Category: New Testament (Q through z)

2 Thessalonians 1:1 indicates that the Book of 2 Thessalonians was written by the apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy.

Date of Writing: The Book of 2 Thessalonians was likely written in AD 51-52.

Purpose of Writing: The church in Thessalonica still had some misconceptions about the Day of the Lord. They thought it had come already so they stopped with their work. They were being persecuted badly. Paul wrote to clear up misconceptions and to comfort them.

Key Verses: 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with powerful angels.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13, “But we ought always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Brief Summary: Paul greets the church at Thessalonica and encourages and exhorts them. He commends them for what he hears they are doing in the Lord, and he prays for them (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). In chapter 2, Paul explains what will happen in the Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). Paul then encourages them to stand firm and instructs them to keep away from idle men who don’t live by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 3:6).

Connections: Paul refers to several Old Testament passages in his discourse on the end times, thereby confirming and reconciling the OT prophets. Much of his teaching on the end times in this letter is based on the prophet Daniel and his visions. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9, he refers to Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “man of sin” (Daniel 7–8).

Practical Application: The Book of 2 Thessalonians is filled with information that explains the end times. It also exhorts us not to be idle and to work for what we have. There are also some great prayers in 2 Thessalonians that can be an example for us on how to pray for other believers today.

The key to Bible interpretation, especially for the book of Revelation, is to have a consistent hermeneutic. Hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation. In other words, it is the way you interpret Scripture. A normal hermeneutic or normal interpretation of Scripture means that unless the verse or passage clearly indicates the author was using figurative language, it should be understood it in its normal sense. We are not to look for other meanings if the natural meaning of the sentence makes sense. Also, we are not to spiritualize Scripture by assigning meanings to words or phrases when it is clear the author, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, meant it to be understood as it is written.

One example is Revelation 20. Many will assign various meanings to references to a thousand-year period. Yet, the language does not imply in any way that the references to the thousand years should be taken to mean anything other than a literal period of one thousand years.

A simple outline for the book of Revelation is found in Revelation 1:19. In the first chapter, the risen and exalted Christ is speaking to John. Christ tells John to “write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” The things John had already seen are recorded in chapter 1. The “things which are” (that were present in John’s day) are recorded in chapters 2–3 (the letters to the churches). The “things that will take place” (future things) are recorded in chapters 4–22.

Generally speaking, chapters 4–18 of Revelation deal with God’s judgments on the people of the earth. These judgments are not for the church (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 9). Before the judgments begin, the church will have been removed from the earth in an event called the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Chapters 4–18 describe a time of “Jacob’s trouble”—trouble for Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:12, 12:1). It is also a time when God will judge unbelievers for their rebellion against Him.

Chapter 19 describes Christ’s return with the church, the bride of Christ. He defeats the beast and the false prophet and casts them into the lake of fire. In Chapter 20, Christ has Satan bound and cast in the Abyss. Then Christ sets up His kingdom on earth that will last 1000 years. At the end of the 1000 years, Satan is released and he leads a rebellion against God. He is quickly defeated and also cast into the lake of fire. Then the final judgment occurs, the judgment for all unbelievers, when they too are cast into the lake of fire.

Chapters 21 and 22 describe what is referred to as the eternal state. In these chapters God tells us what eternity with Him will be like. The book of Revelation is understandable. God would not have given it to us if its meaning were entirely a mystery. The key to understanding the book of Revelation is to interpret it as literally as possible—it says what it means and means what it says.

The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the  time that John the apostle was writing Revelation. Though they were literal  churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and  believers today. The first purpose of the letters was to communicate with the  literal churches and meet their needs at that time. The second purpose is to  reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and  instruct them in God’s truth.

A possible third purpose is to use the  seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the  Church. The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes  issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there  may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far  too much speculation in this regard. Our focus should be on what message God is  giving us through the seven churches. The seven churches are:

(1) Ephesus (Revelation  2:1-7) – the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

(2) Smyrna (Revelation  2:8-11) – the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

(3) Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) – the church that needed to repent  (2:16).

(4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) –  the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

(5) Sardis (Revelation  3:1-6) – the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

(6) Philadelphia (Revelation  3:7-13) – the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

(7) Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) – the church with the lukewarm faith  (3:16).

(How many of the seven Churches of Revelations sound like the church of today?)

Author: Titus 1:1 identifies the apostle Paul as the author of the Book of  Titus.

Date of Writing: The Epistle to Titus was  written in approximately A.D. 66 Paul’s many journeys are well documented and  show that he wrote to Titus from Nicopolis in Epirus. In some Bibles a  subscription to the epistle may show that Paul wrote from Nicopolis in  Macedonia. However, there is no such place known and subscriptions have no  authority as they are not authentic.

Purpose of Writing: The Epistle to Titus is known as one of the Pastoral Epistles as are the two  letters to Timothy. This epistle was written by the apostle Paul to encourage  his brother in the faith, Titus, whom he had left in Crete to lead the church  which Paul had established on one of his missionary journeys (Titus 1:5). This letter advises Titus regarding what  qualifications to look for in leaders for the church. He also warns Titus of the  reputations of those living on the island of Crete (Titus  1:12).

In addition to instructing Titus in what to look for in a  leader of the church, Paul also encouraged Titus to return to Nicopolis for a  visit. In other words, Paul continued to disciple Titus and others as they grew  in the grace of the Lord (Titus  3:13).

Key Verses: Titus 1:5,  “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left  unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”

Titus 1:16, “They claim to  know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient  and unfit for doing anything good.”

Titus 2:15,  “These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all  authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Titus 3:3-6,  “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all  kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and  hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his  mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy  Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our  Savior.”

Brief Summary: How wonderful it must have been  when Titus received a letter from his mentor, the apostle Paul. Paul was a  much-honored man, and rightly so, after establishing several churches throughout  the eastern world. This famous introduction from the apostle would have been  read by Titus: “To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from  God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior” (Titus  1:4).

The island of Crete where Titus was left by Paul to lead the  church was inhabited by natives of the island and Jews who did not know the  truth of Jesus Christ (Titus  1:12-14). Paul felt it to be his responsibility to follow through with Titus  to instruct and encourage him in developing leaders within the church at Crete.  As the apostle Paul directed Titus in his search for leaders, Paul also  suggested how Titus would instruct the leaders so that they could grow in their  faith in Christ. His instructions included those for both men and women of all  ages (Titus  2:1-8).

To help Titus continue in his faith in Christ, Paul  suggested Titus come to Nicopolis and bring with him two other members of the  church (Titus  3:12-13).

Connections: Once again, Paul finds it  necessary to instruct the leaders of the church to be on guard against the  Judaizers, those who sought to add works to the gift of grace which produces  salvation. He warns against those who are rebellious deceivers, especially those  who continued to claim circumcision and adherence to the rituals and ceremonies  of the Mosaic Law were still necessary (Titus  1:10-11). This is a recurring theme throughout the epistles of Paul, and in  the book of Titus, he goes so far as to say their mouths must be  stopped.

Practical Application: The apostle Paul  deserves our attention as we look to the Bible for instruction on how to live a  life pleasing to our Lord. We can learn what we should avoid as well as that  which we are to strive to imitate. Paul suggests we seek to be pure as we avoid  the things which will defile our minds and consciences. And then Paul makes a  statement which should never be forgotten: “They claim to know God, but by their  actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing  anything good” (Titus 1:16).  As Christians, we must examine ourselves to be sure our lives line up with our  profession of faith in Christ (2  Corinthians 13:5).

Along with this warning, Paul also tells us how  to avoid denying God: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by  the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our  Savior” (Titus  3:5b-6). By seeking a daily renewal of our minds by the Holy Spirit we can  develop into Christians that honor God by the way we live.

Author: 1  Thessalonians 1:1 indicates that the Book of 1 Thessalonians was written by  the apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy.

Date of  Writing: The Book of 1 Thessalonians was written in approximately A.D.  50.

Purpose of Writing: In the church of Thessalonica  there were some misunderstandings about the return of Christ. Paul desired to  clear them up in his letter. He also writes it as an instruction in holy  living.

Key Verses: 1  Thessalonians 3:5, “For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent  to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might  have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.”

1 Thessalonians 3:7,  “Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged  about you because of your faith.”

1  Thessalonians 4:14-17, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we  believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who  are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have  fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud  command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and  the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are  left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the  air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

1 Thessalonians  5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all  circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ  Jesus.”

Brief Summary: The first three chapters are  about Paul longing to visit the church in Thessalonica but not being able to  because Satan stopped them (1  Thessalonians 2:18), and how Paul cared for them and was encouraged to hear  how they had been. Paul then prays for them (1  Thessalonians 3:11-13). In chapter 4, Paul is instructing the believers in  Thessalonica on how to live, in Christ Jesus, a holy life (1 Thessalonians  4:1-12). Paul goes on to instruct them of a misconception they had. He tells  them that the people who have died in Christ Jesus will also go to heaven when  He comes back (1  Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-11). The book ends with final instructions of living  the Christian life.

Connections: Paul reminds the  Thessalonians that the persecution they were receiving from their “own  countrymen” (v. 2:15), the Jews who rejected their Messiah, is the same that the  Old Testament prophets suffered (Jeremiah  2:30; Matthew  23:31). Jesus warned that true prophets of God would always be opposed by  the unrighteous (Luke 11:49).  In Colossians, Paul reminds them of that truth.

Practical  Application: This book can be applied to many life situations. It  gives us the confidence as Christians that dead or alive when Christ comes back  we will be together with Him (1  Thessalonians 4:13-18). It assures us as Christians that we won’t receive  God’s wrath (1  Thessalonians 5:8-9). It instructs us how to walk the Christian life daily  (1 Thessalonians 4–5).

1 Thessalonians 5:18

If you are not in a difficult time, you likely will encounter one soon. Jesus promised that we will have many hardships in this life (John 16:33). And was He right!

As unpleasant as trials are, there’s still much reason for giving thanks. In the past we have looked at provisions believers can count on during adversity: God’s presence, a pathway through the trouble, and potential to grow. Today, Let’s explore two more.

Protection. God doesn’t necessarily keep believers from suffering or disappointment. Stopping the storms may be our goal, but from His point of view, the adversity may be necessary to mature us spiritually. But the Father offers protection by staying with us in the struggle. Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are promised that God indwells us and will never leave. What’s more, we have assurance that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:38-39). So our ever-present God walks with us through the hardships, providing guidance and speaking truth into the situation.

Peace. While difficulties cause many people anxiety, believers have God’s peace. This inner serenity does not depend on whether circumstances improve. Rather, it’s a result of our relationship with Him. Our main focus shouldn’t be on fixing the problem but on our dependence upon God.

As we recognize the Lord’s provision during trials, we can genuinely express gratitude. Doing so will enable us to fix our eyes on Him rather than on our circumstance. We often don’t know what the purpose is for each ensuing trial, but we do know that our God is good and trustworthy.

 2 Timothy  1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 2 Timothy as the apostle  Paul.

Date of Writing: The Book of 2 Timothy was  written in approximately A.D. 67, shortly before the apostle Paul was put to  death.

Purpose of Writing: Imprisoned in Rome yet again,  the apostle Paul felt lonely and abandoned. Paul recognized that his earthly  life was likely coming to an end soon. The Book of 2 Timothy is essentially  Paul’s “last words.” Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern  for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use his last words  to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith (2 Timothy 3:14) and  proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy  4:2).

Key Verses: 2 Timothy  1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,  of love and of self-discipline.”

2 Timothy  3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,  rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may  be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy  4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct,  rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy  4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept  the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the  Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but  also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Brief Summary:  Paul encourages Timothy to remain passionate for Christ and to remain  firm in sound doctrine (2 Timothy  1:1-2, 13-14). Paul reminds Timothy to avoid ungodly beliefs and  practices and to flee from anything immoral (2 Timothy  2:14-26). In the end times there will be both intense persecution and  apostasy from the Christian faith (2 Timothy  3:1-17). Paul closes with an intense plea for believers to stand firm in the  faith and to finish the race strong (2 Timothy  4:1-8).

Connections: So concerned was Paul to warn  Timothy and those he pastored of the dangers of false teachers that he invoked  the story of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). Although their names  are not mentioned in the Old Testament, tradition has it that these men  instigated the building of the golden calf and were killed with the rest of the  idolaters (Exodus 32). Paul predicts the same fate for those who resist the  truth of Christ, their folly eventually being made “clear to everyone” (2 Timothy  3:9).

Practical Application: It is easy to get  side-tracked in the Christian life. We have to keep our eyes on the prize—being  rewarded in heaven by Jesus Christ (2 Timothy  4:8). We must strive to avoid both false doctrine and ungodly practices.  This can only be accomplished by being grounded in our knowledge of God’s Word  and firm in our refusal to accept anything that is unbiblical.

Author: The Book of 1 Timothy was written by the apostle Paul  (1 Timothy  1:1).

Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Timothy was  written in A.D. 62-66.

Purpose of Writing: Paul wrote to  Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the  Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia (1 Timothy 1:3). This  letter lays the foundation for ordaining elders (1 Timothy  3:1-7), and provides guidance for ordaining people into offices of the  church (1 Timothy  3:8-13). In essence, 1 Timothy is a leadership manual for church  organization and administration.

Key Verses: 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there  is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ  Jesus.”

1 Timothy  2:12, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she  must be silent.”

1 Timothy  3:1-2, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an  overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the  husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,  able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not  quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

1 Timothy  4:9-10, “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for  this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is  the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”

1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight  the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were  called when you made your good confession in the presence of many  witnesses.”

Brief Summary: This is the first letter  Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor who had been a help to Paul in his work.  Timothy was a Greek. His mother was a Jewess and his father was Greek. Paul was  more than just a mentor and leader to Timothy, he was like a father to him, and  Timothy was like a son to Paul (1 Timothy  1:2). Paul begins the letter by urging Timothy to be on guard for false  teachers and false doctrine. However, much of the letter deals with pastoral  conduct. Paul instructs Timothy in worship (chapter 2) and developing mature  leaders for the church (chapter 3). Most of the letter deals with pastoral  conduct, warnings about false teachers, and the church’s responsibility toward  single members, widows, elders, and slaves. All throughout the letter, Paul  encourages Timothy to stand firm, to persevere, and to remain true to his  calling.

Connections: An interesting link to the Old  Testament in the book of 1 Timothy is Paul’s citation of the basis for  considering church elders to be worthy of “double honor,” and deserving of  respect when it comes to being accused of wrongdoing (1 Timothy 5:17-19). Deuteronomy 24:15; 25:4; and Leviticus 19:13 all  speak of the necessity to pay a worker what he has earned and to do it in a  timely manner. Part of the Mosaic Law demanded that two or three witnesses were  necessary to bring an accusation against a man (Deuteronomy 19:15). The Jewish Christians  in the churches Timothy pastored would have been well aware of these Old  Testament connections.

Practical Application: Jesus  Christ is presented by Paul as the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Savior  to all who believe in Him. He is Lord of the church, and Timothy serves Him by  pastoring His church. Thus, we find the main application of Paul’s first letter  to his “son in the faith.” Paul instructs Timothy on matters of church doctrine,  church leadership, and church administration. We can use those same instructions  in governing our local assembly today. Likewise, the work and ministry of a  pastor, the qualifications for an elder, and the qualifications of a deacon are  just as important and pertinent today as they were in Timothy’s day. Paul’s  first letter to Timothy amounts to an instruction book on leading,  administrating, and pastoring the local church. The instructions in this letter  apply to any leader or prospective leader of Christ’s church and are equally  relevant today as they were in Paul’s day. For those not called into leadership  roles in their church, the book is still practical. Every follower must contend  for the faith and avoid false teaching. Every follower must stand firm and  persevere.

Author: Revelation  1:1,4,9 and 22:8 specifically  identify the author of the Book of Revelation as the apostle  John.

Date of Writing: The Book of Revelation was  likely written between A.D. 90 and 95.

Purpose of  Writing: The Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John by God “to  show his servants what must soon take place.” This book is filled with mysteries  about things to come. It is the final warning that the world will surely end and  judgment will be certain. It gives us a tiny glimpse of heaven and all of the  glories awaiting those who keep their robes white. Revelation takes us through  the great tribulation with all its woes and  the final fire that all unbelievers will face for eternity. The book reiterates  the fall of Satan and the doom he and his angels are bound for. We are shown the  duties of all creatures and angels of heaven and the promises of the saints that  will live forever with Jesus in the New Jerusalem. Like John, we find it hard to  describe what we read in the book of Revelation.

Key Verses:  Revelation  1:19, “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take  place later.” Revelation 13:16-17, “He also forced everyone, small and  great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on  his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is  the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Revelation 19:11, “I  saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is  called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.” Revelation  20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth  and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.” Revelation 21:1, “Then I  saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had  passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

Brief Summary:  The Revelation is lavish in colorful descriptions of the visions which  proclaim for us the last days before Christ’s return and the ushering in of the  new heaven and new earth. The Revelation begins with letters to the seven  churches of Asia Minor, then goes on to reveal the series of devastations poured  out upon the earth; the mark of the beast, “666”; the climactic battle of  Armageddon; the binding of Satan; the reign of the Lord; the Great White Throne  Judgment; and the nature of the eternal city of God. Prophecies concerning Jesus  Christ are fulfilled and a concluding call to His Lordship assures us that He  will soon return.

Connections: The Book of Revelation  is the culmination of the prophecies about the end  times, beginning with the Old Testament. The description of the antichrist  mentioned in Daniel 9:27 is developed fully in chapter 13 of Revelation. Outside of Revelation, examples  of apocalyptic literature in the Bible are Daniel chapters 7-12, Isaiah chapters  24-27, Ezekiel chapters 37-41, and Zechariah chapters 9-12. All these prophecies  come together in the Book of Revelation.

Practical Application:  Have you accepted Christ as your Savior? If so, you have nothing to  fear from God’s judgment of the world as described in the Book of Revelation.  The Judge is on our side. Before the final judgment begins, we must witness to  friends and neighbors about God’s offer of eternal life in Christ. The events in  this book are real. We must live our lives like we believe it so that others  will notice our joy about our future and want to join us in that new and  glorious city.

Author: Romans 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Romans as the apostle Paul. Romans 16:22 indicates that  Paul used a man name Tertius to transcribe his words.

Date of  Writing: The Book of Romans was likely written A.D.  56-58.

Purpose of Writing: As with all Paul’s epistles  to the churches, his purpose in writing was to proclaim the glory of the Lord  Jesus Christ by teaching doctrine and edify and encourage the believers who  would receive his letter. Of particular concern to Paul were those to whom this  letter was written—those in Rome who were “loved by God and called to be saints”  (Romans 1:7). Because he  himself was a Roman citizen, he had a unique passion for those in the assembly  of believers in Rome. Since he had not, to this point, visited the church in  Rome, this letter also served as his introduction to them.

Key  Verses: Romans 1:16,  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the  salvation of every one who believes, first for the Jew, then for the  Gentile.”

Romans  3:9-11, “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have  already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is  written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who  understands, no one who seeks God.’”

Romans 3:21,  “But now a righteousness from God apart from the law, has been made known, to  which the Law and Prophets testify.”

Romans 3:23:  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in  this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift  of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:9, “You however, are controlled not by the  sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if  anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to  Christ.”

Romans 8:28:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,  who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:37-39, “For I am  convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the  present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything  else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is  in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans  10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe  in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is  with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth  that you confess and are saved.”

Romans 12:1,  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies  as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of  worship.”

Romans  12:19, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for  it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Romans 16:17, “I urge you,  brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your  way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from  them.”

Brief Summary: Paul was excited about being able  to minister at last in this church, and everyone was well aware of that fact (Romans 1:8-15). The letter  to the Romans was written from Corinth just prior to Paul’s trip to Jerusalem to  deliver the alms that had been given for the poor there. He had intended to go  to Rome and then on to Spain (Romans  15:24), but his plans were interrupted when he was arrested in Jerusalem. He  would eventually go to Rome as a prisoner. Phoebe, who was a member of the  church at Cenchrea near Corinth (Romans  16:1), most likely carried the letter to Rome.

The Book of Romans is  primarily a work of doctrine and can be divided into four sections:  righteousness needed, 1:18–3:20; righteousness provided, 3:21–8:39;  righteousness vindicated, 9:1–11:36; righteousness practiced, 12:1–15:13. The  main theme of this letter is obvious of course—righteousness. Guided by the Holy  Spirit, Paul first condemns all men of their sinfulness. He expresses his desire  to preach the truth of God’s Word to those in Rome. It was his hope to have  assurance they were staying on the right path. He strongly points out that he is  not ashamed of the gospel (Romans  1:16), because it is the power by which everyone is saved.

The Book  of Romans tells us about God, who He is and what He has done. It tells us of  Jesus Christ, what His death accomplished. It tells us about ourselves, what we  were like without Christ and who we are after trusting in Christ. Paul points  out that God did not demand men have their lives straightened out before coming  to Christ. While we were still sinners Christ died on a cross for our  sins.

Connections: Paul uses several Old Testament  people and events as illustrations of the glorious truths in the Book of Romans.  Abraham believed and righteousness was imputed to him by his faith, not by his  works (Romans  4:1-5). In Romans  4:6-9, Paul refers to David who reiterated the same truth: “Blessed are they  whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man  whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Paul uses Adam to explain to  the Romans the doctrine of inherited sin, and he  uses the story of Sarah and Isaac, the child of promise, to illustrate the  principle of Christians being the children of the promise of the divine grace of  God through Christ. In chapters 9–11, Paul recounts the history of the nation of  Israel and declares that God has not completely and finally rejected Israel (Romans 11:11-12), but  has allowed them to “stumble” only until the full number of the Gentiles will be  brought to salvation.

Practical Application: The Book  of Romans makes it clear that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.  Every “good” deed we have ever done is as a filthy rag before God. So dead in  our trespasses and sins are we that only the grace and mercy of God can save us.  God expressed that grace and mercy by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on  the cross in our place. When we turn our lives over to Christ, we are no longer  controlled by our sin nature, but we are controlled by the Spirit. If we make  confession that Jesus is Lord, and believe that He is raised from the dead, we  are saved, born again. We need to live our lives offered to God as a living  sacrifice to Him. Worship of the God who saved us should be our highest desire.  Perhaps the best application of Romans would be to apply Romans 1:16 and not be ashamed of the gospel. Instead,  let us all be faithful in proclaiming it!