Thursday, May 8, 2008

Romans - Introduction

Bible study is greatly enhanced when we take time to look at the scripture’s background – the who, what, where, when, and why of the words recorded for our teaching. It places what we read into context so we avoid the errors of guesswork and injection of our own ideas.

With as great care as possible, scholars have used clues in scripture as well as other historical references to determine as closely as possible the necessary details to give us a picture of what was going on at the time each book of the Bible was written.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:
We are also making use of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible by James Strong, The Hayford Bible Handbook by Jack Hayford, Survey of the New Testament by Paul Benware, many resources at, and any other useful source that comes along.

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!