The 13 Epistles written by Paul make up 24% of the New Testament writings. If you consider Hebrews to have been written by Paul, it is 14 Epistles and a higher percentage. They portray most vividly the faith and life of the early apostolic churches. Christian theology is based on these books. These books were originally written in the form of letters to various churches and individuals. They are in reference to real situations which often arise in the day we live in, making these writings priceless even today.
THE ORDER OF THE PAULINE EPISTLES
Group One: I & II Thessalonians emphasize the Second Coming of Christ and have a slight pastoral emphasis.
Group Two: Romans, Galatians - Each deals with the doctrine of Salvation. I & II Corinthians - Deals with church problems and solutions.
Group Three: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon - Prison Epistles emphasize the Centrality of the Person and Work of Christ.
Group Four: I & II Timothy, Titus - Pastoral Epistles emphasize church doctrine and practical morality.
Words that are frequently used are Church , Gospel , Grace , Faith .
- Born in Tarsus (Acts 22:3) A.D. 10
- A Benjamite, (Phil.3:15), A pharisee (Acts 23:6), A Roman citizen (Acts 22:25-28)
- Educated in Judaism (Acts 22:3) A.D. 20-30
- Had a sister in Jerusalem (Acts 23:16)
- Learned tent making (Acts 18:3)
- Educated with Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)
- Saw the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58) A.D. 35
- Persecuted the Church (Acts 9:1-2) A.D.35-36
- Converted near Damascus (Acts 9:3-18) A.D.37
- In Damascus (Acts 9:20 Sojourn in Arabia (Gal.1:17) A.D. 37-39
- Visit to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-29) A.D. 39
- Return to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) A.D. 39
- Brought to Antioch (Acts 11:25-26) A.D. 43
- Cyrpus crusade (Acts 13:4-12) A.D.45
- Perga (Acts 13:13)
- Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14-50) A.D. 46
- Iconium (Acts 13:51 - 14:5) Lystra (Acts 14:6-19)
- Derbe (Acts 14:20)
- Return to Lystra, Iconium, Pisidian Antioch (Acts 14:21-24) A.D.47
- Perga, Attalia (Acts 14:25) A.D.47
- Syrian Antioch (Acts 14:26-28) A.D. 47 - 50
- Jerusalem council (Acts 15) A.D. 50
- Antioch by land through Syria and Ciclicia (Acts 15:41) A.D. 50
- Derbe and Lystra (Acts 16:1-51)
- Phrygia and Galatia (Acts 16:6)
- Troas, Samothrace, Neapolis, Philippi (Acts 16:8-40)
- Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9)
- Berea (Acts 17:10-14)
- Athens (Acts 17:15-34)
- Corinth (Acts 18:1-17)
1 and 2 Thessalonians written
- Ephesus, Caesarea, Jerusalem,(Acts 18:18-22)
- Return to Antioch (Acts 18:22) A.D. 53 or 54
- Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23) A.D. 54
- Ephesus (Acts 19:1-41) A.D. 54-57
1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans and Galatians written
- Macedonia and Achaia (Acts 20:1-5) A.D.57
- Troas (Acts 20:6-12) A.D.58
- Miletus (Acts 20:13-38)
- Journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-17) A.D.58
- Arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-36) A.D. 58
Prisoner and Death:
- Prisoner in Caesarea (Acts 23:23- 26:32) A.D. 58-60
- Journey to Rome (Acts 27) A.D. 60
- Arrival in Rome (Acts 28:16) A.D. 61
- First Imprisonment A.D. 61-63
Prison Epistles: Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians written
- Release A.D. 64-67(?)
1 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews(?) written
- Spain (?), Crete, (Tit.1:5)
- Asia (2 Tim. 4:13)
- Macedonia (1 Tim.1:13)
- Greece (2 Tim.4:20)
- Second arrest (?) A.D. 67
2 Timothy written
- Martyrdom A.D. 68
The book of Romans was the sixth book that Paul wrote. It is first in the New Testament because of it's nature and content. The foundational doctrines of Christianity are found in it.
Romans is one of the three pivotal books of Paul. The other two are Ephesians and 1 Thessalonians. Romans deals with positional truth; the meaning of the cross. (Ephesians: deals with the church - practical truth, 1 Thessalonians: the majesty of the coming - prophetic truth).
The origin of the Church at Rome is unknown. The Roman Catholic tradition, taken from several early writers, is that the church was founded by Peter. However, there is no conclusive evidence that Peter ever visited Rome.
Another view is that the church at Rome was founded by the "strangers of Rome", who had been present at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. While this view is better than the previous one, it is doubtful. If the "strangers" had been Jews and Jewish proselytes, they probably would have begun the church in a synagogue. While it would have been rejected by the Jewish leaders, these leaders would have been acquainted with it. In Acts 28:17-22, when Paul first talks to these leaders, their knowledge of Christianity was almost nil. There is nothing in the book of Romans to indicate that the church there had any connection with a Jewish synagogue.
A third view of the founding of the church is that various converts of Paul, who had gone to Rome to reside, founded the church. This seems to be the most acceptable view and it harmonizes with certain internal evidence in the book
1. Romans has 16 chapters containing 433 verses.
2. It was written by Paul. The authorship of Romans has never been serious questioned.
3. The book was written in the winter or spring of A.D. 56.
4. It was written from Corinth during Paul's last visit there. He had a long stay in Ephesus then on his third missionary journey he spent three months in Corinth. He stayed at the house of Gaius. It is generally agreed that he wrote Romans from here.
5. The church at Rome was unusual in that it was made up mainly of Gentiles. This is significant because the Jews were so numerous in Rome that Claudius Caesar was at first afraid to banish them from the city. He simply banned them from assembling together. Finally, he did banish them for their trouble making. The banishment is mentioned in Acts 18:2. He later withdrew the ban and allowed them to return to Rome, which they did in great numbers.
When the book was written there were many Jews in Rome, yet the church was made up primarily of Gentiles. We know this partly because there is no suggestion in Romans of a tendency toward Judaism. Paul addresses them as Gentiles in 1:13. He also in 15:15-16 speaks of his calling as an apostle to the Gentiles.
The church in Rome was in general happy and healthy. Paul begins the book by expressing joy and thankfulness for the unity and faith of the church. They had gained a world-wide reputation for their faith (1:8). There is less rebuke in Romans than in any other book written by Paul, with the possible exception of the book of Philippians.
The theme is the gospel of grace bringing the righteousness of God to man.
Christ is seen as the Lord our Righteousness, Justifier, Redeemer and Saviour.
The key words are righteousness and justified in their various forms.
Rom.3:23,24 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom.4:25 Who was delivered for our offence and was raised again for our justification.
1. The book was written to show how a person can be just before God.
2. Paul wrote it to lay down the foundational truths of Christianity.
3. He desired they understand these foundational truths so that they would be strengthened to resist the Judaizing efforts that were subverting Christian truth.
4. The book also shows the unbelief and rejection of Israel and the grafting in of the Gentiles to the same tree.
5. It challenges the believer to a full dedication to God and His purposes.
6. Paul also desired to instruct them regarding their attitude toward government.
7. It was written to instruct Christians how to act toward one another.
8. Paul wrote to indicate to the Roman Christians regarding his future plans.
9. He wrote to introduce and commend Phebe, a Greek Christian woman that was about to visit Rome.
10. He used the occasion to give personal greetings to his many friends as Rome.
Events and Characters
1. The book begins with Paul speaking of his calling and placing in the body of Christ. He speaks of the power of the gospel and moves to the sins of the Gentiles. The hypocrisy of the Jews is exposed in that they condemn others for the things they themselves are doing.
2. The Jews have many advantages because they have the history of the dealings of God. They have but to look into their history and they can see clearly the purposes and ways of God. However, they are not to rest in their natural line but come to God by faith. Even Abraham received the blessing of God by faith not works. We have peace with God by faith. We reign in life by Christ. It is His life that brings us righteousness.
3. We are free from the works of the law, but we must not live in sin. Freedom is not license to sin. We are dead to it, so we cannot live in it. It's power over us is broken. We may struggle and do what we would not like to do, and fail in what we should do, but we press through and find the necessary victory in Christ. We live without condemnation because Christ is in us and we are dead to sin. We live in the spirit, are heirs with Christ and are made like Him. Nothing has the power to separate us from His love.
4. The rejection of Christ by Israel is a concern, but they are not the people of God, only those in Christ are the children of God. They stumbled at the stumbling stone and failed to attain the righteousness they sought. It was still Paul's desire to see them come into the fold, but they must confess Jesus as Lord. There is no other way to God but by receiving Him in faith. The bulk have rejected Him, but there is a remnant according to the election of Grace. The Gentiles are grafted in and become part of the same root as the saints of the Old Testament. They are not to become proud of the fact, but fear for God can graft the natural branches back in again. The great grace of God is that those who have rejected and crucified the Son of God can still find forgiveness and become part of the "all Israel" that shall be saved. God's grace, wisdom and knowledge is incomprehensible.
5. We are then to present ourselves as a living sacrifice serving God in the ministry to which He has chosen us. We are to be subject to government and laws as Christians. We are to live with our brother's welfare in mind. Things that would cause him to stumble we are to avoid. We should not please ourselves in these matters, but follow the example of Jesus who did not please Himself. Paul desires to come to them and then go to Spain. He commends to them Phebe and salutes his various friend there. He closes with an encouraging word of victory.
Lessons to Remember
1. The just shall by faith, all that is received from God comes about by the grace of God received through faith.
2. God's dealings in the past does not guarantee we will be subject to His dealings in the future. Only the children of faith receive from Him.
3. We are free from condemnation; therefore, we are to live holy and reject the enemy's attempt to bring us under condemnation.
4. We are to live in such a way as to strengthen rather than weaken those who serve God.
5. God expects us to live in harmony with the laws of the land in which we live.
I Introduction 1 - 8
A. Principles of Christianity Laid Out 1:18 - 3:20
B. Justification By Faith 3:21 - 5:21
C. Believer's Victory Over Sin 6 - 8
II Israel and the Church 9 - 11
A. True Seed 9
B. Heart Belief 10
C. Partakers of the Root 11
III Practical Christianity 12 - 15:13
A. The Christian and Self, the Body of Christ, the World and Government 12 - 13
B. The Christian, Doubtful Matters, and Weaker Brothers 14 - 15:3
C. Peace, Joy, and Hope in Christ 15:3 - 13
IV Conclusion: Blessing and Salutation 15:14 - 16:27
I Introduction 1:1 - 17
A. Salutation 1:1 - 7
1. Author 1:1 - 5
2. Destination 1:6 - 7a
3. Greeting 1:7b
B. Occasion 1:8 - 15
C. Theme 1:16 - 17
II The Need of Divine Righteousness 1:18 - 3:20
A. Decline of the Gentile World 1:18 - 32
B. Doom of the Critic 2:1 - 16
C. Dilemma of the Jew 2:17 - 3:8
D. Universal Condemnation 3:9 - 20
III The Manifestation of Divine Righteousness 3:21 - 8:39
A. The Medium of Righteousness - Faith 3:21 - 31
B. The Basis of Righteousness - Promise 4:1 - 25
C. The Attainment of Righteousness 5:1 - 21
D. The Aspects of Practical Righteousness 6:1 - 7:25
E. The Results of Righteousness - Life in the Spirit 8:1 - 39
IV The Relationship of Righteousness 9:1- 11:36
A. The Seed of Righteousness 9:1 - 33
B. The Way of Righteousness 10:1 - 21
C. The Universality of Righteousness 11:1 - 36
V The Application of Righteousness to Church Life 12:1- 15:13
A. Call to Consecration 12:1 - 2
B. The Use of Gifts 12:3 - 8
C. Personal Relationships 12:9 - 21
D. Political Relationships 13:1 - 7
E. Public Relationships 13:8 - 14
F. Fraternal Relationships 14:1 - 15:13
VI Conclusion 15:14 - 33
A. Personal Plans 15:14 - 29
B. Requests for Prayer 15:30 - 33
VII Postscript 16:1 - 27
A. Greetings 16:1 - 24
B. Benediction 16:25 - 27
Feed Yourself Students:
Before the next lesson do the following:
1. Read through the Book Of 1 Corinthians two or three times.
2. Do an outline of 1 Corinthinians.