A CLOSER LOOK AT ROMANS 1:1-17
Bible Background: The letter to the Romans is Paul’s deepest writing, and he is especially concerned about the subjects of “how we are justified through faith in Christ Jesus” and “how God is faithful to God’s promises.” It’s an interesting letter to a small group of Christians-whom Paul does not know personally-who are living out their faith in the most imperial city in the world. Paul addresses deep issues of sin; rebellion against God; justification by grace; and how to live as God’s people in this world.
Going Deeper: 1. Try not to get ‘buried’ in Paul’s “wordiness”. Find a piece of this reading that catches your attention. The whole reading is really ‘thick’.
2. Notice some of the key terms. Ponder one or more of them: Grace. Peace. Lord. Gospel. Salvation. Righteous. Faith. Which ones would you like more understanding of?
3. Paul literally calls himself a “slave” of Jesus Christ in the 1st line, though the translation is “servant”. He’s a proud, educated man with a pedigree! But the thing that matters most is that he is in Christ’s service, and he knows Jesus is his Lord.
4. Paul is writing to Christians in Rome, capital city of the empire; where Caesar is worshiped as god. Can you detect a few of his subversive digs? He mentions God’s power. Twice he calls Jesus Lord.
5. “Gentiles” simply refers to non-Jews. “Greeks and barbarians” is a way of referring to ‘people of high standing and people of low standing.’
6. Note how Paul prays always for these fellow believers; and how he looks forward to being with them so they can encourage each other in faith! How can we encourage each other in faith?
For next week read Acts 2, the Story of Pentecost!