A STUDY IN THE EPISTLE TO THE

ROMANS

LESSON 1 

 THE AUTHOR: PAUL

Paul was originally named Saul after the first king of Israel. Like King Saul he was of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5).

Born in Tarsus (Acts 9:11) which is located in what is now modern Turkey. Tarsus was a center of Greek learning and culture, and home of one of the three most outstanding universities in the Roman Empire.There Paul learned Greek literature and philosophy. Paul was, unlike most Jews, a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28). By trade Paul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3).

Paul studied in Jerusalem under rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) where he learned rabbinical law and became a pharisee. He was a zealous legalist - a “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5-6). Having heard of the new “sect” (Paul never met Jesus during His ministry) he dedicated himself to stamping out its heresy. Not content with persecuting Christians in Jerusalem alone, he received authorization from the High Priest to go to the synagogues at Damascus to gather those belonging to “The Way” and bring them bound to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2).

Paul was converted to Christianity personally by Jesus on the road to Damascus:

          “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me? (Acts 9:4)

          “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5)

          “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting (Acts 9:5)

Paul was devastated to realize that the blood he’d been shedding was the blood of God’s own people. In 1 Timothy 1:12-15 Paul looks back on that experience:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

After receiving his sight back he was baptized and immediately began preaching Jesus in the synagogues of Damascus (Acts 9:20) to the amazement of all who heard him. He preached from the scripture he knew so well, which now made more sense to him, to prove that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22). The result was that the Jews tried to kill him. He was saved by being let down in a large basket to as to leave the city without going through the gate which was being watched. (Acts 9:24-25).

From Damascus Paul went to Arabia for three years. This was Paul’s “Divine Seminary,” as it were, for there he was taught via direct revelation from the Lord (Gal. 1:17-18) After three years he returned to Damascus (Gal 1:17) from whence he had to escape a second time, again being lowered down in a basket from a window in the wall (2 Cor. 11:33).

ROMANS 1:1 - 1:17

INTRODUCTION AND THEME

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as 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 born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you His name’s sake, among whom you.

bond-servant of Christ Jesus (1:1)

δουλος (doulos - dew-loss): bond-servant

The word denotes a slave from birth. One whose only way out of slavery is death. The will of the δουλος is swallowed up in his masters will.

Paul was born, as are you and I, a δουλος of sin, but Paul was regenerated, reborn, a δουλος of Christ. If you are reborn in Christ, you to have become such a slave, not to sin, but one swallowed up in the will of God.

Slavery, in this sense, is not to be viewed as a bad thing. Certain individuals in Paul's time were designated “slaves of the Emperor.” This was a position of honor. This is the reflection we find in Paul’s used of δουλος. It is a place of honor to be a bondslave to the King of Kings! So much an honor that Paul puts it before his apostleship.

called an apostle (1:1)

κλητός άποστολος (klatos apostolos - klã-tos ap-os-tol-os)

Klatos, from kaleō (καλεω), meaning “to call.” Here it is used in the sense of “to call toan office.” Apostolos (άποστολος) means “sent for a purpose.”

Notice that the word “as” in verse one is in italics. This indicates that the word is not in the original Greek, but was inserted by the translators to enhance understanding in our language. The correct rendering of κλητόσ άποστολος is “a called apostle.” The point is that summoned Paul to that position and placed him in it. It was not something Paul sought or did anything to obtain, rather God placed him there whether he liked it or not!

set apart (1:1)

άΦορίζω (aphoridzo - a-for-eed-zo): separated

The word comes from two words which are combined to produce the exact meaning. άπό (apo) which means “off from” and όρκίζω (hor-kid-zo) which means “to mark off by boundaries, to limit, separate.” The compound meaning is “to mark off from others by boundaries, to appoint, set one apart for some purpose.”

Paul was separated, by God, from all mankind for the gospel of God. This, again, is not something he did himself...God is the one working in the life of Paul and that is what he is expressing to the Romans.

He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead (1:2 - 4a)

Remember that Paul was a pharisee who studied under Gamaliel. He knew the scriptures (what we refer to as the Old Testament). After Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus those scriptures he already knew began to make sense! For the first time he saw Jesus’ life as foretold in the Scriptures written between 1450BC and 430BC! Paul wants his readers to know that the truth of Messiah Jesus is not a made up story, but was prophesied as far back as Genesis 3! Paul has his Jewish readers in mind here. It was extremely important to them that the Messiah come from the line of David as was prophesied. Notice, too, that Paul is showing both Christ’s human and divine side in the Incarnation. The fact that He is truly divine does not change the fact that He was truly man through the line of David. Here is a list of some of the Old Testament Scriptures which describe the coming Messiah:


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be the offspring (descendant) of the woman (Eve).

Old Testament Prophesy: Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.

New Testament Fulfillment: Gal. 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be a descendant of Abraham, through whom everyone on earth will be blessed.

Old Testament Prophesy: Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

New Testament Fulfillment: Acts 3:25,26 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED'.


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be a descendant of Judah.

Old Testament Prophesy: Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:2  Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Luke 3:33, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah.



Prophesy 

Paraphrased: 

The Messiah will be a prophet like Moses.

Prophesy 

Old Testament: 

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 

raise up for you a 

The LORD your God will 

prophet like me from 

among you, from your 

countrymen, you shall 

listen to him. This is 

according to all that you 

asked of the LORD your 

God in Horeb on the day 

of the assembly, saying, 

‘Let me not hear again 

the voice of the LORD 

my God, let me not see 

this great fire anymore, 

or I will die.’ The LORD 

said to me, ‘They have 

spoken well. I will raise 

up a prophet from 

among their countrymen 

like you, and I will put 

My words in his mouth, 

and he shall speak to 

them all that I command 

him. It shall come about 

that whoever will not 

listen to My words which 

he shall speak in My 

name, I Myself will 

require it of him.


New Testament Fulfillment: 

Acts 3:22,23 Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

    

Prophesy  

Paraphrased: 

Messiah will be the Son of God.

Prophesy 

Old Testament: 

Psalm 2:7 I will surely 

tell of the decree of the 

LORD: 

He said to Me, ‘You are 

My Son, 

Today I have begotten 

You.


New Testament Fulfillment: Matt 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.


Prophesy Paraphrased: Messiah will be resurrected.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 16:10,11 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

New Testament Fulfillment: Matt 28:5-9 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.



Prophesy Paraphrased: Messiah will be sneered at and mocked.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 22 (contains 11 prophecies—not all listed here) My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 27:34-50



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be pierced through hands and feet.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me Psalm 34:20 He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken.

New Testament Fulfillment: John 19:31-33,36 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.”


Prophesy Paraphrased:   Men Will Gamble for the Messiah’s clothing.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 22:18

New Testament Fulfillment: John 19:23,24


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will accused by false witnesses.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 35:11

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 26: 59-60


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be hated without cause.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 35:19

New Testament Fulfillment: John 15:23-25


Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 41:9

New Testament Fulfillment: John 13: 18, 21



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will ascend to heaven (at the right hand of God).

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 68:18

New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 24:51



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be given vinegar and gall to drink.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 69:21

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 27:34



Prophesy Paraphrased: Great kings will pay homage and tribute to the Messiah

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 72:10-11

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 2:1-11



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah is a "stone the builders rejected" who will become the "head cornerstone."

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 118:22-23

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 21:42-43



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be a descendant of David.

Old Testament Prophesy: Psalm 132:11

New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 1:32-33



Prophesy Paraphrased: The Messiah will be born of a virgin.

Old Testament Prophesy: Isaiah 7:14

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:18-25


There are many more prophesies, but just a few are given here. Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and Paul’s statement will be clearly understood.


who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh (1:3b)

David was given an unconditional promise that the Messiah would come from his line. Solomon wanted the same promise, but God gave Solomon a conditional promise telling him that the Messiah would come through his line if he did so and so (1 Kings9:4ff.) Solomon did not do so and so and neither did his royal descendants, so God denied him involvement in the fullness of the promise.

The genealogy in Matthew refers to the line through Joseph which established the legal continuity with David. This line come through Solomon, but it is not a blood line since Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus.

The genealogy in Luke refers to the line through Nathan, another son of David, which establishes the blood line of Jesus.


who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (1:4)

If Jesus was not resurrected from the dead our faith would be in vain. However, He was 

resurrected from the dead, seen by the disciples and over 500 witnesses, is alive and 

well and preparing a place for you and I in eternal glory! It is that resurrection which 

testifies that Jesus is truly the Son of God!

What does “according to the Spirit of holiness” refer to? Much is said in the NT of the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit:

          •!That relationship resulted in the holiness of Jesus as a man. Jesus did not rely on his deity to remain sinless, but rather relied upon the Holy Spirit to remain           sinless. 1 Timothy 3:16 says that Jesus was “justified in the Spirit.”

          •Heb. 9:14 says that Christ offered Himself “through the eternal Spirit.‘

          •Heb. 5:7 reads: In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.

In the days of Jesus’ flesh he relied upon the Holy Spirit, not on His own flesh, and offered up prayers to the Father. Because He did so, God heard Him.

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom youalso are the called of Jesus Christ (1:5 - 6)

Grace and apostleship had a definite purpose: “to bring about obedience of faith among 

all the Gentiles (nations) for His name’s sake.” Paul is saying that salvation is not just for 

the Hebrew Nation, but for all nations. He is leading up to verse 7 where he states that 

he is writing to Rome, the capital of the known world. In verse 5 he uses the word “we” 

and is now turning away from that “we” and himself and is directing his attention toward 

those to whom he is writing.

to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called ... saints (1:7)

Notice that I have left out the word “as” in the phrase “called as saints.” That is because the word “as” is not in the original language. It was added by the translators to make the English flow more smoothly, but that can, at times, confuse the issue. In Rome there were those who were saints in God’s sight. Gentiles! Saints!  

In the same way all of us who have put our faith in the finished work of Christ are “called saints.” We are called saints because of both the passive work and the active work of Christ.

          • The Passive Work of Christ: Taking on the punishment for our sins.

          • The Active Work of Christ: His obedience in perfectly keeping the law for us.

Christ’s active obedience mean that the believer has positive righteousness with God. 

Our guilt is gone through his passive finished work at Calvary, His passive obedience. 

However, we are clothed with righteousness based on his active obedience and so we 

are “called saints.” Notice here that our “sainthood” our “holiness” is not our due to our 

obedience, but, rather, due to His active obedience which He accomplished through “the 

Spirit of holiness.” The exercise of our righteousness is accomplished in the same way!

Paul would have you know that because you are a “called saint” you should live like a saint. In Galatians 5:25 he writes: If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. In the sight of God you are saints, so be what you are in His sight! This is not salvation by works, but is the very antithesis of it. It is not based upon what you can do, but on what Christ did! We are called to be as God already sees us and how we will be at Christ’s Second Coming. This is the great lesson of Chapter 6, where Paul explains sanctification.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, Ithank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. (1:7-8).

The little church of Rome, comprised of both Jewish and Gentile believers, became known throughout the Christian world. This group of believers, not begun by any apostle, was known throughout the Christian world because of their faith and their witness.

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. (1:9 - 10)

There are 3 steps to Paul’s prayer:

1. Thanks God for them (1:8)

2. Then prays on their behalf (1:9)

3. Then makes special request regarding them (that he might be able to come to them soon). (1:10)

For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. (1:11 - 12)

Paul is not aloof or distant from those young believers in Rome. He does not not put himself above them. His desire is that they may be “established.” This is very much like Luke’s statement to Theophilus in Luke 1:4 where Luke tells Theophilus that his desire for him in writing the gospel is that he might “so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

Paul speaks of encouragement given to them and received from them. This is the way of Christianity! When the relationship correct, the blessings run in both directions. It is not a matter of knowledge, but rather a matter of relationship.

I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) (1:13a)

If you read the KJV the verse reads: Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren,

that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,)

While the KJV is a good translation, the language has changed much since its translation. The word “let” meant “hindered” at the time of the translation, but today means the exact opposite. The original meaning of the KJV’s “let” survives only in the game of Tennis where a “let” ball is a ball which strikes the line meaning the ball is “hindered.”

Paul was “hindered” or as the NASB correctly states, “prevented” from visiting Rome up until that time.

so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. (1:13b)

Paul says in verse 11 that he longs to impart some spiritual gift to the Roman believers, and here “to obtain some fruit” among them. This is two ways of saying the same thing: The gift is the cause while the fruit is the effect.

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. (1:14)

Paul considers himself under obligation (“debtor” in the KJV) to both educated and uneducated, to both wise and unwise.

Most Christians believe they are doing something special when they witness to someone, but this is wrong. Paul understands that he is a debtor (1:14) or a “servant” (1:1) of the gospel. Like Paul we are indebted to preach the gospel to everyone. It is a debt we cannot escape...we are under obligation to preach the gospel.

So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (1:15)

Paul concludes his statement here by saying that he is ready to preach the gospel wherever the Lord takes him and to whomever the Lord takes him, regardless the cost. Paul was eventually killed in Rome and so paid a great cost to preach the gospel.

If you give your life to God there will be a cost. Of that there can be no doubt.

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 to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (1:16)

These two verses begin the first section of Romans (Romans 1-8). The remainder of Romans 1-8 is really an exegesis of Romans 1:16-17.

Paul is not ashamed of the gospel. In Romans 5:5 he says that hope does not disappoint or make ashamed. With faith in God comes a hope from God, and that hoped does not disappoint or make us ashamed. Paul is writing in a Greek and Roman world which is very intellectual in its understanding, yet Paul is not ashamed to present the gospel message to them. It is both spiritually and intellectually sound.

Luke 9:26: For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Here Jesus warns us not to be ashamed of the intellectual content of his teaching. It’s as if Paul is answering Jesus by saying, “I am not ashamed.” When Paul confronted the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers on the Areopagus (Mars Hill), he was not ashamed. When Paul confronted the religious leaders of his day, he was not ashamed. When he preached the gospel from prison, he was not ashamed. That is our example. When we are surrounded by the intellectuals of our day, we should not be ashamed either.

When Paul tells Timothy of his own suffering for the sake of the gospel he concludes by saying, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” “That day” is the Second Coming of Christ.”

For...the gospel.....is the power of God for salvation. (1:16)

Christians often use the word “Salvation” as a parallel to the word “Justification.” We may ask someone, “Are you saved?” A more accurate question is, “Are you justified? Is your guilt gone?” Using “saved” in that way is not incorrect, but when Paul is being explicit he uses the word “justified.” Justification addresses the legal problem and means that sin and guilt is gone because of the finished work of Christ.

Romans 1-8 covers all three tenses of salvation: past, present, and future.

          • Chapters 1-4 covers the past tense - justification

          • Chapters 5:1 - 8:17 covers the present tense - sanctification

          • Chapter 8:18-39 covers the future tense - glorification

Salvation includes all three tenses on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

for it is the power of God for salvation (1:16b)

The gospel is God’s power by which He brings salvation.

δΰναμισ (dunamis - doo-nam-is) is the word translated “power” here. It is the word from which we get our word “dynamite.” The gospel is God’s dynamite by which he saves us.

to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (1:16b)

The concept of salvation is very large and very small. First it is very large because it 

covers all of mankind for all time. Beginning with Adam and ending with the last guy! 

Earlier Paul said Greeks and Barbarians (learned and unlearned), Wise and Foolish. 

Now he says it covers Jews and Gentiles. That is huge and covers everyone. The circle 

of Salvation is as big as that.

Paul went to the synagogues first, and went to the gentiles after being rejected by the Jews. While we do not need to bring the gospel to the Jew first, we also need not neglect the Jew as Christians often do. The circle of salvation includes all mankind and we need to preach it to all.

The concept of salvation is also very small. It applies only to those who believe, “to everyone who believes.” Every individual must make his/her own choice.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 

“BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (1:17)


l Here we learn that salvation involves more than justification. By faith we are justified, but also, by the same faith, we live in the present. Our life in the present is lived, in all areas of life, by that same faith through which we receive justification. Having been justified by faith we are to live by faith.

“BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH” is a quote from Habakkuk 2:4 (it is also quoted in the New Testament in Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38). We saw in Romans 1:2 that there is a unity between the Old Testament and the New. There are not two religions. There are not two salvations. There is only one. Habakkuk is contrasting (2:4) the person whose soul is “lifted up” on the basis of good works and the person who lives by faith. Paul is making the same contrast.

LESSON 2 


PEOPLE WITHOUT THE SCRIPTURE - GUILTY! ! ROMANS 1:18 - 2:16

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (1:18)

The unsaved may ask, “why do I need salvation?” “What do I need to be saved from?”

It is no use to tell a person they need to be saved until they feel a need for salvation. Martin Luther noted that the gospel consists of both the gospel (good news of salvation) and the law (reveals the need for salvation). In this verse Paul explains why people need salvation.

First Paul explains why people without the Scripture need salvation (1:18 - 2:16 - Gentiles), then why those with the Scripture need salvation (2:17 - 3:8 - Jews), and then why everyone, both Jew and Gentile, need salvation (3:9 - 20).

Francis Schaeffer looks at it like this: “Paul speaks first to the person who does not have the Bible, the to the person who does have the Bible.”

The Gentile, the person without the bible, asks “why do I need salvation,” and Paul answers, Because “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men!”

We need a Savior because we are all under the wrath of God! We are under the wrath of God because we are sinners. We are ungodly and unrighteous. We are guilty, pure and simple. We neither completely follow the law of God, nor the law written on our own hearts.

The person without the Bible will ask another question: “If God made me the way I am how can He hold me guilty for what I do? Where is the justice in that? Where did evil come from?”

I get asked these very questions in my conversations with atheists quite a bit. To these questions Paul answers:ROMANS NOTES! OIL AND WINE MINISTRIES

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (1:19)

God has made “that which is know about” Him obvious to all...even those without the Bible. How has God made it known? First through their conscience. Paul will talk about this again in 2:15: they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.

Whether or not you have the Bible, you have a conscience, and God speaks to the conscience of all mankind. No one really needs to be told that they are guilty, we all have a conscience and we all know we have violated it. Paul is telling the Gentile that you have a conscience and you know you have violated it.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Not only through conscience does God make Himself known to man, but also through nature; through what has been made. The man without the Bible could not use that excuse to self justify. “I didn’t know,” ignorance of the law, is not a valid excuse. God has made himself known through both the human conscience and nature.

Psalm 19:1-2 reads:

! The heavens are telling the glory of God; !

! And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

! Day to day pours forth speech,

! And night to night reveals knowledge.

What are the heavens giving us? Knowledge! The heavens, indeed, all of creation, has a voice and it is not speaking to stone, but to rational beings Even in their rebellion mankind cannot escape their own rationality. They rebel against God even though they are rational beings. It is not blind rebellion, but rather they have the knowledge, revealed through conscience and nature. They rebel with their eyes open. They have no excuse. That is why the “wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (Rom. 1:18).

Psalm 19:3

! There is not speech, nor are there words;

! Their voice is not heard.

The thought here is that you feel it.

In speaking to the men in Lystra who wanted to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas (because of the healing of the man lame from birth), Paul said of God, “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

Paul wants us to know that it’s not just the beginning of creation, the first cause, that testifies of God, but also the creation that bathes them in sunlight and provided rain and dew for the fields. The creation that is active in our daily lives speaks to us without words, proclaiming the Glory of God.

God gave them over!

παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi) “to give into the hands of another, to give over into one’s power or use.”

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

We have seen a logical progression in our past studies:

v.18! Man needs salvation because he is under the wrath of God

vv.19-23! Man is under wrath because he, in spite of his conscience and the constant testimony of God’s creation which surrounds him, actively rebels. That rebellion is not accidental, but deliberate. Man deliberately turns from God and deliberately sins.

In verse 24 we see God’s response to mans rebellion against Him. He “gave the over.” He let them go their own way. This is not permissive only, but is also judicial. It is a judgement. Paul will repeat this twice more in verses 26 and 28. The depth of the road to immorality is always measured in terms of sex. The immorality the man (and woman) who reject God more often than not manifests itself in terms of sexual deviation.

Throughout our world today we see acceptance of these immoralities. Many churches today are accepting of these immoral practices and have begun to even ordain homosexual ministers. Turning from God has consequences that manifest themselves in sexual lusts (among other forms of immorality). Turning from God leads to idolatry which in turn leads to additional stages of sliding away from God. Sexual impurity is the first of these. When man does not prioritize a relationship with God he becomes vulnerable to preoccupation with sexual impulses. Lust replaces God. Man becomes obsessed with sexual pleasure and slides down the road to greater and greater sexual sin. Homosexuality is an indication of the depths the man/woman who rejects God will go to fill the void caused by that rejection. As man continues down the road of rejecting God and attempting to fill the void with sexual lust, he finds himself/herself still unsatisfied. This leads to the second stage of sliding away from God - Identity Confusion. Since sexual immorality with the opposite sex does not satisfy the need for a relationship with God that is built into every one of us, that sexual immorality morphs into greater perversion - homosexuality. By sliding away from God man begins to slide away from his own humanity. He becomes what God did not create him to be and, as a result, finds himself even less fulfilled and satisfied as well as more exploited and hurt. Today many churches have gone so far as to accept the sin of homosexuality as normal and good, and they do so in the name of God! Linus Morris, in his (and his son’s) book, The Divine Expedition, correctly states that, “Western culture is oversexed but under satisfied.” This is because they have rejected God, and that which God designed as a

2ROMANS NOTES! OIL AND WINE MINISTRIES

gift to enhance them becomes an obsession which enslaves them. Because man consciously rejects God’s witness both internally and externally, God gave them over!

Picture a dog, an attack dog, pulling wildly on his masters leash, trying to get free of his master. What happens if his master releases the leash? The dog attacks and the picture is not a pretty one. That is what God has done to the man who rejects him....he let go of the leash and the man races toward immorality of every kind. Again, the picture is not a pretty one. God doesn't make them do the things they do, He simply let’s them go, and in the going they destroy themselves through the immorality they flee to.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

God’s invisible attributes, His divine nature and eternal power, are sufficiently in view so that man is without excuse (1:18-23). The truth of God is evident to all, but instead of accepting that truth they have, by and large, rejected it turning in their need to worship from the creator to the creature.

Idolatry is the elevation of an idea, philosophy, value, passion, obsession, person, or thing above God, above His purpose for you. When mankind is indifferent toward God he will find himself lost in idolatry. If God is not the center of our lives, something else will be.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Rome was filled with the same kinds of sexual immorality we find rampant in Western Civilization today (and throughout the world). Paul wants the Roman church to understand the cause of that immorality and the result of it as well. The continued moral decay eventually resulted in the fall of Rome. The continued moral decay of America may well achieve the same results, as will the entire world as we spiral ever more rapidly toward the end of days.

Sin, from the mildest to the most extreme, will bring misery. Here Paul demonstrates that truth with a specific sin. Homosexuality gives satisfaction to some degree on a relationship level, but it denies the real world and contradicts the identity of those who engage in the sin as sons and daughters of a father and mother. It results in ruined lives as meaningless and useless as dust in the wind.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

3

ROMANS NOTES! OIL AND WINE MINISTRIES

δοκιμάζω (dokimazō) To put to the test for the purpose of approving.

Paul is saying in verse 28 that mankind put God to the test to see if He met the specifications they had for Him to be a God of their liking, and He did not. Therefore they rejected Him! They wanted a God in their image, more of a genie who would grant their wishes and then leave them alone than the true God who is absolutely righteous and just and requires the same from us.

They rejected God and so for the third time Paul tells us that God gave them over. This is, again, the logical result of their action. It could be no other way! It is a judgement they bring upon themselves.

It is like a man who decides the “thin ice” sign as irrelevant and tries to walk across the pond. The ice breaks and the man falls in. It is the logical result of his decision, a judgement incurred due to his own stupidity.

When man rejects the witness of God, his mind becomes depraved. It is the logical result of his action. “Depraved mind” is άδόκομον νουν (adokimon noun) which is the same root as δοκιάζω above. Paul is saying that they tested God and found Him unapproved so God gave their minds over to not being able test things with respect to salvation. Consequently they succumbed to vain testing losing the ability to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” That is the logic of there being no God. Right and wrong fly out the window and “everyman does what is right in his own eyes.”

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

The result, the only result possible, is contained in the remaining verses of chapter 1. There are 21 sins mentioned in verses 29-32, and all are a result of determining to reject God in one’s own mind. It is the condition man finds himself in when he rejects God.

These sins are:

1. all unrighteousness - this covers all sin

2. wickedness - degeneracy from original virtue

3. greed

4. evil - maliciousness

4

ROMANS NOTES!

OIL AND WINE MINISTRIES

5. envy - filled with envy

6. murder

7. strife - wrangling or arguing

8. deceit

9. malice -malicious craftiness

10. gossips

11. slanderers - backbiters

12. haters of God - hateful toward God

13. insolent - rude or arrogant lack of respect

14. arrogant - having an exaggerated view of one’s own importance

15. boastful - showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one's achievements, possessions, or abilities.

16. inventors of evil - not content with the evil that exist, they invent new evils

17. disobedient to parents - disobedience to God breeds disobedience to parents

18. without understanding - “professing to be wise, they became fools” (1:22)

19. untrustworthy

20. unloving - having no love in them

21. unmerciful - without mercy

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.


LESSON 3

God gave them over!

παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi) “to give into the hands of another, to give over into one’s power or use.”

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

We have seen a logical progression in our past studies:

v.18: Man needs salvation because he is under the wrath of God

vv.19-23: Man is under wrath because he, in spite of his conscience and the constant testimony of God’s creation which surrounds him, actively rebels. That rebellion is not accidental, but deliberate. Man deliberately turns from God and deliberately sins.

In verse 24 we see God’s response to mans rebellion against Him. He “gave the over.” He let them go their own way. This is not permissive only, but is also judicial. It is a judgement. Paul will repeat this twice more in verses 26 and 28. The depth of the road to immorality is always measured in terms of sex. The immorality the man (and woman) who reject God more often than not manifests itself in terms of sexual deviation.

Throughout our world today we see acceptance of these immoralities. Many churches today are accepting of these immoral practices and have begun to even ordain homosexual ministers. Turning from God has consequences that manifest themselves in sexual lusts (among other forms of immorality). Turning from God leads to idolatry which in turn leads to additional stages of sliding away from God. Sexual impurity is the first of these. When man does not prioritize a relationship with God he becomes vulnerable to preoccupation with sexual impulses. Lust replaces God. Man becomes obsessed with sexual pleasure and slides down the road to greater and greater sexual sin. 

Homosexuality is an indication of the depths the man/woman who rejects God will go to fill the void caused by that rejection. As man continues down the road of rejecting God and attempting to fill the void with sexual lust, he finds himself/herself still unsatisfied. This leads to the second stage of sliding away from God - Identity Confusion. Since sexual immorality with the opposite sex does not satisfy the need for a relationship with God that is built into every one of us, that sexual immorality morphs into greater perversion - homosexuality. By sliding away from God man begins to slide away from his own humanity. He becomes what God did not create him to be and, as a result, finds himself even less fulfilled and satisfied as well as more exploited and hurt. Today many churches have gone so far as to accept the sin of homosexuality as normal and good, and they do so in the name of God! Linus Morris, in his (and his son’s) book, The Divine Expedition, correctly states that, “Western culture is oversexed but under satisfied.” This is because they have rejected God, and that which God designed as a 

gift to enhance them becomes an obsession which enslaves them. Because man consciously rejects God’s witness both internally and externally, God gave them over!

Picture a dog, an attack dog, pulling wildly on his masters leash, trying to get free of his master. What happens if his master releases the leash? The dog attacks and the picture is not a pretty one. That is what God has done to the man who rejects him....he let go of the leash and the man races toward immorality of every kind. Again, the picture is not a pretty one. God doesn't make them do the things they do, He simply let’s them go, and in the going they destroy themselves through the immorality they flee to.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

God’s invisible attributes, His divine nature and eternal power, are sufficiently in view so that man is without excuse (1:18-23). The truth of God is evident to all, but instead of accepting that truth they have, by and large, rejected it turning in their need to worship from the creator to the creature.

Idolatry is the elevation of an idea, philosophy, value, passion, obsession, person, or thing above God, above His purpose for you. When mankind is indifferent toward God he will find himself lost in idolatry. If God is not the center of our lives, something else will be.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Rome was filled with the same kinds of sexual immorality we find rampant in Western Civilization today (and throughout the world). Paul wants the Roman church to understand the cause of that immorality and the result of it as well. The continued moral decay eventually resulted in the fall of Rome. The continued moral decay of America may well achieve the same results, as will the entire world as we spiral ever more rapidly toward the end of days.

Sin, from the mildest to the most extreme, will bring misery. Here Paul demonstrates that truth with a specific sin. Homosexuality gives satisfaction to some degree on a relationship level, but it denies the real world and contradicts the identity of those who engage in the sin as sons and daughters of a father and mother. It results in ruined lives as meaningless and useless as dust in the wind.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

δοκιμάζω (dokimazō) To put to the test for the purpose of approving.

Paul is saying in verse 28 that mankind put God to the test to see if He met the specifications they had for Him to be a God of their liking, and He did not. Therefore they rejected Him! They wanted a God in their image, more of a genie who would grant their wishes and then leave them alone than the true God who is absolutely righteous and just and requires the same from us.

They rejected God and so for the third time Paul tells us that God gave them over. This is, again, the logical result of their action. It could be no other way! It is a judgement they bring upon themselves.

It is like a man who decides the “thin ice” sign as irrelevant and tries to walk across the pond. The ice breaks and the man falls in. It is the logical result of his decision, a judgement incurred due to his own stupidity.

When man rejects the witness of God, his mind becomes depraved. It is the logical result of his action. “Depraved mind” is άδόκομον νουν (adokimon noun) which is the same root as δοκιάζω above. Paul is saying that they tested God and found Him unapproved so God gave their minds over to not being able test things with respect to salvation. Consequently they succumbed to vain testing losing the ability to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” That is the logic of there being no God. Right and wrong fly out the window and “everyman does what is right in his own eyes.”

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

The result, the only result possible, is contained in the remaining verses of chapter 1. There are 21 sins mentioned in verses 29-32, and all are a result of determining to reject God in one’s own mind. It is the condition man finds himself in when he rejects God.

These sins are:

  1. all unrighteousness - this covers all sin

  2. wickedness - degeneracy from original virtue

  3. greed

  4. evil - maliciousness

  1. envy - filled with envy

  2. murder

  3. strife - wrangling or arguing

  4. deceit

  5. malice -malicious craftiness

  6. gossips

  7. slanderers - backbiters

  8. haters of God - hateful toward God

  9. insolent - rude or arrogant lack of respect

  10. arrogant - having an exaggerated view of one’s own importance

  11. boastful - showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one's achievements, possessions, or abilities.

  12. inventors of evil - not content with the evil that exist, they invent new evils

  13. disobedient to parents - disobedience to God breeds disobedience to parents

  14. without understanding - “professing to be wise, they became fools” (1:22)

  15. untrustworthy

  16. unloving - having no love in them

  17. unmerciful - without mercy 

    32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

    Up to now we could read this book in a purely academic fashion as referring to something outside of ourselves. Paul, however, does not let us continue in such a manner. He brings doctrinal truth down to a personal level.

    The Non-Jew, the Gentile, the person without the Bible, reading the first 31 verses of the book may want to know how God could hold him responsible for the mess the world is in, and why is he in need of salvation. Paul answers this in verse 32 by saying to such a man that, “You know that these things are wrong and yet you consent with those who do them, and even do them yourself!”

    God is just in judging the Gentile because, even though he did not have the Scripture, he did have the evidence of conscience (1:19) as well as the evidence of creation which constantly reveals God (1:20) and still rejected God and His moral law. In their lives they judge those who transgress God’s moral law even while doing the same things themselves (1:32-2:1).

    We may wonder how God can judge those who don’t have the scripture or have never heard of Jesus Christ. They have rejected God earlier on in their lives and they will therefore be judged in accordance to the way they have judged others. God will ask that person if he has lived by the standards he has set for others. In that which they judge others wrong, are they themselves also wrong. God might well ask, “Have you kept those standards yourself.” We would all have to answer “no,” and therefore would stand guilty before God.

    God will reward those who seek Him, with or without the bible: And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb. 11:6) 


     

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