The Book of Romans
Regardless of race, color, creed, heritage, history or ancestry, religion has always been a point of debate within the masses. Some question the validity & authenticity of works believed to be the “absolute truth”. Such tiffs give rise to notions such as why did someone do a particular thing, why was a certain action committed, why was something certain said to a particular someone or at some specific venue. One such query pertaining to the Christian faith is, why did Paul write The Book of Romans?
Salvation, as is believed by many among the Christian masses, is the key to attaining Paradise as a reward for having lived life within this mortal world in submission & practice of the teachings & commandments of Jesus Christ. After Jesus bid farewell to this mortal world, his closest allies whom we know as his apostles took on the responsibility of carrying forth the mission that Jesus had initiated and take it to its full glory.
One of those Apostles was Paul; a convert to Christianity who originally hailed from the lands of Israel, was a man of Jewish heritage & belief before he swore allegiance to Jesus Christ, and (not surprisingly) used to be an activist against the early converts of the Christian faith.
But there is no telling when a person can change his or her stance even when it comes to a thing such as religious beliefs; and this is not a surprising phenomenon either. Such being the case with Paul as well led him to become a diehard & devoted promoter of the cause of Christianity. To fulfill this mission, he travelled & rested for periods at one location on numerous occasions.
It was this passion and love for the Christ that compelled Paul to travel to Spain and acquaint the locals over there with Christianity. Paul saw this as a great opportunity to implant a new faith into the hearts & minds of people since no one had done for Christianity in Spain prior to that. However, while en route to Spain, he got the opportunity to pass through Rome and was immediately taken in by the notion of staying there to fulfill a longstanding wish of his own.
Why Did Paul Write the Letter to the Romans?
During the course of his stay in Rome, Paul became very well acquainted with the concepts & notions being propagated by the Church of Rome. Being a devout man of faith, he felt that he needed to amend a few things and also introduce people to the missing pieces which he considered to be absolutely essential in order for their faith to be measured as complete. To fulfill this task, he wrote out a letter to the Church of Rome stating that salvation could only be attained through the gospel of the revered Jesus Christ.
Why did Paul Write The Book of Romans?
As for the question why did Paul write The Book of Romans; there are a few different reasons for that:
- Knowing that Spain would be a new place and that it would take more than just normal effort to work for the cause of Christianity there, Paul envisioned the Church of Rome to endorse his ideas & work so that the locals of Spain would become less hostile, receptive and conducive to the knowledge he had to share with them.
- Before the Church of Rome could endorse his work or vouch for him, he needed to get the Church of Rome itself become acquainted with what Paul had to profess. Not only would this familiarize the Church of Rome with what he had to profess, but it would also distinguish him from the many self-proclaimed “guardians of faith”.
- The Church of Rome was comprised of both Jewish & Gentile Christians. As a consequence, there existed a great dichotomy and also hostility between the two factions. To bring them together and streamline their thoughts, Paul wrote The Book of Romans to bring them at par with one another.
- Lastly, Paul knew the mission that lay ahead of him would be an uphill task and that he would need a lot of blessings & prayers from the Church of Rome if he was going to find any success in Spain.
So apart from his religious aspirations, these are other important reasons that led the Apostle Paul to ink down The Book of Romans.
Synopsis/Summary of The Book of Romans
To understand the content of Paul’s letter to the Romans, it would be easier if it is broken down into parts for the reader’s comprehension.
The introduction consists of few common notes about Paul himself. He tells the Romans about both the gospel he desires to preach and also announces his apostleship. Furthermore, he explains why he could not visit Rome previously and the incidents which hindered this particular wish of his. He lauds the Romans for their strong faith and explains that not only does he wish to preach to the Jews but also familiarize the gentiles with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Many argue and debate over the association which existed between Judaism & Paul himself. In the Book of Romans, Paul remains defiant that his gospel causes no embarrassment since it holds supremacy & muscle. He also engages the audience by telling them that the message he brought was firstly for the Jews to counter the rumor that he felt there was no place for Judaism in the Christian realm.
Deriving inspiration from the Wisdom of Solomon, Paul condemns acts such as premarital sex, murder, rape & robbery. According to him, people who indulge in such acts should receive the death penalty. Also, he went head-on against idol worshipping since that was the prevalent norm in the Roman society. He remained steadfast that salvation could only be attained by believing & having faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Paul sends a warning that hypocrisy will eventually lead to God’s wrath. While readers might perceive this message to be aimed towards the Jews, experts & researchers say that the message is for the masses. A believer’s words & actions must be aligned to attain God’s love & attention.
Paul tells the people that God has always been true to his words & promises with those who have remained steadfast even in testing moments. Therefore, believing in the God of Israel is the only way to conquer God’s mercy & get his salvation so that life in the after world can be spent in peace & comfort.
At the end, Paul lays out details of where he plans to travel further, salutations and also personal greetings; a third of the greetings are aimed towards females.
Quotes from the Book of Romans
These things [i.e., doctrines and truths] teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and is not content with the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine of godliness, he is puffed up and knoweth nothing: but wasteth his brains about questions and strife of words…
In the sixth [chapter] he exhorteth the bishop to cleave to the gospel of Christ and true doctrine, and to avoid vain questions and superfluous disputings which gender strife and quench truth, and by which also the false prophets get them authority…