Written by the Apostle Paul around 57 AD probably from Corinth on his third missionary journey. Paul likely writes the letter to address particular issues of concern to the Roman Church, specifically issues that dealt with and include both Jewish and Gentile Christians.
This is the longest introduction of all of Paul’s letters since he had not actually yet been to Rome at the time of this writing.
1: Paul calls himself an apostle. Meaning his authority is equal to that of Jesus’ twelve disciples. As an apostle, he was called specifically by Jesus and had seen the risen Jesus (Damascus road), and therefore had the authority to speak and teach the words of God.
8: Proclaimed in all the world means that the message of Jesus is one for the entire world, not just the Jews.
10: Paul expresses his desire to visit Rome, which he is yet to do.
11-12: All believers can strengthen and encourage one another no matter our social class, economic standing, or our perceived “holiness” from others. Paul himself was an apostle, yet he was encouraged by their faith as much as they were encouraged be his.
Question: When have you been personally encouraged by another’s faith? What was it that encouraged you?
17: Righteousness is simply our “right-standing” before God. A termed used throughout this letter.
The Gospel is for everyone and saves everyone who believes in Christ no matter ones race, gender, social status, etc.
Question: What does it look like practically to live unashamed of your faith (at work, with friends, doing hobbies)? How can you do this without being either pushy or coming across as too strong or fake around others?
20: We are all without excuse. No one can claim that God has not provided the evidence of his existence.
22: Those who deny God’s existence must come up with alternative explanations for many things. Therefore, claiming to be wise, they became fools.
It is important to note that many people turn from God not because of intellectual disbelief, but because of God’s high standard of morality. It is easier to live a life of sin by denying God’s existence than to willfully admit one is disobeying how God has called us to live.
Question: What are some ways in which we are “without excuse?” We all worship something in our lives. What are some things that you can easily replace God with in your life if you are not careful?
Verses 24-27 shows us God’s design for sexual relationships. That is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s original design.
Because we all worship something, we ultimately give our minds and lives to the things we hold most dear. If that is not God, it will be our own selfish desires that will control us.
32: As Christians, it is not enough to avoid things that dishonor God. We must also be careful of the things we consciously or subconsciously condone, even if we are not taking part in those things.
Do not forget that doing the list of things in verses 28-31 that Paul mentions is not what makes someone unrighteous. For we all sin and have taken part of some of those things even as believers. They were counted as unrighteous because their faith and trust was not in Jesus.
Question: How can we love people while not condoning sinful actions?
Question: What stuck out to you in this section or in this chapter as a whole?