Memory Text: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8, NKJV).
It is important for a student of the book of Romans to understand the book’s historical background. Context isalways crucial when seeking to understand the Word of God. We need to know and understand the issues that were being addressed. Paul was writing to a specific group of Christians at a specific time and for a specific reason; knowing that reason as much as possible will greatly benefit us in our study.
Thus, let’s go back in time. Let’s transport ourselves back to first-century Rome, become members of the congregation there, and then, as first-century church members, let us listen to Paul and the words that the Holy Spirit gave him to deliver to the believers in Rome.
And yet however localized the immediate issues that Paul was addressing, the principles behind them-in this case the question of How is a person saved?-are universal. Yes, Paul was speaking to a specific group of people; and yes, he had a specific issue in mind when he wrote the letter. But as we know, many centuries later in a totally different time and context, the words he wrote were as relevant to Martin Luther as they were to Paul when he first wrote them. And they are relevant to us as well today.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 7.