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(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

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Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times




Rav Sha'ul’s Letter to
the Messianic Community at

Rome

Introductory Notes and Comments

Author: Rav Sha'ul of Tarsus[GN]
Theme: A Summary of Rav Sha'ul’s Theology
Date of Writing: c. 57-58 CE
Place of Writing: Corinth
Target Audience: The Messianic Community in Rome

In virtually every collection of Apostolic Writings, this letter is placed first, primarily because it is the longest of those writings. More importantly, though, it presents Rav Sha'ul’s extensive treatise on the theology of what he referred to as “my gospel,” that Gentiles who come to faith in Yeshua become full citizens in good standing of the Commonwealth of Israel, equal to the ethnic Hebrew citizens thereof. There is no need for a formal conversion to Judaism, as was formerly required, nor is obedience to the “Traditions of the Fathers” required, for that individual to be fully accepted as member in good standing of the Messianic Community.

Original Recipients

The letter is addressed to a group of (primarily Gentile) Messianic Communities in Rome, and was written from Corinth during is third visit to that community. Most of Rav Sha'ul’s letters to Messianic Communities were sent in response to queries he had received from that community or to specific situations he had become aware of. This letter, however, was written to a community that he had not yet visited; at the time of its writing, however, he fully intended to visit them and to communicate to them “his gospel.”

The sect known as Ha Derek (The Way) was considered by the Roman government as part of the “legal religion” of Judaism, and the non-Jewish members of that sect were considered by Rome to be proselytes to Judaism, though likely very few had gone through the conversion process. At the time this letter was written, Sha'ul was greatly troubled by the conflicts he observed between Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in Messiah. As more and more Gentiles were coming to faith, there grew a resentment toward the Jewish members of the community. Apparently some of the Jewish leaders of the community did not fully accept the Gentile believers, and the Gentile believers began to resent them and question whether the Jews could really be God’s chosen people.

“Sha'ul’s answer is affirmative and difinitive" ‘God has repudiated His people? Heaven forbid!’ (Rom 11:1) God has not set aside His people and resentment has no place in God’s kingdom. The Messiah is a servant of the Jewish people (Rom 15:8), as are his Roman followers. The Jewish people remain God’s beloved (Rom 11:28-29), and being in Messiah means that Gentiles in Yeshua are forever attached to Israel. … intended to help them understand the unbelief of many Jews, God’s continuing work with Israel, the Jewish roots of the gospel, the full inclusion of Gentiles as children of Avraham (Abraham), and the necessity of serving the Jewish people.” (The Complete Jewish Study Bible, p. 1604)
See “Important ‘Pauline’ Vocabulary
See also Sha'ul the Letter Writer

Outline

I. Condemnation: The Need for a Savior (1:1-3:20)

A. Sha'ul Greets the Saints in Rome (1:1-7)

B. Unashamed of the Gospel (1:8-17)

C. God’s Wrath against Sin (1:18-3:20)

1. Unrighteous Nations (1:18-32)

2. Unrighteous Israel (2:1-3:8)

a. God’s Righteous Judgment (2:1-16)

b. The Jews and the Law (2:17-29)

c. God Remains Faithful (3:1-8)

3. There is No One Righteous (3:9-20)

II. Justification: Faith in the Savior (3:21-⁠5:21)

A. Righteousness through Faith in Messiah (3:21-31)

B. The Faith of Avraham (4:1-25)

1. Justification by Faith (4:1-12)

2. Avraham Receives the Promise (4:13-25)

C. From Death to Life (5:1-21)

1. The Triumph of Faith (5:1-5)

2. Messiah’s Sacrifice for the Ungodly (5:6-11)

3. Death in Adam, Life in Messiah (5:12-21)

III. Sanctification: How Ought We to Live (6:1-8:39)

A. Dead to Sin, Alive to God (6:1-14)

B. The Wages of Sin (6:15-23)

C. Function of the Law (7:1-25)

D. Walking by the Spirit (8:1-39)

1. Flesh vs. Spirit (8:1-⁠11)

2. Heirs with Messiah (8:12-⁠17)

3. Future Glory (8:18-⁠27)

4. God Works in All Things (8:28-34)

5. More than Conquerors (8:35-39)

IV. Restoration: The Plan and Future for Israel (9:1-11:36)

A. Israel In the Past (9:1-33)

1. Sha'ul’s Concern for the Jews (9:1-5)

2. God’s Sovereign Choice (9:6-29)

3. Israel’s Unbelief (9:30-33)

B. Israel in the Present (10:1-21)

C. Israel in the Future (11:1-36)

1. A Remnant Chosen by Grace (11:1-10)

2. The Ingrafting of the Gentiles (11:11-24)

3. All Israel Will Be Saved (11:25-32)

4. A Hymn of Praise (11:33-36)

V. Unification: The Body of Believers (12:1-⁠15:13)

A. Love and Forgiveness (12:1-13:14)

1. Living Sacrifices (12:1-⁠8)

2. Love, Zeal, Hope, Hospitality (12:9-13)

3. Forgiveness (12:14-⁠21)

4. Submission to Authorities (13:1-7)

5. Love Fulfills the Law (13:8-10)

6. The Day is Near (13:11-⁠14)

B. Grace in Jew and Gentile Relationship (14:1-15:13)

1. The Law of Liberty (14:1-⁠12)

2. The Law of Love (14:13-⁠23)

3. Accept One Another (15:1-6)

3. Messiah the Servant of Jews and Gentiles (15:7-13)

VI. Sha'ul’s Salutation (5:14-⁠16:27)

A. Sha'ul the Minister to the Gentiles (15:14-22)

B. Sha'ul’s Travel Plans (15:23-33)

C. Personal Greetings and Love (16:1-16)

D. Avoid Divisions (16:17-20)

E. Greetings from Sha'ul’s Fellow Workers (16:21-23)

F. Doxology (16:25-27)

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Page last updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 12:28 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!