The Power of God in the Gospel.

The theme of the book of Romans is the righteousness of God as revealed in the Gospel. We should never cease to wonder that God's mercy and power were enough to save sinners like us!

Though they assign different labels to their outline, Bible commentators break the book of Romans down into the same sections. We will use Alva J. McClain's outline to guide our study.

Introduction (Romans 1:1-17)
  • Salutation (verses 1-7)
  • Personal Communication (verses 8-15)
  • Main Theme (verses 16-17)

As we live a lifestyle of praying for lost people and deliberately making time to relate to them, Paul's experience of being "not ashamed" of the Gospel will become our reality as well. If God cannot use us to lead people to Him, we have no purpose in this life. It's the reason we are left on this earth after we are born again!

Fear in giving the Gospel comes because we don't know people. Everyone is afraid to present the Gospel to a stranger; but sharing it with a friend is much more natural. Take joy in the "planting" and "watering" of building relationships and communicating Gospel truth. You may or may not see the harvest that God is preparing, but your labor is not wasted (see 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

Condemnation (Romans 1:18-3:20)

Paul makes a systematic argument in Romans. For each section, McClain identifies a question that Paul answers in legal fashion.

  • The Wrath of God Revealed
  • Question: Is the world lost?
  • Answer: "All the world ... [is] guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).
Salvation (Romans 3:21-8:30)
  • The Righteousness of God Revealed
  • Question: How does God save sinners?
  • Answer: "In Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)
Vindication (Romans 9-11)
  • The Wisdom and Mercy of God Revealed
  • Question: Why has Israel been set aside?
  • Answer: "That God might have mercy upon all" (Romans 11:32)

The nation of Israel was set aside because they rejected Christ as their Messiah, yet every person of Jewish descent still has the opportunity to receive salvation personally through Jesus Christ.

Exhortation (Romans 12-15)
  • The Will of God Revealed
  • Question: How should a saved person walk?
  • Answer: "Be transformed" (Romans 12:2)

God's grace gives us the ability to live out His will according to His Word. This process of growth is called progressive sanctification. One preacher accurately said, "The pain of discipline is far easier to bear than the pain of regret."

Conclusion (Romans 16)

Application Points

  • The study of Romans can quickly become academic. As we look at this book, remember that you have to live what you learn. Pray for lost souls and your personal influence for the Gospel's sake. Will you commit to spend as much time praying as you do learning the content of Romans this year?
A Hymn to Encourage: "A Sinner Like Me"

I was once far away from the Savior,
As vile as a sinner could be,
And I wondered if Christ the Redeemer
Could save a poor sinner like me.

I wandered on in the darkness,
Not a ray of light could I see;
And the thought filled my heart with sadness,
“There’s no hope for a sinner like me.”

And then, in that dark, lonely hour,
A voice sweetly whispered to me
That Christ the Redeemer has power
To save a poor sinner like me.

I then fully trusted in Jesus;
And, oh, what a joy came to me!
My heart was filled with His praises
For saving a sinner like me.

No longer in darkness I’m walking,
For the light is now shining on me,
And now unto others I’m telling
How He saved a poor sinner like me.