A Basic Structure for Romans

This term our church is in it’s 4th year of taking 10 weeks (term 2) to slowly move through Romans. So, for our first bible study, rather than picking up in Romans 13 straight away, we did a basic overview of the whole book.

It seemed to work pretty well. I’ve taken a certain view of Romans that assumes Paul has got two audiences in mind (See P.Barnett’s “Why Paul Wrote Romans” RTR 2003). And therefore, each chunk of Romans makes the same point for everyone at Rome, before explaining it again with particular reference for the Jews in Rome.

  • Romans 1:1-17 : Introduction: the Gospel as the Power of God
  • Romans 1:18-3:19 : No-one is Righteous
    • 1:18-2:16 No-one is Righteous… Not the Gentiles
    • 2:17-3:20 No-one is Righteous… Not even the Jews
  • Romans 3:21-4:25 : God Righteously Forgives through Faith in Christ
    • 3:21-31 God Righteously Forgives All through Faith
    • 4:1-25 God Righteously Forgives even the Jews through Faith
  • Romans 5 : God’s Salvation is Certain and Assured
    • 5:1-11 Salvation from sin’s punishment (for all)
    • 5:12-21 Salvation from the law’s punishment (for the sake of the Jews)
  • Romans 6-7 : Jesus is the new Lord in our Salvation
    • 6:1-23 Jesus is our new Lord over life and death (for all)
    • 7:1-25 Jesus replaces the law of sin and death (for the Jew)
  • Romans 8-11 : Nothing will stop God’s Promise to Save his Elect
    • 8:1-39 Nothing will stop God’s plans (for all)
    • 9:1-11:36 Nothing will stop God’s plans (for the Jews)
  • Romans 12-15:13 : God’s Mercy calls for new lives
    • 12:1-13:14 God’s Grace calls his people to love all people
    • 14:1-15:13 God’s Grace calls his people to love – even to love the Jews
  • Romans 15:14-16:27 : Final Greetings and Instructions

 

 

 

 

 

Who should you design your church meetings “for”

At one level, this shouldn’t be a hard question… surely you design your meetings for the people who are meeting with you.

So, since the meeting is for everyone – especially Christians (see the last post) – you have to think about the different types of people in the room, and there’s really only two types of people: people who are not Christians who need to hear the gospel, and people who are Christians who need to hear the gospel.

So proclaim the gospel. Proclaim it in the welcome, in the songs, in the reading, in the sermon, in the prayers, in the invitation to hang around for supper. Christian or not, they need to hear it and be reminded of it.

But, since the gospel is the power to save from God’s eternal wrath, there’s a right priority to make the most of the opportunity afforded by the non-Christian in the room. Don’t do everything for them, but don’t ignore them as though they’re not meant to be there… they are meant to be there! They just don’t know it yet.