Romans Chapter 1
Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”
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.
Romans 1:2 “(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)”
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 Old Testament prophets prophesied of Jesus, but Isaiah probably had the most to say. At any rate, I will give you several of these prophecies from Isaiah. (Isaiah 11:3), prophesied Jesus would be Judge; (42:4), shows Him as Law Giver; (42:7), shows Him as Liberator; (53:4), shows Him as Burden-Bearer; (53:6), shows Him as Sin-Bearer; (53:12), shows Him as Intercessor; (53:5), shows Jesus as our only Savior. We see in (7:14), He is Immanuel (God with us); in (9:6), 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 “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;”
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 descendant 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.
Romans 1:4 “And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:”
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 third 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 fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
This leaves no doubt that Jesus is all powerful.
Romans 1:5 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
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.”
Romans 1:6 “Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:”
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.
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 fullness 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 1:7 “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.”
“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 Thess. 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 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4; and Philemon 3).
Romans 1:8 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”
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.
Romans 1:9 “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;”
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.
Romans 1:10 “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.”
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.
Romans 1:11 “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;”
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.
Romans Chapter 1 Questions
1. Who was Paul commissioned to bring the gospel to?
2. What is another word(s) for apostle?
3. He is fully _____________, as well as full ______.
4. Who is the resurrection and the life?
5. Jesus submitted Himself to do the will of the Father through What?
6. What is Grace?
7. Without faith, it is ____________ to please _____.
8. We must make Jesus Christ not only our Savior, but what?
9. Behold, to ________ is better than ____________.
10. Christians are to go into the world and do what?
11. In verse 9, who does Paul pray intercessory prayers for?
12. When Paul leaves Corinth, where does he go?
13. Do all Christians receive the same spiritual gifts?
14. What does the statement “that ye may be established” mean?
15. Can shy people become bold workers for the Lord?
16. How or when can those in question 15 become bold?
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