– Introduction Romans 1:1-17
– God’s Righteousness in Justifying the Believer Romans 1:18 – 8:39
– Man’s Guiltiness Established Romans 1:18 – 3:20
– Class #1: The Uneducated Gentile Romans 1:19-32
– Class #2: The Educated Gentile Romans 2:1-16
– Class #3: The Privileged Jew Romans 2:17 – 3:8
– God’s Courtroom Scene Romans 3:9-20
– Deliverance From Guilt of Sins (Fruit: What I’ve Done) Romans 3:21 – 5:11
– God’s Righteousness for Justification Romans 3:21-31
– Justification is through Faith Alone Romans 4
– The Great Results of Justification Romans 5:1-11
– Deliverance From Sin as a Principle (Root: What I Am) Romans 5:12 – 8:17
– The Doctrine of Deliverance Romans 5:12 – 7:6
– We Have Been Transferred From Adam’s Race To Christ’s Race Romans 5:12-21
– Identification With Christ Frees Us From Sin’s Dominion Romans 6
– Identification With Christ Frees Us From the Law’s Dominion Romans 7:1-6
– (The Experience of a Soul Under Law Leading to Deliverance) Romans 7:7-25
– Results of Deliverance: Enjoying the Full Christian Position Romans 8:1-17
– Deliverance From a Sin-Cursed Creation Romans 8:18-39
– The Coming Glory and the Deliverance it Brings Romans 8:18-2323
– Three Supports that Preserve Us while We Wait Romans 8:24-30
– Seven Points Summarizing what God has Done Romans 8:31-39
– God’s Righteousness in His Dispensational Ways Romans 9 – 11
– Past: God’s Sovereignty, Setting Aside Israel & Bringing in the Gentiles Romans 9
– Present: Man’s Responsibility, Israel’s Rejection of the Gospel Romans 10
– Future: God’s Faithfulness, Israel’s Restoration in Grace Romans 11
– Practical Righteousness that Flows from Appreciating Our Portion Romans 12 – 15:7
– Conduct That Flows From Appreciating Our Full Salvation Romans 12
– Conduct That Flows From Understanding Our Place in the World Romans 13
– Conduct That Flows From Having a Right Understanding of Grace Romans 14 – 15:13
– Conclusion: Summary of Paul’s Ministry and Travel Plans Romans 15:14-33
– Why Paul had Written: His Ministry to the Gentiles Romans 15:14-21
– Why Paul had not yet Visited Rome & His Future Plans Romans 15:22-29
– Paul’s Prayer Requests & His Personal Prayer for the Romans Romans 15:30-33
– Appendix: Letter of Commendation for Phoebe Romans 16
Canonical context. This epistle is well placed at the head of the other epistles because it lays the foundation of man’s relationship with God. The subject of Romans is the glad tidings. It reveals all the blessings a believer possesses as an individual. The Epistle to the Romans unfolds not so much the doctrine of the Church, but the doctrine of Christianity. Notice the geographical location to which the epistle is addressed? to Rome. This was a huge shift in God’s workings. Rome was the destination furthest West of any inspired epistle! All previous communications had come to and through Israel. God is seeking to show us that His thoughts go far beyond Israel.
Historical context. Paul had never been to Rome. They had gotten the gospel through another source besides Paul. It is possible those who first carried the gospel to Rome may have been the Romans sojourning in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10). Paul is writing to establish them in the truth of the Gospel, although they already knew it to some extent (Rom. 15:14). He wouldn’t jump in with assembly truth yet; for that he would wait until his arrival in person (Rom. 1:11; 15:29). He starts at square one, and builds upward (first the gospel, then dispensational truth, then kingdom truth, etc.). This is a mark of a true teacher.
Themes of the Epistle. The epistle to the Romans is addressed to the saints in Rome, and it served a twofold purpose. First, it served as a letter of commendation for Phoebe, as we discover in ch.15. Second, Paul took the opportunity of writing a letter to the saints in Rome – who he had never visited – to expound to them the truth of the gospel, which declares the righteousness of God.
The Gospel. We have in the very first verse of Romans the subject of the epistle; “the gospel of God” or in a better translation, “God’s glad tidings”. Romans lays out in order all the technical aspects of the gospel, and answers any questions that might arise, especially in the mind of the Jew. The book of Acts gives us the preaching of the gospel, and Galatians gives us the defending of the Gospel, than Romans gives us the teaching of the Gospel. There are two parts to “the gospel of God” which Paul preached. He distinguishes them elsewhere as (1) “the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24), which emphasizes God come down to meet man’s need, and (2) “the gospel of the glory of God (2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim. 1:11), which emphasizes Christ securing God’s glory and then being exalted at His right hand. Romans centers around the first aspect – the gospel of the grace of God – in other words, what God has done for man.
The Righteousness of God. In the first chapter Paul says, regarding the gospel; “therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith”. The overarching theme of Romans is the righteousness of God. Read more… Why did God’s people in the first century need to be instructed as to the righteousness (or, consistency) of God? Because a tremendous change had occurred in the cross, the empty tomb, and in the descent of the Holy Ghost. Israel had rejected their Messiah, and now the gospel was going out to Gentiles as well as Jews. This great change raised many questions to both the Gentile mind and the Jewish mind. How could God be righteous and save sinners such as these degraded Gentiles? What about the exclusive promises to Israel? Did this shift in God’s dealings mean that He was inconsistent with His Word in the Old Testament? Paul writes to explain that, on the contrary, this change was nothing less than a full declaration of God’s righteousness!
  1. Rom. 1-8 present God’s righteousness declared in the gospel, securing full deliverance for us through the work of Christ and the redemption though His blood; “that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
  2. Rom. 9-11 present God’s righteousness displayed in His dispensational ways; i.e. that He is perfectly just in setting aside Israel who rejected the truth, but ultimately He will fulfill the promises made to Abraham, David, etc. 
  3. Rom. 12-16 present God’s righteousness demonstrated practically in the lives of believers.
Deliverance. Another great theme of Romans is that of deliverance. Often when we think of deliverance we think only of deliverance from the penalty of our sins. But Romans gives us three aspects of deliverance:
  1. Deliverance from what I have done. This is taken up in Rom. 1 – 5:11. The term used in “sins”.
  2. Deliverance from what I am. This is taken up in Rom. 5:12 – 8:17. The term used is “sin”.
  3. Deliverance from where I am. This is taken up in Rom. 8:18-39. The term used is “the bondage of corruption”.
These three ‘deliverances’ can be summarized as: deliverance from (1) the penalty of sins, (2) the power of sin, and (3) the presence of sin. They serve as accurate headings for the subdivisions of the book. Another way to summarize these three sections is: Justification (Rom. 1-5:11), Sanctification (Rom. 5:12-8:17), and Glorification (Rom. 8:18-39).
Lines of truth in various epistles.1
 -  -  - Seated
 -  - Raised Raised
 -  - Quickened Quickened
 - Buried Buried  -
Dead Dead Dead  -
Crucified Crucified  -  -
Galatians Romans Colossians Ephesians
In Romans you get “in Christ” (Rom. 8:1) but it is only in the negative sense – what the position saves you from. But in Ephesians it is the positive side (Eph. 1:3) – what the position brings us into. In Romans you get “dead” in the aspect of “dead to sin” or separated from sin as to be no longer affected by its action. But in Colossians it is "dead with Christ" in a personal way.

Justification. The verb “to justify” means 'to declare a person righteous'. A nice example of this is in Num. 23:21, where God declared that He had not seen any iniquity in His erring people. Likewise, the Christian has been justified in that, while he has not lived righteously, yet God has declared him perfectly righteous! The subject of justification is fully treated of in the book of Romans, primarily in the first eight chapters. Romans answers the question asked by Job many years ago: “How shall a man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).2

Read more…

But then, there are many aspects of justification. Justification in Romans is how we are declared righteous before God on the basis of faith, which no man can see; justification in James is how we are declared righteous outwardly by our works, which is the proof of inward reality. God doesn't need to see our works to know we have faith, but if there are no works, our faith is dead. It is important to see that justification in the full sense is more than just being cleared of all charges (Rom. 3). Many Christians think that justification is nothing more than forgiveness, or non-imputation of sin. However, justification goes beyond the negative side (forgiveness) and includes the positive side, i.e. that we have been brought into a new position before God “in Christ” (Rom. 4) and given a righteous life (Rom. 5)! Several aspects of justification:

  • Justified by grace – the source or cause (Rom. 3:24; Titus 3:7)
  • Justified by [or through] faith – the means of appropriation (Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:16)
  • Justified by blood – the price or power (Rom. 5:9)
  • Justification of life – the possession of a righteous life (Rom. 5:18)
  • Justified from sin – no obligation to our old master (Rom. 6:7)
  • Justified by God – declared righteous by God (Rom. 8:33)
  • Justified in Christ – the righteous standing (Gal. 2:17)
  • Justified by works – manifested in our life (James 2:24)
Martin Luther said:
“This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well.”


  1. Kelly, William. Notes on the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle, to the Romans: with a New Translation. Nabu Press, 2010.
  2. Stanley, Charles. On the Epistle to the Romans. London, 1885.
  3. Hole, Frank B. Romans and Corinthians. Scripture Truth Publications, 1995.
  4. Darby, J. N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. G. Morrish, 1940.
  5. Anstey, B. Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans. Christian Truth Publishing.
  1. Anstey, Bruce. The Epistle to the Romans. Christian Truth Publishing. 2018
  2. In Romans we get primarily justification, where in Hebrews we get primarily sanctification.