A New Romans Outline

Date: August 16, 2009

Author: Michael, Whitney

File: NewRomansOutline.htm

Version: 1.5A

Problem of Other Studies

Other studies have discovered the racial division occurring in the Roman church groups but such studies did not investigate the implications of such racial division upon the flow of Romans.

What happens is that other studies perceived the structure of Romans through the existing outlines. This of course was an insight obtained by the strength of the the verses in showing the racial division. The discovery though occurred despite the outlines, which effect was to obscure the racial division.

What should have occurred upon discovery of the racial division is that the study of Romans should have begun with a blank slate. Were the old outline correct in light of this new insight? The answer leads to a assertive “No.” After rejecting these outlines, the study can begin afresh. And then the original outlines may be found acceptable, in some cases, as a reasonable flow of doctrines presented but not as the flow of issues addressed by Paul.

A New Outline of Romans

The outline developed herein came out of the study of Romans, with ideas that originated before studying other scholars on Romans. The outline shows Paul's continuing concern about the racial division and pride.

The discovery of the racial division provided a simpler basis for creating an outline. Major divisions of the outline changed to a focus on issues rather than doctrines. At the same time (as the discovery of the racial division) there was observed additional problems among the Romans that Paul addressed. So these issues become a major part of the outline.

What happens, in a misleading sort of way, and possibly intentionally by Paul, is that the main outline shows the issue of racial division first in chapter 3 and not again until chapters 9 to 11. In reality though, most of the first 11 chapters (chapter 5 being a likely exception) lay down principals to deflate the racial divisions, the animosity of the Gentiles toward the Jews.

[The passages that equalize Jew and Gentile then are the more obvious examples of the continuing effort to decrease the racial tension.]

Intro to Romans

The Book of Romans has a reasonable sequence of topics for a wayward church group that has been under the increasing persecution and general troubles of the time.

The general techniques applied by Paul

  1. To equate Jew and Gentile in order to minimize differences

  2. To highlight contrasts between good and bad actions (or ideas)

  3. To shift seamlessly from one issue to another – a possible motivation, of this style, would be to lead them into rebukes without them resisting

Romans Outline – Extreme Detail

  1. Bait and Trap –Attract Audience Attention (1:1 to 2:29)

    1. Basic Audience Introduction Technique (BAIT) (1:1-15) – Building Rapport

      1. Paul's credentials and quick statement of gospel (1:1-5)

      2. Audience identification (1:6-7)

      3. Encouragement about their faith (1:8)

      4. Paul's efforts and desire to come for the benefit of Roman believers (1:9-15)

    2. Tactical description of the gospel (the lure) (1:16-32)

      1. Intro to gospel as topic the Romans appreciate – Gospel Benefit (1:16-18)

        1. Not ashamed of the gospel (1:16)

        2. Positive benefit of gospel – righteousness (1:17)

        3. Negative effect of gospel – judgment (1:18)

      2. The “Sermon” -- Gospel's judgment shown as accusations against Jews (1:18-32)

        1. Futile thinking, suppression of truth (1:18-23)

        2. Delivered to destructive actions (1:24-27)

        3. Subjected to a full gamut of evils (1:28-32)

    3. Terribly Repugnant Attitude Presented (TRAP): Bad attitude of believers. (2:1-29)

      1. Rebuke to those who became judgmental in reaction to the Sermon (2:1-8)

        1. Those with judgmental attitude as hypocrites (2:1-3)

        2. General expectancy and rationality of God's judgment (2:3)

          • Those given mercy should share mercy (2:4)

          • God's judgment for those of a hard heart (2:5-6-8) balanced by good options for those who endure

      2. Replacing judgmental attitude with balanced thinking (2:9-16)

        1. Evil Jews and evil Gentiles to expect the same treatment balanced by benefit for those who seek good. (2:9-10)

        2. God's impartiality. Equalizing phrases (2:11-16)

          • Punishment same for those under Law as for those not under Law

          • An explanation of Gentiles as effectively under a law

  2. Boasting of unsaved Jews as Problem to Confidence of Gentile Believers (2:17 to 4:14)

    1. Lead audience into another accusation, exposing stereotypical views(2:17-29)

      1. Specify boastful Jews who are under this accusation (2:17-18)

        1. if you call yourself a Jew” (2:17)

        2. if you rely on the Law while still claiming a boast in God (2:17)

        3. self-confidence (know His will) [implied boasting]

        4. reliance upon the Law (instructed from the Law) (2:18)

      2. Testing confidence of the Jew: in search of hypocrisy (2:19-24)

        1. Specific failures (2:19-22)

        2. Negative testimony toward God (2:23-24)

      3. Definition of a true Jew, among Jews, as one changed in heart (2:25-29)

      4. Benefits of Jews (to contrast negative view just given) (3:1-2)

    2. Slander of Gospel Among Unsaved Jews (3:3-9)

      1. Introduction to Accusations

        1. Jews failed to believe. But this failure didn't nullify God's faithfulness (3:3)

        2. Rebuke Jews: Let every man be found a liar that God may be found true (3:4)

        3. Warning not to judge or make accusations lest you be judged (3:4)

      2. Exposing Boastful Accusations Against Gospel (3:5-9)

        1. Accusation of Anti-nomianism (3:5-6)

          • Either the law/grace issue or the emphasis of gospel to Gentiles was considered unrighteous by Jews.

        2. Paul accused of lying that truly glorified God. Maybe the “lie” that Judaism was opened to the Gentiles (vs 7)

        3. Restatement of Accusation as “Do evil that good may come” (3:8)

        4. Accusers deserve their sentence (3:8)

        5. Question if accusations and claims of Jews' superiority of Law are true (3:9)

          • Answer: there is no superiority since all are equal.

    3. The Law Removes Basis for Boasting Law Only Makes Adherents Guilty (3:10-20)

      1. Present the accusations contained in the Law. (3:10-18)

      2. Accountability under the Law, negative aspects of Law (3:19-20)

        1. No flesh justified

        2. Law only brings knowledge of sin

    4. Exposing error of Jewish non-believers' boasting (3:21 to 4:14)

      1. Benefits gained apart from Law – Righteousness of God manifested(3:21-26)

        1. as pointed to by the Law and prophets (3:21)

        2. Lacking self merits due to grace and faith (3:21-23)

          • Being of God

          • Through faith in Jesus Christ (3:21)

          • For all who believe (3:22)

        3. Gift Nature –Redemption through Christ Jesus (3:24)

        4. Demonstration of God's righteousness (3:25-26)

          • Christ displayed publicly as a propitiation

          • In forbearance of God, passed over previous sins (3 :25)

          • Demonstration at the present time, justifier of those of faith (3:26)

      2. Issue of Jews boasting in the Law (3:27 to 4:14)

        1. Problem of Boasting: Is there reason to Boast? Boasting Excluded (3:27-31)

          • by law of faith, not law of works (3:27)

          • works of Law would imply God is God of the Jews only

          • Counter argument that God is God of Gentiles also (3:28-30)

          • Address counter claim that the Law was made void by faith (3:31)

        2. Focus on Abraham as argument against boasting (4:1-10)

          • No benefit in the flesh and hence neither in boasting (4:1-2)

          • Benefit was in believing God – contrasted to benefit in works (4:3-8)

          • Contrast of circumcision (works) with uncircumcision (4:9-10). The emphasis is on faith as against works.

      3. Encouragement of Believers in Face of Uncertainties Due to Boasts (4:11-14)

        1. Abraham as a unification concept for all who are under faith. (4:11-12)

        2. Gentile believers as benefactors of promise to Abraham (4:13)

        3. Abraham's benefit by faith alone (4:13-14)

  1. Addressing Fundamental Problems in Rome (4:15 to 8:39)

    1. Enduring persecution: Security in God's love (4:15 - 5:11)

      1. Security in faith. Abraham as example (4:15-25)

        1. Security in faith rather than law (4:15-16)

        2. Gentiles included as children of Abraham. Abraham as father of all.(4:16)

        3. God's ability as basis for faith (4:17)

        4. Abraham's endurance in faith for obtaining the promise (4:18-25) -- and then showing that we, of faith, also would be able to endure

      2. Security of faith and justification by faith as basis to endure persecution (5:1-2)

      3. Problem of persecution and strength in persecution (5:3-5)

      4. Protection in persecution since God had concern beforehand & still has it(5:6-11)

    2. Problem of fleshly behavior and doctrine to sin(5:12 to 6:23)

      1. Magnified contrast between Sin and Grace (5:12-21)

      2. Problem of errant Doctrine to Sin: Hyper-grace Doctrine (6:1)

      3. Baptism, Resurrection, New life as reason and ability to overcome sin (6:2-11)

      4. Not letting sin reign in your body (6:12-14)

      5. Explanation not to use freedom from law as a reason to sin (6:15). This also acts as the transition to topic of Law for chapter 7

      6. Being slaves of obedience and freed from sin (6:16-20)

      7. Lack of benefit of being under sin (6:21-23)

    3. Believers' condemnation under Law: Law works through the flesh (Ch 7)

      1. Instruction not to be beholden to Law to those trying to follow the Law(7:1-6)

        1. Law only in effect while husband is living (7:1-3)

        2. bearing fruit through the Spirit (7:4-6)

      2. Defense of goodness of the Law given w/o promoting subjection to Law (7:7-23)

        1. Sin is fed by the Law and causes bad to come from the good Law (7:7-13)

            • Paul speaks of Roman first encounter with Law as if his own (vs 9-11)

        2. Goodness of the Law contrasted to sin's bondage, both acting in kind of a schizophrenia (7:14-23)

            • Paul speaks of their “desire for good yet doing evil”, as his own

      3. Deliverance through this schizophrenia (7:24-25)

          • Problem of being held captive to law of sin (7:23,25)

      4. God knows this battle and justifies so there is no condemnation (8:1)

      5. Solution to Dilemma of chapter 7 – a spirit quickened of God (8:1-16)

        1. Law of spirit of life has set you free condemnation (8:1)

        2. Enmity of the flesh -- Contrasts of spirit and flesh (8:2-8)

        3. Conditional assumption of them being in spirit & spirit assurances(8:9-16)

    4. Problem of Sufferings/Persecution-- now made bearable by Spirit (8:17-25)

      1. Looking to the glories ahead (8:17-25)

          • Problem of Suffering (8:18)

      2. Helped by the Spirit in our weaknesses (8:26-28)

      3. God's comprehensive benefits to believers (8:29-32)

      4. The failure of any act to truly hurt a believer (8:33-39). This was the close of specific ministry regarding the current persecution and the fleshly behavior.

  2. Problem of not seeing God's faithfulness. Appeal to Gentiles' treatment of Jews (9-11)

    1. Clarification of true Israel in order to explain God's faithfulness (9:1-33)

      1. An appeal to have regard for the people of Israel (9:1-5)

      2. Narrowing of meaning of Israel and Israel as recipient of God's mercy (9:6-29)

        1. Israel narrowed from full bloodline to subset that is of promise (9:7-12)

          • Narrowed first to Abraham (9:7)

          • Narrowed then to bloodline that was of promise, Isaac (9:7-9)

          • Narrowed then to bloodline under Jacob (9:10-12)

        2. Issue whether God was wrong to narrow the lineage (9:13-21)

          • Narrowing shown in positive light: God showing mercy (9:15-18)

          • Introduction of hardening of some Jews (9:18)

        3. God's preserving bloodline Israel until time of mercy (9:19-22)

          • Accusation of God as being unjust for hardening hearts (9:19)

          • Improperness of accusation (9:20)

        4. God's patience to delay wrath till He showed mercy (9:21-23)

        5. Identification of vessels of mercy and the upcoming wrath (9:24-29)

          • The Hosea passage may be speaking of Gentiles (9:25-26)

          • Then reference is made to Isaiah regarding reaching of the Israel remnant (9:27-29)

    2. God's plan in action for Israel/Remnant and God's faithfulness (9:30 to 11:6)

      1. Failure of Israelites due to pursuit without knowledge (9:30 to 10:7)

      2. Yet the knowledge was always nearby so some could receive it (10:8-11)

      3. God's faithfulness shown in answering those who call upon Him (10:12-18)

        1. Interjection on calling, to equalize Jew and Gentile (10:12-13)

        2. The need for preaching of the gospel to have occurred (10:14-17)

        3. The fact that the report did reach Israel (God's faithfulness) (10:18-19)

          • through preaching

          • through prophecy that Gentiles would make Jews jealous

      4. It still may not seem that God was reaching Israel (10:20-21, 11:1-2)

      5. God was still reaching through the remnant (11:2-6)

        1. the remnant was present

        2. through grace not works (an apparent reminder that Jews were saved the same way Gentiles were)

    3. Appeal to Romans not to boast against Israel (11:7 -25)

      1. The rest of Israel was blinded giving Gentiles an edge in getting saved.(11:7-10)

      2. Jews stumbled so Gentiles would be reached so Jews would get jealous and get saved. (11:11-15)

      3. Olive Tree Analogy: Jews as natural people of God;Gentiles grafted in (11:16-25)

          • Boast not against the branches (11:18)

      4. Mystery of the blindness (11:25) –this was the concluding remark that they “may not be wise in [their] own conceit”

    4. Recap of letter and conclusion about God's plan for Israel and His faithfulness

      1. All Israel shall be saved. God's plan restated. (11:26-27)

        1. Deliverer sent. (vs26)

        2. Turn away ungodliness (vs26)

        3. Covenant to take away their sins (vs 27)

      2. Israel as enemies to Gentiles yet a remnant preserved for the Fathers. (vs 28-29)

      3. God's wisdom and mercy to all (vs 30 -36)

  3. Additional Issues of Behavior of Roman Believers (12 to 14)

    1. Lack of Serving One Another (12:1-16)

    2. Problem of treatment of enemies (12:17-21, 13:1-6)

      1. Have good behavior among evil men (12:17-21)

      2. Have good behavior with government (13:1-7)

    3. Problem of maintaining love in the evils of the day (13:8- 14)

      1. Love (13:8-10)

      2. Darkness of the days (13:11-14)

    4. Stop judging each other for self-pride (14:1-18)

      1. Stop judging (14:1-6)

      2. Reason: we are all the Lord's so we just stand before Him (14:7-12)

      3. Don't judge on foods and days that were all declared clean (14:13-18)

    5. Make peace instead and avoid making stumbling blocks (14:19-23)

    6. Learn to edify each other in unity (15:1-7)

  4. Conclusions to all issues (15:8-33)

    1. Unification of Jew and Gentiles recapitulated (15:8-12)

    2. Final affirmations and explanations. Paul's harsh message (15:13-18)

      1. indicator of the harshness -- Paul's “written the more boldly” (vs 15)

      2. indicator of harshness -- make Gentiles obedient (vs 18)

    3. Paul's ministry across the nations (15:18-24)

      1. The reach (15:18-21)

      2. the reason he couldn't get to Rome, yet still desiring to get to Rome (15:22-24)

    4. Justifying the gifts to Jerusalem (14:25-27)

    5. Consolations for Romans (14:28- 33)

      1. That they may be obedient (vs 29, 32)

      2. That they may pray for Paul (vs 30)

      3. That Paul may live to see them (vs 31)

  5. Reconciliation assignments and precautions (16:1-19)

    1. Make amends with those who were alienated (16:1-16)

    2. Beware of evil ones (16:17-19)

  6. Concluding encouragements (16:20-27)

    1. Seeing an end to the problems. Satan to be crushed soon (16:20 )

    2. Greetings of Paul's helpers (16:21-24)

    3. Additional reasons to hope (16:25-26)

    4. Praise to God (16:27)

Outline of Efforts to Improve Attitude of Gentiles Toward Jews

Note that some of the effort to improve racial attitudes may have also been to help Jewish attitudes toward Gentiles. The main thrust is of Gentiles toward Jews.


General Flow

The general flow of the letter involves the changes to certain main issues, as shown in the outline. But before Paul addressed an issue, he provided some foundational material, material which was likely an extension of an idea from the previous discussion.

For example in chapter 4, after introducing Abraham as a key topic in arguing against boasting, Paul shifted to show the faith of Abraham. The ideas about faith were tactically presented as a tool to handle the persecution mentioned in chapter 5.

Issues Addressed Across Many Chapters

Racial division

  1. chapters 1 to 2 show Paul's initial approach to the Romans by promoting their judgmental attitude toward Jews and then show them the error of their hearts.

  2. Ch 3 showed the boasting of Gentiles against Jews in difference of faith verses law. There also was the equating of Jew and Gentile

  3. Ch 4 presented Abraham as an icon of Jews and an icon of faith

  4. Ch5 showed that all were under sin passed to all men (verse 12)

  5. Ch7 justified the Law, as a conclusion of effort to show the Law as something good so as to reduce racial division, as much as the division was intertwined with the Gentiles' negative view of the Law.

  6. Then chapters 9 to 11 involved Paul's main thrust to get Gentiles to accept the Jews

Caught in desires of the flesh

  1. Ch1 addressed issues of following the flesh – in a judgmental “sermon”

  2. ch2 addressed the fleshly attitude of judging

  3. ch3 addressed boasting, a fleshly action

  4. ch4 addressed the lack of benefit in the flesh, talking about Abraham

  5. ch5 spoke about the contrast between sin(fleshly behavior) and grace

  6. ch6 gave tools for resisting sin

  7. ch 7 showed the law as an effort of the flesh and showed the struggles

  8. ch 8 showed the gift of the spirit against the flesh

  9. ch 12-14 gave instructions to move past the flesh-based actions

Judgmental Attitude

  1. ch1 put judgmental words into the ears of the audience, showing their judgmental attitude

  2. Ch 2 showed that chapter 1 was about the judgmental attitude of the Romans

  3. Ch 3 showed the boasting or judging of Gentiles against Jews

  4. ch 6 showed the judging as represented in the Sin vs. Law of Rom 6:15

  5. Ch 11 revealed the boasting/judgmental attitude of the gentiles

  6. ch 14 spoke against the judging attitude of the believers toward each other

Boasting –which also is similar to Judging

  1. ch1 put judgmental words into the ears of the audience – a form of boasting

  2. Ch 3 showed the boasting or judging of Gentiles against Jews, boasting of faith

  3. Ch 4 sought to remove the basis of boasting

  4. ch 6 showed the boasting in Sin as a means of increasing Grace. Also showed the idea of Sinning cause they weren't under Law – this was a boast against the Law

  5. Ch 11 revealed the boasting attitude of the gentiles

  6. ch 14 spoke against the judging attitude of the believers toward each other.

Significant Changes in Emphasis or Interpretation

All Have Sinned

This phrase in chapter 3 was given to put Jews and Gentiles on the same level. This statement didn't occur to teach about sin but rather to resolve the problem of racial divisions.

Justification by Faith

This issue was addressed in Rom 3 in order to give the contrast to works of Law. Paul was giving an argument against boasting. Emphasis was given to faith in order to show that there was no special quality intrinsic to the believer for which to boast.

From this argument against boasting, though, there may be useful doctrines found. The main effort so far has been to develop the context of Romans so that doctrine can be re-evaluated in light of the better view of the context.

Parallel or Complex structure : ch5 and ch 8

Douglas Moo shows some either simple parallels or a more complex complimentary structure between chapters 5 and 8. Other scholars may consider the accuracy of such observations. But what can be observed in another sense is that indeed Paul did address the issue of persecution at two or more locations. [Rom 3:8, Rom 5:3, Rom 8:17-18, Rom 16:20] More benefit is gained by seeing that Paul addressed the problem of suffering first through issues of faith and God's love and then secondly by reference to the Spirit and future provisions.

Table of Contrasts

[only the initial contrasts that have been identified]

Contrasts between

3:19-22 justification by deeds of Law and by faith

4:1-16 works and faith – as pertains to issue of boasting

5:12-21 Sin and Grace – as pertains to argument against hyper-grace doctrine

7:14-23 goodness of the Law but not to be beholden to the Law

8:1-14 spirit and flesh

Identification of Targeted People in Romans 1:18-32

First it should be observed that this section was not for doctrinal instruction. Instead it was

the effort of Paul to expose the anti-Jewish sentiments of the Gentile audience, to whom Paul


There are certain phrases that only reasonably apply when speaking of the bloodline Israel.

This has nothing to do with the strengths, traits or frailties of the people of Israel but only

with the status as being God's people.


1. Verse 18 applies to Jews cause only Jews had truth [strong]

2. “God made it evident” vs 19 -- anything made evident was made evident to Jews


3. “They knew God” vs 21 – Only the Jews had this personal knowledge of God [strong]

4. Vs 23 -- Jews went to Idols [this is more of a counter argument against applying the

phrase solely to Gentiles]

5. Vs 25 -- “exchanged the truth” -- Again, only Jews had the truth [strong]

6. Vs 28 -- “not acknowledge God” -- Again, only Jews were in a position to be aware of

God so as to also not acknowledge Him. [strong]

7. Vs 31 -- “covenant breakers” (or untrustworthy or unfaithful) – Only Jews had the

covenant [strong]

8. Vs 32 -- Knew laws (or ordinances) – The Jews were known for caring for the

scriptures having the laws. [strong]

There must be great caution in trying to extract doctrines from Rom 1:18-32. There certainly

are ideas that Christians will be attracted to. But these ideas are the most judgmental lures

rather than of the mercy. So, in contrast, the mercy was brought up by corollary to Rom 2:3

(if we expect mercy we should not be inclined to judge).

Changed to Version 1.1 – June 25,2008

Changes from 1.1 to 1.2 – May 08,2009

a) ch 3 had assumed it was Gentiles' boasting

b) ch 7 outline didn't show Paul's insight into Roman experience

c) ch 9 argument outline was refined

Changes from 1.2 to 1.3 – May 2009

a) 9:30-33 removed and bring up the idea of whether the stumbling was a drawback

b) 9:30-10:11 changed

Changes from 1.3 to 1.4 – May 25,2009

a) Changed text of several entries to clarify outline entries

b) Relatively minor adjustments to structure of outline.

c) Removed some entries providing too much detail

Changes 1.4A – June 7,2009

a) Minor changes

Changes 1.5 – Aug 16,2009

a) Reflect improved ideas in chapter 3

b) Align verses to headings a little differently. Shift away from chapter designations.

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