Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Romans at a Glance

This book overviews the need for, method of, and results of salvation. It also provides God’s relationship to the nation Israel.

Bottom Line Introduction


These words can only refer to one book in the Bible, and that is Romans. If one were to attempt to determine the worth of this amazing no-nonsense, bottom line summary of God’s person, plan, and purpose in matters of doctrine, practical living, and prophecy, and by the untold millions of saints and theologians its pages have produced during the last 20 centuries, then every single one of its 9,447 words would be equal to at least a billion dollars each.

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Paul. He was also known as Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:11). This relentless enemy of Christians (Acts 8:3; 22:5, 19; 26:11; Gal. 1:13) would, following his conversion (Acts 9:3-9), become the greatest missionary, church planter, soul winner, and theologian in church history, authoring nearly half of the New Testament books!

2. What? The books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.

3. When and where?

Romans: 57 A.D., from Corinth.

4. Why and to whom?

Romans: to overview the glorious subject of salvation. Written to the church at Rome.

Key Events

1. God’s general indictment of humanity

2. God’s specific indictment of both Gentiles and Jews

3. The final verdict declares the entire world guilty before God; a definition of divine justification

4. Justification by faith illustrated by Abraham and David

5. The results of justification; justification compared and contrasted with condemnation as seen through the lives of Adam and Christ

6. The three commands leading to sanctification, (1) know, (2) reckon, and (3) yield

7. The relationship of the law of God to the unsaved and to the saved

8. The believer’s new position and future destiny in Christ

9. Israel’s past selection by God

10. Israel’s present rejection by God

11. Israel’s future restoration by God

12. The believer’s responsibilities regarding (1) his own body (2) his gifts, (3) his fellow believers, and (4) his unsaved acquaintances

13. The believer’s responsibilities regarding (1) the government, (2) society, and (3) the future return of Christ

14. The believer’s responsibilities regarding weaker members of Christ’s body

15. The believer is to please others, not himself; Paul writes of his future travel plans

16. Paul’s closing greetings to his friends in Rome; his advice concerning troublemakers in the church at Rome

Key Individuals

1. Paul, author of Romans and at least 12 other New Testament books, church planter, evangelist, missionary, and perhaps the greatest of all the apostles

2. Abraham, referred to by Paul showing that justification in the Old Testament was accomplished apart from circumcision

3. David, referred to by Paul showing that justification in the Old Testament was accomplished apart from the Law of Moses

4. Adam, referred to by Paul in contrasting his sin with that of Christ’s righteousness

5. Isaac, Jacob, Moses and an Egyptian Pharaoh, referred to by Paul to illustrate God’s sovereignty

6. Phoebe, godly woman who was entrusted to carry the epistle of Romans to the church in Rome

Key Places

1. Rome: political capital of the ancient world and of the mighty Roman Empire. Paul wrote the epistle of Romans to the church in that city during his third missionary trip from the city of Corinth

2. Spain: a nation Paul was planning to visit

Unique Features

1. This marvelous manuscript is in reality the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights of the Christian faith. Romans is the most complete summary of Christian doctrine. If all of the Bible were lost except Romans, scarcely any fundamental doctrine would be lacking. As he explained the gospel in Romans, Paul quoted from the Old Testament more often than in all his 12 other letters combined—showing how important the Old Testament is to understanding the gospel. No less than 57 quotes can be found.

2. It has been described as God’s legal document and the believer’s title deed.

3. In no other biblical book are the scriptural skies higher or the seas deeper than in this one.

4. Romans stands as the cathedral of the Christian faith.

5. The book has played a vital role in every significant evangelical renaissance in church history.

6. In essence it tells us what to believe (1-11) and how to behave (12-16).

7. It is Paul’s second longest epistle. First Corinthians is the most lengthy.

8. The first three chapters describe for us the most dramatic trial in human history.

9. Romans defines for us more great theological terms and concepts than any other biblical book. These include:

Justification (5:1)

Sanctification (6:1-13)

Propitiation (3:23-25)

Imputation (4:6-8)

Glorification (8:16-23)

Preservation (8:35-39)

Supplication (8:26, 27)

Transformation (12:1, 2)

10. It is the only biblical book which states that the indwelling Holy Spirit actually prays for the believer (8:26, 27)

11. This book is a book about righteousness. It says, God is righteous, God demands righteousness, and God provides righteousness. We are told just what righteousness is, what it isn’t, who needs it, why it is needed, where one may and may not find it.

12. Romans provides the greatest contrast between Christ and Adam in the Bible (5:12-21).

13. It gives us the most expanded explanation of God’s past, present, and future dealings with Israel in all the Bible (9-11).

14. It includes the most comforting verse in the Scriptures for Christians in distress (8:28). Romans 8 is considered by many as the most profound and precious chapter in the New Testament.

15. In general it gives the most severe condemnation of sin in the Bible (1:18-23; 3:9-18).

16. In particular it gives the most severe condemnation of sexual sin in the Bible (1:24, 32)

17. It provides the most detailed account concerning the results of justification (5:1-11)

18. Romans offers one of scripture’s greatest statements regarding God’s matchless wisdom (11:33-36)

19. It records the first of two overviews in regard to the responsibility of the believer and secular government (13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17)

20. It contains the first of two passages concerning the responsibilities involved in Christian liberty (14:1-6, 13-21; 1 Cor. 8-10)

21. In this book is found the first of three sections dealing with the future judgment seat of Christ (14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:11-17; 2 Cor. 5:1-10)

22. It offers us the first of three listings of the spiritual gifts (12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11-16)

23. The founder of the Roman church is unknown.

It was definitely not Paul

It was probably not Peter (see 15:20-21)

24. Both Peter and Paul, however, were later martyred at Rome (2 Pet. 1:14; 2 Tim. 4:6-8)

25. The church was probably founded by converts at Pentecost (Acts 2:10)

26. The membership consisted of both Jews and Gentiles, but mostly Gentiles (1:13; 11:13; 15:16).

27. Paul was anxious to visit this church (1:8-11)

28. God later assured Paul he would indeed go to Rome (Acts 23:11)

29. Paul knew many believers there in Rome, sending his greeting to 26, calling them by name (Rom. 16)

30. He requests prayer from this church (15:30-32)

31. At least four facts are brought out concerning the internal affairs of this church.

The positive things:

a. They shared their faith (1:8)

b. They were obedient to the faith (16:19)

The negative things:

a. Some were guilty of judging others (14:10)

b. Some were causing divisions (16:17)

32. It was probably the only biblical book delivered to its recipients by a woman, Phoebe (16:1)

33. Romans is the only New Testament book with no less than five distinct benedictions. (See 11:33-36; 15:13; 15:30-33; 16:20; 16:24-27).

Comparison with Other Bible Books

1. Genesis:

In Genesis, Abraham is the patriarch of Israel; in Romans he is the patriarch of all who believe (4:16).

2. Galatians:

Galatians, with its discussion of justification by faith, could be called “Romans is shorthand.”

3. James:

Romans shows the root of salvation: faith alone. James shows the fruit of salvation: good works.

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. Jesus Christ (1:1)

2. The seed of David (1:3)

3. The Son of God (1:4)

4. The Lord Jesus Christ (1:7)

5. Christ Jesus (3:24)

6. A propitiation (3:25)

7. Jesus (3:26)

8. Jesus our Lord (4:24)

9. Lord of Sabaoth (9:29)

10. A stumbling stone and rock of offence (9:33)

11. The end of the law (10:4)

12. The deliverer (11:26)

13. Lord of the dead and living (14:9)

14. A root of Jesse (15:12)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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