Epistles of the New Testament
Rating the Righteous
2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else
2:17 ...a Jew...brag about your relationship to God
2:23 You brag
3:9 Are we any better?
3:23 ...all have sinned...
3:27 Where, then, is boasting?
5:6,8 When we were still powerless....still sinners, Christ died for us
7:15,19 What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do....what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not
24 want to do - this I keep on doing....What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me?
8:37 ...more than conquerors through him
9:20 Who are you...to talk back to God?
11:11 Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?
11:20 Do not be arrogant
11:25 ...not be conceited
11:30-31 Just as you who were at one time disobedient...so they too
12:3 Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought
14:1 Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters.
14:10 Why do you judge your brother? Why do you look down on your brother?
14:12 Each of us will give an account of himself to God
14:15 Do not...destroy your brother
15:3 The insults of those who insulted you
16:30 Join me in my struggle
Rome, as everyone knows, was the headquarters of the great Roman Empire. Therefore, people from all over the empire found their way to Rome for various reasons. They were of all nationalities and backgrounds. Citizens were of either the upper class or lower class. Since the upper class spoke Latin and the letter to Rome was written in Greek, it is assumed members of this congregation were generally of the lower class.
The church had been established in Rome long before the date of this epistle. There were "visitors from Rome" on the Day of Pentecost back in Jerusalem (Acts 2:10). When Paul first met Priscilla and Aquila from Rome (Acts 18:2-3) in Corinth and lived with them, they seem to have already been Christians; further, he said that Stephanas was the first convert in Corinth (1 Cor. 16:15). This epistle was written from Corinth where he was living with Gaius (Romans 16:23), one of the people he'd baptized in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14). He may have decided to write it now since Phoebe was a member of the church in Cenchrea, the port of Corinth, and was on her way to Rome (Romans 16:1).
The congregation in Rome was made up of both Jews and Greeks trying to live and worship together in harmony despite their cultural and religious differences. Since the Jews were the "chosen of God" before the Gentiles and were thiestic, and since the Gentiles previously worshipped pagan idols, they had to work hard to maintain unity and not critize each other or declare their own nationality superior to the other. His personal upbringing as a Jew but in a Roman city on the border of southern Turkey helped him show first hand he understood their differences. This is the theme of Paul's letter to them. It is actually more of a dissertation to Christians in general than a personal letter.
Neither Paul nor any other apostle had apparently ever been to Rome since they did not have any spiritual gifts which required the presence of an apostle (1:11; 2 Cor. 12:12). It was his policy to only preach the gospel where Christ was not known, and thus far he had worked his way from Jerusalem all the way arond to Illyricum, the area known today as Bulgaria, Austria and Yugoslavia, and he planned to go to Spain next "now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions. His plan was to visit with them on his way and possibly receive some financial assistance. (See Romans 15:19-28.) If, indeed, he was planning to ask for financial assistance, they needed to know what his teachings were.
Another reason for writing to the church in Rome is that he seems to have had several relatives in that congregation: Andronicus and Junias "my relatives" (Romans 16:7), Herodion "my relative" (16:11), Rufus [Paul's brother?] and his mother who has been a mother to me too [KJV "his mother and mine"] (16:13). He has also run into several Romans during his travels including Priscilla and Aquila with whom he worked in Corinth and Ephesus and who are now back in Rome (16:3), Epenetus who was the first convert in the province of Asia, Urbanus our fellow worker, "my dear friend Persis" and others (16:3-15). Interestingly, he never mentioned Peter.
Paul spoke very complimentary of the congregation in Rome, saying "your faith is being reported all over the world" (Rom. 1:8), and "everyone has heard about your obedience" (16:19). He ended by saying, "I myself am convinced...that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points as if to remind you of them again" [establishing rapport with them]. Then he asks them to pray that he'll be rescued from unbelievers in Jerusalem when he returns there so he can then go on to visit them in Rome (Romans 15:30-32).
1:13 How much had Paul planned to visit the church in Rome? _____________________________________
1:16 Paul was not ____________________________________ of the gospel.
1:20 Since the creation of the world God's _________________________________ qualities have been clearly ___________, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse in believing God exists.
1:29-31 List the "wickedness" Paul itemized: ______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you do any of these things? I do. That makes us - not "everybody else" wicked.
2:1 Human nature shows that whatever we condemn others for, we usually do the _________________________ things.
2:12-15 All who sin ___________________________________ from the law of God will perish apart from it; all who sin _________________________ the law will be judged by the law. Gentiles did by _______________________ things required by the law, because it was written on their ____________________________, their ________________________________, and their _______________________________.
2:19 Some people, like the Jews at that time, were convinced they were the ____________________________ for the blind.
3:9 Jews and Gentiles alike are _______________________________________________________________.
3:23 "All have _________________________________ and fall __________________ of the glory of God.
3:25 God left the sins committed beforehand (O.T. times) ________________________________ until Jesus came to take our punishment for us.
4:3,10 The Jews believed you couldn't be saved unless you had been circumcised. Yet Paul quoted the O.T. saying Abraham ______________________________________ God and it was credited to him as __________________________________. God said this _______________________________ Abraham was circumcised.
4:11 Abraham became the father of _________________________ who believe, whether or not they have been circumcised - both Jews and Gentiles.
4:13 It was not through the _________________________________ [of Moses] that Abraham received the promise of salvation for himself and his heirs because Moses wouldn't be born for another 500 years.
5:6 While we were still ____________________________________, Christ died for the ______________________________. That's us!
5:12 Just as sin entered the world (not mankind, but the world) through one man (Adam), death came to all men because ______ sinned. (Remember, though, the punishment was postponed until Jesus came - 3:25.)
5:18 In the same way, the result of one act of __________________________________ (by Jesus) was justification that bring _______________________.
5:21 Grace __________________________________ through the righteousness of Jesus. We have an on-going pardon!
6:2-4 We died to sin introduced by Adam when we were ___________________________________ into Christ into his ________; therefore, the same God who raised Jesus from the death gave us a new ___________________ too.
6:19 Some Christians had previously offered parts of their body in slavery to ________________________________, things they were now ashamed of (v. 21).
6:23 The earned wages of sin is _________________________________, but the free ___________________________ of God is life through Jesus.
7:14-15 The Law of Moses was spiritual and perfect, but humans are unspiritual and imperfect. "I do not understand what I do. For what I ____________________________ to do, I do not do, but what I _____________________ I do.
7:23 My body is waging ___________________ against the law of my _______________________________, making me a prisoner of the law of sin....What a ____________________ man I am! Who will ___________________________ me from this body of __________________________?
8:1-2 There is no __________________________________ for those in Christ Jesus, because he set me ____________________ from the law of sin and death.
8:28,31 "In all things God works for the ______________________________ to whose who love him....If God is for us, who can be __________________________ us?"
8:27 We are ___________________________________ than _____________________________ if we're in Christ.
9:3 How much did Paul love his Christian and Jewish brothers? _______________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
9:20 Who are you, O man, to _______________________________________________ to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?"
10:2 People can be _____________________ for God, but their zeal is not based on ______________________________________
10:17 Where does this faith based on knowledge come from? __________________________________________
11:13 Paul, a Jew, was an apostle to the Gentiles in the hope that he might ________________________ the Jews to ______________________________________ so they will give in, come to Christ and be saved too.
11:17-18 But he warned the Gentiles not to boast because they were grafted onto the olive shoot of Judaism. After all, "You do not support the ___________________, but the root supports you." Judaism was the gate through which the world entered Christianity; it was all predicted in the pages of the Old Testament.
11:25 Don't be conceited, Gentiles. The Jews have only experienced hardening until the __________________________________ of the Gentiles has come in.
12:1 So, since we are all sinners, we need to spiritualize part of the Law of Moses and offer our __________________________ as living _______________________________________.
For a look at the gifts listed here, see gifts in 1 Corinthians. Starting below are some Christian traits Paul encourages them to work especially hard on. Remember, this is during the time and in the seat of government of the pagan Caesars.
12:19 We are not to take revenge, because God said, "It is mine to _____________________; I will ___________________."
13:1,6,8 Another thing we're to do is submit to ________________________________ authorities, because God
____________________________________ it. We're also to pay _______________________. And we're to pay off our ________________________.
But what if the other Christians don't do better? Paul ends his letter with these suggestions:
14:1 We are to _________________________ him whose faith is _______________________ without passing judgment on ________________________________________ matters. Such disputable matters today could be foot washing, anointing with oil, etc. These things don't hurt anyone. So if someone wants to do it in private, let them do it and don't interfere.
14:4 Who are you to _______________________________ someone else's servant? For God is able to make him _______________________________. We need to learn to mind our own business sometimes.
14:6 If one man considers one day more sacred than another (i.e., Christmas, All Hallows Eve, etc.), but another man considers every day __________________________________, we need to leave each other alone about it.
14:12 After all, each of us will give an _____________________ of ______________________________ to God.
14:15 We are not, by our religious freedoms (such as eating fish on Friday in front of Catholics when they thought it was a sin) destroy our _______________________.
14:22 We are not to flaunt our differences, but whatever we _________________ about these things, keep between ourselves and ______________________.
15:9 And try everything possible to have a spirit of unity. For the prophet Isaiah predicted in 11:10 centuries before the Christian age, "I will praise you among the ____________________________________________."
15:14-15 Paul ends by saying he doesn't believe they are a bad congregation; he just wanted to encourage them. Because "I myself am ____________________________ that you yourselves are full of ________________________________, complete in ____________________________________, and _____________________________ to instruct one another." He had only written boldly as a reminder of what they already knew.
16:17-18 He closes by urging them to watch out for those who cause _______________________________; for such people are serving their own
______________________________________ (egos) by _______________________________ talk and ________________________________.
16:20 "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Wow! A reminder of what dynamic statement God made in the Garden of Eden? (See Genesis 3:15) ______________________________________________________