1:2 which he promised before through his prophets in the
1:3 concerning his Son,
who was born of the seed of David according to the
1:4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power,
according to the Spirit of holiness,
by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
1:5 through whom we received grace and apostleship,
for obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake;
1:6 among whom you are also called to belong to Jesus Christ;
1:7 to all who are in Rome,
beloved of God,
called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus
Paul's Desire to Preach the Gospel
1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you,
that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.
1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in
the gospel of his Son,
how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers,
1:10 requesting, if by any means now at last
I may be prospered by the will of God to come to you.
1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you
some spiritual gift,
to the end that you may be established;
1:12 that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you,
each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.
1:13 Now I don't desire to have you unaware, brothers,
that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far,
that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest
of the Gentiles.
1:14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the
wise and to the foolish.
1:15 So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the gospel to
you also who are in Rome.
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who
for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.
1:17 For in it is revealed God's righteousness from
faith to faith.
As it is written, "But the righteous shall live by faith." (Hab
What are some of Paul's credentials that affirm his definition of
and his right and responsibility to preach it?
What event does Paul point out that confirmed Jesus to be the Son of
According to Paul, what are his motives for preaching the gospel?
Why was Paul not ashamed of the gospel?
Why would anyone be ashamed of the gospel? (xref Mark 8:38)
vs 17 It mentions of a righteousness which comes from God.
Where else do people seek to obtain righteousness from?
Paul set apart for the Gospel
Rom 1:1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an
apostle and set apart for the gospel of God
Jesus Christ personally called Paul to the ministry of the gospel.
Jesus said, "This man is my
chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their
kings and before the people of Israel." Acts 9:15 And Paul says, "of this gospel I was appointed a
herald and an apostle and a teacher." 2Tim 1:11 He was not called by
men, neither by Peter or any other apostle. "Paul, an apostle — sent not from men nor by man,
but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the
dead."Gal 1:1 Nor
did he receive his gospel from the other apostles, but from Jesus
Christ directly. "I did not
receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received
it by revelation from Jesus Christ."Gal 1:10
The Gospel in the Old Testament
Rom 1:2-4the gospel he promised beforehand
through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who
as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through
the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of
God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
There are many prophecies of the Messiah, such as Isaiah chapter 53, Psalm 22 and Daniel 9:25,26. But the first
was Genesis 3:15
prophecying of one who would be born of a woman and who would
destroy the power of the devil.
Concerning his human nature, Jesus was a descendant of David.
While the genealogy of his legal guardian, Joseph, is mentioned in
Matthew chapter 1, his physical genealogy from Mary in Luke
chapter 3 goes all the way back to Adam. Jesus Christ came in the
flesh, having the same human nature that we all share with its
flaws. In fact the word for "human nature" here is the Greek word
"Sarx", of which out of the 23 times it's used in Romans the NIV
translates "sinful nature" 13 times. Thus the saying in Hebrews 4:15"We do not have a high priest who
is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who
has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without
sin." For the temptations we suffer as humans are
primarily due to our sinful human nature, of which Jesus also
shared. Though there are those who deny Christ's human nature, "every spirit that does not
confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (sarx) is not of God."1John 4:3a
Jesus' resurrection from the dead was his primary credential - the
forensic evidence validating his testimony. This fact is mentioned
every time the gospel is preached in the Bible. "He has given proof of this to all men by
raising him from the dead."Acts 17:31
Obedience Comes from Faith
Rom 1:5Through him and for his name's sake, we received
grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles
to the obedience that comes from faith.
The reception of the gospel involves both faith and obedience. But
it's important to understand the relationship between the two. The
obedience he refers to here is that which comes from the faith he is
about to preach. Thus faith precedes obedience. This faith does not
come from obedience, but rather obedience from faith. This is an
important theme in Romans, which teaches us that salvation is by
faith, not by works. And since faith precedes obedience, a person is
saved prior to any acts of obedience. Nonetheless, it is inevitable
that obedience will follow in the steps of the faith that saves, the
absence of which would indicate the absence of saving faith.
When Paul described his ministr to King Agrippa he said, "First to those in Damascus, then
to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also,
I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their
repentance by their deeds."
Acts 26:20 Deeds are a proof of, not a cause of one's
Called to Belong to Christ
Rom 1:6,7And you also are among those who
are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved
by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God
our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
One aspect of the gospel is that of ownership such that "whether we live or die, we belong
to the Lord."Rom 14:8b"So, my brothers, you also died
to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to
another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we
might bear fruit to God."Rom
7:4 Consequently when a person becomes a Christian he is
relinquishing ownership of himself.
One has to be qualified to belong to Jesus Christ. Just as no woman
can claim to be someone's wife without marrying him, so also no one
can claim to belong to Christ without pledging allegiance to him,
relinquishing one's reliance on other sources of salvation. This
will be a theme in Romans.
Paul does not assume his readers belong to Christ, but that they are
being called to belong to Christ. He does not assume they are
saints, but rather that they are being called to be saints. This is
in contrast to some of his other letters in which he speaks of his
readers already achieving such a status, like Ephesians, "To the saints in Ephesus" Eph 1:1 And Peter writes, "But you are a chosen people, a
royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God"1Peter
2:9 "For many are
called, but few are chosen." Mt 22:14 Thus Romans contains fundament elements of
the gospel as a message to the unsaved among the Christian
community, as well as fundamental teachings concerning Christian
living for those who have just come to belong to Christ.
Have Public Faith
Rom 1:8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for
all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the
Despite living in an age absent of the kind of global media we have
access to today, these people's faith was being reported all over
the world (by which he means the Roman Empire). This first of all
implies that they made their faith public. Their beliefs were not a
private matter, as some treat their own religious beliefs today.
Likewise of the Thessalonians Paul notes, "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in
spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy
given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the
believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out
from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia — your faith in God has
become known everywhere. "1Thess 1:6-8
Today there are those who keep their faith a private matter in fear
of severe suffering much like some in Jesus' day like, "at the same time many even among
the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they
would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of
the synagogue"John 12:42
Many Christians today face persecution and death by
anti-Christian religions, Islam being the primary example, and by
anti-Christian ideologies, such as in China. That's just part of the
Christian life. Such opposition was the case back then and yet they
made their faith public, and in fact Jesus and his apostles taught
that Christians should expect persecution. Paul says to Timothy, "You, however, know all about my
teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love,
endurance, persecutions, sufferings — what kinds of things happened
to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.
Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who
wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving
and being deceived." 2Tim
How might you make your faith known? Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless a
kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a
single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who
loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in
this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must
follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will
honor the one who serves me."John 12:24-26
Be Constant in Prayer
Rom 1:9-12God, whom I serve with my whole
heart 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. 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.
Paul prayed constantly for Christians, both for communities and
individuals, as in the case of Timothy. "I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers
did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly
remember you in my prayers." 2Tim 1:3 But in contrast to the kinds of
prayers and prayer requests you commonly hear today in the Christian
community dominated by health and material concerns, Paul's prayers
were dominated by spiritual things. (See the study guide of prayers
in the New Testament http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/prayerseries.html)
Encouragement is a gift which is spiritual. For if you give someone
encouragement you're not giving them a material thing but a
spiritual thing. It's this kind of thing which was on Paul's mind,
discouraging sin and encouraging faith. And it's this kind of thing
which should be on our mind when it comes to our practice of
generosity. Consider how you may encourage others in the faith -
encourage others to apply their faith. "encourage one another daily, as long as it is called
Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's
Be Eager to Preach
Rom 1:13-15I do not want you to be unaware,
brothers, 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. 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 at Rome.
Rome was a diverse culture, though primarily composed of slaves.
There were Greeks and non-Greeks. There were those reckoned wise and
others simple. Much as some view the letter of Romans as difficult
to understand, high theology, fact is Paul wrote it to a diverse
group of people. People who are not wise should nonetheless be able
to understand it as Paul made it inclusive to them.
Paul was optimistic that his coming to them, indeed this letter
itself, will bear fruit. And this kind of optimism is something we
should all share in as we seek to do the Lord's work - and in
particular with regards to the spread of the gospel. For it is
promised, "As the rain and the
snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without
watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it
yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word
that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but
will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I
sent it."Is 55:10,11
We see this optimism in Paul also in Php 1:22, "If I
am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for
Unlike financial investments, which may grow or shrink, there is no
down side to investing in the kingdom of God. In this we can all be
encouraged to apply our faith.
The Gospel Saves Believers
Rom 1:16,17I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who
believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 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."
Jesus said, "If anyone is
ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in
his Father's glory with the holy angels."Mr 8:38 Paul writes, "So do not be ashamed to testify
about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in
suffering for the gospel, by the power of God." 2Tim 1:8 And "do your best to present yourself to God as one
approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who
correctly handles the word of truth."2Tim 2:15
For there are those who are reluctant to communicate the gospel for
fear of shame. And there are those who tinker with the gospel,
fabricating their own gospel, being ashamed of the content of the
gospel. And in this age there are those who simply replace the
gospel with their own personal testimony. But it is in the gospel
that God's righteousness is revealed. The gospel is about God's way
of man being reconciled to him in view of his unrighteous status.
God's way is not man's way. The average person, when asked how they
expect to get to heaven, if indeed they believe that much, would
make up their own way. But God has spoken in the Bible and has
revealed His way of man becoming righteous. People often make it a
matter of personal performance, but Paul later writes, "no one will be declared righteous
in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we
become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart
from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets
testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe." Rom 3:20-22
Faith is central as the sole requirement for salvation. Consequently
rituals like infant baptism, or works that you perform, like obeying
the 10 commandments, do not save. "The righteous will live by faith" is
quoted from Hab 2:4, and is
also quoted in Galatians 3:11,
"Clearly no one is justified
before God by the law, because, 'The righteous will live by
faith.'" And Heb 10:38"my righteous one will live by
faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
The sense in which he's interpreting Hab 2:4 here is that the
righeous will have eternal life by believing the gospel.
"from first to last" is
literally "from faith to
faith". For it takes faith to preach the gospel, and it
takes faith to believe it. So the faith is passed on from generation
to generation through believers. Though some have a misconception
about how the church propagates historically, it is not by force,
genetics, traditions, or rituals, but rather it is by people of
faith preaching the gospel and the next spiritual generation hearing
and believing the gospel by faith. Such has been the case from the
first to the last.