The book of Romans is one of the most theologically rich books in the New Testament. While not being a systematic theology it covers many important areas of the Christian life, ranging from creation, sin, salvation, eschatology, ethics, and theology itself.
The book of Romans teaches us that in creation God has given us a testimony of himself and his goodness (1:19-20). It says that what can be known about God is made plain. Referring to the fact that he can be “clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Rom. 1:20) Romans also speaks to the way we were created to live out our relationships men to women and vice-versa. (1:26-27) In our human nature we choose to rebel not wanting to be under any kind of authority, be it that of another person or God himself. So since we would much rather choose to live under our own control God gives those of us who would reject Christ over to those lust. (1:28-32)
Another very heavy topic covered in Romans is that of sin. Sin at one point is described as anything not done from faith (14:23). In chapter six verse twenty-three Paul tells us “For the wages of sin is death…” It is not a light thing, in chapter one he gives us a list of sins (albeit not exhaustive) mankind was committing (1:29-32). In learning that we all sin (3:23) and need a savior we also learn that there is salvation for us.
Our salvation does not lie in anything that we can do for ourselves; it is the power of God and God alone. (1:16-17). In chapter three verses twenty-four and twenty-five we are explicitly told about the work of Jesus Christ as our redeemer, who was put forth as propitiation. Also including the surrounding verses of twenty-one through twenty-six, Paul continually uses the word faith when dealing with God’s righteousness and justification. When it comes to our sanctification and living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit, chapter eight gives us one of the strongest sections on how we can live apart from the flesh and live in the Spirit.
We can learn about God and some of his ultimate goals by reading chapter eight verses eighteen through twenty-two. In these verses it talks of the bondage of nature, and being set free. Chapters nine through eleven also give us an idea about the sovereignty of God and how he does not wish that to lose any but it will happen.
This book of the Bible also speaks directly as to how we should live as Christians. It begins in chapter twelve, being told to live as a “…living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…” (12:1). Paul continues instructing us to renew our minds, basically telling us to think differently than we did when we belonged to the world; the rest of chapter twelve (marks of a true Christian) along with chapters thirteen (submission to authorities, and keeping the Law through love), and fourteen (do not pass judgment, or cause one another to stumble).
Throughout the book of Romans we gather glimpses of what God is truly like; starting in chapter one verse twenty, his power and divine nature have been clearly seen. Throughout chapter two and parts of three we learn how God is righteous. In 3:25 we learn about his forbearance with our previous sin, all while learning how much he loves us. In chapter eight and nine we learn of his sovereignty and that all things are in his control. Through it all we can trust God to do what he promises, according to chapter four.
The book of Romans is a vast and deep well that we can continually draw from and never run dry. It is meant to enrich our lives, and transform us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. May you read it and be forever changed.