Romans Summary Outline

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2012 Romans Summary Outline


 Tod Kennedy

Will be revised throughout the study. Last revision November 27, 2012

"God's righteousness is revealed in justification and sanctification by grace through faith to Jew and Gentile"

Section 1: God's righteousness and man's unrighteousness—mankind’s problem, Romans 1-3.

Chapter 1

Foundations for ministry, God's righteousness and the gospel,  faith in and rejection of God's revelation


1.    The apostle Paul, servant of Christ Jesus, writes to Roman believers about the gospel, which was promised through the prophets and is about God's son born in David's line and marked out as holy by resurrection (Romans 1:1-7).

2.    Paul thanks God for the Roman believers and prays to visit them so he may establish them in the faith, encourage himself and them, and bear spiritual fruit, (Romans 1:8-13).

3.    The gospel, which reveals God's righteousness, has captured Paul's life—he is obligated, eager, and not ashamed—because it is God's power for salvation by faith for Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:14-17).

4.    God's wrath is revealed against all who, though conscious about his existence and creation, reject and suppress his revelation about himself and his creation, and he gives them over to their lusts, passions, and depraved minds (Romans 1:18-32).


Chapter 2

Self righteous judging, false pride, circumcision of the heart


1.    We are wrong to judge others because we all sin, and God is the only judge (Romans 2:1-16).

2.    The self-righteous, arrogant, religious Jew is worse off than the Gentile who does not have God's law but who follows the law's intention (Romans 2:17-29).

3.    From his condemnation of these arrogant and self righteous Jews Paul reasons that in practical application the Law is of no value unless one applies the law in one’s life (Romans 2:25-29).

Chapter 3
All people are sinful, justified freely by faith

1.    Jewish people who fail to understand the meaning and correct application of the Law fail God and miss his purpose for them. Those Gentiles who believe God experience God's blessings. Paul asks a rhetorical question: then, what advantage does the Jew have? Paul's answer is that God gave the Scripture to the world through the Jew. Even if they do not believe the Scripture, the Scripture promises to the Jew are still true (Romans 3:1-8).

2.    The Jews are not naturally better than Gentiles; all people are sinful in comparison to God (Romans 3:9-20).

3.    God credits His own righteousness to unrighteous people through their faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3::21-31).


Section 2. God credits his righteousness by grace through faith—God's solution, Romans 4-5

Chapter 4
Righteousness is credited through faith

1.    Abraham and David illustrate the truth that God gives His righteousness to people through faith and not by works (Romans 4:1-9).

2.    The circumcision ritual will not help anyone gain God's righteousness (Romans 4:10-12).

3.    The promise to Abraham was also grace through faith and not by Law, and it also applied to all people, not just those under the Law (Romans 4:13-15).

4.    Both Abraham, though old and normally unable to father a child, and Sarah, also unable to bear a child, believed God. Abraham grew strong in faith and gave all glory to God for fulfilling His promise of a son. This section emphasizes that faith is believing what God has said; faith is not working in order to earn something (Romans 4:16-21).

5.    Abraham is a lesson to all of us about faith in God’s promises. Paul refers to Genesis 15:6. Righteousness will be credited to everyone who believes God who raised Jesus our Lord (Romans 4:24). This Jesus was delivered over to the Jews and Romans to die for our sins and transgressions on a Roman cross. Jesus was raised because our justification was complete (Romans 4:22-25).


Chapter 5
Justification gives many benefits

1.    Because God has justified believers, we now possess peace, access into grace, can boast about hope and tribulations, and  have God’s love and the Holy Spirit inside (Romans 5:1-5).

2.    God did the most for mankind when Jesus Christ died for sin and He will certainly completely finish what he started out to do (Romans 5:6-11).

3.    The one sinful act of Adam caused all mankind to die because when Adam sinned all mankind sinned in him (Romans 5:12-14).

4.    The one righteous act of Christ made it possible for God to cancel judgment and condemnation and give eternal life to anyone who believes the gospel (Romans 5:15-21).


Section 3. The Christian way of life, sanctification, is possible—now what? Romans 6-8

Chapter 6
Union with Christ makes the Christian way of life possible

1.    The believer's union with Christ makes it possible and practical to live the Christian life now (6:1-14). In this section doctrine (Romans 6:1-10) is followed by application (Romans 6:11-14).

2.    Believers who understand and apply this truth are slaves of God and this slavery should result in righteousness (6:15-23). In this section doctrine (Romans 6:15-18) is followed by application with yet more doctrine mixed in (Romans 6:19-23).

Chapter 7
The sinful nature inside

1.    The believer's union with Christ broke any tie to law and at the same time brought every believer into a new life and service with God (Romans 7:1-6).

2.    Paul's sinful nature (king sin) rebelled against the holy law and produced personal sins, and through this he learned what he was really like inside (Romans 7:7-14).

3.    Paul realized that because sin lived in him he did things that he did not want to do and did not do what he wanted to do, and this demonstrated his inner spiritual conflict between the law of sin and the law of God (Romans 7:15-25).

Chapter 8
The Holy Spirit inside

1.    Union with Christ places believers under the law of the Holy Spirit in fact and in practice, not under the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-4).

2.    Believers have the option of living through the Holy Spirit or through the sinful nature (Romans 8:5-8).

3.    The Holy Spirit option is only true for those whom the Holy Spirit indwells (Romans 8:9-11).

4.    It then follows that believers are to live day to day like heirs of God should live, by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:12-17).

5.    Creation may suffer now, but the future inheritance is much greater than any present suffering (Romans 8:18-25).

6.    Believers often do not know exactly what is God’s specific will when they pray, but they do know that God has a salvation plan from start to finish (Romans 8:26-30).

7.    God's plan guarantees that each believer is secure now in life and will be secure forever (Romans 8:31-39).


Section 4, God's Plan for Israel—what about Israel? Romans 9-11

Romans Chapter 9
God's promise and Israel

1.    God has privileged Israel, and Paul is sorry that Israel, God's chosen nation, has rejected Christ (Romans 9:1-5).

2.    Not all who physically descended from Abraham are children of God; only those who, like Abraham, believed God are His children.  But this is not evidence that God has failed to keep His word.  Israel is still in God’s plan. Now this Israel has descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and these three are related to God through promise (Romans 9:6-13).

3.    Can God be accused of unfairness in His choice of Jacob over Esau? No. He chooses to whom he will show mercy (those who believe him) and to whom he will judge (those who do not believe him). This fact Paul then illustrates in several ways: by Moses leading Israel, by Pharaoh rejecting God, by Israel being molded as clay by God as potter, by God blessing Gentiles through Israel, and by saving a remnant of believers in Israel. Therefore, God has the right to select Israel based on believed promise; furthermore, God will always have people that believe His promise (Romans 9:14-29).

4.    The Gentiles are not God’s appointed people, but because they believed God they attained righteousness while Israel  tried to get righteousness through the law and stumbled over God’s promise, so people who believe God's promise are given God's righteousness (Romans 9:30-33).

Chapter 10
Israel Needs Faith Righteousness

1.    Paul wants Israel to believe in Christ so that the nation will be given God's righteousness and then possess salvation (Romans 9:1-4).

2.    This section develops the thesis suggested by verse 4. They describe what the life lived by faith looks like, a faith life that the Law of Moses itself points to.  Paul’s conclusion is that faith righteousness [God's righteousness given to mankind through faith] is always superior to law righteousness [mankind's own righteousness that is based on keeping the law] (Romans 9:5-13).

3.    Faith righteousness is for anyone who wants it, but they must first hear God's gospel in order to believe it, and to hear the message someone must be sent to preach it (Romans 10:14-16).

4.    God's message has been available for all people through general revelation and for Israel through special revelation. Israel heard the message and most did not believe it, which explains Paul's great sorrow for his people Israel, that he expresses in the beginning of chapters 9 and 10 (Romans 10:17-21).

Chapter 11
God will regather Israel’s grace remnant for blessing
Israel's temporary rejection, foreknown by God, will end with regathering and salvation

1.    God always preserves a grace remnant [a small number of people who understand grace and accept salvation through faith] of Israel (Romans 11:1-10).

2.    Israel was temporarily set aside because of her unbelief and during this time Gentiles were joined to God's kingdom through faith (Romans 11:11-24).

3.    Paul has demonstrated that God can restore Israel; now he says that God will restore Israel to prominence after He completes His plan with the Gentiles (Romans 11:25-32).

4.    God is infinitely wonderful and all glory belongs to him (Romans 11:33-36).

Section 5, Day to Day Christian Living—things to do, Romans 12-16

Chapter 12
A new kind of priesthood

1.    God's plan makes all believers into priests and as priests they no longer sacrifice animals, but instead give themselves to God while at the same time they are progressively being changed inside (Romans 12:1-2).

2.    Believer-priests are individual members of the body of Christ and should serve God in the body according to their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8).

3.    Believer-priests should live within the mental attitude and power of love (Romans 12:9-21).

Chapter 13
Authority orientation and the Christian life
1.    God delegates authority to certain people and this authority gives freedom, order, and protection (Romans 13:1-7).

2.    Believers only owe love to others and those who love correctly are oriented to authority (Romans 13:8-10).

3.    Time is passing so get on with daily spiritual growth which makes you the kind of person that Jesus Christ is (Romans 13:11-14).

Chapter 14
Give freedom instead of judgments and obstacles

1.    Believers are supposed to allow each other (and especially the weak believer) to live his own life for the Lord instead of judging each other and showing contempt for each other (Romans 14:1-12).

2.    Believers have freedom to live life, but should use this freedom for building people up and not for tearing them down (Romans 14:13-23).

Chapter 15
Think like Christ toward one another, and Christ works through Paul

1.    The strong believer should help the weak believer so that the weaker and stronger may grow and glorify God (Romans 15:1-6).

2.    Jewish and Gentile believers are to accept each other (Romans 15:7-13).

3.    Paul's ministry does not reflect what Paul has done, but what Christ has accomplished through Paul (Romans 15:14-21).

4.    Paul plans on visiting the Romans on his way to Spain, but he must first take a contribution to Jerusalem (15.22-29).

5.    Paul asks the Romans to pray for his Jerusalem trip and for his trip to Rome (15.30-33).

Chapter 16
Personal notes and greetings

1.    Paul recommends Phoebe, a serving lady, and asks that the Romans help her in whatever and whenever she needs help (Romans 16:1-2).

2.    Paul sends personal notes to many of the Roman believers (Romans 16:3-16).

3.    Paul warns them to beware of the troublemakers, specifically those that live by their emotions and smooth talk people and work against the doctrine that has been taught (Romans 16:17-21).

4.    Some of the men with Paul also send personal greetings to the Romans (Romans 16:21-24).

5.    God, who stabilizes believers, has all glory (Romans 16:25-27).

End of outline