The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 116 of 181
Index | Zoom
There is evidence that in later years both Peter and Paul were martyred at Rome,
but even if this is true, it tells us nothing about the origin of the church in this city. In
Acts 2: 10 we read of visiting Jews and proselytes from Rome and some could have been
numbered amongst those who were saved on the day of Pentecost. In which case they
would have taken the message of the gospel back to Rome. In any event, all roads led to
the metropolis, and when we remember the rapid spread of the gospel in the Acts, the
message of Christianity must soon have reached the capital where there had been a
contingent of Jews for a considerable period.
As to the date of the comparison of the Roman epistle, it seems evident that it was
written towards the close of Paul's third missionary journey when he was in Corinth, or
possibly Corinth's port, Cenchrea, where there was a church and Phoebe was one of its
servants (Rom. 16: 1). The year could be between 57-59A.D., though Prof. 100: K. Barrett
gives reasons for 55A.D. What is important is that this epistle was the last one which the
Apostle wrote during the Acts period, and its middle section (chapters 9:-11:) gives a
most valuable divine commentary on the momentous things that were happening during
that time, specially as they affected the people of Israel and their spiritual condition.
Broadly speaking the epistle is divided into three sections:
Chapters 1:-8:
Basic, dealing with justification by faith and the gospel of
Chapters 9:-11:
The attitude of Israel to the gospel. Their failure and final
Chapters 12:-16:
Practice. The daily Christian walk and witness.
A more detailed structure is as follows:
A | 1: 1-17. The Gospel promised before,
for obedience of faith among all nations.
B | 1: 18 - 3: 20. Jews equally with Gentiles guilty before God.
C | 3: 21-31. Come short of the glory of God.
D | 4: 1-25. Abraham's body now dead.
E | 5: 1-11. Reconciliation--basic.
F | 5: 12-21. Condemnation in Adam.  The secret (mystery)
of Rom. 16: 25-26.
G | 6:, 7: Question, repudiation and answer.
F | 8: No condemnation in Christ.
E | 9:-11: Reconciliation--dispensational.
D | 12:, 13: Present your bodies a living sacrifice.
C | 14: 1 - 15: 7. Received to the glory of God.
B | 15: 8 - 16: 23. Gentiles equally with Jews acceptable before God.
A | 16: 24-27. A mystery (secret) silenced before.
For obedience of faith unto all nations.
The balance between the sections is fairly clear and will become more apparent as we
study the epistle closely.