Paul Discusses the “Obedience of Faith”
—Outline of Romans 12 to 16
This lesson provides an outline of Romans chapters 12 to 16. In these chapters Paul exhorts the Romans to faith and obedience and speaks of his ministry.
“And I urge you...”
1 To live rightly.
Be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).
- We should use our fleshly bodies as a holy sacrifice of service.
- We should conform our minds to God's perfect will not to this world.
Serve according to your gifts (Romans 12:3-8).
- We should free ourselves of hubris and be humble, yet recognise our gifts.
- Many members in one body work together having different functions.
- Some examples of our various gifts and the attitudes with which we use them.
Practise love with sincerity (Romans 12:9-21).
- An intense description of unhypocritical love.
- Special emphasis on not repaying evil for evil.
Be subject to civil authorities (Romans 13:1-7).
- Civil authorities established for the good of the community ought to have our respect and obedience.
- We should support these authorities by paying our taxes.
Practise love and live in light for the end is coming (Romans 13:8-14).
- Love is all we should owe to others. (A worldly society runs on debt whereas a spiritual society runs on love).
- Love is the fulfillment of the law (cf Matthew 22:34-40).
- We are to practise love as a preparation for the coming end of our days on earth.
- Love is not lust, and we should especially keep away from sexual immorality.
2 To be united
Don't judge on matters of opinion (Romans 14:1-13).
- Acceptance and tolerance of those who have scruples about things which are not matters of faith.
- Christ the Master should judge on these matters, not us.
- Our own convictions must not be allowed to become a stumbling block to others.
Opinions about food are especially dangerous (Romans 14:14-23).
- All foods are declared clean by Christ, and we should hold this as our own conviction.
- However people have other convictions about food and they are personally accountable to Christ for these.
- We should keep our convictions to ourselves so as not to encourage others to do something they believe is wrong.
- Conscience is not the master, but we must be tolerant and nurturing while the true Master educates the weak consciences
with the faith and knowledge he imparts.
- So we make no issue of our good convictions about food in order to further the spirit of peace and joy.
- All food is clean but if eating and drinking harms a soul, that is evil.
- We may even see a need to practise some form of discretionary abstinence ourselves for the sake of the weak.
Put unity before your personal opinions (Romans 15:1-7).
- The strong should help the weak and not please themselves.
- Even Christ did not please himself as foretold in prophecy (Psalms 69:9)..
- These ancient scriptures teach and encourage us to be joined as one in hope and perseverance.
- So we should accept one another warts and all, just as Christ accepted us.
Even Jews and Gentiles should be able to glorify God together in unity (Romans 15:8-13).
- Christ became a Servant to the Gentiles to confirm the very promises given to the ancestors of the circumcision (the Jews). So Jew and Gentile should embrace each other as one.
- Paul cites such promises in the Old Testament scriptures. (Psalms 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalms 117, Isaiah 11:10).
- A benediction of hope.
3 To share in the ministry
Paul, priest to the Gentiles (Romans 15:14-16).
- Paul stresses that his ministry was given him by the grace and authority of God.
- He considers himself to be serving as a priest of the Gentiles in a ministry sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Paul's boast (Romans 15:17-21).
- A humble “boast” about what Christ has accomplished through Paul.
- Many Gentiles became obedient to Christ.
- Paul pioneered new territory preaching where Christ was unknown.
Hindrances to visiting Rome (Romans 15:22-29).
- Paul has been busy with his ministry for many years.
- Now he must go to Jerusalem to fulfill his responsibility regarding the contribution made in Macedonia and Greece for the poor saints in Jerusalem.
- After that, if he goes to Spain, he hopes he can pass through Rome and spend a time with them.
- When he does get to Rome, he expects it to be "in the fulness of the blessing of Christ".
Paul urges prayer for his ministry (Romans 15:30-33).
- He urges the Romans to strive with him in prayer.
- Paul is concerned about going to Jerusalem.
- He is looking forward to being with the church in Rome if God wills.
- A benediction of peace.
Greetings to fellow workers (Romans 16:1-16).
- Phoebe (moving from Cenchrea to Rome) is recommended.
- Greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and many other men and women who are members at Rome, or of churches in frequent fellowship with the Roman church.
Warning about teachers who oppose Paul (Romans 16:17-20).
- Paul's teaching must stand. Dissenters and hinderers are not to be tolerated.
- False teachers have false hearts. That's what makes them so dangerous.
- The Romans' obedience is precious and must not be spoiled.
- Satan and his false teachers will be crushed before long.
- A benediction of grace.
Greetings from fellow workers (Romans 16:21-23).
- Several of Paul's associates send their greetings.
Benediction and Doxology
Closing blessing and praise to God (Romans 16:24-27).
- The Lord's grace be with you.
- His gospel now revealed can establish you.
- His gospel preached to all nations leads to "the obedience of faith".
- To God be glory through Christ forever, Amen.