1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand 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 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,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Longing to Go to Rome
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 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. 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. 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.
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
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 of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 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. 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.
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 for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
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, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Paul had never been to Rome; neither had the church leaders of Jerusalem. It’s widely believed the church was started by people who were in Jerusalem that momentous day when Peter stood to his feet and preached after the Holy Spirit came upon those gathered together. These in the crowd who repented were filled with the Holy Spirit and took the message back with them to their city.
It’s really a fascinating concept when you consider this. The church in Rome sprang up as a direct result of those who accepted the message of Jesus, then without any instruction or training beyond the sermons they heard while on their visit to Jerusalem, took the message back with them.
Paul wrote this letter on his third and final missionary journey while in Corinth. He was preparing to return to Jerusalem whereas Acts records he would find himself in prison, appeal to Caesar directly, and in time find his feet walking the Roman Highway as a shackled man. It would be the first he met these people of the church there.
By the time Paul did indeed come to Rome, the political environment would turn antagonistic toward Believers and Paul would be beheaded. The Christians would be horrifically persecuted as they were used for sport in the arena, impaled, and made as human torches for social gatherings.
Unlike any of Paul’s other letters which leaned toward a personal connection, this letter was a statement of faith and spoke deep truths of theology. More than likely, this was the first piece of Christian literature they ever read.
Culturally Rome was pagan and filled with hedonism, much like our world today. Believers would stand alone on many fronts. As Paul’s words resounded across the seas through this letter, the truth would separate them even more. Keep these thoughts in mind as you read the incredibly inspiring and theologically sound doctrine of Jesus Christ in the letter to Rome.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”Romans 1:16
Note – to everyone who believes. This letter would reach the eyes and ears when read aloud of how Jesus came for both Jew and Gentile. He came for all. This was beyond revolutionary. The culture of Rome had every kind of mishmash imaginable with the people. This statement alone brought hope to the reality Jesus died for all, desired all to be saved. It was a radical Gospel of which Paul would preach until his last breath; for he experienced firsthand the power of this Gospel as his own life was forever altered and changed.
And so simply today consider the phrase – “The power of God for salvation”. Where have you seen the transforming power of God in your life? Where has this power changed your ways, your destiny? Chew on this thought, on this phrase throughout this day and consider the magnificent power of Jesus Christ and where it’s been evident is still an unmistakable miracle of the grace of Jesus reaching you through belief.
Romans 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
John Calvin said of Romans, “When anyone understands this Epistle, he has a passage opened to him to the understanding of the whole Scripture.”
Martin Luther praised the Book of Romans: “It is the chief part of the New Testament and the perfect gospel… the absolute epitome of the gospel.”
Samuel Coleridge, English poet and literary critic said Paul’s letter to the Romans is “The most profound work in existence.”
Frederick Godet, 19th Century Swiss theologian called the Book of Romans “The cathedral of the Christian faith.”
It is no doubt that the book of Romans is vital to the Scriptures. One of the main themes of this book, if not the main theme, is that Gentiles now have equal standing as sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ.
“A motif running through the entire book, perhaps even the point of the letter, is that, in contrast with the historical period covered by the Tanakh, when the Jews alone were God’s chosen people, now, united with Yeshua the Messiah of Israel, believing Gentiles and Jews are fully equal members of God’s people in respect to every element of salvation.”Jewish New Testament Commentary
Paul starts by introducing himself and his calling. In contrast with some of his other New Testament letters, the book of Romans does not focus on the church and its struggles, but rather, God and his infinite glory.
Paul never made it to Rome which meant that the believers and churches there were not founded by him. Many of Paul’s letters were written to churches he had founded, making this letter unique. It was extremely encouraging to the believers who persevered in Rome with no original apostle leading them.
In Romans 1, Paul speaks directly to the believers in Rome calling them saints. He encourages them to continue to persevere and endure. He talks of how he had often planned to come and see them but was not able to.
We see a valuable lesson that the world desperately needs to hear in our current culture. Since the beginning of time, God’s attributes have been clearly seen. We have been created in his image and bear his very nature. All men know this. But since the beginning of sin, we have become suppressors of the truth. To suppress the truth is not the same as a lie. Many people say they do not believe in God and/or will not follow him. This doesn’t mean they are liars. This means they are suppressors. They are ignorant to the fact that they know God and were created in his likeness.
This is exactly why we evangelize by telling people about Jesus. This is why the Gospel is called “the good news.” We are assigned the divine purpose, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to bring others from a place of suppression to a place of profession. It really does not matter if you say you believe in God or not because all humans are capable of understanding the reality of God.
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.Romans 1:20 HCSB
When people decide they do not believe in God what they really mean is that they do not want to believe that a greater power exists. If God exists, that means He was involved in our creation and that we are accountable to His will. It means He will judge us and that He is concerned and involved with the decisions we make in life. It means we can’t just live how we want to live because each of us have been created with an intention and purpose.
What’s frightening is that there are so many today who suppress the reality of God so they can enjoy their sin. Romans 1 shines a light on the accountability each of us has to our own suppression of the truth. We suppress it because we think we can control our own life. This only leads to shame and disappointment. But there is hope! This is the message we must not only believe, but share with others.