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 Romans Chapter 1 - Part One

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PostSubject: Romans Chapter 1 - Part One   Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:15 am

Romans Chapter 1 – Part One


Romans 1:1-2

The phrase Holy Scriptures refers obviously to the Old Testament and occurs only here in the New Testament (2Ti_3:15 uses different Gr. words for “holy” and “Scriptures”). Paul did not quote any prophets where the gospel was promised, but Philip’s use of Isa_53:7-8 with the Ethiopian eunuch is a good example (Act_8:30-35; cf. Luk_24:25-27, Luk_24:45-47). Since Romans is primarily a work of doctrine, it contains little historical material. Paul does use such familiar Old Testament figures as Abraham (chapter 4), David 4:6-8; Adam 5:12-21; Sarah 9:9; Rebekah 9:10; Jacob chapters 9-11. Chapter 16 provides insightful glimpses into the nature and character of the first century church and its members.
The overarching theme of Romans is the righteousness that comes from God: the glorious truth that God justifies guilty, condemned sinners by grace alone through faith in Christ alone.
Chapters 1-11 present the theological truths of that doctrine, while chapters 12-16 detail its practical outworking in the lives of Individual believers and the life of the whole church.
Some specific theological topics include principle of spiritual leadership 1:8-15, God’s wrath against sinful mankind 1:18-32, principals of divine judgment 2-16, the universality of sin 3:9-20, an exposition and defense of justification by faith alone 3:21-4:25, the security of salvation 5-11, the transference of Adam’s sin 5:12-21, sanctification chapters 6-8, sovereign election chapter 9, God’s plan for Israel chapter 11, spiritual gifts and practical godliness chapter 12, the believer’s responsibility to human government chapter 13, and principles of Christian liberty chapters 14:1-15:12.
In this very first verse Paul introduces himself to the Roman Christians. Notice that Paul calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ. Perhaps these Roman Christians have not heard that Paul was commissioned of Jesus Christ to bring the gospel (good news) of Jesus to the Gentiles.
In Greek culture a servant often referred to the involuntary, permanent service of a slave, but Paul elevates this word by using it in its Hebrew sense to describe a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects.
The Greek word for apostle is: “one who is sent”. In the New Testament, it primarily refers to the 12 men that Christ chose to accompany Him and Matthias, who the other apostles chose to replace Judas. Christ gave them power to confirm their apostleship with miracles and authority to speak as His proxies. I might also add that New Testament book was written either by an apostle or under his auspices. Their teaching is the foundation of the church. Christ Himself selected Paul for this position and trained him to fulfill this ministry.
Paul’s Jewish antagonists accused him of preaching a revolutionary new message unrelated to Judaism. But the Old Testament is replete with prophecies concerning Christ and the gospel.
In the book of Isaiah, we see numerous prophecies. Of course all of the Old Testament prophets prophesied of Jesus, but Isaiah probably had the most to say. At any rate, I will give you a number of these prophecies from Isaiah. Isaiah chapter 11 verse 3 prophesied Jesus would be Judge, chapter 42 verse 4 shows Him as Law Giver, chapter 42 verse 7 shows Him as Liberator, chapter 53 verse 4 shows Him as Burden-Bearer, chapter 53 verse 6 shows Him as Sin-Bearer, chapter 53 verse 12 shows Him as Intercessor, chapter 53 verse 5 shows Jesus as our only Savior. We see in chapter 7 verse 14, He is Immanuel (God with us), in chapter 9 verse 6, we see Him as mighty God. I could go on and on for there are 35 prophecies in Isaiah alone on Jesus. Of course Jeremiah, Psalms, Ezekiel and all the others prophesied of Jesus too.
Romans 1:3-4

God’s good news concerns His Son, identified as Jesus Christ our Lord. This asserts Christ’s deity as basic to His person and prior to His Incarnation, since His identification with David’s line “came to be,” a literal rendering of the participle genomenou, translated was. He was genuinely human too, as His tie with David and His resurrection from the dead show. Many well known ancient writers, including the Roman historian Tacitus, the familiar Jewish historian Josephus, and Pliny the Younger verify Jesus’ historicity.
John makes believing that Christ has come in the flesh a crucial test of orthodoxy. Because He is fully human, as well as fully God, He can serve as man’s substitute and as a sympathetic High Priest. In Matthew, we see Jesus as descendent of David.
Matthew 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
We can also see David in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke:
Luke 3:31 "Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David," This genealogy is of the flesh and not the Spirit.
That resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God because it validated His claims to deity and His predictions that He would rise from the dead (Joh_2:18-22; Mat_16:21). This declaration was made through (lit., “in accord with”) the Spirit of holiness. This is the Holy Spirit, and not, as some have suggested, Christ’s human spirit. Son of God: This title used nearly 30 times in the gospels, identifies Jesus Christ as the same in essence as God.
Jesus was definitely God the Son. The proof was on the 3rd. day he arose from the tomb. The resurrection clearly declared that Jesus was deity, the expression of God Himself in human form. While He was eternally the Son in anticipation of His incarnation, it was when He entered the world in incarnation that He was declared to the entire world as the Son of God and took on the role of submission to the Father. His victory over death was the supreme demonstration and most conclusive evidence that He is God the Son.
Jesus not only had resurrection power, but is in fact the Resurrection and the Life, as he told Lazarus' sister on the way to the tomb.
John 11:25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" Jesus was the Son of God. God the Holy Spirit hovered over Mary and she conceived by the Holy Spirit of God.
Luke 1:35 "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Spirit of holiness: In His incarnation, Christ voluntarily submitted Himself to do the will of the Father only through the direction, agency and power of the Holy Spirit.
We see that the power of Jesus was unlimited.
Ephesians 1:19-23 "And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power," "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places]," "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:" "And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church," "Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
This leaves no doubt that Jesus is all powerful.
Romans 1:5-7

Paul’s ministry from Jesus was among all the Gentiles, which included the Romans, whom Paul addressed not as a church but as individual believers. Paul was the human agent (from and for Christ he received grace and apostleship, i.e., “the grace of apostleship”; cf. Rom_12:3; Rom_15:15) but the calling (God’s summons to salvation; cf. Rom_8:28, Rom_8:30) came from the Lord and set his readers apart as “saints.” Obedience and faith are often linked (cf. Rom_15:18; Rom_16:26; also cf. 1Pe_1:2). Grace is the unmerited favor which God shows guilty sinners. This is the book’s first reference to the most crucial part of the gospel message: salvation is a gift from God wholly separate from any human effort or achievement.
Faith is what saved Abraham. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
To become an apostle (one sent with a special message) we must have great faith and be obedient to God. We must make Jesus Christ not only our Savior, but our Lord, as well. We read in 1 Samuel that obedience is better than sacrifice.
1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."
We were not saved by our great deeds, but were saved because we had faith in God. To work for God, we must submit our will to Him. We must be obedient to His Word and His will.
We will not know what His will is unless we know His Word. The term Apostleship refer to the twelve in a unique way, but in a broader and less official sense it can describe anyone whom God has sent with the message of salvation.
Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Just as Paul was a “called” apostle, so the believers in Rome were called to belong to Jesus Christ (lit., “called of Jesus Christ”) and called to be saints (lit., “called saints”).
Paul’s salutation like that in all his epistles, expressed the desire that they enjoy God’s grace and peace. Always in the New Testament epistles the “call” of God refers to God’s effectual call of elect sinners to salvation, rather than the general call to all men to believe.
Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." Salvation is offered to whosoever will.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God has called everyone to salvation, but He will not override our will. We have to decide to follow Him. “Beloved of God … saints”: The Greek text records these as 3 separate privileges:

1. God has set His love on His own. 5:5; 8:35; Eph 1:6
2. He has extended to them not only the general, external invitation to believe the gospel, but His effectual calling, or His drawing to Himself all those He has chosen for salvation. 8:30; 2 Thes. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9
3. God has set believers apart from sin unto Himself, so that they are holy ones. 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thes. 1:1; 2 Thes. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4; and Philemon 3
Ephesians 4:10-13 "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
There is a group of the called, who are called to the ministry. My own opinion of those who are called to work for God, is that the call was there even before birth. We see this in people like John the Baptist. God protects these people supernaturally until they accept their call. This is so even before they know there is a call.
Romans 1:8-15
Establishing rapport
Paul made a practice of beginning his letters with a word of thanks to God, a specific prayer, and a personal message to the recipients. For the Romans he rejoiced that news of their faith had spread all over the world, a hyperbole meaning throughout the Roman Empire. His constant intercession for them (Rom_1:9-10) had the new note of petition for his projected visit, a heart-desire of long standing that finally was definitely on Paul’s agenda (Rom_1:10; cf. Rom_15:23-24). It appears that long before Paul goes to Rome there are many Christians there. It seems they are so zealous for the Lord that it is common knowledge. This spreading of this information to the world just means that Rome is a trade center and people who come there to sell or buy have heard of the Christian movement in Rome. As the center of the Roman Empire and the inhabited world, whatever happened in Rome became known universally.
This visit would be mutually beneficial spiritually; he desired to minister for three purposes: (a) to the strengthening of the Romans (Rom_1:11; to impart… some spiritual gift means either to exercise his own spiritual gift on their behalf or to bestow on them spiritual favors, i.e., blessings); (b) to see some spiritual fruit (a harvest, Rom_1:13) among them and, in turn, (c) to be strengthened by them (Rom_1:12). We see here that Paul prays intercessory prayers for these new Christians in Rome. Notice in the verse above that Paul does not serve the Lord in his flesh, but in his spirit. I believe that Paul is saying (only God and myself) know the hours that I have spent praying for you.
In this sense Paul’s ministry at Rome would be the same as in other centers of the empire. Paul will leave Corinth here and go to Jerusalem and be sought after by the authorities. It will be several years after this is written before Paul actually reaches Rome. One important statement above is (by the will of God). Paul has submitted his will to God. Paul is speaking here of laying his hands on them that they might receive the power of the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 explains what these Spiritual gifts are. You should read the whole chapter, but I will quote a little here.
1 Corinthians 12:8-11 "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;" "To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;" "To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:" "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
The statement (that ye may be established) just means that power to minister will come upon them. Many very shy people, become bold workers for the Lord when they receive the Holy Spirit. Paul had written to these Roman Christians that he would pray for them to receive spiritual gifts to enable them to minister also. Paul says above (we are in this together) we are fellow workers for Christ. This statement in verse 12 is a humble statement by Paul. He is trying to make them understand the equality of the believers in Christ. Paul had felt even when he was at Ephesus, and Corinth, that God wanted him to go to Rome. He had desired from the beginning of his missionary journeys to go to his father's people, the Romans and minister to them. Rome was a center of trade, and if the gospel of Jesus Christ could be established in Rome it could affect all of Europe.
Paul explains, here, that he must continue to minister to the other Gentiles God has sent him to, until he gets to Rome.
Scripture catalogs 3 kinds of spiritual fruit:
1. Spiritual attitudes that characterize a Spirit led believer
2. Righteous actions
3. New converts
In this context, Paul is probably referring to the third one, a desire that was eventually realized during his imprisonment in Rome.
As a result of his “apostleship” (Rom_1:5) to the Gentiles Paul felt obligated (lit., “I am a debtor”) to the entire human race to proclaim God’s good news (Rom_1:14-15). The word translated non-Greeks is literally, “barbarians,” all other human beings from the viewpoint of the Greeks (cf. Col_3:11). Parallel to it is the word foolish (anoētois; cf. Tit_3:3) in the next couplet, which has the significance of uncultured. This is just another way of saying that God is no respecter of persons. God wants the wise Greeks and also the unwise to know Him. The very educated Greeks really thought all others to be barbarians. They were extremely proud of their schools of learning. Worldly education, however, does not impress God. God's message is for those who believe themselves to be high and mighty and for the lowly. I have observed through the years that it is more difficult for those who think themselves wise to receive the good news of Jesus Christ than it is for the humble uneducated person. The wise person has to figure everything out with his or her mind. Christianity is of the heart.
Paul’s sense of debt to the Gentile world produced an eagerness (I am so eager, Rom_1:15) to evangelize it, including Rome, capital of the empire. Debtor: Paul had an obligation to God to fulfill His divine mandate to minister to Gentiles. Paul is saying here that he will do everything he can to come to Rome and preach. In the book of Acts, we find that Paul did make it to Rome and preached in his home while he was under house arrest. All true ministers of God are the happiest when they can bring the true Word of God and see someone saved.
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Romans Chapter 1 - Part One
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