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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 33, August 7 — 13
Romans 1–6 — “The Power of God unto Salvation”

Romans Introduction

Paul’s “epistle” to the members of the church in Rome is the first of his fourteen epistles in the King James Bible. His epistles are ordered according to length, from the longest to the shortest (with the exception of Hebrews, which is last because the compilers of the Bible were uncertain of its true authorship). The LDS Bible Dictionary provides additional background information for each epistle.

Paul wrote Romans in about 56 AD, from Corinth (in Greece), before his arrest in Jerusalem—thus, it was toward the end of his life and ministry. Peter commented on Paul’s epistles in 2 Peter 3:15-16, mentioning that Paul’s writings could be “hard to be understood.” However, as with all scripture, as we seek the Holy Ghost, we can be educated and uplifted by these inspired writings.

Romans 1 “I Am Not Ashamed”

Read Paul’s introductory testimony and greeting, in Romans 1:1-7. Elements of this opening are often repeated in many of Paul’s epistles. In these verses, note also Paul’s emphasis on Jesus Christ, the apostleship, and fellowship among the saints. Next:

  • In verses 8-12, what things did Paul write about himself as he addressed the church members in Rome?
  • In verses 14-16, Paul states that he is ready to preach the gospel to all, being “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” How would you describe a member of the Lord’s latter-day church who is “not ashamed” of the gospel? Who do you know that emulates this attribute?
  • How does Paul describe apostates (those who left the faith) and others in verses 21-32? Note that verses 26-27 are two of a number of Bible verses that teach against homosexuality.

Romans 2 What Saves Us?

  • What did Paul say in Romans 2:7, 13 about gaining eternal life?
  • What can we learn from verses 21-22, 25, 28-29 about hypocrisy?
  • Are we saved by simply receiving the ordinances of the gospel? See verses 25, 28-29; see also Romans 4:13.

Romans 3-4 The Faith of Abraham

You may have already noted that Paul refers repeatedly to Jews and their adherence to the law of Moses (especially as demonstrated by their practice of circumcision), and he also speaks of Gentiles and their lack of circumcision. Paul’s readers—members of the Lord’s true church—came from both Jews and Gentiles. Paul wants them all to understand that all elements of the law of Moses are done away because Jesus Christ has fulfilled and put to an end to it.

  • Look for Paul’s teachings about what really matters, in Romans 3:23-29.
  • In what ways did Abraham (who lived before the law of Moses was given) demonstrate his faith, according to Romans 4:1-3, 9-13, 16-21?
  • Note that the Joseph Smith Translation for verse 16 states in part, “Therefore ye are justified of faith and works through grace.” We can gain eternal life through a perfect union of faith, works, and God’s grace.

Romans 5 Justification through Grace

To be “justified” means to be made guiltless of former sin; while being sanctified means to made holy. Both are gifts through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  • Read Romans 5:1-11, 18-19, looking for teachings about justification.
  • How can our tribulations lead to blessings, according to verses 3-5?
  • What do you learn about “grace,” in verses 2, 15, 17, 20-21?
  • What additional words and phrases do you see in verses 1-11 that describe the gospel’s blessings in our lives? Which of these blessings have you experienced? In what ways?

Romans 6 Baptism

Read Romans 6:3-11, 23, noting the gospel symbols and teachings that baptism provides. Read also verse 17; how would you describe what it means to “obey from the heart”?

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