Romans: Trace Theme & Argument

Back to Book of Romans Home

Good News
Bible Studies
Study Graphics
Doctrine Dictionary
Tod Kennedy
Audio Files


2012 Romans 1-17 handout—Trace the Argument Expanded

Tod Kennedy

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

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

Section 1, God's Righteousness and Man's Unrighteousness, Romans 1-3

Romans 1. Foundations for ministry, God's righteousness and faith in the gospel,  rejection of God's revelation.

Romans 1:1-17. Paul is an apostle appointed by God to serve Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was promised through the Old Testament prophets which they recorded in the Bible centuries before he was born. His human lineage was in the line of David and he was holy in his human spirit. The resurrection demonstrated his holiness (Romans 1:1-7). Paul is very thankful for the Romans and prays often for them. He wants to visit the Romans and minister to them through his spiritual gifts in order to establish them in the faith, encourage himself and them, and bear spiritual fruit (Romans 1:8-13). The grace gospel has captured Paul's life, so much so that he is obligated and eager to preach the gospel, and he is not ashamed of the gospel which gives salvation to those who believe it (Romans 1:14-16). He further explains that the gospel reveals God's righteousness because God has judged all sin on Jesus. When God grants forgiveness and everlasting to those who believe the gospel he is applying Jesus' death to them; God is not overlooking sin (Romans 1:17).

What is the gospel?

The gospel (εὐαγγέλιον the reward of good news and then simply good news) is the message of forgiveness and everlasting life—salvation—through Jesus Christ's substitutionary death for the sins of the world, and this salvation is gained by faith in Jesus Christ for that salvation. Central passages include 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-9,  and 1 Timothy 1:15-16. John 3 (Nicodemus), John 4 (Samaritan woman), John 11 (Martha), John 20 (Thomas), and Acts 16 (Philippian jailer) record the proclamation of the gospel to individuals and the faith response.

Seven word help put the gospel in context and explain it

1.    God—Sovereign, holy, righteous, love, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, truthful, and created all things living and non living.

2.    Man—God created mankind in his own image to honor God, rule creation, and fellowship with God.

3.    Sin—Eve and then Adam sinned resulting in  judgment from God, and sin passed to everyone.

4.    Christ—He came to take the judgment for sin that we deserve; he is the substitute for the whole world.

5.    Grace—God offers forgiveness, everlasting life, and abundant life as a free gift to those who take it.

6.    Faith—A person gains forgiveness, everlasting life, and abundant life by trusting Jesus Christ for them.

7.    Future—Christ returns, Resurrection, Kingdom, Judgment, Eternity.