” as to merely give a four point outline of salvation and lead them in the sinner’s prayer?  What all did he consider as part of preaching the gospel?  What does he mean by his desire to see them established (Rom 1:11)?  Considering that Paul was obviously writing to believing Christians in Rome, why would he feel the need to see them established?  Do his words lead us to believe that the church in Rome had been founded by an apostolic authority?  What does this teach us about the Roman Catholic claim that Peter established the church in Rome?  Would Paul have written such words if he had?  What did Paul want to impart to the Roman believers that would help establish them?  Is it significant that Paul is writing this from the church to which he had earlier written extensively about spiritual gifts?  What do his words here teach us about the purpose of spiritual gifts?  What sort of spiritual gift do you think he has in mind to impart that would establish them?  To whom does Paul refer when he says he is under obligation to both Greeks and barbarians?  Note: To the Greek point of view (which the Romans had assimilated), there were two divisions of humanity: Greeks and barbarians (who lacked the sophistication and culture of the Greeks).  The Jews would have been thought of as barbarians by the Greeks (the Greeks would have been thought of as “uncircumcised” by the Jews).  How does Paul’s choice of words here confirm that the church in Rome to which he was writing was composed mostly of Gentiles?

Rom 1:16-17 These verses contain the entire theme of what Paul is about to write; how would you summarize it?  What is the significance that the gospel is “to the Jew first”?  See Rom 3:1.  What does he mean that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel “from faith to faith” (literally “out of faith into faith”)?  Note: “Faith is the starting point, and faith is the goal”.  What evidence does Paul give from Scripture of this truth?

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