Of all of Paul’s New Testament writings, I believe is letter to the church in Rome ranks as his best work.
I’ve read the New Testament a couple of times in my life but no other book of the Bible holds the key to salvation and grace than Paul’s letter to the Romans. I believe (as others have also commented) that is the reason that this book is near the beginning of the New Testament writings. It is a powerful statement about God’s grace for us and our salvation through Jesus Christ.
I am only going to give a brief summary of my thoughts about this letter. I will give some detail concerning the beginning of this letter and then summarize the remaining chapters.
Paul was in Corinth at the time of this writing. Because he was unable to leave Corinth, he decided to write a letter to the church in Rome detailing exactly what he would have said to them had he been able to make the trip.
The letter begins with Paul declaring that he is a servant of Jesus Christ, separated unto the gospel of God. He then states that:
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; by whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” (Romans 1:3-5 KJV).
This is a key point that Paul makes. He has confirmed what the Gospels have also stated: that Jesus Christ is both man and the Son of God.
He then goes on to say that the gospel of Christ “…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 KJV)
That statement, to me, sums up everything that the gospel message is about: believing on the gospel and believing in Jesus as the Messiah is the key to salvation.
Paul then provides some historical background of the Israelites (the closing verses of Romans 1). He explains how, after sin entered the world, man gave himself up to his own desires. They turned from God and His righteousness and, instead, embraced their own.
He then details how we are all sinners and that the only path to salvation is not through ourselves but through the saving work of the cross.
In the remaining chapters, Paul details how unrighteous all of us are and that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:24 KJV).
We are commanded to live as righteous a life as possible. We will fall short each and every day but it’s God’s grace that gives us the opportunity to get back up and try again.
In my next post, we will look at his letter to the Corinthians.
Thank you for reading and God bless!