Scriptures

Romans 1

Introduction

Rudyard Kipling.

“I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); their names are, What and Why and When and How and Where and Who”.

In approaching any book in the Bible, it is good to remember this little rhyme, because it will impress upon us the importance of first taking the basic questions; such as;

WHO was the writer? To WHOM was he writing? WHEN did he write? From WHERE did he write? WHAT did he write? And WHY did he write it?

1. Authorship

In the case of this particular latter, we need not spend much time on the question, who was the writer, because we are well-enough acquainted with him, we know him as Paul the Apostle.

We need have no doubt about this, because he identifies himself in the very first voice, no! The very first word of the letter,

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ”. Romans 1:1

Notice that Paul, the inspired author, dictated this epistle to a scribe, Tertius.

“I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

This insures accuracy in the writing.

Of course, it is always possible that someone else used the name of Paul to gain acceptance of a letter which Paul did not write, but in this case we may dismiss such a suggestion immediately, because the letter carries internal evidence of its genuineness as a letter from the apostle.

Without spending time on this point, it is enough to say that, style of writing, the language (vocabulary) the personal references and the doctrines it teaches.

Indeed, the very atmosphere and feel of the letter declares it to be a genuine letter from Paul himself. So much so that there has seldom, if ever, been a serious attempt to deny the Pauline authorship. And therefore we shall not take up any of our time in discussing the matter any further.

2. Probable chronology of Paul and the Roman Empire in New Testament times

The date accepted for the establishment of the church on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension of Christ is A.D.33.

The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus must have occurred soon after this date, because;

1. The persecution of the church began very quickly, so that those in the city of Jerusalem and, presumably, those in the surrounding areas were scattered, Acts 8:1. The death of Stephen quickly followed about A.D. 33-34.

Saul’s involvement in the murder of Stephen, Acts 7, and the statement in Acts 8:1+3 shows that he played a leading role in the persecution. ‘Consenting’ to the death of Stephen means that he ‘voted in favour’ of it, Acts 26:9-12 and Acts 22:3-5.

2. It also suggests that Saul was already a member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish Council, which, in turn, implies that he was at least 30 years old at the time, because this was the age below which no-one could become a member, He states that he was ‘advancing’ in Judaism beyond others of his contemporaries.

Furthermore, his easy access to the High Priest and the letters authorizing him to represent the High Priest in Damascus, imply that he was considered a real enemy of this new sect.

3. This would have happened quickly, because the Priesthood would want to stifle the church ‘at birth’, so to speak. Therefore, his conversion on the road to Damascus probably happened soon after the death of Stephen, i.e., 33-34 A.D.

4. Galatians 1:ff, tells us that after his conversion he went ‘into Arabia’, where he received the revelation which confirmed his divine and commission then back again to Damascus, and it was 3 years before he went back to Jerusalem, Galatians 1:18, where he stayed with Peter for 15 days.

But, rather significantly, he saw none of the other Apostles, although, according to Acts 8:1, they remained in Jerusalem. A.D. 37-38.

5. Perhaps understandably, when the converted Saul returned to Jerusalem the Christians were suspicious of him and, he was not warmly welcomed by the leadership. He admits, in Galatians 1 that he was

‘not known by face’

to the churches in Judea, although they had certainly heard that the man who had persecuted the Church was now preaching the Gospel.

The outcome was that he returned to Cilicia, probably home to Tarsus and to Syria, which were non-Jewish territories, where Barnabas came looking for him. When he found Saul he took him to Jerusalem ensuring a much warmer welcome from the Christians!

6. This was probably about 38A.D, after which Barnabas and Saul went out from Antioch in Syria, on the First Missionary Journey, at the end of which they returned to Jerusalem.

Back in Jerusalem, they met Agabus a prophet, who predicted that there would be a ‘great famine,’ a famine throughout the Roman world, which would come

‘in the days of Claudius’ A.D. 41-54

This prediction must have been made before A.D.41, because that was the year in which Claudius became Emperor. The accuracy of the prophecy is proved by the fact that Josephus records that there was a famine in Judea in A.D.46.

Acts 15 tells us that in Jerusalem he met with the Apostles and Elders to settle the question relating to the Gentile Christians and the Law of Moses. It was here that Paul was urged to ‘remember the poor’, as he visited the Gentile churches. This became the second dominant mission of the apostle, as is evident from his epistles.

7. In Acts 18, we see Paul in Corinth. This would be in A.D.51, because at that time Gallio, the brother of the more famous Seneca, was serving as Governor, and history records that he served for the usual two-year term, 51-52 A.D. having been appointed by the Roman Senate.

Verse 11 tells us that Paul remained in Corinth for 18 months, during which time he wrote his letter to the Romans.

8. In A.D. 52 Paul visited Jerusalem for the Passover, and then returned to the Church in Antioch. This was the end of the 2nd Missionary Journey.

9. Third missionary Journey, ending in Jerusalem. A.D.57-59

This would be when he was falsely accused of defiling the Temple by taking in Gentiles. Rescued from the mob by the Romans and eventually delivered to Procurator Felix in Caesarea.

10. Felix kept Paul a prisoner for 2 years, expecting to be offered a bribe to free him, until Festus arrived to take over the Governorship. Acts 24.

11. After Paul had exercised the right of a Roman citizen to be heard by Caesar, he was sent by ship to Rome to await his trial by Nero, who was now Rome’s ruler. Roman law required a trial to take place within two years; after that the case was dismissed. A.D. 60.

Acts 28:30 reveals that Paul remained, under guard, in a house which he had rented, to his house 4 miles outside of the city, where he committed suicide. He had become Emperor at 17 years of age, and reigned from A.D. 54 to A.D 68, and was just 31 years old when he died.

12. Four years earlier, in A.D. 64 most of Rome was destroyed by fire, for which Nero is generally held to have been responsible, and almost certainly was! He found it easy to place the blame for the Fire on Christians and a fierce persecution of the Church began.

Acts 28 closes with Paul teaching all who came to him, and enjoying relative freedom. It is reasonable to think that he was executed during that period of persecution, and is may be said that, in that sense, Nero was responsible for the death of Paul.

3. Time and place of writing

Let me remind you of the Galatian letter. We see that it was on his first missionary journey that Paul met the guiltiness for the first time. Acts 13-14. Then, after returning to and staying in Antioch for a time, he travelled beyond Galatia, across the Aegean Sea, to Europe (Macedonia and Achaia) where he established a church in Corinth, among other places. Acts 16.

His 3rd journey took him into Asia and for 3 years his labours were centred in Ephesus, the Provincial capital. When he left that city he revisited the brethren in Macedonia and Achaia, and wrote this letter to the Romans from Corinth during his brief stay there.

Evidence from the letter itself

“Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.” Romans 15:25-26

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.” Romans 16:1

Phoebe from Cenchrea.

“Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works.” Romans 16:23

Gaius (See 1 Corinthians 1:14) Erastus the city treasurer. (See 2 Timothy 4:20.)

1. There is strong indication that it was written in Corinth on the third missionary tour which was about 57 or 58 A.D.

Reasons

Paul was taking the contribution of the churches of Macedonia and Achaia to the poor saints in Jerusalem.

“Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.” Romans 15:25-26

Paul and certain other brethren were in Corinth on the third missionary tour at this time and were on their way to Jerusalem with the offering for the poor saints. Acts 19:22 / Acts 20:3+4+16 / Acts 24:17+18.

It was probably written at Corinth because the names of two people associated with the city are mentioned as being present with Paul at the time of writing. Romans 16:23 / 1 Corinthians 1:14 / Acts 19:22 / 2 Timothy 4:20.

4. To whom was the letter written?

Well the title says.

‘To the Romans’,

at least, in all the versions available today. And I have no doubt that this is absolutely accurate. However, it is a curious fact that there are a few ancient manuscripts in which the word ‘Rome’, found in Romans 1:7 and Romans 1:15, is omitted. And these are the only two places in the letter where the destination of the letter is actually named.

However, there has never been any doubt that it was written by Paul, to the brethren in Rome.

In the course of our studies you will be hearing about Marcion, a heretic who lived at the beginning of the 2nd century (probably born about 120 A.D.) and who denied that Body of Jesus was real, it was a phantom.

To quote the words of John in 2 John 7, Marcion denied that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. And he rejected most of the New Testament because it did not agree with his teaching. But when Tertullian wrote against this man, he referred to the churches to which Paul wrote, as being the Guardians of his letters and referred to them as;

“With whom the authentic letters of the apostles are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each one. Is Achaia near to thee? Thou hast Corinth. If thou art not far from Macedonia, thou hast Philippi; thou hast Thessalonica. If thou art able to go into Asia, thou hast Ephesus. If thou art near to Italy, thou hast Rome”. (Tertullian; “Prescriptions against Heretics”, 36)

The point of this is, that even the rest prominent heretics of the early years of Christianity did not dare to deny that the letter to the Romans was written by Paul. All of the so-called early ‘Church Fathers’ recognized this as fact.

5. What do we know about the church in Rome? How did it begin? Who established it?

1. Certainly not Paul himself, because he makes that clear for us in Romans 1:11-15 and Romans 15:22-24.

2. And unlikely any other apostle. Romans 1:11.

3. The Gospel was most probably carried to Rome by some of those who had been present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached the Gospel to its fullness for the first time and 3000 responded to the message. Acts 2:10 records that there were present

“visitors from Rome”.

4. It has existed for many years.

“But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you” Romans 15:23

5. Their faith was known throughout the world.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world”. Romans 1:8

In any case Rome was the greatest centre of the world at this time. The capital of the Empire, and, that being the case, all roads led both from and to Rome, so it is not difficult to believe that the Gospel would very quickly find its way there.

This is why, when Paul eventually reached Rome, he was met by the brethren, in all probability, some of those who read this very letter. And, in Romans 16, we see that many of those who were members of the church in Rome were people who had been associated with Paul, at one time or another, as he had gone about his work in other parts of the empire.

We notice, for instance, his old travelling-companions, in Romans 16:3. Epenetus in Romans 16:5. He had been converted in Asia (Ephesus), but who, like Aquila and Priscilla, had found his way to Rome. And so had certain of Paul’s own relatives, mentioned in Romans 16:7.

Indeed, he mentions several others who had worked hard for the faith and who had been his fellow-workers. And, since he has never been to Rome himself, they must have associated with him elsewhere.

6. We do know that the church in Rome

1. Became a strong church. Romans 1:18 and Romans 15:1.

2. Was known for its excellent reputation, throughout the Roman world. Romans 16:19.

3. Was a mature church. Romans 15:14.

4. Contained relatives of Paul who became Christians before he did. Romans 16:7.

5. And even had members who were serving in Caesar’s household. Romans 4:22.

6. It is interesting to note that in Romans 16, no fewer than 10 women are mentioned.

1. Phoebe

2. Priscilla

3. Mary

4. Tryphena and

5. Tryphosa (twins)

6. Persis

7. The mother of Rufus

8. Julia

9. The sister of Nereus and

10. Olympas.

This indicates the effect which Christianity was having on the status of women in New Testament times. Roman Catholic doctrine claims, without proof of any kind, that Peter was in Rome as the first pope for 25 years; i.e. from 43 to 68 A.D, when Peter is said to have been martyred.

In Romans 16 Paul mentions at least 26 friends, relatives and co-workers but makes no mention of ‘Pope Peter’! The reality is that even according to Roman Catholic doctrine; Peter could not have been ‘Pope’ because he was married and Catholic teaching says the Pope is to be celibate.

In fact, the Pope is not scripturally qualified to be an Elder, Bishop. Presbyter, or even a Deacon, because he is unmarried. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

7. Why was this letter written?

There are several reasons which we may assign for the writing the letter.

Notice that unlike other letters, such as the Corinthian letters or the letter to the Galatians, it was not written to correct doctrinal error, or improper behaviour.

1. To inform the Roman Christians that Paul planned to come to Rome.

2. To establish the fact that the Gospel of Christ is God’s saving power to all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile.

3. To emphasize that the Gospel is God’s only Plan for Man’s salvation.

4. To establish the fact that justification comes by grace, through faith, apart from the Mosaic Law, and that Grace is not based on the merit system; i.e. not by works

5. To prove the explain God’s apparent rejection of Israel.

The letter contains Paul’s most complete and detailed exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which he describes as ‘my Gospel’.

Only by grace appropriated through faith in Christ and altogether apart from the Law are we saved! Paul stresses that true faith is always active, faith obeys!

Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

6. He wished to fulfil a long-standing ambition.

For a long time, Paul had cherished the desire to visit Rome. He mentions this in Acts 19:21, whilst he was Ephesus.

He refers to his planned visit to Jerusalem and says,

‘After I have been there, I must see Rome also’.

In the letter itself he reminds his readers that he has not, as yet, been able to fulfil this ambition. Romans 1:11 and Romans 15:22-24.

Of course, there were sound reasons for his wish to visit Rome. He was not planning to go as a sight-seer, or as a tourist, to admire the splendour of the city which was the centre of the world of its time.

In fact, Paul never went anywhere as a tourist. He wanted to go to Rome because, at this time, there was a church in Rome, and, he could see the potential the possibilities in Rome.

As I have already said, all roads led to Rome and from Rome. He saw it as the gathering place of all the nations and races of the ancient world, and therefore he saw it as a prime centre for missionary activity.

He wanted to visit Rome to preach the Gospel, to teach coverts, and thus to make missionaries who would take the Gospel to the farthest outposts of the Empire. He realized that a strong church in Rome could prove to be a powerful agency in evangelising the world.

We need to think about this fact, for a moment or two. I think we may learn something from Paul in this matter. It is quite evident that, as an evangelist and missionary, Paul believed in placing himself where his efforts could be most effective and worthwhile.

He did not go off and hide himself in little villages, or in obscure places where there were few people. He sought to sow the Gospel in places where the impact would be the greatest and where it would the greatest impact.

And, whilst on this subject, let me also observe that Paul did not embark on any plan of missionary activity, without carefully weighing up the possibilities and considering how the work might later develop. He did not rush off to a place in one part of the empire, work, there for a time, and then rush off in some other direction to try his hand there.

On the contrary, his programme reached out in logical stages. Consider, for instance his very first journey. One city led him to the next, so that by the time he had finished, there was a chain of congregations, within striking distance of each other, capable of having fellowship with each other, and able to help each other when the need arose.

I have known young evangelists to make some very foolish and elementary mistakes, as they have set about their work. Because they have been so determined to begin an entirely new work, they have gone off to some place where there has been NO church and no church-members, either. And no established congregation near enough at hand to give them support or encouragement.

And, time and time again, because they have isolated themselves in this way, they have become discouraged when things have not worked out as well as they had expected, they have not set the world on fire! And the work has eventually ceased, leaving them depressed and disheartened, and leaving the people who backed them in their venture, disappointed and disillusioned with mission work.

8. Paul worked from established centres

He saw evangelism like the dropping of a stone in a lake. The ripples of energy radiate from the centre, they spread out, wider and wider, until they reach the farthest shore of the lake. That is what happened in Asia, with Ephesus as the centre. Acts 19:10 tells us that all Asia heard the word of the Lord.

That is how he felt about Rome; and that is why he longed to go there. Indeed, he even saw Rome as the jumping off place to Spain!

“So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.” Romans 15:28

Well! In Acts 23:11 we read that the Lord assured him that this wish would be granted. In the event, however, it was not granted in quite the way that Paul had envisaged, because, as you know, he finally reached Rome as a prisoner. Still, the Lord said to him,

“As you have borne witness about me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.”

And this is why, in the opening verses of this letter, he tells the brethren in Romans 1:15

“So I am eager to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

This introduces a 2nd reason for the writing of this letter, prior to Paul’s visit to Rome. He wants the church in Rome to understand what it is that he actually preaches.

Paul is not unaware of the fact that there were certain people who were likely to have spread rumours about him in Rome, with a view to undermining his authority, and so he feels it necessary to let them know the exact nature of the message he carried, and so he writes in Romans 16:25 of what he calls, ‘my Gospel’, so that you might describe the letter to the Romans as ‘The Gospel according to Paul.’

After all, remember, that the Roman Christians did not know him personally, at least the majority didn’t know him. And they had obviously heard something about his teaching as Romans 3:7+8 reveals. We shall be looking at the meaning of this in more depth later, but, for the moment let me say that Paul’s critics were claiming:

1. That he taught men that sin is not so terrible because all sin is covered by the grace of God. Later on in Romans 6:1,

“Let us continue to sin so that grace may abound.”

2. It may also be that they were accusing him of preaching and teaching something which was either contrary to, or opposed to, the Old Testament scriptures. See Romans 16:25ff.

He therefore points out to them in this letter that the Gospel which he preached was indeed.

a. The fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy.

“The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures”. Romans 1:2

b. A Gospel which affirmed that salvation is only possible through Christ.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile”. Romans 1:16

c. That Jesus was the Son of David, in fulfilment of the Scripture.

“Regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David.” Romans 1:3 and “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” 2 Timothy 2:8

d. That He is also the Son of God, as proved by His resurrection.

“And who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 1:4

3. And then, Paul has an even more personal motive in going to Rome.

You will see it expressed in Romans 1:14-15

“I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.”

He says,

‘I am under obligation’.

The A.V. expresses it rather more dramatically, it seems to me.

‘I am a debtor.’

I am under obligation. I owe! I have a debt to discharge! (And we shall be looking more closely as this also, later.)

So, here are three reasons, and you might think of more, why Paul was anxious to go to Rome.

1. His long-standing desire to see Rome become the centre of great missionary expansion.

2. His wish to let the Church in Rome know exactly what it was that he preached.

3. His sense of personal obligation to Christ for his own salvation.

And, I think that I should perhaps add a 4th.

4. That he might have fellowship with brethren whom he had never met but whom he loved, because they were brethren in Christ.

“That you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12

That fellowship is something which Paul saw as mutually encouraging. He would personally be strengthened and encouraged by meeting them. And they would be strengthened, because he would impart spiritual gifts to them.

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong”. Romans 1:11

‘Paul marching on Rome!’

Think about that! How successful does he expect to be? What does he hope to gain?

Well. I don’t suppose that he had any illusions about the size of the task. He knew about Rome. He knew about Roman might and Roman hardness, and Roman brutality, but he also knew that secret of success did not lie in any ability he might personally possess, but in the power of the Gospel of Christ.

And he also knew that if Rome were to yield to the Gospel, the impact would be felt throughout the world of that time. Of course, today, you and I understand all this, and we can share Paul’s feelings, his enthusiasm, and his confidence in the power of the Gospel.

But, put yourself in the place of a Roman and listen to these words as though you were a Roman.

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God to salvation.” Romans 1:16

And then look at this insignificant little Jewish Tentmaker, who has a head full of fantastic notions about a young Jewish preacher named Jesus, who has been crucified under the governorship of Pontius Pilate, in Judea, only about 33 years old at the time, and this little man, Paul, entertains the idea of marching on Rome!

Why! If the Romans even noticed this travel-stained man, trudging wearily up the Appian Way into Rome and had been told that he believed that the most powerful thing in the world had been committed to his trust, they would either have smiled tolerantly, or laughed outright in contempt!

How did it all work out?

Let Gibbon tell us:

‘….and finally erected the standard of the cross on the ruins of the Roman Empire.’

9. Problems in the Church

1. The Church needed to be instructed on how to live as Christians in the pagan culture of Rome,

2. They had also to be taught the meaning of Christian liberty, and what it meant to be ‘free in Christ’.

3. Because of the differing cultures of the Jews and Gentiles in the Church, several doctrinal issues needed to be addressed:

a. The first issue that needed to be addressed concerned the Jewish attitude towards Gentiles. Paul pointed out that in God’s eyes there is no difference, because both were under sin and in need of God’s righteousness.

b. This righteousness comes only through faith; not by ‘law-keeping’ i.e., observing the Mosaic Law.

c. That God accepts the Gentiles and has extended the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles.

The Obstacle to Gentile Salvation was that Jewish believers insisted that Gentile converts needed to become Jewish proselytes first, before accepting the Gospel of Jesus.

Common Jewish belief was that the Mosaic Law was the expression of God’s Will, and binding on all those who desired to become righteous in His eyes, the first step involved circumcision.

In this one became a Jewish proselyte (convert), after which acceptance of the Gospel followed. Because Christianity was seen by all as a Jewish religion, certain Jewish leaders were determined it should remain so.

10. Paul’s Main Argument

Man’s justification before God rests solely on the merits of Christ, not on the Law of Moses, since no ever succeeded in keeping the Law which revealed the holiness which God’s Own Nature demands.

Christ, who shares the nature of God, and being merciful and obedient to the Father, provided justification and redemption from sin, through His atoning sacrifice.

The Chapters of the Roman letter

What sin is and who is a sinner. Convicts everyone of sin. Romans 1-4.

What grace is, and how it is received. Romans 5-6.

How to maintain the state of grace. Romans 7.

How to demonstrate and share grace with others. Romans 8-15.

Conclusion. Romans 16.

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.” Romans 1:1

Notice how the letter begins. It begins in what might be called the traditional manner, at least, at least tradition and usual in those days.

Whereas we commence a letter by addressing the one to whom we are writing, for instance ‘Dear John’ and we sign our name at the end of the letter, for instance, ‘yours sincerely, Mike Glover’, this was completely reversed in New Testament times.

The one receiving the letter did not need to the end of it to find the identity of the writer, because it was there, at the beginning, because the writer identified himself immediately. And that is what we see here. ‘Paul’.

After naming himself, if the writer was not known to the people to whom he was writing, he might lay out his credentials, his references. Here we have, ‘Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle’.

Of course, we all know this man, but did you realize that the name he uses, Paul or Paulus, as it would be in its original form, means ‘Little’? And some scholars have suggested that it may have referred to his physical size. Of course, 2 Corinthians 10:1+10 might lead you to think that way I suppose.

Bearing in mind that he was brought up a very orthodox and strict Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, he calls himself in Philippians 3:5, we should bear in mind that Hebrews usually gave their children two names.

There would be a Jewish name, naturally along with that there would be a Gentile name, so that, when he was associating with nonJews, it would not be necessary for Gentiles to speak his Jewish name.

That name would be kept for use by members of his immediate family, or his close Jewish friends. The first time we find Saul of Tarsus as he was originally called, using his Gentile name, Paul is on the island of Cyprus, when he is dealing with the Roman Governor. Acts 13:4-12.

‘‘Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle’. Romans 1:1

The word is ‘doulos’. Used by the Greeks to indicate the lowest kind of servant, a slave, a bond-slave. Of course, we know what the word slave means, but it is important to realise that the word doulos indicates someone who has been born into slavery and who is bound to his master, his owner, as long as he lives.

In other words, it indicates a condition of bondage which can only be broken by death. The Doulos was completely submissive to his master’s will, and the interests of his master had to be placed first in his life. Indeed, the interests of his master were paramount, they were the only concerns that mattered to him.

If we go back to the Old Testament to Joshua 1:1, we are told that Joshua was Moses’ minister. Of course, the word in Hebrew, is the word ‘sharath’. Then, in the last chapter of the book, Joshua 24:29, Joshua is called the servant of the Lord.

And the same word is used, and they both mean slave. It was the greatest joy of the life of Joshua to be the minister, or servant, or slave of Moses, and to be the minister, servant, slave of God.

In the same way, then, it was the joy of the life of Paul, to be able to say that he was the slave of Jesus Christ. And we need to emphasize this slave of Jesus Christ. Because he states that proudly. He wants everyone to know that he belongs to Jesus.

History records that, during the time of the Roman Empire, there were people who were known as slaves of the emperor, and, although they were still slaves, there was an honour and a distinction attached to that title which made them proud to wear it.

This, quite clearly is how Paul felt about his bondage to the Lord Jesus. The thing that leads me to think this, is the fact that it is the first thing that he mentions.

He does not say,

“Paul, an Apostle and servant of Jesus Christ”,

but rather,

“Paul a slave of Jesus Christ, and a called apostle.”

He places his slavery before his apostleship! And that is a fact which tells us a great deal about the man himself!

Many people, placed in positions of authority or responsibility, insist on others giving recognition to which they think they are entitled by reason of that position. They wear their honours proudly and become vain. With Paul it was not so. He accepted his position with thankfulness and gratitude, and he exercised his authority as an apostle only when it was absolutely necessary. (See example in Philemon. Philemon 89.)

‘‘Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle’. Romans 1:1

One of my complaints against the R.S.V. is that the translators have abandoned the use if italics. You may be using a version which still has italics, and I think that is good, because when the translators used italics, they did so to indicate that those words italicised are not in the original Greek, but have been supplied in order to give what the translator thinks is the sense of the passage.

But, if you have the R.S.V., nothing there to tell you that those two words ‘to be’ are not in the original text. The Greek text says ‘kletos apostolos’, which means called apostle. You could say a called apostle, because ‘kletos’, is an adjective and ‘apostolos’ is a noun.

For instance, take that phrase ‘an elected representative’. The word ‘representative’ is a noun, and the word ‘elected’ is an adjective. And so, Paul is not saying that he is ‘called an apostle’, but rather he is a called apostle.

This emphasises that he did not decide to become an apostle, but rather that he was summoned, called, to take up this position, this responsibility, this office.

Paul was called, and he responded to that call. You might even say that he was elected to this task, set apart, chosen. Galatians 1:15 says,

“Set apart before he was born.”

Now that is predestination! Because God had already predetermined what this man should be even before he was born. But! Do not make this say more than it does.

All that this tells us is that, when Paul, of his own free will, accepted Jesus as the Christ, and obeyed the Gospel, God had already planned the work that he should do.

This is one of the big mistakes made by those people who hold Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. The words predestination, election and foreordination, in the true Biblical sense, relate to work, to tasks, and not to salvation.

God has predestined, not the salvation of Paul, but the work that he should undertake once he had chosen to be saved. And this again, underlines the way that Paul felt about his apostleship. He did not regard it so much as a position to occupy proudly, as a task, a work to be undertaken with gratitude and humility.

In other words, he felt he had been given a task, not a title! (This is something that every Christian should think about, and especially those of us who are either involved in or contemplating becoming involved in what we often call full-time work for the Lord.)

Notice that Paul tells us that he had been set apart for the Gospel of God. And you cannot make any mistake about what he considered to be the Gospel of God.

Remember there were all sorts of rumours going around about what Paul was preaching, they thought he was preaching law keeping and so Paul is going to tell them exactly what it is he preaches in Romans 1-3.

‘Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.’ Romans 1:1

The word Gospel is evangelical, the reward for giving the message, and is used 75 times in the New Testament. Apart from the four Gospel, Paul is the only one who uses this word.

The Gospel begins in Genesis 3:15

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Abraham was 1st to hear the Gospel.

Genesis 18:18 “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.”

Genesis 22:18 “And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Galatians 3:7-8 “Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

“The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:2-4

In the book of Romans alone there are 60 references to the Old Testament. An important point to the Jews to remind them that the gospel was divinely promised in their own Scriptures.

Psalm 2:7 “I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.”

1st time eludes to Jesus being the Son.

Psalm 110:1 “The LORD says to my lord.”

The Messiah, the Christ was the Son of God. My Yahweh said to my Adonia, the Lord said to my Lord.

Lineage of David

Human side, of the seed of David which was fulfilled.

‘According to the flesh,’ this is contrasted with ‘according to the Spirit of holiness.’ The spirit or inner part of Christ, the divine side of Christ. Appointed or declared means revealed. Not how He became such, but how He is shown to us to be such with power.

The miracles Jesus performed were performed through the Holy Spirit to reveal that Jesus was the Son of God.

John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

‘Resurrection of the dead’, very important, no Christianity if He didn’t rise from the grave. 1 Corinthians 15.

In the Book of Acts the early preachers didn’t emphasis Jesus’ miracles but Jesus’ resurrection.

Acts 13:29-33 “When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’”

The priesthood was Sadduceean, they didn’t believe in the resurrection. Acts 23:8. ‘Our Lord’. The owner and ruler of Paul’s life and ours.

“Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. ” Romans 1:5+6

The apostle’s authority, both his favour and office were not from any man or the church.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.” Galatians 1:10-11

‘Obedience that comes from, faith.’ The obedience which is based on faith or springs from faith. ‘For His name’ means for His glory and honour.

Believing and obeying

Paul begins the book with its importance.

“Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.” Romans 1:5

and Paul ends the book with its importance.

“But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith”. Romans 16:26

Those who do not obey the truth will receive indignation and wrath.

“But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Romans 2:8

And so to avoid God’s wrath and anger we must walk in the steps of our father Abraham.

“And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised”. Romans 4:12.

Obedience comes through faith, in other words faith shows itself. You cannot believe without obedience.The terms, ‘called,’ ‘chosen,’ and ‘elect,’ are similar and are brought about by the same means.

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

By virtue of being called of Christ, we belong to Christ.

“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7

1 Corinthians 15. The resurrection is important. Rome didn’t know Jesus existed until after his resurrection.

Here we see the people to whom Paul is writing to, to the Roman Christians. And he reminds them of God’s love for them.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

And what is our calling?

To be His holy people. To be holy ones, people set apart to God. We shouldn’t be ashamed to let the world know this as we live this out every day of our lives. ‘Grace and peace’. No greater blessing could be prayed for or granted to the faithful.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” Romans 1:8-10

Notice how Paul always wants to thank God for his brethren, how often do we thank God for our spiritual family, not just here but throughout the world?

Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Also notice how personal his relationship is, ‘my God’.

Their reputation was excellent, their strong faith was making itself known around the world. I wonder what people say about us?

‘With my spirit’ means with all my heart, in all sincerity. ‘In the gospel of His Son’ includes all the things of Christianity. ‘Constantly I remember’ “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1. Parable of the persistent widow.

“Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

He earnestly wanted them to know of his gratitude and prayers for them.

‘God is my witness,’ in other words God will give testimony and will bear it out. This is not a formal, judicial oath.

Paul could only do what God’s will permitted him to do.

James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

God often answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect. Paul finally arrived in Rome, but after being slapped in the face, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake. He went to Rome at the government’s expense. God will answer our prayers although at times with timing and ways we might not expect.

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.” Romans 1:11-13

‘Spiritual gift’, miraculous is not inherent in the phrase. Some say this refers to any of the virtues resulting from Paul’s ministry as shown by the ‘that is’ in the next verse.

However, it probably refers to those gifts given only by the laying on of the apostle’s hands. Acts 8:14-20 / Acts 19:6 / 2 Timothy 1:6.

This would increase Paul’s purpose for going to Rome, to make them strong. The virtues are not something bestowed, but developed. If he meant only to refer to the virtues, it seems he would have used the normal words for them.

He is showing that he was not coming to Rome only for their benefit but for his as well. A person misses the comfort and encouragement afforded by assembling and associating with fellow saints.

He had planned many times to come to see them, not just once or twice but many, his interest and love for them was not born yesterday. But he was ‘prevented’, this shows that he was not guided in the Holy Spirit in making plans.

He wanted to come to reap a harvest, in other words he not only wanted to convert people, but he wanted to help them grow spiritually. Remember that most the Roman church was made up of Gentiles.

“I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.” Romans 1:14

Paul was under divine obligation. He was called for that purpose.

Acts 26:16-17 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them.”

Paul had the responsibility.

1 Corinthians 9:16 “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

Paul had a special duty to the Gentiles.

Galatians 1:16 “to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being”.

Galatians 2:9 “James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.”

Romans 15:16 “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

‘Greeks’, Greek speaking people. ‘Barbarians’, Non-Greek speaking people. ‘Wise and unwise’. Both to the learned and unlearned, educated and uneducated. None were exempted, regardless of their nationality or status in life.

“That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:15-17

1 Corinthians 15. The resurrection is important. Rome didn’t know Jesus existed until after his resurrection.

Paul was ready and willing to go the distance, to pay the price, and to make whatever sacrifices necessary to preach to them. And he was not ashamed because his message was God’s power to save. When we are tempted to be ashamed regarding our teaching, remember to focus on what God is doing through His gospel, rather than on our own inadequacy. Perhaps this way, we will never be ashamed or embarrassed.

Just as God has put His power into a seed to reproduce after its kind, He has put His power in the Gospel. It is God’s system by which He could be just and still justify the sinner.

Romans 3:25-26 “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

It is God’s power to root out the love, practice, guilt, and penalty of sin. It is not God’s power to save politically, socially, financially, physically, or mentally, though all are influenced by it. It is God’s power to salvation, both now and in eternity. ‘To the Jew first,’ was God’s plan.

Acts 3:25-26 “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

They should have been the first to accept it.

“Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46

In the Gospel ‘the righteousness of God.’ The righteous acts which God ordained,

Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

The plan of salvation by which men are made righteous before God.

1 John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

Because of sin, man’s right relationship with God was broken,

Isaiah 59:1-2 “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

To restore that broken relationship is justification (righteousness and justification are from the same root word). It is called the righteousness of God because it is made possible by Him without any help or merit of man.

It is ‘revealed’ in the Gospel. The Gospel reveals God’s plan to make man righteous, to restore the sinner back to a proper relationship with God.

‘From faith to faith’.

From the Gospel system of faith to faith in the hearts of men. Perhaps it means,

‘from the beginning of faith to the end of faith.’

The Gospel meets all of people’s needs from faith’s inception to faith’s fruition.

‘The righteous shall live by faith’,

Quoted from Habakkuk 2:4. Faith is the motivating force in every endeavour in the Christian’s life. 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20

‘Wrath of God’ means God’s displeasure or the anger of God. ‘Revealed from heaven’ means it has been revealed through His providence and His revealed Word by the prophets and inspired writings. ‘Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness’ means the wickedness and injustice of men.

‘Who suppress the truth in unrighteousness’,

in other words they hold down, suppress, or hinder the spread of truth by their opposition to truth and by the wicked lives they live, even though God has made it plain to them.

‘Invisible things…are clearly seen’,

almost sounds like a paradox but means ‘are clearly understood.’ In what way? ‘By the things that are made’. Man understands that there is a God by looking at the things which He created.

Experience and observation clearly tells us that every made thing has a maker. Every effect demands a cause. The thing made demands a maker. Design demands a designer. Every law demands a law giver. Writings demand an author. Life comes from life.

‘Eternal power’ means that mankind is coming to know more and more of the power of God. In the old days, he could look at what a seed can do. Now, with modern research tools, he looks at the genetic code of which all living things are made.

‘Divine nature’ ‘Godhead’ means divinity, deity.

Acts 17:29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.”

Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

There are three different words in the original Greek, but all are from the root word, ‘Theous.’

‘Without Excuse,’

God can declare they are without excuse because they don’t accept the evidence. Their rejection of the evidence is inexcusable in God’s sight.

In these verses, Paul answers a common objection,

‘How could a loving God send anyone to hell, especially someone who has never heard about Christ?’

God has revealed Himself plainly in the creation to all people.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” Romans 1:21-23

‘When they knew God’, how did they know God? God revealed Himself by the things which He made. They ‘did not glorify Him as God’, they didn’t like to retain God in their knowledge.

Romans 1:18 “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.”

Malachi 1:6 “A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’”

‘Nor were thankful’ means they did not acknowledge God as the giver of all blessings. ‘Futile in their thoughts’ means they chose their own vain imaginations instead of sound reasoning.

‘Foolish hearts were darkened’

means they cut themselves off from the source of light. God will send strong delusion to those who do not love the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 “All the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.”

To claim superior wisdom is the characteristic of modern Evolutionist and Atheists, yet, they are the ones truly void of understanding. They are fools for turning away from the true source of wisdom and knowledge. And so they lost the true conception of God. They were committing idolatry.

Isaiah 41:21-24 “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. “Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable.”

See also Isaiah 44:9-20.

It’s easy to see how turning from God, can lead to people inventing their own ‘gods’ that are convenient projections of their own selfish plans and desires.

For example, the gods’ people serve today, the fours ‘s’ words are, science, sports, sex, and silver. Does God take first place, or do we worship the gods of our own choosing?

If we are the same as animals where do we get our sense of moral awareness? Right or wrong? A dog doesn’t feel guilty after it’s stolen and eaten your dinner.

Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” ‘Created in the image of God’ means we are moral beings.

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25

‘Therefore God gave them over’ means He abandoned them to reap the rewards of their own evil actions. This was their punishment for abandoning God.

‘Sinful desires of their hearts’,

why? To let them learn what lust would plunge them into.

‘Degrading of their bodies with one another’,

Paul will explain this in Romans 1:26-27.

‘Exchanged the truth about God for a lie.’

To exchange the truth of God for a lie reaches the depths of foolishness. This is true anytime the truth is exchanged for the human, whether in faith or practice.

Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”

‘Humanism’ is worshiping and serving the creature (man) rather than the Creator. Modern man is wrapped up in serving himself rather than God.

Romans 16:18 “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

Philippians 2:21 “For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:18-19 “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

God is to be forever praised, ‘Amen’ means so be it.

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26+27

‘Shameful lusts’.

When one rejects God, he engages in all kinds of degrading and shameful lusts. They turned from the God-ordained relationship between husband and wife to lesbianism or female homosexuality. The Lesbian vice is so called because of a band of woman homosexuals in Lesbos, a Greek Island in the Aegean Sea.

We see from these verses that God detests the practice of homosexuality. The men, too, abandoned God’s sexual design and turned to homosexuality. Our society seems to be wanting more and more to condone these sins.

However, as shown here and elsewhere, God utterly hates those sins. ‘The penalty of the error which was due’, means the physical consequences of their sin. The immorality, disease, and early death brought on those who practice such things.

Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, Godhaters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32

They chose to suppress God in their minds. They refused to retain Him in their knowledge. As they refused to retain God in their knowledge, He gave them over to a depraved mind.

‘Things which are not fitting’ means their depraved minds led them to do many shameful and disgraceful things as shown in the text. Man is not born totally depraved, but they become that way themselves.

Let me give you the list of sins mentioned here with their meanings I’m going to use the KJV.

1. ‘Unrighteousness’ the Greek word is ‘adikia’ this means injustice, unfair and dishonest dealings.

2. ‘Fornication’ the Greek word is ‘porneia’ this means illicit sex relations, prostitution.

3. ‘Wickedness’ the Greek word is ‘poneria’ this means vicious disposition with evil habits. Depravity.

4. ‘Covetousness’ the Greek word is ‘pleonexia’ this means a greedy desire and using evil means to get it.

5. ‘Maliciousness’ the Greek word is ‘kakia’ this means hatred and ill-will, a disposition to do harm.

6. ‘Full of envy’ the Greek word is ‘phthonos’ this means begrudging the good fortune of others.

7. ‘Murder’ the Greek word is ‘phonos’ this means taking human life by premeditated malice.

8. ‘Debate’ the Greek word is ‘eris’ this means strife and contention with anger.

9. ‘Deceit’ the Greek word is ‘dolos’ this means to get advantage by trickery and craftiness.

10. ‘Malignity’ the Greek word is ‘kakoetheia’ this means bad manner of life or character, evil, malignant.

11. ‘Whisperers’ the Greek word is ‘psithuristes’ this means secretly peddling slander by insinuations.

12. ‘Backbiters’ the Greek word is ‘katalalos’ this means one who slanders another when he is not present.

13. ‘Haters of God’ the Greek word is ‘theostuges’ this means God haters who defy God and His laws.

14. ‘Despiteful’ the Greek word is ‘hubristes’ this means insolent, contemptuous and grossly disrespectful.

15. ‘Proud’ the Greek word is ‘huperephanos’ this means haughty, arrogant, thinking too highly of themselves.

16. ‘Boastful’ the Greek word is ‘alazon’ this means an empty pretender, vainglorious esteem verbalized.

17. ‘Inventors of evil things’ the Greek words are ‘epheuretes kakos’ this means old ways become dull, seek new ways to sin.

18. ‘Disobedient to parents’ the Greek words are ‘apeithes goneus’ this means a lack basic respect for authority from youth up.

19. ‘Without understanding’ the Greek word is ‘asunetos’ this means without good sense, foolish.

20. ‘Covenant breakers’ the Greek word is ‘asunthetos’ this means will not honour or stand up to their agreements.

21. ‘Without natural affection’ the Greek word is ‘astorgos’ this means without love for kindred, parents, or children.

22. ‘Implacable’ the Greek word is ‘aspondos’ this means an unforgiving temperament, too stubborn to accept reconciliation.

23. ‘Unmerciful’ the Greek word is ‘aneleemon’ this means having no sympathy or pity, without kindness or mercy.

Now that’s a long list and you would think that this letter was written for today’s society. Today, more than ever, we need to be careful about the input of knowledge.

With TV, music, movies, and the rest of the media often presenting sinful lifestyles and what is falsely called knowledge, we find ourselves constantly bombarded by attitudes and beliefs that are totally opposed to the Bible.

We need to be careful about what we allow to form our opinions. The Bible is the only standard of truth. We need to evaluate all knowledge and beliefs in light of its teachings.

Now according to Romans 1:32 they knew that God punishes the low level of morality to which they had plunged. They knew that these crimes should be punishable by death. They would know this not only from the limited revelation they had, but also by the guilt, suffering, sorrow, pain, and anguish their sins brought upon them.

They took pleasure in, and endorsed, others who did such things. It gives a sense of comfort to the evil to see others practice evil.

Isaiah 5:23 “who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.”

Micah 7:3 “Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire— they all conspire together.”

And so, although they know the judgment of God (that God punishes such things by death), they not only continue to do them, but endorse those who did them.

Paul starts off in Romans 1:18-32 by saying Gentiles were sinners and the Jews would gladly agree with this. The Gentiles worshipped the creation rather than the Creator. The Gentiles wandered away from worshipping the One true God. God gave them over means God allowed them to pay the consequences of their actions.

Three times Paul mentions God’s rejection of them;

1. God gave them over to uncleanness to dishonour their own bodies. Romans 1:24.

2. God gave them over to vile passions wherein they abandoned God’s sexual design. Romans 1:26.

3. God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which were not proper. Romans 1:28.

Basically he’s telling these Roman Christians that the Gentiles were great sinners because they had turned from the God, the source of Light, to their own futile reasoning’s.

Their rejection of the knowledge of God lead them into the lowest state of immorality and vice. No darker picture can be drawn of sinful man, and no better proof can be given to show his need of salvation.

In a nut shell he says in Romans 1:18-32 that the Gentiles are scum but as we enter Romans 2 Paul is going to write, so are the Jews.

Go To Romans 2

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

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