1. Romans is not a theological treatise but a letter written to Christians in Rome (A.D. 53–56).
  2. Paul’s salutation in Romans 1:1–6 is full of basic foundational Christian teaching—the Gospel of God. [We would do well to memorize these verses.] In a time when many of the psychological and other benefits of the Gospel are being applied to the point of losing the original meaning it is good to revisit this subject.
  • The Gospel is from God who promised beforehand through his Prophets in the Holy Scriptures concerning his Son.
  • Jesus Christ was declared to be Son of God with Power by Resurrection from the dead.
  •  Christians are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
  1. Paul states his thesis in Ro. 1:16-17.
  2. Beginning at Romans 1:18–3:20 Paul’s argument is almost entirely negative.
  • Humanity’s predicament apart from God. They have declared their independence from God and are in a state of rebellion against God. Therefore, they are enemies of God.
  • All people are sinful.
  • God will judge all people justly, im partially.
  • No one can be declared righteous before God on the basis of his or her works or personal attainments.



  1. In the next section, Ro. 3:21–4:25, Paul begins the second positive part.
  • Ro. 3:21-26
  • Ro. 4:16-25
  1. These texts are not only important to understand Faith and Salvation, but they contain some of the most exciting news in the Bible. [If you have the gift of memorization I highly recommend these Scriptures. If you don’t have that gift I recommend that you read them daily until they become a part of your thinking.]


  1. Faithfulness of God   (Ro. 3:3)
  • Does the unfaithfulness of someone nullify God’s faithfulness? Paul answers in Ro. 4:1 with a resounding, emphatic NO!!!  (μὴ γένοιτο) BY NO MEANS!
  • Being entrusted with the words of God does not guarantee a person’s faith in God or faithfulness to God; nor does such a great privilege provide exemption from divine judgment.
  • Throughout the Old Testament we find God’s faithfulness expressed as his “covenant love” (chesed).
  • God’s faithfulness is the reason for hope in a world corrupted by sin.
  • God pays no regard to ethnic background, moral upbringing, or access to the Law.


  1. Power of Sin  (Ro. 3:9)  Hamartian “under sin”
  • Hamartia is a much stronger word than the verb(hustereo, “fail,” “miss,” “fall short” (Ro. 3:23).
  •  We will see more about this in Romans 7. For now suffice it to say Chapter 7 is not describing a Christian! Hamartia was introduced into the world by Adam’s transgression.
  • It is humanity “mankind”) apart from Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who are under the power of hamartia.
  • It is in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ that we find most significant difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  •  Jesus Christ’s faithfulness even to death on a cross is designed to create a new humanity.
  •  Christians are not morally improved, but new creatures by the resurrection life of Christ. ( See also 2 Corinthians 5:17)
  1. The Law (Ro.3:19)  nomos. Usually refers to the Mosaic Law, the regulations (constitution) which were to guide Israel in its Covenant with God (Heb. B’rith   Gk. diatheke)
  1. The Righteousness [of God]  (Ro. 3:21, 22)
  2. Bear witness (Ro. 3:21)  attest, testify
  1. Justified  (Ro. 3:24)* [dikaio]


  1. Grace as a Gift  (Ro. 3:24)  [dorean]
  1. Redemption  (Ro. 3:24) apolutrosis
  • Can sometimes refer to a slave being ransomed. Never refers to any payment to Satan.
  1. Propitiation (Ro. 3:25) hilasterion, propitiation, satisfaction, expiation, sacrifice of atonement
  1. Atonement  (Ro.3:25) hilasterion]
  1. Passing over (Ro. 3:25), paresis letting go unpunished
  • Does not mean God forgave or overlooked the sins, nor is there anything about the sins being “rolled forward.”
  • God is not under the rule/constraints of TIME.
  1. Faith  (Ro.3:28; Ro. 4:3) pistis
  • Faith, according to Paul and God, is not just “believing” (mental assent). It is best translated “faithfulness,” doing what God says we are to do.
  • Abraham believed God and his life was changed, transformed.
  1. Reckoned as righteousness. (Ro. 4:5) δικαιοῦντα  [dikaiounta]
  • How did Abraham respond when God told him he would have a son?
  • Paul wants to make it clear that Abraham was not rewarded.
  1. The Promise  (Ro. 4:13) epanggelia
  • What did God promise Abraham?
  •  What has he promised us?
  1. Hoping against hope (Ro. 4:18)  elpis]

Romans 3:21-26


  1. The expression “faith[fulness] of Jesus Christ” appears not only here in Romans 3:21-31, but also in Galatians 2:16 and 3:22, and Ephesians 3:12 and in Philippians 3:9.
  2. In these verses three critical teachings of the Christian Gospel are brought together. These must always be included in any Christian proclamation (cf. 1 Peter 3:15b).
  • The Righteousness of God as the primary basis for and source of salvation.
  • The Faithfulness of Jesus Christ in his obedience both in his life and in his death as the means for salvation.
  • The Faith(fulness) of a Person Who Believes as the only acceptable response to the first two.
  1. It is “the faithfulness of Jesus Christ” that is the real difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  2. Christianity is inclusive. No one is excluded because of ethnicity or nationality (“for all who believe” Romans 3:22).
  3. What are the implications of Romans 3:22 for American Christians today?

Romans 4:16-25

  1. Question to consider: What shall we say about Abraham? (Romans 4:1-13. Cf. Genesis 16-22)
  2. Paul argues that one cannot possibly understand God‘s promise or Abraham’s faith without taking into account the seeming impossibility of Abraham‘s situation from a human perspective. (Romans 4:16-25)
  3.  What practical lessons can we learn from Genesis 16-22 and Romans 4?

*If you have not already done so please read Genesis chapters 16 through 22.



Chapter 5 of Romans marks a major turn, for from this point on the focus is on the readers. Chapters 5-8 “presents Christian existence between two events, between what God has already done and God has yet to do, between ‘the already’ and ‘the not yet.’” (Keck, 134)