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What is the book of Romans about?

The Bookends of Romans

Bookends give the reader clues to the author’s central message.

I have written in earlier posts about the bookends to Matthew’s gospel and to the entire Bible.

I believe there are also bookends in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The bookends are Romans 1:1-7 and 16:25-27.

Unifying concepts in the bookends

The following concepts are seen in both passages:

God                                        1:1,7               God                                                  16:26-27

Christ Jesus                           1:1                  Jesus Christ                                     16:25

Gospel                                    1:2                  Gospel                                             16:25

Beforehand                             1:2                  long ages ago                                  16:25

Prophets, Holy Scriptures       1:2                  prophetic writings                            16:26

Regarding his Son                  1:3                  of Jesus Christ                                16:25

With power the Spirit              1:4                  by command of the eternal God      16:26

Gentiles                                   1:5                  nations                                            16:26

Faith                                       1:5                  believe                                              16:26

Obedience                              1:5                  obey                                                 16:26

What do these bookends teach us?

Faith and obedience are part of the gospel message. There is no true faith without a changed life.

The Gospel is consistent with the Hebrew Scriptures. We can and should see Jesus in the entire Bible.

The Gospel is for everyone. There are not separate message for different groups of people.

Have you been tempted to separate obedience from faith?

Have you even been tempted to treat the Hebrew Scriptures as irrelevant for Christians?

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