Paul begins with the universal problem of sin. All have sinned (Romans 3:23) and are in need of God’s mercy (Romans 3:9-26).
God's Rescue Plan
Romans reveals God’s rescue plan for sinners. God justifies a person by grace, through faith, so that the believer can live an obedient life of service to God. This new life begins at baptism, when the believer is united with Christ (Romans 6:3-7).
Justification by Faith
Acquittal from sin is not meritoriously earned by good conduct (Romans 3:20). God grants justification by his grace as a free gift (Romans 3:24, 8:33). Believers obtain access to God’s grace by faith (Romans 5:2). Salvation is a free gift of God.
Paul tied obedience to faith (Romans 1:5, 16:26). Obedience from the heart leads to righteousness (Romans 6:16-17). The faith of Paul was belief-in-action. Jesus and James also connected believing faith with works (John 6:28-29, James 2:14-26).
Jesus our Liberator
Paul explained the relationship between the Old and New Testament. Given as a guide (Galatians 3:19-24), the Old Law instilled awareness of sin, and imputed guilt that demanded condemnation (Romans 7:7-11). Since humanity was unable to meet the standards of the Old Law, God provided a liberator, Jesus, to free us from the Old Law (Romans 8:1-4).
Paul's love for Israel
In light of the gospel, Paul discussed the spiritual condition of Israel. Paul lamented Israel’s rejection of the gospel (Romans 9:1-5), prayed for their salvation (Romans 10:1), and emphasized their importance as God’s chosen people (Romans 11:11-32).
Before closing, Paul told the Roman Christians how to practice righteousness toward the church, society, and government (Romans 12:1 – 15:13). He concluded with travel plans and greetings.