ROMANS - CHAPTER 1 - The Gospel of God.


The Gospel of God

September 20, 2009; June 6, 2023

In the first six verses, Paul clearly summarizes his apostolic appointment and the source of his authority.

Romans 1:1-6: Paul, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him, we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.

1. Bond-servant of Jesus Christ: One who is the entire property of another.

2. Called to be an apostle: Called to an office and divinely selected and appointed.

3. Separated to the gospel of God: Three states of Paul’s separation:

     (a) At birth. Gal. 1:15: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called  me through His grace.

     (b) At conversion. Act 9:15-16: … Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

     (c) At his commission. Act. 13:2: The Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

The Gospel of God: Gal. 1: 11-12: I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Vs. 16) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood.

     1. Of God’s creation. 1:20: Since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen.

     2. Man’s rebellion: 1:21: Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God.

     3. God’s love, mercy and grace. Tit. 2:11: The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all  men.

     4. God’s wrath. Ro. 1:18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

     5. God’s Salvation. Ro. 1:16: the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

     6. God’s plan. Ro. 8: 19-25: Creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Eph. 1:10: In the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth --- in Him.

     7. Man’s destiny. Rev. 5:9-10: Redeemed us to God by Christ’s blood… and made us kings and priests to our God… for the rebels: Rev. 14: 9-11: He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

Promised through His prophets: Heb. 1:1-3: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, whom He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Jesus Christ is the great theme of the gospel and the fulfillment of Scripture. He was born as the Son of man of the seed of David and born of God with dynamis power according to the Holy Spirit’s majesty, holiness and moral purity.

The word for Holiness here is “hagiosyne,” and is only used three times in the Scripture.

     #1: we are charged with perfecting holiness (2 Co. 7:1), and #2: To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

The Jews crucified Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God. God resurrected Him because He was the Son of God. All of us are who we are by the grace of Jesus Christ and without faith, we are all lost.

Ro. 1: 7: To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:8-12: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my Spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayer; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established. That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Rome was full of wickedness. However, the Roman Christians were famous for their Faith. Travelers would talk of them as they journeyed about the empire. In time, their faith was known in all the major cities of the Gentile world. By this time, many of the Jews had been commanded to leave Rome and driven as fugitives to cities bordering on the Mediterranean.

Seneca a Roman philosopher and contemporary of Paul wrote, “Rome is full of crime and vice. Vileness gains in every street. Vice is no longer practiced secretly but in every street. Innocence has not only become rare, but it is also extinct. A monstrous contest of wickedness is going on…” He confirms Paul’s account of the awfulness of the heathen.

This same testimony is true in the 21st century of many of the large cities of the United States as well as the nations of the world.

There is no way to live a dedicated life in the face of adversity and lawlessness without the power of the Gospel of Christ.

Paul had the fullness of God (Ro. 15:29) and could impart gifts by the laying on of hands. 1 Ti. 4:14: Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the elder-ship.

Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are blessed to know and experience the intimacy of the Presence of the Lord. Paul is saying, “I want to bring you some spiritual blessing that will strengthen you in the faith. We, like Paul, strengthen each other with our spiritual gifts, love and fellowship. Freely we have received, freely give, with no jealousy, greed, competition or territorial walls.

1:13-15: I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.

In verse 13, Paul makes an interesting statement. I considered it and said, “Lord such boldness of Faith “That I might have some fruit among you also.” It was from Rome, the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread to the western world.

The Spirit has steadily urged Paul in the direction of Rome. In moving westward from Syrian Antioch (the beginning point of his missionary travels) Paul established one church after another. But then he found he had to revisit them to deal with internal problems and fortify them against the persecution of the Jews. It kept him so busy grounding the churches of Asia and Greece that he couldn’t push on to Rome.

His apostolic commission has endowed him with a burden and commission with a world- wide missionary vision which transcends all types of civilizations and degrees of culture.

Paul must have paused here and pondered cosmopolitan Rome---with thoughts of grandeur, power, culture, and pride of the ancient world. The heathen of Rome considered themselves to be wise men, yet they despised the gospel as so much foolishness. However, they didn’t hesitate to worship their own emperors as living deities. Paul says he is not ashamed of the Gospel. It is a power that eclipses the achievements of Rome. Socrates was also a contemporary of Paul and was teaching his philosophy in Rome.

Rom. 1: 16-17: I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

The power of the Gospel energized by the Holy Spirit was Paul’s driving force. Even in the face of death and persecution, Satan cannot force Paul to give up. It is a fire that cannot be quenched. This is true of all who are driven by the Holy Spirit’s commission.

Paul explains the doctrine of his gospel in terms of Hab. 2:4, “The just shall live by faith." By the death of Christ, if men will by faith put themselves into the hands of God, He will set men right with Himself . The faith-righteous man shares the life of the risen and exalted Christ now and hereafter.

Christians sometimes sound like the Philosopher Seneca. We can philosophy about the problems of the world. Socrates had no solutions, he simply debated the problems of the world. This is what we hear on the media and in our government leaders. However, Paul carried the dunamis power of the Gospel and supernaturally brought changes to the world of which Rome was the center.

The Gospel is a dunamis, inherent power with the ability to reproduce itself in men like a dynamo.

The Gospel of Christ is God’s power to:

1. Produce the new birth (1 Pet. 1:23).

2. Give salvation (1:16; Eph. 1:13).

3. Impart grace (Acts 20:24).

4. Establish in the faith (Rom. 16:25).

5. Generate faith (Rom. 10:17).

6. Set free (Jn. 8: 31-26).

7. Nourish spiritual life (1 Pet. 2:2).

8. Cleanse the Church (Eph. 5:26).

9. Living and powerful, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12).

10. Make partakers of Christ (Eph. 3:6).

11. Impart immortality (2 Tim. 1:10).

12. Bring peace (Rom. 10:15).

13. Give protection (Eph. 6:17).

14. Give fullness of blessing (Ro. 15:29).

The O.T. with all of its miracles, is a history of supernatural power. It is the power of God. Those miracles displayed God’s power working for man. When we come to the N.T., we again see God’s power. But this time it is God’s power working in man—taking sinners and making them righteous.

This gospel of the Kingdom is much, much more than a message. It is a dynamic, dynamis Word that works mightily in the hearts of those who hear it.

When men believed the message he brought, they were blasted out of their depravity and guilt then supernaturally lifted to the level of Christ! They were placed “in Christ.” Paul was keenly aware of the military power of Rome, but he knew that no power on earth could do for men what the gospel of Christ would do.

Verse 16 is the grand theme of Paul’s letter –salvation. Rom. 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…

The moment a sinner believes the gospel, he becomes the “righteousness of God” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). In an act of faith, he opens his heart to Jesus and invites Him into his life. The indwelling Lord breaks the grip of sin on the believer enabling him to live a Godly life and serve God. At death, our spirit is released from the body to live in eternity with the Lord.

1:17-18: Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “the just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

There is no way to receive righteousness except by believing the gospel. God righteousness is acquired by Faith. There is no salvation until we open their hearts to Jesus.

Verse 18 is a stumbling block to some who do not accept “the wrath” judgment of God is part of His nature.

Consider the wrath of God and how Jesus said it abides on all who believe not the gospel.

John 3:36: He that believes on the son has everlasting life; and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.

In his righteousness, God has let the law of the harvest stand.

1:19-20: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

Paul seemingly anticipates the question, “How can God be angry with people who have never heard of Him and know nothing about Him?

That’s impossible, says the apostle. There is no such person. Everyone knows there is a God, for the fact of God stands out clearly in the midst of His creation. From the very beginning the creation itself has been a billboard shouting the fact that God is alive and created the universe, mankind, and every living creature/.

The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork... (Psa. 19:1)

God is easily discernible in creation and conscience. Just as human character is revealed by the acts of a man, so are God’s existence and divinity seen in what He does. The natural reveals the supernatural; the visible the invisible.

Knowing the fact of God does not save a man. If a man cries out to the Lord, he will hear him and save him. He will reveal His way to Him by revelation.

In primitive times, as today, men knew about God, they didn’t want any part of Him. The Spirit’s witness made them uncomfortable. Because they liked sin better than walking with God, they turned down the “hearing aid” of the Spirit’s voice. They shut their eyes to the testimony of God’s creation. The heathen in foreign countries are descendants of people who forgot God. Because God has made the witness so plain, mankind of every age is wholly without excuse.

1: 21-24: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

Again, we have an on-time message in view of June being Pride month and the Church is the only authority over the Baal/Ishtar demons which control this culture.

Paul is weighing the Hellenistic society of his day and finds it wanting. Everywhere is chaos. Animals have become gods, man has become woman, wrong has become right. Nature without the true God has become unnatural. The Creator has been rejected and creation is in chaos; for the apostle these two facts are cause and effect.

In resisting the high moral standards of God, they quickly lost their appreciation for God. This led them to abandon the true knowledge of God and find a way to worship Him without having to put up with His Holiness. But once the high knowledge of God was shunned, man went into spiritual darkness.

These men began to search out the meaning of life through reason. This is the basis of philosophy. The man who tries to explain himself and the world without the light of God is a philosopher. The word means, ‘lover of wisdom.” The wisdom, of course, is man’s not God’s. Philosophy is Satan’s counterfeit wisdom.

This is what we see on our TV. screens night after night as the pundits of television philosophy about the condition of the world. None will ever come to the right conclusion without the light of God.

The man, who rejects God, soon ends up doing the most stupid thing a man can do, worshiping something he has made with his own hands and calling it his god. For someone who claims to be wise, to make an idol and then say it made him, is about as foolish as a man can get.

Man is inherently religious. Designed to worship the true God, he must now worship something even if he has to make it with his own hands.

The rest of the chapter is made up of three parallel sections grouped around the phrase “God gave them over” --- because they did not glorify Him; their fate was the sexual degrading of their bodies.

1:24-26: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever Amen. For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.

Humanity reaches the depths when its women become corrupt. For God intends that the virtues of the race should be preserved in her. But when she abandons herself to the lower nature, society is doomed. When women fall from their high places, man becomes inflamed and abandons himself to unrestrained vileness.

1:27-28: Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

When a man turns his back on God, refusing to have God in his thoughts, God removes His witness from that man’s conscience. Then the individual is abandoned to a life without restraint and his character degenerates as his evil nature takes over.

1: 29-31: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God made them harvest the crops they themselves had sown. Because they exchange the real God for false gods, by way of temporary punishment, they exchanged that which was natural for that which was unnatural. The price they paid for rejecting God was to become moral rejects.

Even the people who support those who do these evil acts will be judged by the same measure as those who are in sin.

This is the climax of sin. To assent coldly and objectively to others’ sins is worse than to succumb to temptation oneself in the heat of the moment.

All such must expect sentence of death at the judgment day.

John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say to you, if a man keep My saying, he shall never see death.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor Eastgate Ministries Church

10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX

Scripture from N.K.J.V. and K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Roman’s, Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

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