Lectionary Year A
June 23, 2002
Step III: Composition
A. Immediate Context
(JFC) Pre - Romans 5 addresses the question of justification by faith, which brings
peace, peace with God. It states that we might rightly boast in hope of sharing God's glory, in suffering that produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope which never disappoints. It furthermore asserts that Christ died for the ungodly, that Christ died for sinners while they/we still sinned and that sin came bringing death through one man - Adam - and just so did salvation come by one man - Jesus. Where the Law provided for disobedience, so grace abounds more to bring salvation even to sinners.
Post - Romans 6:12-23 continues to tell of avoidance of sinning as human beings under the Law, but rather to rely on God's grace to lead to righteousness in behavior for sanctification which leads to eternal life. So, here we find the answer to one of the questions above, re: the continuing threat of sin even after we are baptized and dead to sin. Sin still exists and menaces us. This next paragraph will help us withstand sin more.
B. Organization of Compositional Whole
(JFC) As noted previously in these pages, several commentators find the overall
subject of Romans to be stated in the first chapter, verses 16f. We might divide the entirety of this Epistle, thematically, into four parts: chapters 1-4 are about God's saving righteousness/justification by faith as shown through the Old Testament, especially; chapters 5-8 express the significance of living life in Christ; chapters 9-11 present Paul's attempt to deal with the large matter of salvation for the Jews; chapters 12-16 convey Paul's ethics and personal concluding remarks.
C. Issues of Authorship
(JFC) As formerly stated, virtually every commentary consulted says the Apostle Paul
wrote Romans and that he did so between 54 and 60 or so of the Common Era. Some say it was written from Corinth when Paul visited there in 57 or 58. He went to Jerusalem in 57 or 58 and from there planned (Romans 15:22-32, Acts 19:21 and 20:3 and I Corinthians 16:3-6) to go, for his first time, to Rome on his intended way to Spain.
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