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The Book of Romans

Stuart Briscoe

When people grasp the Book of Romans, Christ grips them.

“Time and again in the course of Christian history, it has liberated the minds of men, brought them back to an understanding of the essential Gospel of Christ, and started spiritual revolutions,” F. F. Bruce said of the letter to the Romans.

St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and John Wesley, whose lives started spiritual revolutions, stand out among the millions whose faith has been instructed, nurtured, and brought to maturity through this epistle. With this in mind, over 20 years ago, Stuart Briscoe taught this extensive 24-message series to help us grasp and be gripped by one of his favorite sections of Scripture.

Messages From This Series:

There is no denying the remarkable impact of the Apostle Paul’s ministry on the first century, nor its continued worldwide influence. Behind such outstanding achievement there lay powerful attitudes.

Scripture: Romans 1:1-1:17

“Gospel” means “good news,” but to many people it clearly is not particularly good. The reason may be that they have not realized how bad the bad news is because they have overlooked the wrath of God.

Scripture: Romans 1:18-1:32

Paul’s sweeping denunciation of human behavior no doubt stirred up indignant reaction in some of his hearers, as it still does today. By utilizing a literary device called “diatribe” – a debate with an anonymous person – he answers the objections and shows that everyone must face the judgment of God.

Scripture: Romans 2:1-2:16

Having exposed the condition of pagan society, Roman and Greek, Paul turned his attention to the religious society of the Jewish people. Although he was a Jew and proud of it, Paul did not hesitate to expose the spiritual danger inherent in religious profession.

Scripture: Romans 2:17-3:8

The human race is severely fragmented. No one denies it although many ignore it while some look for common ground on which some semblance of unity might be built. Paul states common ground that is largely overlooked but, if properly appreciated, could work wonders.

Scripture: Romans 3:9-3:20

We have now reached one of the pivotal points of the epistle introduced by the words: “But now . . . .” After the powerful “charge” that “all are under sin” and merit divine judgment, Paul begins to outline God’s answer to the human predicament.

Scripture: Romans 3:21-3:31

We have all been taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but that does not mean that nothing is free. It means that if something is given freely somebody footed the bill. So it is with salvation, but man has to believe that salvation is free because God paid the price.

Scripture: Romans 4:1-4:25

Celebration and depression seem to be commonplace in our world. The former is often related to a mindless, unthinking irresponsibility, while the latter is connected to a hopelessness, which sees no solutions to life’s problems. What should be the Christian’s attitude? We should rejoice intelligently.

Scripture: Romans 5:1-5:11

It may have occurred to Paul that he had written much about sin in individual lives without describing either the vast extent of sin’s domination or how sin came to be such a problem in the first place. He used the word “reign” to describe sin’s domination but balanced the expressions by talking about four monarchs.

Scripture: Romans 5:12-5:21

In his book, “Dynamics of Spiritual Life,” Richard Lovelace wrote, “Three aberrations from the biblical teaching on justification – cheap grace, legalism, and moralism – still dominate the church today.” Paul, in this passage, turns his attention to the first century equivalent of “cheap grace.”

Scripture: Romans 6:1-6:23

Paul’s statement, “You are not under law but under grace,” while wonderfully true is often woefully misunderstood and misapplied. This section examines the believer’s relationship to the law.

Scripture: Romans 7:1-7:25

Paul frequently used the expression “in Christ Jesus” (vv. 1-2). To be “in Christ Jesus” means to have a vital faith-relationship with the crucified and risen Christ. Great benefits and responsibilities accrue to those who enjoy such a relationship.

Scripture: Romans 8:1-8:13

Having explained in principle what happens when believers receive the “Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead,” Paul now leads into a practical explanation of life in the Spirit.

Scripture: Romans 8:14-8:27

At this point the tone of the epistle changed. Having carefully and systematically laid out this theological statement, the apostle now adopts a preaching style. And with a series of questions, he asks for a response.

Scripture: Romans 8:28-8:39

Paul’s presentation of the gospel of Christ was not at all acceptable to many Jews for obvious reasons. As a result, the veracity of his message and his own credibility were under fire. More than that, profound questions concerning election and rejection needed to be answered. They still do.

Scripture: Romans 9:1-9:33

The old hymn says, “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” Nowhere is this better illustrated than in His dealings with Israel. His ways are wonderful, and the appropriate response is wonder and adoration.

Scripture: Romans 11:1-11:36

Having dealt with evil on the cosmic scale, Paul now turns to a practical treatment of evil in the life of the individual. Showing how evil is found in attitudes as well as actions, he teaches believers how to shun evil and embrace good.

Scripture: Romans 12:9-12:21

Having dealth with the Christian’s behavior in the church, Paul turns his attention to the way a person with a renewed mind functions in a secular society, with particular reference to their response to governmental authority.

Scripture: Romans 13:1-13:7

The church at Rome was made up of Jews and Gentiles. This was a potentially volatile mix, and Paul was concerned that the behavior of both would serve to avoid dissension and foster Christian unity.

Scripture: Romans 14:1-14:23

The desire to please ourselves is a powerful motivational factor. It can lead to all kinds of selfishness and inappropriate independence. Because the Christian follows Christ, he or she exhibits a different attitude – the ministering mentality.

Scripture: Romans 15:1-15:33

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