Romans 1

God has made Himself known to all men by the things of His creation. Though men know He exists and might infer that it was their duty to worship Him only, they glorify Him not as God, but ascribe deity to the most contemptible of creatures and give themselves over to vile affections. Those who thus dishonor Him, will be given up eventually to dishonor themselves.

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.

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.

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.

Romans 1:1-12 – The Apostle’s Burning Desire

   Upon the threshold of his greatest Epistle, Paul describes himself as a bond-servant. Such humility as his qualified him to be the medium of God’s wondrous revelations. How great must be the Master who has the absolute devotion of such a man! Paul was called to be an Apostle; we are all called of Jesus Christ, and called to be saints, Romans 1:1, 6-7. Note that emphatic reference to our Lord’s dual nature, Romans 1:3-4.
   Long before Paul saw the faces of these Christians in Rome, he had been led out in prayer for them. He had won the battle before entering the battle-field. How noble it was on the Apostle’s part to say that his faith was strengthened by their faith, as theirs by his! Romans 1:12. There is a wonderful give-and-take in the service of God. Each of us helps or hinders. None is neutral.
   It is quite evident that prayer counted for much with the Apostle. This journey of his was the subject of continual supplication. He knew that much was to be obtained through prayer, which would otherwise be missed. Remember that your journeys must also be in the will of God, Romans 1:10. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Romans 1:13-23 – The only Power of Salvation

   We owe everything to our Lord, but since we can make Him no direct return, He has made men His residuary legatees. We are to think of others as having a claim upon us for His dear sake. In helping them, we repay Him. But note the Apostle’s humility–as much as in me is, Romans 1:15. Paul was not indifferent to the claims of intellectual culture. He had been thoroughly trained in Hebrew and Greek literature. The high culture of the Roman world was appreciated by the student of Gamaliel for what it was worth; but he was not ashamed to preach the gospel in its capital because it carried with it the divine dynamic. It was power unto salvation. The Stoic, for instance, had a high ethical code, but it was ineffective for want of the driving power of Pentecost. The one condition is faith–to every one that believeth, Romans 1:16.
   Every man born into the world has an opportunity of knowing right and wrong from the inner witness of conscience, and of learning something of God from His works. Men will be judged by their attitude toward these two luminaries. Notice, however, that sad, strong word! Too many hold the truth, Romans 1:18. They deliberately endeavor to throttle it. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Romans 1:17—Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.

   It is important to understand this verse, because it is the key to the Epistle. In the deepest sense, righteousness stands for two things—first, our standing before God; and next, our personal characterour position and our condition—what we are in Jesus, and what we are in ourselves by the Holy Spirit. Hooker, therefore, well expresses the truth when he says, “The righteousness with which we shall be clothed in the world to come, is both perfect and inherent; that wherewith we are justified is perfect, but not inherent; that by which we are sanctified is inherent, but not perfect.” The term righteousness, therefore, covers justification and sanctification, whereof the former is treated in the first five chapters of this Epistle; and to this we confine ourselves.
   There is a difference between forgiveness and justification. By forgiveness the sinner may be reinstated in the confidence of Him whom he has wronged; by justification he is declared righteous according to law, and thereby commended to the confidence and respect of all men.
   Justification is our position through the wonderful grace of God, and by virtue of the finished work of Christ, which is imputed to all who believe. All that He is, is reckoned to us who are in Him. We are not merely forgiven, great and wonderful as that act of love and grace would be; but we are dealt with as though we had never sinned. Instead, therefore, of the law being against us, as we deserve, it is on our side, defending and protecting us. Our salvation actually rests on law. We may claim it as an absolute right. And all this because of God’s infinite grace: because, in the person of Jesus, He has perfectly met, and satisfied, the claims of his holy but broken law. —Our Daily Homily

Romans 1:24-32 – From Gross Sins of the Flesh

   Few men knew as much as did Paul of the unutterableness of human need. In terrible words he enumerates its various aspects. Truth would enter human hearts from God’s work in nature and from conscience, yet men pull down the blind and close the curtain. It is not that they do not know, but that they refuse to have God in their knowledge. They shun the thought of God, Psalm 10:4. They will not lift their happy faces toward Him with filial confidence. Thus a heavy darkness steals over them and veils His presence.
   The next downward step is uncleanness; and when once men have deliberately chosen the downward path, there is nothing to stop them. They go headlong from one point to another in their descent into darkness. When our hearts turn from the purifying presence of God, they become the haunt of every foul bird and noisome reptile. What a marvel it is that out of such material God can even create saints! —Through the Bible Day by Day