Greetings and Blessing
1: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2: (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3: Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4: And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to meet you
8: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9: 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 prayers; 10: Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11: For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12: That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13: Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14: I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15: So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
B The Condition of Mankind - Gentiles and Jews
The Wrath of God is revealed
18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21: 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. 22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23: And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27: And 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 recompence of their error which was meet. 28: 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; 29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31: Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32: 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.
Paul sends his letter to Rome to introduce himself to the church before he arrives to preach the Gospel. He establishes his apostolic authority and his call to missionary endeavour. Then in his greeting he describes the subject of the letter. It is going to be about the Gospel of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Who according to the flesh was a Jew but who was openly declared to be the Son of God as a result of his resurrection from the dead. It is in Christ that we received salvation by grace and a ministry of apostleship among all the nations. Paul writes this letter is for you who are loved of God and called to be holy. Then he combines the Jewish and Christian greeting Charis Shalom. Charis – Grace is the principle in which God deals will men in our day and Shalom – Peace is the spiritual experience of those who come to a knowledge of his Grace. Paul begins his letter with a number of personal remarks. First he says l thank God for you all because your faith is talked about in the whole world. And God will testify that l pray for you always. And my request is that l might be able to come and see you and give you some spiritual blessing so that you will be established in the faith. Then he says that he would have often come to see them but was hindered many times. But he says l am not ashamed of my message and l have not been putting off my visit to you, l want to see you at the first opportunity l get. No l am not ashamed because the Gospel is the power of God to salvation to all that believe. In the Gospel is revealed the righteousness of God and it comes by faith and is realised by faith. Because the righteous live daily by placing their faith in God. And the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness in men. God reveals himself to men even his power and divinity is revealed in the creation which we can see every day. Every man is without excuse before God because he can see Gods work all around him. And when men do not glorify God or are thankful to Him they think up empty ideas and their foolish minds are darkened to the truth of God. They say that they are clever but in fact they become foolish. They change the glory of an incorruptible God into images made to look like birds animals and snakes etc. So God let them get on with their uncleanness and lust filled lives. They dishonour their bodies with sexual activity with each other. Paul says they change the truth of God into a lie. And they worship and serve the creatures that God has made instead of worshipping the creator. So God let them go their own way to live in vile lusts, Even their women gave up their natural sexual purpose to do things which are contrary to nature. And the men also turn from natural sexual purpose to burn in lust after each other men with men doing things which are disgusting. And they receive in their bodies the wages of their sin. Because they did not want to even remember God He allowed them to go on to minds that are full of rejection of God. And to do those things which are not honourable. Their lives become full of bad deeds, forbidden sex, evil acts, they long after others people possessions, They are evil in seeking the hurt of other people, They are full of jealousy, they hate and kill, they deceive, they destroy, they let lies and behind peoples backs, they hate God, they do horrible things to others. They think they are cleaver, They think up new evil things, they openly defy their parents, they have no understanding, They break promises, they have no normal affections, they are unmovable and without a shred of mercy, They know the judgment of God and that God with destroy those who live like this but they not only want to continue but they take delight in perverting others to do the same. What an indictment on the world, Paul brings to us here. He describes the heart of man who leaves God behind. He describes atheism.