In today's brief post, I want us to consider how the introduction and three major sections of Paul's letter to the church of Rome fit together. Paul's letter consists of unfolding to his readers and us God's powerful Gospel as spelled out in Romans 1:16-17. It is undeniable that Paul's thoughts unfold in a logical and ever-escalating fashion as he takes the reader though the foothills and summits of the Gospel. By considering certain major transitional words (such as, although, therefore, because, much more), one can begin to see an overall flow of thought. For the sake of those wanting to study, teach or preach Romans, I offer the following suggested themes of Romans 1:1-3:20; 3:21-5:21 and 6:1:8:39...
1. The Gospel Introduced. Romans 1:1-17
2. The Crises Of Sinful Man In Need Of The Gospel. Romans 1:18-3:20
3. The Cardinal Truth Of The Gospel: Justification By Faith Alone. Romans 3:21-5:21
4. The Christian Life In Sanctification Flowing From Justification In Union With Christ. Romans 6:1-8:39.
Now these headings are by no means meant to be final headings. Instead, they give the reader an idea of Paul's main subject matter in each of these key sections. Certainly, one can consult a standard study Bible, commentary or Bible dictionary to gain a more detailed understanding of each section. It is sometimes helpful though in one's study of scripture to mark down what one sees in reading through a Bible book so as to keep in mind and in heart what is before them. We read the Bible so as to live the Bible for the glory of Christ.