Studies in the Book of Romans:

1. Introduction to Romans (1:1 - 1:17)The first chapter of Romans introduces Paul and his reasons for writing this remarkable book to the church in Rome. The lecture covers the historical setting and purpose for the book, along with the major themes that are part of its content. Play Audio Play Video
2. Bad News for Gentiles (1:18 - 1:32)Paul begins his case for the gospel by showing first of all that the entire human race is guilty before God, and richly deserving of His wrath. The argument proceeds first against the Gentile world, and will later shift to the Jewish population. Play Audio Play Video
3. The Knowledge of God's Certain Judgment (2:1-16)Paul's case against the human race continues in chapter two, as he argues that people have a deep and unshakable knowledge that judgment day is coming. Instead of repenting, however, people by nature mount up increasing guilt which will be exposed on the day of God's righteous examination of each human being. Play Audio Play Video
4. But if you are called a Jew... (2:17-29)The Apostle Paul now shifts his focus to Jewish people who believe they have an advantage based on birth. He shows that just as Gentiles do not live up to the knowledge they have through general revelation, so the Jews did not live by the standards of special revelation. Circumcision provides no excuse that would exempt them from judgment. Play Audio Play Video
5. Everyone is Under Sin (3:1-20)Paul now reaches the conclusion of his argument, showing that all people, whether Jew or Gentile, are equally exposed to God's judgment and wrath. He quotes from the Old Testament to show that "none are righteous," "none do good," and that no one by natural disposition fears God. It is against this bleak backdrop that Paul will now announce the good news of Jesus Christ.Play Audio Play Video
6. But Now! (3:21-29)With this text, Paul introduces the good news of the gospel, which stands in sharp contrast to the bleak picture painted in the earlier chapters. The text covers the central aspects of the atoning work of Christ, and the importance of faith as the vehicle for applying the work of Christ. Play Audio Play Video
7. Abraham and the Nature of Faith (4:1-12)Paul now turns his attention to the question of faith, considering both what it is and what it is not. In this text, Paul distinguishes between faith and works, and then between faith and sacrament. Play Audio Play Video
8. The Elements of Faith (4:13-25)In this text, Paul moves from a description of what faith is not, to a discussion of what faith is. The illustration of faith's qualities is taken from Abraham, the father of the faithful, who Paul uses to highlight faith's essential features. Play Audio Play Video
9. Having been justified...We have! (5:1-11)Paul now moves from a discussion of justification by faith to the question of the great benefits that are conferred by virtue of justification. The text especially highlights peace, grace, and glory, and the role of afflictions in Christian growth. Play Audio Play Video
10. Original Sin (5:12-21)At this point, Paul turns his attention to the question of how the sin of Adam affected the human race, that is the problem of Original Sin. In this complex passage, Paul explains that the sin of Adam left the human race in a condition of mortality, guilt, slavery to sin, and desperate need for grace through Christ.Play Audio Play Video
11. Dead to sin...Alive to God (6:1-14)Paul now moves to a discussion of sanctification, the process by which a Christian is moved toward holiness of life. In this text, Paul discusses the principle behind the process, that is, that we are dead to sin through the crucifixion of Christ, and alive to God through his resurrection. Play Audio Play Video
12. The Problem of Antinomianism (6:15 - 23)Having set forth the fundamental principle behind Christian sanctification, Paul now turns to its two distortions, antinomianism (lawlessness) and legalism. The first discussion centers on how Christians are not free "to" sin, but rather freed "from" sin. Play Audio Play Video
13. The Problem of Legalism (7:1-6)Having treated the question of antinomianism, Paul now turns his attention to the other extreme of legalism, showing that our death with Christ was also a death to the law and to all forms of legalistic Christianity. Play Audio Play Video
14. I cannot do what I want... (7:7-25)Paul discusses the lamentable condition of the legalist, who strives to do the right, but is powerless against the force of sin within. The condition describes both those outside of faith who try to gain salvation by works, and those have have faith, but who stray from the path of simple and complete surrender to Christ.Play Audio Play Video
15. Set Free! (8:1-17)Paul turns his attention to the great themes of sanctification in chapter 8. In this text he treats the principle of liberty and the practice of liberty. We have been set free, and because of this, it is possible to engage in the disciplines intended to lead toward holiness and life. Play Audio Play Video
16. If God be for us... (8:17-39)Paul concludes his great discussion of Christian liberty by explaining that the process of sanctification is mirrored in the creation itself, which longs for the day of the revelation of God's children. Our present discipline will be richly rewarded because God Himself has determined that we, together with all things, will share in a glorious destiny. Play Audio Play Video
17. They are not all Israel... (9:1-17)Paul's discussion now focuses on the question of the "seed of Abraham," those who are the children of promise, rather than children of the flesh. Paul argues that the seed of Abraham are those whom God has chosen, upon whom he has shown his compassion, rather than those who try to the attain the status by labor or by decision.Play Audio Play Video
18. What if God...? (9:19-29)Paul treats the subject of God's sovereignty, and human responsibility. He asks, "Why does God still blame us, for who can resist His will?" The answer to the question goes to the heart of the deepest aspects of the biblical understanding of God's ways with humanity, and his absolute rights as God. Play Audio Play Video
19. They have a zeal for God...(9:30 - 10:21)Paul has established that those who are of faith are the true Israel, the seed of Abraham. He raises here the question of why Israel did not come to faith. He concludes it was not lack of knowledge or opportunity, but lack of desire, as God held out his hands to a disobedient and obstinate people. Play Audio Play Video
20. Has God cast away His People? (11:1-12)In light of the fact that the gospel received a much more favorable reception among the Gentiles than the Jews of the first century, Paul raises the question whether God has permanently rejected the Jewish people now that we are in the New Covenant era. Paul dismisses this suggestion, hinting strongly that a time may come when great numbers of Jewish people will come to faith in their true Messiah.Play Audio Play Video
21. And thus all Israel shall be saved (11:13-36)Paul continues the discussion of the status and prospects of ethnic Israel. They have largely rejected the gospel, but God has preserved them through history, and Paul implies that there will come a time when great numbers of Jewish people will recognize their Messiah and come to him by faith.Play Audio Play Video
22. Present your bodies...(12:1-8)In this final major section of the book of Romans, Paul turns to the practical application of the great principles he has announced. His initial instruction that we should "present our bodies" as living sacrifices is followed by a summary of gifts in the church. Play Audio Play Video
23. Let Love be Genuine... (12:9-21)Paul expands the scope of his ethical instruction, moving from the fellowship of Christians within their community of faith to the wider civil community in which they find themselves. There, Christians may be subjected to abuse and misunderstanding, but are nevertheless to respond with grace, love, and forgiveness.Play Audio Play Video
24. The Powers that be (13:1-7)As Paul continues to expore the practical aspects of life in the community, he turns to the relationship Christians should maintain with civil authority, giving one of the most important treatments of the subject anywhere in the Bible. Authority is to be respected and honored, but never at the expense of conscience. Play Audio Play Video
25. Love Fulfills the Law (13:8-14)Paul's treatment of practical Christian ethics reaches its heart with this summary of the great principle of the New Testament, that love is the sum and substance of all that the law requires. Paul shows that the love inspired by grace will fulfill all the Law's conditions and much more. Play Audio Play Video
26. Each will give an account of himself (14:1-12)The Apostle Paul now takes up the matter of how Christians should deal with matters of "opinion," that is, matters in which there may be legitimate differences among believers. His counsel suggests that Christian people should show deference to one another in matters of lesser importance, recognizing that in some things there may be differences of opinion that need not be resolved with finality. Play Audio Play Video
27. The Content of the Kingdom (14:13-23)Paul continues his discussion of practical Christianity, pointing out that the most important priorities for believers come down to the weightier matters of God's law, rather than side issues of less importance. Play Audio Play Video
28. I will praise you among the Gentiles (15:1-13)As Paul begins to conclude his great summary of the Christian faith, he returns to the central theme of the book, and shows his readers that Christ came to fulfill great promises to bless the Gentiles, as promised in the Old Testament. Play Audio Play Video
29. No more place in these regions (15:14-33)As Paul nears the conclusion of his great epistle, he notes his hopes to visit the Roman church, and from there to proceed even further west to bring the gospel to Spain. If he did so, it might have given rise to a fourth missionary journey that seems implied in other New Testament texts. Play Audio Play Video
30. Final Greetings (16)In the concluding chapter of the book of Romans, Paul addresses greetings to many friends and acquaintences in the Roman church, indicating how much he had been helped and encouraged by people of whom we have little information, but who played a strategic role in the formative years of the Christian movement.Play Audio Play Video