Romans 1
Romans 1
Introducing the Gospel
Published September 14th, 2020
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Romans 1:1-7
Romans 1:8-15
Romans 1:16-17
Romans 1:18-23
Romans 1:24-32
1:1-7 The majority of this introduction is spent on describing the gospel itself and the purpose of Jesus giving grace and apostleship. Paul is not concerned with his own status apart from what God has done to make him an apostle -- how do you define your purpose? Is it on the basis of your own innate abilities? Or is it based on what God himself has given you as your purpose? Paul goes into a declaration of the gospel as the fulfillment of God's promises and the validation of Jesus as both the son of David and the son of God 1:8-15 Head -- Paul knows his mission - to preach the Gospel to all. He knows his obligation to all people. He knows he needs to encourage and be encouraged by the church in Rome. Heart -- Paul's heart for the Romans shines through. He is 'eager' to preach the gospel, 'longs' to see them, desires to be 'mutually encouraged' with them, and prays constantly for them. We ought to have a heart of love, even for those whom we may have never met! Paul likely hadn't been to this church, though he knew some of them. Paul is so in love with Christ's church that he has a deep desire to visit and encourage those whom he hasn't even met. The repetition of you and yours really drives this home. Hands -- 1:18-23 Head -- the reality of God and His power and creation is obvious, 'plain', 'clearly perceived'. It cannot be missed -- indeed those who reject Him "knew God". They simply suppress that truth by exchanging Him for other false gods. His reality is obvious in creation itself -- we can see it in the things made. We ought to be clear headed in this -- creation is an obvious pointer to God's power and divinity. Heart -- God does not only desire our acknowledgement of him as God, but he desires our gratitude. Our hearts are to give him thanks for his creation and for his provision of all things for us. Similarly, we are to honor him as God -- give him honor that is fitting for his nature. Surely this cannot be done, but we are to give him all honor and glory and thanks from the heart. Hands -- The wrath of God is revealed, and we must warn of this wrath. It is no small thing. It is eternal and infinite and we must bear witness to what will happen to those who do reject God and deny him his proper role in this universe. We must warn 'against all ungodliness and unrighteousness' because the wrath of God is coming and indeed is here. 1:24-32 Head -- A couple of things worth noting. God indeed gives men up to their sin and what follows. It says it three times in this passage, clearly three sections of grounds and outcomes. He executes judgement in this life partially by releasing sinners to the conclusion of their sin in this life. All three times it is grounded in a failure to recognize God as God and instead an exchange of Him for the created things. Heart -- In all three cases, the ground is exchanging God for something else, or refusing to acknowledge God. Surely this is more than an intellectual ascent to the existence of a deity. Worship of this God is required -- worship that is rooted in faith and trust in the creator. Our hearts themselves must be wrapped up in Him lest we be given up to dishonor. Hands -- Repentance is ultimately what this ought to lead us to. We Christians, as well as all men, must repent of our 'unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice' because all have sinned in this way. We all have a debased mind, apart from Christ. Turn from these attitudes! They are wicked!
Romans 1:1-7
Romans 1:1-7
Paul's Introduction
Paul's Identity in the Gospel
a servant
Explanation #1
of Christ Jesus,
called to be an apostle,
Explanation #2
set apart
for the gospel
of God,
Content of the Gospel
which he promised
through his prophets
in the holy Scriptures,
concerning his Son,
who was descended
from David
according to the flesh
and was declared
to be the Son
of God
in power
according to the Spirit
of holiness
by his resurrection
from the dead,
Jesus' Purpose
Jesus Christ our Lord,
through whom we have received grace
and apostleship
to bring about the obedience
of faith
for the sake of his name
among all the nations,
including you
who are called
to belong to Jesus Christ,
Greeting of Grace and Peace
To all those
in Rome
who are loved
by God
and called
to be saints:
Grace ... and peace
to you
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the savior on the basis of both the fleshly standard (of the line of King David) and of the spiritual standard (declared to be the Son of God by the Holy Spirit) -- Jesus is a twice-valid savior
Paul's identity is founded in who Jesus is and what God has done in the gospel -- so much so that he goes into a lengthy explanation of the gospel as he introduces himself
Moo paraphrases as "sent by God"
More likely "appointed" accd to moo
Apostleship explains grace -- it is the special gift he has received from Christ
Romans 1:8-15
Romans 1:8-15
Thanks for Their Faith
Paul's Prayer for the Romans
First, I thank my God
through Jesus Christ
for all of you,
because your faith is proclaimed
in all the world.
Asking to Come to Rome
For God is my witness,
whom I serve
with my spirit
in the gospel
of his Son,
that ... I mention you
without ceasing
in my prayers,
asking that somehow ... I may ... succeed
in coming to you.
by God’s will
now at last
To Encourage
Paul's Reasons for Coming to Rome
For I long to see you,
that I may impart to you
some spiritual gift
to strengthen you—
that is, that we may be mutually encouraged
by each other’s faith,
both yours
and mine.
To Reap
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,
that I have often intended to come
to you
(but thus far have been prevented),
in order that I may reap some harvest
among you
as well as among the rest
of the Gentiles.
Preach the Word
I am under obligation both to Greeks
and to barbarians,
both to the wise
and to the foolish.
So I am eager
to preach the gospel
to you also
who are in Rome.
Coming to the Romans will only happen if it is 'by God's will' -- just as James taught us
Paul's prayer for the Romans is 'without ceasing' and 'always' -- two strong statements of his continually praying for them
'through' more so in the sense of because of Christ's work giving Paul access to God, rather than as the mediator?
Romans 1:16-17
Romans 1:16-17
Gospel Power
For I am not ashamed
of the gospel,
for it is the power
of God
for salvation
to everyone
who believes,
to the Jew first
and also to the Greek.
For in it the righteousness ... is revealed
of God
from faith
for faith,
as it is written,
“The righteous shall live
by faith.”
Huge main point of the letter -- cf Rom. 3:21-26 -- the righteousness of God has been revealed in the gospel, which has brought salvation to all believers
Reason for desiring to preach in Rome (from above)
"everyone who believes" also used in cf. 3:22, 4:11, 10:4, 10:11 Refers usually to the breaking down of the wall between gentile and Jew
Perhaps better rendered "the one who is righteous by the means of faith shall live"
Both an act and a gifted status -- moo: " the act by which God brings people into right relationship with himself"
Romans 1:18-23
Romans 1:18-23
Object of God's Wrath
For the wrath ... is revealed
of God
from heaven
against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness
of men,
who ... suppress the truth.
by their unrighteousness
God's glory is clear
Reason for God's Wrath
For what can be known about God is plain
to them,
because God has shown it
to them.
For his invisible attributes, ... have been clearly perceived,
namely, his eternal power
and divine nature,
ever since the creation
of the world,
in the things
that have been made.
So they are without excuse.
God has not been thanked
For although they knew God,
they did not honor him
as God
or give thanks
to him,
but they became futile
in their thinking,
and their foolish hearts were darkened.
God has been replaced
Claiming to be wise,
they became fools,
and exchanged the glory
of the immortal God
for images resembling mortal man
and birds
and animals
and creeping things.
According to the standard required as God
"Truth" is something to obey, not just mentally understand. To disobey is to suppress the truth. It is a failure to recognize and embrace truth.
God has not been passive in revealing himself -- he has actively shown himself to them (us)
oxymoron! "invisible" attributes are "clearly perceived"
Natural revelation does not lead to salvation, but only to condemnation. None are saved through this general revelation, but only shown to be culpable of idolatry -- though they KNOW, they still worship other 'gods'.
Romans 1:24-32
Romans 1:24-32
Outcome/Ground Pair 1
Therefore God gave them up
in the lusts
of their hearts
to impurity,
to the dishonoring
of their bodies
among themselves,
because they exchanged the truth about God
Ground #1
for a lie
and worshiped
Ground #2
and served the creature
rather than the Creator,
who is blessed forever! Amen.
Outcome/Ground Pair 2
For this reason God gave them up
to dishonorable passions.
For their women exchanged natural relations
Explanation #1
for those
that are contrary to nature;
and the men ... gave up natural relations
Explanation #2
with women
and were consumed with passion
for one another,
men committing shameless acts
with men
and receiving ... the due penalty
in themselves
for their error.
Outcome/Ground Pair 3
And since they did not see fit
to acknowledge God,
God gave them up
to a debased mind
to do what ought not to be done.
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness,
Result #1
They are full of envy,
Result #2
They are gossips,
Result #3
of God,
Result #3 cont.
of evil,
disobedient to parents,
Result #3 cont.
Knowingly Approve Evil
Though they know God’s righteous decree
that those ... deserve to die,
who practice such things
they not only do them
but give approval
to those
who practice them.
From cf 1:21-23: they exchanged the glory of the immortal God
Lists progress from broad in scope, to more narrow in scope; general evil to specific attitudes and actions
Exchanging the truth about God devolves into exchanging natural for unnatural -- our daily lives and relationships will reflect our relationship with God
Audaciously rude or disrespectful; impertinent or impudent.
Of the three "giving up" statements, this is the only one regarding mind, thought, rather than actions
Gk: organ of moral reasoning and willing -- same as in Rom 12:2 -- only the spirit can renew the mind! Apart from that we are incapable of truly understanding biblical ethics
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.