A Tour of Romans
As followers of Christ, growing in God’s grace, we instinctively develop a thirst for knowing His Word. The Bible is a rich treasure of truth, the very mind of God. It is such a privilege to hold the Bible in our hands, and we want to handle it responsibly, get to know it deeply. It is, after all, intended for the complete good for each of us in our walk as godly Christians (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
For the New Testament Christian, the book of Romans stands out as one of the key books of the Bible that we must know well. It is a major source of much of our doctrinal and practical understanding of Christian Living. Looking across all of Scripture, no other book is comparable to its depth of developing the key biblical truths which anchor our walk in Christ. As Christians, we will spend much time through our lives in this powerful book. The growing Christian needs to maintain a life-long priority on establishing a deep familiarity with Romans.
The following series of posts on “Tour of Romans” is going to follow along with a Bible Fellowship group I meet with. We are doing single sessions on each chapter of Romans in order to develop an overall familiarity with the book. We hope this exercise will be a good foundation for us to spend a lifetime learning more from this marvelous book.
Get to know Paul
We’re not going to spend time in this study doing an overview of Paul’s life. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! As is true when studying any of Paul’s epistles, it’s important to be familiar with Paul’s life of ministry, his travels through three missions journeys and a final trip to Rome, the churches he established and the many people he discipled. Each of his letters need to be understood in the context of where he was in his ministry, as well as where the church or individual being addressed is in their Christian experience.
Bible Study Journal
Often in these Bible studies, you will see this icon labeled “Bible Study Journal”. This is our challenge to you to always have a notebook and pen (laptop!) right beside your Bible to make notes in as your think through the questions. Please be sure not to miss out on the blessing of maintaining a Bible Study Journal!
Bible Study Journal
A few recommendations in order to get to know Paul:
- Read through the book of Acts, especially 11:19-29 and chapters 13-28.
- As you read Acts, use this map so that you can understand where Paul was in his life when writing Romans.
- Have a good book in your library on the life of Paul (and read it…). Here are some suggestions to consider:
- The Life of Paul: A Servant of Jesus Christ, by F.B. Meyer
- Paul: A Man of Grace & Grit, by Charles Swindoll
- The Apostle: A Life of Paul, by John Pollock
Get to know Romans
As with any Bible book study, one of the most important things for you to do is plan on reading the whole book through, if possible in one sitting. Suggestions:
- Use two or three different translations. Make sure you’re using dependable translations such as the New American Standard (NASB) or New King James (NKJV). One easy way to get to these translations is by using one of the excellent internet tools such as BibleGateway.com or Studylight.org. Let me know if you would like some thoughts on how to identify a “dependable” Bible translation.
- Each time you read through the, right quick notes of your impressions as you go along – things you can go back to and spend some time looking into more thoroughly. Watch for recurring themes, words you need to understand better, and key statements of truth or principle.
- Just a note about my notes – I am benefiting from a marvelous book published by IVP originally in 1934, this revision in 1967, titled “Search the Scriptures”.