Written by Paul to friends around 58AD from Corinth - not a teaching exercise. Because it is a letter we see only one side of the dialogue. We can only deduce what the circumstances were by the letter. His letters were written to answer questions that had been asked and were dictated to a secretary, who, in this case, was Tertius (16:22). Paul does sign his name at the end of the book. Paul had not founded the Roman church and had no personal contact with them. In the letter he is sharing his faith and beliefs. Rome was the capital of the greatest empire in the world. Paul had never been there but wanted to go. (1:11) He wanted to warn the church of trouble in beliefs - that the best protection from false teaching was the Truth. (1:15) He is eager to preach to them.
Why he wrote them:
1. Needed them to pray for him as he collected funds for the poor in Jerusalem 2. Wanted to go to Spain and needed Rome as his base of operations (15:28) Outline
Ch.1-8 deals with the problem of righteousness; a right relationship with God. The Jews sought to solve this by meticulous obedience to the law, which causes frustration and defeat. Paul’s way was thru trust and yielding to God. This does not free us from the obligations or doing what we like - we do what we do because we love God. Ch 9-11 deals with the problem of the Jews - a real Jew is not flesh and blood of Abraham but those who yield to God as Abraham did Ch. 12-15 deals with the questions of practical life and living - some thought faith depended on externals; Paul thought those who are stronger in the faith have liberated themselves from external rules; he cautions against hurting the conscious of weaker brothers. We are not to do things to make it hard for someone else to be a Christian. Christian liberty should never be used in such a way to hurt another’s life or conscious. Chapter 1
Begins by giving Paul’s credentials:
1. Slave of Jesus - often called Jesus Lord - the opposite of a lord is...