Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Notes

Romans 1:16-17

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Main Theme of Romans!
Thesis statement / "Main Theme of Romans"

General Idea: This passage is the nuts and bolts of Romans where in one sentence Paul sums up his Epistle and his life. Paul lived his life not in theory but in fact, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and shows the only way of justification! Paul was totally surrendered and poured out to God with gratitude and indebtedness that infused and permeated all that he was and did. As our faith and trust in Christ must also infuse us so all that we do too is a reflection of Christ working in us! If not all we have is a religion and a philosophy and not righteousness and impacting faith.

1. This is the "Christian Manifesto"; this is the clear statement of God's good news. The main theme of Romans is commitment to Christ by Faith referred to as the "propositio" meaning the theses statement. This is where Paul begins his argument on how we are to live as Christians.

a. Being not ashamed of who we are in Christ, living out our faith with passion and conviction.

b. Power, refers to the life changing power of the Word of God the Gospel and the Spirit to totally transform us as He did with Paul. Only this power can remove our stubborn nature that bonds us to sin that refuses His grace. We cannot receive His grace without the Power to intervene and remove our bond of sin. (Rom. 5:6; 8:5-9).

c. Believes refers to our salvation and we do not earn it by any means or merit, we only receive it by our faith.

d. The Jew first refers to the history of redemption as the missionaries to the world they had to get it first to spread it abroad (Gen. 12:1-3; Mark 7:24-30; John 4:22; Rom. 2:9).

i. This was Paul's pattern in spreading the Gospel too as he went to the Jews first, then the rest (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 14; 14:1; 17:1; 18:4; 19; 26; 19:8; Rom. 3:11-12; 9:4-5).

ii. This is the Great News, the Gospel that is given to all who are willing to receive it by faith, both Jew and Gentile!

e. We are not to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we fear to share our faith!

i. Thus, we as Christians must live by faith as this is the smart thing to do (1 Cor. 1:22-30)!

ii. Faith is based on knowledge given by God. Faith is not just simple trust; faith is not blind trust either, because we know the One who is leading!

iii. Our faith is based on historical evidence, logical reasoning, and valid testimonies.

iv. Faith is still trusting what is not seen and believing our God (Rom. 1:16-32; 5:1-11; 10:14-17; Gal. 3:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14-26)!

2. God imputes His righteousness unto us by what Christ has done by declaring us righteous (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:10-19; 10:3). This declaration means we as the elect are free from our debt of sin, but we as debtors are to be witnesses to the lost!

a. This is the verse that helped convert M. Luther from a religion to a faith!

b. We are not to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we fear to share our faith!

c. Power is Salvation; it is by the work of Christ alone through the Holy Sprit.

i. This is through God.

ii. It is for all, All people universally with the only requite is to accept the work of our Lord by faith.

iii. "Salvation" means to be rescued from a terrible situation. Ultimately it means being delivered from God's wrath. It is also God's work for us: redemption!

iv. Justification and sometimes righteousness are synonyms in English Bible translations in Romans. Justification can be a synonym of salvation, or it can refer to the future work of redemption. These works are from our Lord Jesus Christ and from no other!

v. Christ's righteousness is given to us (imputed, propitiation) by our faith, which we did not earn; hence grace is the ultimate free gift.

3. The righteousness of God is His character that vindicates His people. His people are to show their faithfulness back to Him.

a. Justification is God's righteousness covering us! Righteousness is His character. This is not passive on our part; we are active "in with" faith. (Rom. 2:5-16; 3:22; 5:10; 9:30)

b. These are the passages that God used to convert Martin Luther the reformer.

c. Every aspect of faith is built on faith, and nothing else, this is the corner stone of the gospel (Habk. 2:4). This means we are to trust God and His promises and provision.

i. In Habakkuk those who survive the Judgment is because of their faith in God. Faith in the OT was to pledge your life on the assertions that God gives (Jos. 24:15).

ii. Our response is by godly living, exercising out our faith with trust and obedience, whatever we face!

iii. In Christ we deal with God as a Man, a God/Man, and a mediator on our behalf.

This passage starts the second of four parts of Romans "B." The General theme for Romans verses 1:18‑3:20 is No one is Righteous by the Law! All have sinned, all are condemned!

The Principle Idea of "B":"The Gospel is the lightning rod that conducts God's creative and loving power, because it reveals the justice of God in the justification of the ungodly"! Our justification rests solely on the mercy of Christ, and not on the Law, or anything we can do. What Christ did for us, is that He lived a perfect life in our place and died as a sacrifice in our place, to take away our sins.

1. He took our place in life and in death.

2. He took our place in judgment before God's just wrath, which we could never attain by ourselves, no matter how good and faithful we are.

3. Our creation and salvation is by His choosing and purpose, that as Christians we are not our own, but belong solely to our Lord. Thus we must live our lives as a reflection of His glory, and not of ourselves, because there is nothing we can do alone that deserves any kind of Merit to please God for salvation.

4. God desires and deserves our whole-hearted loyalty, allegiance, trust, obedience, and devotion; so, what is stopping you?

Have you realized that your debt has been cleared, your sin has been covered, and your dread has been replaced with Wonder and Eternity? Then how has it effected your life? Do you obey His call and precepts? Does this transformed life impact others around you? Do you "get it" so all that you are is because Christ is in you? If not why and what is in the way? Are you willing to go on your knees to seek His face and His righteousness for your life? Without it, you have nothing but debt and sin!


1. When you here the word 'Manifesto,' (guiding principle) what comes to your mind? Remember the 'Uni-bomber' used this term to describe his hatred for technology in the 80's and 90's.

2. Do you have a 'main theme' for your life? Such as a saying or slogan, or perhaps a philosophy?

3. Being not ashamed of who we are in Christ is the key to the necessary courage that is needed to share your faith, do you agree?

4. How much courage do you need to be able to talk to a stranger about the faith?

5. What about a family member?

6. How does the Holy Spirit come into play with your courage?

7. What embarrasses you?

8. Have you ever been embarrassed for being a Christian? Or put into an embarrassing situation by Christian friends?

9. What are your fears regarding the sharing of your faith?

10. As Christians we must 'live by faith,' what does that mean to you?

11. Read 1 Cor. 1:22-30, what are your stumbling blocks? What is foolishness to you? How have these feelings changed as you grew in Christ, or have they?

12. Faith is based on the knowledge given to us by God. What is that knowledge to you?

13. Would you agree or disagree with this statement, "Faith is not just simple trust; faith is not blind trust either, because we know the One who is leading!"

14. We as the 'elect' are free from our debt of sin, but we as 'debtors' are to be witnesses to the lost! Do you feel an obligation to share your faith? If so why, if not why?

15. Have you ever had to be rescued from a terrible situation? Such as a car crash? How did it feel to be rescued? Do you feel that Christ has rescued you? Do you have that same joy that if the 'jaws of life' had to be used to cut you out of a car just before it exploded?

16. Ted Turner has said that "he does not need anyone to save him" why do you suppose he would think that way? Do you know people who think that way? What do you think you can do to change their minds?

17. Salvation ultimately means being delivered from God's wrath. Do you see God as a God of wrath (anger)? Most people see God as pure love, so how can He be full of wrath? What is the wrath directed at?

18. Does the redemption that Christ gave, cause you to feel relief and comfort?

19. Christ's righteousness is given to us, this is called "imputed" this means the pureness, the sinlessness of Christ has been ascribed to you as a Christian who accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We are not necessarily made pure (because we still sin), we are declared pure. What do you think is the difference between being made and being declared?

20. Read Habk. 2:4; how does this passage compare to the Romans passage?

21. Justification can be a synonym of salvation, or it can refer to the future work of redemption. These works are from our Lord Jesus Christ and from no other! What ways have you tried to look for 'justification' outside of Christ? Maybe the approval of a parent, boss, identity in your clothes, work, education, money, car.

22. How do you live out your faith with passion and conviction?

23. How can you live out your faith better with passion and conviction?

24. What do you grasp about verse 17? Is there something that makes you think or stutter, such as there is something missing from your life?

25. How can you show your faithfulness back to Him?

26. Our response for what Christ did for us is godly living, exercising our faith with trust and obedience, whatever we face! How have you done this? How can you do this better?

27. What about when your life is crashing all around you? Maybe a job loss, death or divorce of a spouse, cataclysmic sickness or everything all at once?

28. Have you ever faced a lot of adversity?

29. What was your response? What did you learn?

30. How would you respond now that you have been through it (if you have)?

31. Do you feel better, stronger and more mature and ready to face things, now that you have gone through adversity?

32. What can you do specifically to give God your whole-hearted loyalty, allegiance, trust, obedience, and devotion?

33. What are the things that stop you?

34. How would you explain verse 17 to someone turned off to Christianity?

Learning Outcomes: a. What does it mean to live by faith and express it, and to look for it in others for finding a mentor for yourself. A life that is dictated and expressed by what Christ has done for you. b. Be confidant to share your faith. c. Christianity is not just fire insurance from Hell. d. Be able to identify false judgments in others and how you interact with God's children {we are all God's children, elect or not}.e. learn to be patient and be a listener. f. Be committed not to bear or bring false judgments on others.

Theological thoughts:

Justification by Faith Alone: (Acts 13:38-39; Rom.1:17; 3:31- 5:21; II Cor. 5:13-21; Gal. 2:15- 5:1; Phil. 3:4-14; I John 1:9)This was the rallying cry of the Reformation. The main point that caused Luther and Calvin to challenge the Catholic Church and it's teachings. This is also the cornerstone of protestant theology that Christ through His work gave us a 'pardon'. This pardon is from the penalty of death through sin, and there is nothing we could ever do to earn this pardon. It is purely by His acceptance of us that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9). There is nothing that we can add to it, such as good works or clean living. Justification means that God's righteousness is covering us from His wrath and punishment as a blanket! It is like getting a speeding ticket; going to court and having the judge declare you innocent, even though you were speeding. To God you are clean, covered by what Christ has done for you. This creates our Reconciliation to God, that we were in perfect relationship to Him before the fall, and now we are again in harmony.

God has a righteous basis for our justification through the sacrifice of His Son, for our sins. Grace was not cheap for God. Christ paid a great debt by pleasing God's wrath, both in metaphysical pain and human pain of the crucifixion (Lev. 16; Psalm 103:12). Our independence is a slap in His face, and He can do nothing in us until it is removed (John 3:5)! Let us pray to be cleansed by the atoning death of our Savior, who bore our punishment and lived out the law on our behalf.

Some Jews take issue with this saying it is umbilical that God cannot over rule His own law sighting Duet. 25:1 and Prov. 17:15; however they do not realize that Jesus Himself is the righteous One and He lived a perfect life in our place, as a designated hitter.

The Catholic Church taught that justification was a process through the sacraments and church, and that faith contributed to it as well as works. The reformers said this act was done at once at our acceptance of His gift of grace. The Catholic Church at the time of the reformation was even 'selling indulgences' granting people a spot in Heaven for money regardless of faith or even the church. They did this to pay for the cathedrals they were building, and you thought bingo was bad! Although Catholic apologist say this was never an 'official act' of the church. Nevertheless history clearly states this was a wide problem.

Faith is the instrument and not the cause, Christ is the cause. It is based on the faithfulness of our Lord, and not of our goodness. Just as animal sacrifice in the O.T. was a means of forgiveness and surrendered attitude because of a loss of something precious, but not the cause (Gal 2:15-16; 3:24; Heb. 9:11-15; 10:1-4). The reformers called this 'meritorious ground for our justification, explaining it as the soil that the seed of justification is planted into. And that Christ was that soil too. As we give our lives to Christ in faith, He in turn gives us His righteousness.


© 1998, 2001, 2003 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries

Get Connected

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest YouTube RSS Tumblr Instagram

Latest News


New: Year End Repot




We have a wondrous new tool to help you in your Bible reading efforts!
A Bible reading checklist in "Excel" that keeps track of your progress with all kinds of cool graphs and tracking features along with stats on words, verses, encouraging facts, etc. This is also a fund-raising opportunity for us that we think could be a successful addition to your church or ministry spiritual arsenal.
Buy Now
We need your Partnership!
We are a ministry making a difference for the Kingdom of God, and...
A great way to raise funds for our ministry and you can make money too!
It is a community of committed believers serving the Lord in a center for research and practicum.
New Funding Project! RealEstateProject.pdf
ITW Radio Opportunity We as a ministry have a wonderful opportunity before us and we need your partnership!
Growing in Christ is the key to growing a faith, a family and a Fellowship!
Schaeffer Institute
Mission America Coalition
Bible Reading Plans
Print Version
Delicious Save this on Delicious Share on Tumblr
Sign Up
For Our E-Newsletter
© 2007 - 2024 Into Thy Word - All Rights Reserved.