With as great care as possible, scholars have used clues in scripture as well as other historical references to determine as closely as possible the necessary details to give us a picture of what was going on at the time each book of the Bible was written.
Not everyone agrees precisely on those details for every book, so I’m asking that you resist the temptation to nit-pick the details and look to the spirit of the purpose of the message. In other words, don’t miss out on spiritual growth because you’re hung up on a minor point!
God is not bound by time, place, or person. His word is His word no matter when it was given, where it was given, or to whom it was given. The Biblical framework presented by those who have studied the specifics of scripture is adequate to our understanding of God throughout history.
The group at my church is using material from two online studies available for free use:
- Romans with Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham - “Especially for youth, those who are young at heart & for those who are new to the Lord”
- A Study of the Book of Romans by Carl Fitzgerald - Offered freely with appreciation of “prayerful consideration of a donation of any size to the scholarship fund of Scott Theological College in Machakos, Kenya,” which trains and sets forth pastors.
All of these guides are merely supplements to the revelation that God gives to each student as we go through the lessons. Surprisingly, we’ve found that God has “planted the seeds” of Romans in our lives from our childhood and we all have experiences from the past or present that really bring home the message of Romans to our souls.
I say our souls because it is touching our minds through new knowledge and connections with our experiences, our wills through changed attitudes and renewed commitments, and our emotions through healing from uncertainties about our faith. We’re on an amazing road to victory in our lives and we’ve only just begun!
With that being said…
The Book of ROMANS
WHO: Written by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome
WHAT: A letter of introduction and presentation of the gospel dictated to and penned by Paul’s scribe, Tertius
WHERE: Paul most likely wrote this letter while in Corinth, Greece on his third missionary journey. It was sent to the churches in Rome, a city of political and economic importance with an estimated population of four million at that time.
WHEN: Written in 58 A.D.
WHY: The theme of Romans is “The Gospel is God’s power to save all that believe.”
I found an excellent Introduction to Romans by Keith Sharp for further details and encourage you to read through that.
Stay tuned for Notes on our Bible study as we go along!