Romans Introduction

The book of Romans was a letter written by the Apostle Sha'ul to believers in the city of Rome, Italy. He was in the city of Corinth, Greece at that time. The time of the writing was approximately 56 A.D.

Some of the background for the book of Romans stated by Alva McClean:

"Now lets look at the church at Rome and at the purpose and occasion for this letter.

"The Roman Catholic church believes Peter founded the church at Rome and was the first pope. I do not believe this for several reasons. First, in the salutation in the last chapter, Paul salutes twenty-seven men by name. It would have been astounding if Peter had been there and Paul had not saluted him also. Second, Paul states that it is the aim of his life to preach the gospel where it has never been preached before, "lest I should build on another man's foundation" (Rom 15:20). But he wanted to go to Rome, and he did go to Rome. If the apostle Peter had been there, the apostle Paul would not have turned his eyes in that direction.

"Third, Luke was a careful historian, but he did not record in the book of Acts Peter as the founder of the church at Rome. If a man as prominent as Peter had founded this church, surely Luke would have said so.

"How was it founded? On the day of Shavu'ot (Pentecost) , Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) fell on the followers of Yeshua, and they all began to speak other languages. (This does not mean some were not saved before this. (Acts 2:7-11)

"On the day of Shavu'ot (Pentecost) there were Jews from practically every county under heaven who had come down for the Passover. Yeshua had died at the time of the Pesach (Passover) in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). They remained for the day of Shavu'ot (Pentecost), exactly fifty days after that, and were there to hear what happened then, including the sermon of Peter. That is very likely how the church was founded at Rome: those from Rome who were there at Yerushalayim carried their faith back home."

"Others also went to Rome; chief among them were Aquilla and Priscilla...

Probably the church of Rome was not at this time a completely organized body, but merely a collection of believers meeting in different places throughout the city, such as the home of Priscilla and Aquilla. There may have been many little groups of believers all over Rome."

"Why did Paul write to Rome from Corinth? He had made two journeys and had already written five other letters: 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. He had written to these to correct existing defects. When he hears that in Rome there is a little colony of believers, and that the church is not really organized, not planted by an apostle, Paul is filled with a desire to visit this church. He knows this is the chief city of the world, the logical place to do a great work for G-d. In order to prepare the way for his coming, he writes them. This book also set forth the gospel he preached. So for the first time, and for the only time in all the epistles (letters) of the new Covenant, the great doctrines, are set forth in logical discourse. There is order all the way through. Every time I read this book, I thank G-d that those few believers were at Rome, providing the occasion for Paul to write this mighty treatise. G-d used the human occasion to set forth the gospel of the grace of G-d to the believers in Rome.

"I want to say something about the place of this epistle in the Word of G-d. The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are all biographical history; then the book of Acts, is history. These five books are followed by the first of the letters (epistles), Romans. Romans was not the first epistle written. Paul wrote five other before it. Why are these books not placed in the Bible chronologically?

I believe the Holy Spirit placed Romans there. The Hebrew letters correspond to the books of the Bible in the order they were placed in the Bible.

"Romans stands there much as the brazen altar stood in the tabernacle: when the worshipper started to approach the holy place, the first thing he came to was the brazen altar stood on which the sacrifice was placed. He could not pass: he could not enter the tabernacle until he came to that. ...It is the place where we find Yeshua set forth as the propitiation (satisfaction) that justifies us and enables us, through faith in His blood, to go on in truth.

"Romans tell us what this faith is; Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians tell us about the body of Yeshua, the mystery in past ages and 1 and 2 Thessalonians deal with the coming of the L-rd and the translation of believers. Romans begins with a gospel that has always been known." "The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah and Psalm 22 speak of the suffering of the Messiah. They taught that Yeshua would bear our sins: "He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed...The L-rd hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Is 53:5,6 ASV). That is the gospel that was promised beforehand, and it is that gospel that is spoken of and unfolded in Romans. (Romans, Alva J. McClain, Co.1973, pg. 13,14 &15).

What does our friend J.R. Church state about Romans and the Hebrew alphabet.

"Roman correlates to the letter "Vav" the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and has a numerical value of six. This number obtains its symbolic identity from the sixth day of creation- physical completion and mankind. It is man's number; the number of his physical and spiritual enterprise. Jewish people call it the "symbol of completion, redemption, and transformation." Romans is the premiere work in Scripture on the subject of justification by faith, resulting in a transformed life. It's message follows the definition of vav:

Rom. 3:23-24 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of G-d; "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Yeshua.

But justification is only the beginning of another process often described in Romans. In one of the clearest, we find the very word used to describe vav:

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but by ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of G-d"

Salvation does not require a changed life; rather it changes lives.