Romans Studies 2: A Mountain of Truth

A Mountain of Truth – Romans 1:1-17


Approaching a study in Romans is like approaching a huge mountain, knowing that you want to climb to the top, yet hesitant because you have a sense of the formidable tasks you face.  Romans certainly is a mountain of rich truth about the riches of God’s grace.  But the good news is that you don’t have to worry, the journey will be delightful and rewarding every step of the way.

As Paul does in most of his epistles, he starts his letter to the church in Rome by opening up his heart to his readers.  Note that Paul’s letters to various churches would be hand delivered to a key leader in the local church.  The church likely met in members’ homes, and under Roman law, they were very possibly persecuted.

As Paul begins this letter to the church in Rome, he wants to begin by establishing his deep love for the Gospel and the Church. He wants to do all he possibly can to accomplish the mission God called him to: spread the Gospel and build up the Church.   Let’s hear a little bit from Paul’s heart…

1. What does Paul say about himself?

Some people in the church of Rome probably knew of Paul, or even knew him personally.  But there were also likely many who had never heard of him.  So it’s important for the church to hear his love for them and for the Gospel. So, how does he start out?  By not talking about himself!  He exalts Christ and rejoices in their salvation.  OK, but what about Paul – what makes this guy tick? study journal

Take Notes…

Please get out your Bible Study Journal and make some notes about this passage.  Go through 1:1-17 and find the verses where he expresses these perspectives:

  • His dedicated prayer life
  • His sense of mission
  • His commitment to the Gospel
  • His understanding of salvation

To see further comments from Paul about his own life and ministry, check out 1 Corinthians 4:1,9, 16-17, and 2 Timothy 4:6-8.  In 2 Corinthians 11:21-29, he describes the incredible extent of his sufferings for Christ. (Write some short notes of your observations in your Journal.)

2. What does Paul say about the Gospel? 

Here is a basic outline of this introductory passage of Romans.  Read through each set of verses and see if you can understand each label given to the sections – or maybe think of a better one.

  • Origin (1:1-2)
  • Content (1:3-6)
  • Purpose (1:5
  • Power (1:4)
  • Propagation (1:14-15)
  • Do you see any more?

3. Do you understand the “eagerness” Paul expresses for ministry?

  • What does it look and sound like to you?
  • Do you ever experience that feeling in your life?

4. Think about the “righteousness of God” in 1:17.

  • What is “righteousness of God”, what is it not?
    • the power of God
    • the result of receiving the Gospel
  • Use eSword or to look at the meaning of the Greek words
    • dig deep in the Word!
    • ‘dikaios’ is the key word for righteousness – what understanding does the Greek definition add?
  • Why does he quote “the just shall live by faith”?
    • this quote comes from the Old Testament – look it up and read the context
      • what is “context”?  the surrounding biblical content – a few verses or a whole book!
    • look over in Galatians 3 for some help