Romans Chapter 1

Revelation of Righteousness 
Read Romans 1:1-17
Greetings: 1:1-3.
Paul begins this epistle with a standard greeting and thanksgiving.  In verse one Paul calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ and a called apostle. He was set apart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul never sought celebrity status in his ministry.  Paul knew that there is nothing greater than to be a bond slave of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the good news of salvation. Paul was a bond servant of Jesus Christ because he was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).  He served the Lord not out of fear but out of love (Exodus 21:1-6).  Secondly Paul is a called apostle set apart for the gospel of God. He was divinely appointed by God (Acts 26:16).  Paul claimed his apostleship on four grounds. He was chosen by God (Acts 9:15). He was personally called and commissioned by Christ (Acts 9:6). He was an eyewitness of the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1, 2).  He was also the recipient of the divine revelation (Galatians 1:16). Paul was separated for the ministry of the gospel of God (Galatians 1:15).  It is the Gospel of God.  The gospel is not man’s idea (Galatians 1:11; 2 Peter 1:16).  The Gospel is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53; Malachi 4:2).  By quoting over 60 times from the Old Testament, Paul proves to the Jews that Jesus is their Messiah. In fact the Gospel is not about Jesus Christ, the Gospel is Jesus Christ.  It is the good news about Jesus Christ the only Savior.  He was born in the royal line of King David to sit on the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:13; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:17).  The gospel is the fulfillment of God's promise to bless the world through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). This is the Word of God, the good news we must preach to the world.

Deity of Jesus Christ: 1:4-7.
This is the gospel of Christ. It is the good news of Christ who conquers sin, death, and Satan. Christ was declared to be the Son of God by the unmistakable sign of his resurrection from the dead (Acts 17:31). He was raised from the dead to demonstrate God's power to save sinners.  He is eternally the Son of God. This unique relationship makes Jesus equal with the Father (Romans 9:5; Col 2:9).  He is not the Son of God the way we become sons of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 19). Jesus has a unique relationship with the Father.  Though He was born in the likeness of men, He never ceased to be divine (Philippians 2:7). His humanity was an addition to his divinity. Jesus did not die as an example or as a kind humanitarian but as our substitute (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21).  His resurrection was according to the Spirit of holiness. God raised Jesus from the dead by the Holy Spirit.  Here we see Christ’s humiliation and exaltation (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:11).  Paul received grace and apostleship to preach the gospel among all nations (1:5).  Grace is the heart of the gospel message. It is mentioned over 155 times in the New Testament.  Grace is the undeserving favor God lavished upon us in Christ. We receive grace from God and it cannot be earned (Romans 11:6; 1 Corinthians 15:10).  This letter was addressed to believers.  They love God and belong to Jesus Christ. They are called saints by divine calling and not by canonization.  Their spiritual identification with Christ makes them saints. Paul greets Christians with grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace can never be separated. Grace is the root and peace is the fruit. Grace is the typical Greek greeting and peace the Jewish greeting. They unite Jews and gentiles in Christ.  The gospel is the only remedy for sin and death.

Paul’s Prayer: (Romans 1:8-13)
Paul thanked God for the faith of Roman believers. It was a growing church and obedient in faith in Christ.  Gospel was preached to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith (Romans 16:26). Their faith produced visible results and transformation in life.  Those who know God through faith in Christ desire to make him known to others.  The faith of Roman believers was known throughout the world because of their transformed life.  Does our faith in Christ impact others?  Paul’s prayer on behalf of believers was an intercessory act of worship to God.  His prayer was personal, specific, genuine and submissive in nature. specific prayers are dynamic prayers.  Paul longed to visit Rome to preach the gospel.   Sinners need to hear the gospel and saints love to hear the gospel that saved  them. Paul longed for mutual encouragement.  Also Paul wanted to  share some spiritual blessings with them to help them to grow  strong in the Lord. Since Paul was an apostle to the gentiles, he wanted to give his apostolic stamp on this church.  The purpose of Paul's ministry was  mutual encouragement.  All our ministries must have this goal. Also our ministry must have an evangelistic purpose. Paul desired to visit Rome but somehow it was prevented until now. He longed to have some fruit among them.  Paul had an evangelistic purpose in all that he was doing. Hindrance is not the proof that we are out of the will of God.

Paul’s Attitude toward the Gospel: (Romans 1:14-16)
Paul considered himself obligated to the whole world. He was saved by grace and received the apostleship to preach the gospel. Paul wanted to see some spiritual fruit in Rome just as he had seen among other gentiles.  He has a great sense of obligation to preach the gospel among them. Paul says “I am eager to preach the gospel to you”.  He was eager to preach the gospel to the Roman church because sinners need to hear the gospel and saints love to hear the gospel. Paul saw that lives are at stake and souls are perishing.  Paul was a clean, prepared and available vessel to be used by God (2 Timothy 2:21). Many of us are not ready because we lack vision and passion for the souls. Thirdly Paul was not ashamed of the gospel. Paul was a Jew, a Roman citizen and  educated in the Greek culture. To Jews, the gospel was a stumbling block, to the Greek, the gospel of grace was intellectual suicide, and to the Romans it was weakness.  At that time Christians were branded as atheists and suffered capital punishment for their faith in Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).  It does what law could not do.  Paul experienced the transforming work of the gospel in his life.  Regardless of religious identity, social status or ethnicity, people need to hear the gospel to get saved.  It helps people to face the reality of sin and the coming judgment. The Gospel declares that God loves everyone and desires that none should perish in their sins. God wants to forgive sin and make those who trust Christ worshipers of him.  It is the universal message.  The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone  who believes.  It is the message of grace.  Are you saved?

Righteousness is received by faith. 1:17.
In the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed and tells us how God makes us right in his sight (1:17). This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  Righteousness is that aspect of God’s holiness and how He treats sin.  There is none righteous no not one (Romans 3:10). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God demonstrated His righteousness when Christ died on the cross for us.  He suffered the punishment of our sin on the cross on our behalf  (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus took our sin and gave His righteousness to us. This is called the greatest transaction. This is the imputed righteousness of God we receive when we believe Christ. In fact Jesus Christ is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). This righteousness is received by faith in Christ. Those who are made righteous have a right standing before God. Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4 here to show that “The just shall live by faith”. Christ’s righteousness not only saves us but also enables us for righteous living. This is also the imparted righteousness of God that is received by faith in Christ.  Paul explains the transforming power of the gospel in this passage. Even though we can do nothing to earn salvation, we have reason to hope because of the gospel.  

Why should we not be ashamed of the gospel?  Gospel is the good news of salvation. It is the gospel of God.  There is never a hint that Paul was ever ashamed of the gospel after his conversion.  Paul said, "woe is me if I do not preach the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16). Being a Jew, educated man and Roman citizen, he had every reason to be ashamed of the gospel. But he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because of its transforming power of God in his life. The message of the gospel is a universal message.  We should not be ashamed of the gospel because it is the only way to be saved . Because Jesus was not ashamed of dying on the cross and called us his brethren (Hebrews 2:11).  We should be motivated by the example of apostles Paul  and early Christians (2 Corinthians 11:23-26).  How can we be ashamed of the gospel when we know that only the gospel can save sinners? (Acts 4:12). How shall we remain silent when millions of souls are at stake and perishing in their sin?  How shall we disobey the great commission of the Lord who loved us and gave his life  for us?  Only the gospel has the power to save sinners and transform lives (1:17).  The gospel needs to be preached so that people should believe in Christ and be saved (Romans 10:17).  Those who are saved by faith in Christ live a life characterized by righteousness.  How can we remain secret disciples when souls are perishing, time is short and opportunities are lost to rescue people from hell?  We are ambassadors for Chris entrusted with the message of reconciliation. God appeals through us to sinners  on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to him.  How sad many people hear the gospel but do not believe in Christ.

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