What Is The Purpose Of The Book Of Romans? A Bible Study

What Is The Purpose Of The Book Of Romans? A Bible Study November 17, 2015

Why did Paul write the Book of Romans? What was his purpose in writing it?

The Author

Obviously the author of the Book of Romans is the Apostle Paul as he identifies himself in the very first line; “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). Bible scholars believe it was written around A.D. 60 in Corinth and possibly during his third missionary trip. He wrote it at a time when the church in Rome was facing increasing persecution. Many had lost their jobs, lost their possessions, lost their homes, lost their family, lost their freedom, and many lost their lives.

The Book of Romans

The Book of Romans might be Paul’s greatest written work. It is a literature masterpiece by itself! This book or letter, sometimes called an epistle, has Paul giving the sinner the bad news first and then making them see how good the good news really is (John 3:16). Truthfully, if we see how real God’s wrath is against the sinner (John 3:36b) the mercy of God will seem irrelevant. The vast majority of people think they’re going to heaven based upon what they’ve done, which is contrary to biblical doctrine (Eph 2:8-9), so Paul reminds the church at Rome (and all who read) that “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10 and “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12). Do good people go to heaven? No! Only justified people do because none are good…not one! To make his point, Paul brings in the Old Testament, going all the way back to Adam and then moving the reader forward, all the way to Jesus Christ. In doing so, he leads the sinner down the Roman Road to salvation with verses like Romans3:23 which says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and that “wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23a).

For-the-wages-of-sin-is

The Roman Road

From my experiences in witnessing to people about Christ, almost nine in ten believed that they did enough good things to go to heaven. Of course there were atheists I spoke with too and I told them I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist, but among those who expressed a belief in God, the vast majority of them believed that they deserved to go to heaven based upon what they’ve done in their lives. Most have never heard about the need for repentance, which is what half of the message of the gospel (Mark 1:15). Some think that it’s what they do instead of what Jesus’ done, but to add one drop of works to Christ’s atoning sacrifice is to make yourself a co-redeemer and God will have none of it. Christ + Your Works = Zero but Christ + Nothing = Everything!

The Purpose

Paul is clear about the purpose of this letter by writing “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17), pointing back to the fact that even in the Old Testament, “the righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4). The “righteous” is sometimes translated the “just” which means the justified since all who are in Christ have been justified. Paul proves this point by writing “those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:30). This includes the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament (Heb 11) like Abraham who “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Rom 4:3; Heb 10:38). The promise to Abraham is a promise to us too if we will place our faith in Christ because “the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith” (Rom 4:13) received by “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23b). Paul wants the sinner to know his or her perilous state, standing on the precipice of eternity and judgment, when at any second, God could require their soul (Luke 12:20; Heb 9:27) and make them run to the cross down the path of repentance, turning away from their sins, and running up to and trusting in Christ.

Conclusion

We should thank God that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9). If it were by works plus Christ, then how would we know when we had enough? How would we find this imaginary threshold where we’d know “we’re in?” I thank God that it is a free gift not earned by works and that is even the one Who God grants repentance (2nd Tim 2:25) and Who calls us (John 6:44). Still thinking of works? Here are the only works that will ever help you: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.


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  • kitty

    Faith without works is dead.

    • pud

      “Faith” is belief without evidence…ie: delusion

      • Jack Wellman

        You are the best my friend at passing out blessing without even knowing it (Matt 5:10-12) so thank you.

        • pud

          You are a horrible, wicked, delusional man who makes a living lying to children. Shame on you jack. Shame on you.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biBULlkmBFE

          • Jack Wellman

            Thank you for your blessing on me, which is promised to all who are hated, ridiculed, despised, and called names. Thank you and may God have mercy on your soul (Rev 20:12-15).

          • pud

            It is not a “blessing” it is a curse. You make your living lying to children. You frighten them into submitting to your death cult and all the falsehoods therein. It is about as wicked a thing as a man could do. You promote self loathing, guilt, shame and intellectual bondage. You are an enemy of truth, science, knowledge and progress. You’re a mid level cult leader professing insight into things you can’t possibly know. You and your kind are an anchor on civilization. You are no different than the Taliban or ISIS in your rabid desire to indoctrinate others into your warped and perverted view of reality. You care nothing for honesty, history, reality or facts. You live in a wish thinking fantasy land and seek to drag as many low IQ people as possible in there with you. You are an enemy of reason, logic, rationality and common sense. You and your kind are a blight on humanity, virtue, and decency. Your constant threats of hellfire and damnation should see you in prison for child abuse not blathering your nonsense from a tax exempt pulpit.

          • Jack Wellman

            Wow…just read your post. If you are frightened, it is because of your own eternity that you know is coming. So sad for you…but yes, keep on blessing me. Thank you for that. You are fulfilling what Christ said would happen. You are confirmation of that.

          • pud

            It’s you who is terrified of your celestial dictator not I. If you had a shred of integrity you would know that “jesus” never existed let alone “said” anything. Your book was constructed over centuries by wicked stupid superstitious men like yourself. It was scripted, edited and compiled to serve political power interests like every other “holy” book ever written. You have no integrity. You care nothing about what is true and what is not. You have swallowed a delusion and now make your living perpetuating an absurd mythology via fear, greed, guilt and shame. You are an intellectual coward and fool. Debate me jack…right here on these pages….we’ll see who’s really frightened

          • Jack Wellman

            Ahhh…thank you again. Matt 5:10-12.

          • pud

            There is nothing “righteous” about you jack nor is there any untruth in what I say. Debate me…support your case. Any topic, any issue, point by point..what do you fear “pastor”?

          • SJ

            God loves pud in spite of his lack of righteousness.

          • SJ

            God loves pud but pud hates to give God credit for His good motives.

          • Jefta Mordi

            PUD!OR WHAYEVER YOU CALL YOURSELF I WANT YOU TO ABANDON EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT LIFE AND FOCUS ON THIS TRUTH OKAY.CAN YOU DO THAT .DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO LEAD YOU INTO ETERNAL CONDEMNATION .IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST RECEIVE SUPERNATURAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT JESUS RESURRECTED AND CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH UNTO SALVATION .GOD BE WITH YOU. CHRIST’S.

          • pud

            LOL!!!! I DON”T THINK SO!! SINCE WE ARE SHOUTING NOW HOW ABOUT YOU DEMONSTRATE THE EXISTENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL?

            I have no intention of leaving my critical faculties at the door of your delusional death cult and begin mumbling words to some invisible made up thing in the sky. Not do I ever intend to “believe” some Bronze Age book filled with provable nonsense and absurdities.

            Time for you to grow up and be a rational big boy

          • James Kelly

            You tell ’em, pud. Religion is a waste of time and it’s a shame it’s a compulsory subject at our school. I’d do almost anything to not have to do the subject next year.

          • pud

            Really? What kind of study? If it’s a historical study of world religion you should find that very interesting. If it’s religious indoctrination then that’s illegal in any public school.

          • Abiam Danso

            wow! evolutionist, atheist, anti- Christ, you know what? Christians are not surprise about you (PUD AND JAMES KELLY) you James i`m ashamed your name is James. Anyway let me go on with my thought about this issue.
            Because,
            I know FROM the way you don`t believe in God you don`t also believe in creation. So tell me how did all things came to being?
            By evolution, right? i don`t know if you have grandparents, either alive or dead. If they are alive , i want you to scrutinize them thoroughly for me , find out 1) if they are APES or 2) if they just resemble APES .

            I know you can recognize things that are bad, like insult , abuse,stealing, fighting, e.t.c. i know you have done any of these ‘BAD’ things before and
            now the question i want to ask you is that who taught you how to do such things? and the answer is no body taught you but you know how to do either of them anyway.
            That’s how it is . God did not create us with weakness or any bad attitude, he created a perfect human in perfect environment with perfect gift of WILL. He gave us the opportunity to choose between what is good and what is bad. The devil has perverted the truth and is working in men , using them to fight each other but using the name of God , which of course is by no means for God.

            Now for your information, your are not the first people not to believe in the existence of God almighty, the creator and owner of all things, including you ( PUD AND JAMES) and you wont be the last to disbelieve . But i wish that since you people are learned people, you shall find out for yourselves from the BIBLE the very truth Christianity profess. And you will appreciate it yourselves.
            may the God almighty who created you and I show you the light that gives life, in the mighty Name of our LORD JESUS Christ who died and rose again on the third day for our forgiveness. Amen

            PUD and JAMES we love you and are praying for you. the devil is a liar and is always is. so get yourselves out of darkness and from blindness. Thank you .

          • pud

            Wow! Lunatic

            Thank you

          • Abiam Danso

            i don’t believe i am a lunatic. And that is the same way i do not believe that you came from an APE!

            Not all will be saved but i pray that you get yourself saved!

          • pud

            Who cares what you “believe”?

            We didn’t “come” from apes…WE ARE APES!

            If you and your kind weren’t so willfully ignorant and stupid you would KNOW that we are primates just as apes and monkeys are and we all are offshoots of primates that predated them. Apes, monkeys, bonobos etc are all primates from a common ancestor and you could know this easily with a little effort…but NOoooo! You rather “believe” that you and every other organism was magically pooped into existence by an invisible deity….Pitifully stupid

          • Abiam Danso

            ok. i’m glad to know that you think you’re an APE. but frankly speaking, Brother/ Sister your very different from an Ape. Yes it is true man formulated classification and categorized HUMAN BEINGS among apes, Monkies bush babies. And these were base on certain anatomical similarities. But i want to ask you this question, is ”SIMILARITY” the same as” SAME”?
            and i want to give you this assignment. Get yourself a Monkey, train it as much as you can and compare it to yourself to find out who has the greatest sense of judgement. Friend this argument shall not take you anywhere, just accept the fact that HUMAN BEINGS are so specially uniquely created differently from the APE or the MONKEY.

          • pud

            You obviously know little to nothing about science specifically taxonomy.

            Humans were NOT “created” and you can show absolutely no evidence to the contrary. You live in a willful make believe universe.

            We ARE a species of primate whether you like it or not. We have the largest brain of any primate (christians excluded) but we are still primates specifically apes.

          • Abiam Danso

            THANK GOD CHRISTIANS ARE EX-CLU-DED. Because I AM A CHRISTIAN, created by the MOST HIGH GOD. by the way my question is still not answered, according to TAXONOMY HUMAN BEINGS share certain SIMILARITIES with other organisms from the ”family” or whatever you think, but is it that they are the SAME?
            Look the only wise God created the whole world and everything that is in it. The universe can’t be explain by ”big bang” because nothing plus nothing does not give something , the earth and it’s fullness , the postulates or theories of evolution cannot explain it.

          • pud

            You are delusional.

            Demonstrate that you or anyone else was “created” No one cares what you “believe” (people believe all manner of stupid) If you can’t show it, you don’t know it. And you don’t.

            Demonstrate that any “god” can or ever has existed. Try.

            No two species are the “same” so what?

            The only idiots who claim that the universe came from “nothing” are the religious idiots who claim some invisible entity spoke it into existence from NOTHING…you lose again

          • pud

            To further demonstrate your abject ignorance….”evolution” has NOTHING to do with the ORIGIN of life. Evolution is entirely and only the study of how life forms change over time and the mechanisms that drive those changes such as natural selection, genetic drift, mutation etc.

            Evolution is a FACT. A demonstrable, provable FACT.

          • Jack Wellman

            Poor Pud. Hiding behind anonymity and I sort of miss his sophomoric rants, name calling, and hatred as we miss a blessing (Matt 5:10-12), but I can’t see his/her (who knows?) comments anymore. They are a waste of time reading them.

          • pud

            Really? What kind of study? If it’s a historical study of world religion you should find that very interesting. If it’s religious indoctrination then that’s illegal in any public school.

          • Tony Benz

            Kys

          • James Kelly

            You tell ’em, pud. Religion is a waste of time and it’s a shame it’s a compulsory subject at our school. I’d do almost anything to not have to do the subject next year.

          • pud

            LOL!!!! I DON”T THINK SO!! SINCE WE ARE SHOUTING NOW HOW ABOUT YOU DEMONSTRATE THE EXISTENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL?

            I have no intention of leaving my critical faculties at the door of your delusional death cult and begin mumbling words to some invisible made up thing in the sky. Not do I ever intend to “believe” some Bronze Age book filled with provable nonsense and absurdities.

            Time for you to grow up and be a rational big boy

          • Jack Wellman

            Amen sir. Poor pud is simply a religious troll, so you just have to excuse him for he has no other purpose in life than to bash that which he doesn’t understand. pray for this lost soul.

          • Jack Wellman

            Amen sir. Poor pud is simply a religious troll, so you just have to excuse him for he has no other purpose in life than to bash that which he doesn’t understand. pray for this lost soul.

          • Jefta Mordi

            PUD!OR WHAYEVER YOU CALL YOURSELF I WANT YOU TO ABANDON EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT LIFE AND FOCUS ON THIS TRUTH OKAY.CAN YOU DO THAT .DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO LEAD YOU INTO ETERNAL CONDEMNATION .IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST RECEIVE SUPERNATURAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT JESUS RESURRECTED AND CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH UNTO SALVATION .GOD BE WITH YOU. CHRIST’S.

          • pud

            Why don’t you debate me here on these pages jack? One on one? Put your blind “faith” up against a heathen to see whose arguments stand the test? Or would you be afraid of the challenge?

          • SJ

            God loves pud….you just want to debate so you can’t register God’s love….

            Learn to register not debate…..

        • pud

          Knock knock
          Who’s there?
          Jesus, let me in
          Why?
          So I can save you from what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in

          There jack….Your crazy cult in a nutshell

          • SJ

            Knock Knock….who’s there? A God who loves pud….

          • TERRY HARROP

            Jesus deos not knock- he stands at the door but only comes in if you invite him
            join an Alpha course near you or wtach online and make yoyur decision then
            ultimately you will need to make a decision

          • pud

            Nonsense. Invisible non existent man made supernatural entities do not “stand” anywhere. Your cult is nothing but one of thousands of man made myths

          • TERRY HARROP

            no please believe me ///// i have actually seen Him
            i made my commitment to Christ without any understanding of much of the bible and all else it just felt the right thing to do after attending and listening to The Alpha course. From then on amazing things have happened and indeed some miracles. But one evening whilst alone with my two dogs one of which was coughing badly and whist praying for some help from God He appeared to me. I have seen most things in life including suicides, and other deaths ive been a “man of the world ” i can only tell you what i saw .Never dought that He is real and exists HE DOES

          • pud

            “Doubt” not “dought”

            Why is it that the greatest lunatic psychotics are also the lowest IQ?

            People have “seen” Elvis too…

          • TERRY HARROP

            does it really matter that much if i cannot spell correctly ? you understood the reply. Again i would urge you to watch the course / the penny may drop if it does not no worries ! you dont realise what you are missing |

          • TERRY HARROP

            Do know so much about low IQs – in our small church there are 7 doctors 2 lawyers and many teachers
            88% of the medical profession follow a faith – what does that tell you ?

          • pud

            It tells me that even intelligent people can be indoctrinated and be victims of cognitive dissonance. Your “alpha” course is pure bullshit

          • TERRY HARROP

            why so much anger Pud ?
            Alpha is just the place for you to go and put forward all your thoughts that is what its all about

          • pud

            No anger just total intolerance for your delusional cult

          • TERRY HARROP

            What have you got to lose Pud just go to a course and get it all off your chest Noone there will be upset by anything you have to say – no-one will judge you – you want a debate go get it |

          • pud

            I don’t do delusional cults populated by lunatics

          • TERRY HARROP

            ok Pud i am curious to know where we came from and how we came to be here
            its clear you know as you constantly claim Christians to be lunatics ! Before you start there is no proof iether way and i accepted that until i saw Him with my own eyes

          • pud

            Was he 6′ tall blonde hair and blue eyes?

            Why didn’t he show up at the mall so more people could see him instead of just you?

          • TERRY HARROP

            no nothing like tha, He appeared as more granite faced sharp featured with a chisel jaw. I am 99 %sure He was male but only saw His top half and there were no colours at all He was grey.
            I suspect He has appeared to many I dont know why He appeared to me but know that He will let me know in some way in time. I really should be shouting from the rooftops but then people would dismiss me as you do now, He will reveal Himself to us all at some point be ready for Him Pud He is coming.. I read somewhere that of 950 things predicted in The Bible about 750 had happened, to date .Who could possibly write
            a book in reverse ? and if it were possible why would they ? Pud its all about entering into a relationship with Him just as you would with anyone else Only difference is He will never let you down whilst others may.Dont try to work Him out He is in control and He knows what He is doing although i accept for a non believer it is hard to understand . Throughtout time before His coming during His time here and still today people question it all just relax and have faith that He will sort it all.because He WILL

          • pud

            Wow! You sure convinced me to enter into a relationship with the invisible grey chisel featured man from your imagination! Well at least the top half of him!

            How about you post up those 750 predictions that have happened we’ll just have a look eh? How about 10 of them?

            Meanwhile tell jesus to stop by my head and say hello will you?

          • TERRY HARROP

            I will pray that He will come into your life . That pray will be answered one day in any event BUT i just pray that it is before your death on earth because you will meet Him . I will try and find where that information regarding the predictions is and post it back on here for you BUT it really doesnt matter because you would still want to wait and see if the remainder come to pass as well. Hmm..its just dawned on me that there must be millions of delusional people on this planet just like me. Suppose we will all have to wait and see but in the meantime i will stick with what i saw – not imagination.

          • pud

            Wow! You sure convinced me to enter into a relationship with the invisible grey chisel featured man from your imagination! Well at least the top half of him!

            How about you post up those 750 predictions that have happened we’ll just have a look eh? How about 10 of them?

            Meanwhile tell jesus to stop by my head and say hello will you?

          • TERRY HARROP

            no nothing like tha, He appeared as more granite faced sharp featured with a chisel jaw. I am 99 %sure He was male but only saw His top half and there were no colours at all He was grey.
            I suspect He has appeared to many I dont know why He appeared to me but know that He will let me know in some way in time. I really should be shouting from the rooftops but then people would dismiss me as you do now, He will reveal Himself to us all at some point be ready for Him Pud He is coming.. I read somewhere that of 950 things predicted in The Bible about 750 had happened, to date .Who could possibly write
            a book in reverse ? and if it were possible why would they ? Pud its all about entering into a relationship with Him just as you would with anyone else Only difference is He will never let you down whilst others may.Dont try to work Him out He is in control and He knows what He is doing although i accept for a non believer it is hard to understand . Throughtout time before His coming during His time here and still today people question it all just relax and have faith that He will sort it all.because He WILL

          • pud

            Was he 6′ tall blonde hair and blue eyes?

            Why didn’t he show up at the mall so more people could see him instead of just you?

          • TERRY HARROP

            ok Pud i am curious to know where we came from and how we came to be here
            its clear you know as you constantly claim Christians to be lunatics ! Before you start there is no proof iether way and i accepted that until i saw Him with my own eyes

          • Tony Benz

            Lmao this useless atheist is so miserable at his trash life he comes to annoy others. Seriously kys dude. I’m agnostic and i can’t stand atheists . They should be beat with iron rods until death or paralyzed

          • pud

            1. I’m happy as a clam

            2. there’s no such thing as an “agnostic” If you don’t know or can’t know then you ALSO do not believe in nonsensical religious superstitions

            3. Seems you’re the one with anger issues…stupid

          • pud
          • TERRY HARROP

            Sorry i intended to say He does not force His way in He does knock but only enters if invited

  • Kelly

    Curious that this ended up on the Google News page. I have no objections to Christians talking about their faith. Freedom to express your beliefs (religious or otherwise) is a basic human right–see articles 18 and 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But why is this on the Google *News* page? It’s not news.

    • Jack Wellman

      I’m not sure why it showed up on Google News. We have no control over who posts it.

  • pud

    “Paul” was a delusional psychotic but don’t let facts get in the way of your cults “beliefs”

    • Tony Benz

      Have fun in hell maggots

  • Rebecca Gales

    Yes, you are truly blessed, Jack, as are we all when we undergo persecution in the name of Our Lord! John 15:

    20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

  • Mark Moore

    So this Jesus guy knows all and is all powerful but doesn’t know how to write and has to have Paul write things down for him a few decades later? Doesn’t that sound a little contradictory?

    • Tony Benz

      Why do you care ? Maybe you should kill yourself and find out the truth

  • This is a great article. Currently writing a research essay on St. Paul and the book of Romans. This information will come in handy. Unlike most other articles i’ve come in contact with, this work is clear and understandable.