Romans 1-1-7

Apr 19, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

written by Paul

suspected while he in Corinth
(second time, wintering down and waiting to go the Jerusalem) Rom 15:25-27

He met Priscilla and Aquila on his second missionary journey, in corinth Acts 18:2
they traveled with him a ways, but separate by Acts 18:21 when Paul travels to Caesaria, then antioch.

why do I mention Priscilla and Aquilla (they returned to Rome) (may have been the seed of the Roman Church)

then his third missionary journey
galatia, phrygia, ephesus (3 years during which he wrote the corinthian letters)

then macedonia and into achaea (Acts 20)
it is here believed that he wintered down in Corinth, writing Romans as he waited to travel to Jerusalem with the offering that had been taken up

It is one of thirteen books directly attributed to Paul. (out of 27 NT books)
(I dont believe he wrote Hebrews, in favor of authorship of Apollos of Alexandria)

two groups

  1. nine letters to communities
    Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, , and Hebrews
  1. four to individuals
    1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

Who and why ?

Romans is the longest single letter in the NT

It is instructive in it’s writing (not corrective) written to a body Paul has not met.

writing to the believers in Rome who likely had no written material to rely upon about Christ.

These people have come to the Lord, but were likely not receiving the same depth of teaching about Christ

simply because they are so remote from Jerusalem (compared to most of the other places that have christians)


you can see from the map, that the christian population was not even established around the time of the writing of Romans
(yet, Paul has heard of their presence, and writes this letter to them to strengthen them until he can get there)


by 300 AD, christianity as spread to “hot spots” all over the Western Civilization of the time.
by 600 AD, the influence has widened to fill in the gaps.

Romans is divided into two sections
1-11 what we believe

12-16 how we should live (because of what we believe)

Romans is considered the book of “practical theology”

5 primary themes

  • sin
  • salvation
  • sanctification
  • sovereignty
  • service

we find him introducing himself in the beginning of his letter (as is customary)

why doesn’t he sign his letters at the end like we do now ?

(scrolls would require rolling the message all the way to the end just to see who wrote it, then roll all the way back to the top to start reading… so they sign it at the top)

Rom. 1:1 ¶ Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

He introduces himself first as a servant. (δοῦλος)

  • willing
  • lifetime committed slave who loves his master
  • regular slaves (paying off debt) had to be released after 7 years
  • pierced ear to signify status (a visible mark of being a doulos) 
  • My master takes better care of me than I can 
  • I can be part of something with him that I would not by myself 

then as a apostle. (ἀπόστολος) a sent one

  • sent
  • messenger
  • envoy
  • chosen and sent with a message (authority to represent the sender)
  • modern term would be similar to  “ambassador”
  • I didn’t choose this, He chose me for it

then as set apart. (ἀφωρισμένος)

  • separate for a purpose
  • mark off with boundaries
  • “Zoned for God”
  • 873 aphorízō
    • apó, “separated from”
    • horízō, “make boundaries”
  • servant – to start himself on the same playing field as his readers in his relationship to Christ. First and foremost, “I am willingly His”
  • sent – to validate his authority to teach them
  • set apart – to suggest this is his purpose for living (he is accustomed to being set apart, first as a pharisee, now as an emissary of the Gospel)

If someone asked you “what is your reason for living?” What would you answer ?

Do you find this purpose easy or difficult ?

Christian life is hard 

(Supposed to be)

are you a person on this planet who happens to be a believer or 

are you a believer who happens to be on this planet

our definition of “living the christian life” should always be from the perspective/priority of our “purpose answer”

If you aren’t struggling to live it, maybe it’s because your not actually living the life He intends?

Rom. 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

what did He promise beforehand through the scriptures ?

the gospel of God, the good news. prophecies and pictures of the messiah throughout the OT.

  • Gen 3:15 “he will crush your head”
  • Gen 22:18 And in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice”
  • Exodus passover lamb’s blood
  • Joshua leading the Israelites into the promised land
  • Psalm 22, Psalm 69, Isaiah 53, Micah 5
  • “For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day… and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son… In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 3:8-9; 12:10-13:1).

Rom. 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

περὶ = concerning = all around, encircling   (meaning the gospel is all about Christ)

As we share our faith, don’t get caught up in religious debates …

Focus on Jesus , what He said, did, taught 

Example of Barry McGuire who got saved by reading a “good news” bible but hated religion and decided to just find out who Jesus was

People will never get saved by religion

Only by faith in Jesus

Rom. 1:4 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,

descendant of David (throne of king David inhabited forever)

That the gospel concerns the Son32 points to the central role of the Son  [Romans, p. 42]  in salvation. The title is one of high dignity, as is fitting for one who accomplished so great a work. As Paul uses the term, it involves community of nature with the Father.33 That the Messiah would be a descendant of David is taught in the Old Testament (Isa. 11:1, 10; Jer. 23:5–6; Ezek. 34:23–24, etc.) and elsewhere.34 The idea is found in a number of places in the New Testament. Paul’s expression here means “became35 of the seed of David according to the flesh”, “the seed of David” being referred to on a number of occasions besides the present passage (John 7:42; 2 Tim. 2:8). Jesus is also called the “Son of David” a total of 12 times,36 and there are other references of a somewhat similar character.37 Jesus does not call himself “Son of David” and indeed on occasion seems to distance himself from the title (Mark 12:35–37).38 But we should not exaggerate the significance of this, for when the title was directly applied to him he did not reject it (Mark 10:47–52). The facts seem to indicate that it was widely expected that the Messiah would be of David’s line and that Jesus knew that he was of Davidic descent. But presumably because of popular messianic expectations he put no emphasis on the fact.39 The Davidic  [Romans, p. 43]  descent is thus of importance for an understanding of Jesus’ messiahship. It is, however, an aspect of the Messiah which evidently did not mean much to Paul, for he does not specifically mention it elsewhere (though 15:12 comes close).

Many hold that in vv. 3b–4 Paul is not composing freely but making use of a early Christian creed. 

This is supported by the structure of the section (parallelism and the like), the reference to David, some un-Pauline vocabulary,40 and some theological implications of what is written which scholars find difficult to ascribe to Paul

verse 4 

ρισθέντος = declared (designated) (while Luke uses this once in Luke, five times in Acts, and it is found in Hebrews once)

πνεμα γιωσύνης = spirit of holiness (not found anywhere else in NT)

may have included this “creed” to help warm the readers to him (create a relatable stepping stone)

Rom. 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,

this is part of Paul’s stated purpose (the “zoning” we spoke about in the first verse.
To bring about the obedience of the faith (among the gentiles)

Keep that phrase “obedience of the faith” on a burner for now

Rom. 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Rom. 1:7 ¶ to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

note that Paul says the beloved of God are the ones called as saints.

beloved =ἀγαπητοῖς agapatos

called as saints (not called saints)  this is not a title it is 

called = κλητός, klētos, a.  [2813]. called, invited

saints = γιος, hagios, a.  holy (moral quality), consecrated ([ceremonially] acceptable to God);  holy place = sanctuary

those who are loved by God are the ones invited to be consecrated to Him, set apart, invited to become sanctuaries

1 Cor 3:16

1 Cor 6:19-20

wait !!!  God loves the whole world according to John 3:16 ?!

(how can we now say “He only loves those elected to salvation?”)

When we look at the concept of the love of God in Scripture, we see distinctions that have to be made. Historically and theologically we distinguish among three types of divine love. There is the love of 


the quality of being well meaning; kindness.

where God has a kind spirit to the whole world 

His benevolent love falls on everybody. 

John 3:16


generous or doing good.

that is how He displays that goodness universally

—the rain falls upon the just as well as on the unjust. And so that universal dimension of the love of God is manifest 

Matt 5:45 “rain falls on the just and unjust”


original word means “pleased with” (acceptance) 

And that term, the love of complacency, is not used in the way in which we use the term complacency in our age, in our culture. Our term of complacency means smugness, self-satisfaction, that sort of thing.

But rather when the Scriptures indicate the love of complacency, it’s that special love that God has for His Son, and all of those who are in His Son, and who are adopted into His family. And if we talk about the love of God in His terms of the love of complacency and talk about it universally, that’s blasphemy because God does not love the whole world in the love of complacency. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that there are many ways in which God is at enmity with the world. He hates the world, He hates those who are swift to shed blood, and we have to take that into account. When I hear preachers stand up and say that ‘God loves everybody unconditionally,’ I want to scream and say, ‘Wait a minute. Then why does He call us to repent? Why does He call us to come to the cross? Why does He call us to come to Christ?’ 

If God loves everybody unconditionally, then you can do whatever you want and believe whatever you think. And it’s just not true that God loves us unconditionally. He’s placed an absolute condition by which He requires—He doesn’t just invite people to come to His Son—He commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins and to come to Christ. And if you want to enjoy the love of complacency you have to be in Christ.

God does not love the whole world with complacency, since there is much about our world that He hates.

He offers a covenant of love to those whom He calls. There are conditions to this covenant (which many call God’s unconditional love)
1. repent
2. come to Christ as Lord and Savior in Faith

is this faith plus works ? (are we now adding repentance to faith)  in contradiction to Eph 2:8-9

in verse 5 “obedience of the faith” obedience is mixed with faith (as the saving element)

The word “repent” has to be understood within the context in which it is being used. In fact, very often, it should not even be translated “repent” because of the wrong preconditioned theological connotations this carries. It is a matter of what some would call, “illegitimate totality transfer.” This occurs when the meaning of a word in one passage is carried over to every other place the word occurs. The Greek word for “repent” is metanoia (noun) or metanoeo (verb). It basically means a change of mind and the context must determine what is involved in that change of mind. In passages where salvation is in view it is equivalent to believe or trust in and involves a change of mind about any form of self-trust in human works, good deeds, religious tradition, etc. followed by a trust in the finished work of Christ which alone has the power to save us. It means a turning from self-trust to trust in Christ.

Believe and repent are never used together as if teaching two different requirements for salvation. When salvation from eternal condemnation is in view, repent (a change of mind) and believe are in essence used as synonyms. Lewis Chafer wrote:

Too often, when it is asserted—as it is here—that repentance is not to be added to belief as a separated requirement for salvation, it is assumed that repentance is not necessary to salvation. Therefore it is as dogmatically stated as language can declare, that repentance is essential to salvation and that none could be saved apart from repentance, but it is included in believing and cannot be separated from it (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Vital Theological Issues, Roy B. Zuck, General Editor, Kregel, Grand Rapids, 1994, p. 119).

Roy B. Zuck writes:

Repentance is included in believing. 

Faith and repentance are like two sides of a coin. Genuine faith includes repentance, and genuine repentance includes faith. The Greek word for repentance (metanoia) means to change one’s mind. But to change one’s mind about what? About sin, about one’s adequacy to save himself, about Christ as the only way of salvation, the only One who can make a person righteous (“Kindred Spirit,” a quarterly publication of Dallas Seminary, Summer 1989, p. 5).

In Luke’s rendering of the Great Commission he uses repentance as a single requirement in the same sense as believing in Christ (Luke 24:46-47). As Dr. Ryrie says of this verse, “Clearly, repentance for the forgiveness of sins is connected to the death and resurrection of Christ.” The repentance comes out of the recognition of one’s sin, but the object of repentance is the person and work of Christ, or faith in Christ. Interestingly, in Luke 8:12 he uses believe alone, “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”

A comparison of other passages clearly supports the fact that repentance often stands for faith in the person and work of Christ. Compare Acts 10:43 with 11:17-18; 13:38-39 with 2:38. Also, note Acts 16:31 which uses “believe” alone.

The stated purpose of the Gospel of John is to bring men to faith in Christ (20:31), yet John never once uses the word repent, not once. If repentance, when used in connection with eternal salvation, is a separate or distinct requirement from faith in Christ, then John does not give the whole gospel. And if you can believe that, you can believe anything. Speaking of the absence of John’s use of repent in His gospel, Ryrie writes:

And yet John surely had many opportunities to use it in the events of our Lord’s life which he recorded. It would have been most appropriate to use repent or repentance in the account of the Lord’s conversation with Nicodemus. But believe is the word used (John 3:12, 15). So, If Nicodemus needed to repent, believe must be a synonym; else how could the Lord have failed to use the word repent when talking to him? To the Samaritan harlot, Christ did not say repent. He told her to ask (John 4:10), and when her testimony and the Lord’s spread to other Samaritans, John recorded not that they repented but that they believed (vss. 39, 41-42). There are about fifty more occurrences of “believe” or “faith” in the Gospel of John, but not one use of “repent.” The climax is John 20:31: “These have been written that you may believe . . . and that believing you may have life in His name.” (Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, p. 98).

What about Acts 20:21? “… solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Some would say, “Doesn’t this passage teach that faith and repentance are not synonymous and that repentance is a separate requirement?” No! Paul is summarizing his ministry in Ephesus and what he solemnly proclaimed to both Jews and Greeks, specifically, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The two words, repentance and faith, are joined by one article in the Greek text which indicates that the two are inseparable, though each focuses on a different aspect of the one requirement of salvation, namely, faith in Christ. We can legitimately translate it like this. “Solemnly testifying … a change of mind about God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Repentance, metanoia, focuses on changing one’s mind about his previous conception of God and disbelief in God or false beliefs (polytheism and idolatry) about God (see 1 Thess. 1:9). On the other hand, belief in Christ, as an expression of a change of mind, focuses on the new direction that change about God must take, namely, trusting in Christ, God’s Son, as personal Savior.

It has also been suggested that in this summary Paul is emphasizing the distinction between the particular needs of Gentiles and Jews. Gentiles who were polytheistic needed to change their minds about their polytheism and realize that only one true God exists. Jews needed to change their minds about Jesus and realize that He is their true Messiah (Ryrie, p. 98).

For an extended study of “repent” read Ryrie’s chapter on this issue in his book, So Great Salvation. Also, Bob Wilkin has done a huge study on “repent” in Grace Evangelical Journal. You can actually find them on the web. Go to our web site, click on “Other Sites” and scroll down till you come to “Grace Evangelical Society.”

Of course, there is also a repentance needed in the Christian life in relation to specific sins (2 Cor. 7:9; Rev. 2:5) but this repentance has nothing to do with salvation (Matt. 21:28-30).


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