ROMANS CHAPTER 1

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

I) [Ro 1:1]:

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God"

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL IDENTIFIES HIMSELF FIRST AS A VOLUNTARY BENEVOLENT SLAVE OF CHRIST JESUS

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus" =

Paul identifies himself first and foremost as a servant of Christ Jesus. The context "doulas" = servant, lit. a slave, an individual owned by another. The context in this verse of "doulos" is that kind of slavery which is a voluntary and benevolent servitude . So Paul's slavery is a voluntary one to the personal benevolent ownership of himself to Christ Jesus.

Notice that the first thing stipulated in this letter is Paul's declaration that he is a voluntary and benevolent slave of Christ Jesus. Evidently this establishes Paul's servitude to Christ Jesus as primary.

B) PAUL'S ENSLAVEMENT IS OF CHRIST JESUS, EMPHASIS ON CHRIST = POINTING TO HIS DIETY AND HIS ANNOINTED PURPOSE FROM GOD WITH A VIEW TO THE ATONEMENT FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD

"Christ" = "Christos" = our Lord's Messianic name with a view to His diety.

Christos comes from a Greek word “chrio” (number 5548) meaning contact, to smear, to rub, and seems to be used in the context as of anoint with oil. Luke 4:18. Yet christos means “anoint, i.e. the Messiah” which tells us that the meaning CHRIST is an assigned usage meaning. Several other words in the N.T. also were given a spiritual christian meaning that was not the original Greek meaning. So it is not uncommon for a word to be used in a slightly new and different way to express a spiritual concept by the N.T. writers. Only twice in the N.T. is “Messias” (Number 3323) used. John 1:41 & 4:25. Interestingly it is in John 4:25 that both messias and christos are used. There are several other Greek words translated anoint, anointing, or anointed in the N.T. The references are only a few to illustrate the usage of each word.

1) [Compare Ps 2:1-12]:

(Ps 2:1 NKJV) '''Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?

(Ps 2:2 NKJV) The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed [One], saying,

(Ps 2:3 NKJV) "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."

(Ps 2:4 NKJV) He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

(Ps 2:5 NKJV) Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:

(Ps 2:6 NKJV) "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.

(Ps 2:7 NKJV) I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

(Ps 2:8 NKJV) Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

(Ps 2:9 NKJV) You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'

(Ps 2:10 NKJV) Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

(Ps 2:11 NKJV) Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

(Ps 2:12 NKJV) Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." '''

a) (Ps 2:1-3) Why Do The Nations Rage, And The People Plot A Vain Thing? The Kings Of The Earth Set Themselves, And The Rulers Take Counsel Together, Against The LORD And Against His Anointed [One] Saying, 'Let Us Break Their Bonds In Pieces And Cast Away Their Cords From Us

The Psalmist asks why are the nations of the world in a rage, and the people are plotting a vain thing, in the sense of the futility of it all. He goes on to write that the kings of the earth have set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed One, saying, 'Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.' The LORD's Anointed is His chosen one to be the ruler of Zion, i.e., the people of Israel, His chosen people, with David, the first king in view, (Ps 2:2, 6). All of this rage, plotting, setting oneself against, and scheming against the LORD and His Anointed One is vanity - futility - especially in view of God's Almighty power and sovereignty. The nations, peoples, kings and rulers of the world were evidently aware of the LORD and His Anointed ruler of the people of Zion. And they were enraged and consorted with one another to defeat God's sovereignty over them. It was their view that they were in bondage to the LORD and His king, (Ps 2:2-3).

b) (Ps 2:4-12) He Who Sits In The Heavens Shall Laugh; The LORD Shall Hold Them In Derision. Then He Shall Speak To Them In His Wrath, And Distress Them In His Deep Displeasure: 'Yet I Have Set My King On My Holy Hill Of Zion. I Will Declare The Decree: The LORD Has Said To Me, 'You Are My Son, Today I Have Begotten You. Ask Of Me, And I Will Give You The Nations For Your Inheritance, And The Ends Of The Earth For Your Possession. You Shall Break Them With A Rod Of Iron; You Shall Dash Them To Pieces Like A Potter's Vessel.' Now Therefore, Be Wise, O Kings; Be Instructed, You Judges Of The Earth. Serve The LORD With Fear, And Rejoice With Trembling. Kiss The Son, Lest He Be Angry, And You Perish In The Way, When His Wrath Is Kindled But A Little. Blessed Are All Those Who Put Their Trust In Him.

The Psalmist declares that the LORD in heaven will laugh and hold those who oppose Him in derision. He will speak to them via His wrath and distress them via action that reflects His deep displeasure, (Ps 2:4-5).

The LORD declares that He has set His anointed king on His holy hill, Zion. The word Zion here refers to Jerusalem which indicates that the LORD's chosen people are Israelites whose Anointed / Chosen one is their king. Zion was originally a Canaanite city which was being conquered by David. The name Zion later on was used to refer to the temple area and then to the entire city of Jerusalem. The term 'Holy hill' is a synonym for the temple mount in Jerusalem. And the LORD declares that His Anointed / Chosen One has been begotten of God as His Son. The phrase "You are My son" in Ps 2:7, comes from the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:14). It is appropriated in Psalm 2 to show the legitimate God ordained right of the king to rule. The phrase 'Today I have begotten You' refers to the day of one being Anointed / Chosen by God to be king of Israel, i.e., the day of the coronation of the king, and his adoption as a son of God into the family of God in an eternal life familial relationship with God, (Ps 2:6-7).

In view of the fact that physical sonship is not reversible, so much the more is sonship to God irrevocable; and it is eternal because God is eternal. It is implied that the Anointed king of Israel, being declared to be a son of God, has the reception of eternal life and will receive an eternal kingdom inheritance to rule the nations to the ends of the earth in the future eternal kingdom: For God goes on to say to His Anointed, "Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel." This also implies that the rebellion of the nations of the world toward the LORD and His Anointed One, will finally be put down.

In view of the lack of complete fulfillment of the prophecies in verses 1 through 9, through king David or any king after him so far, the context must jump out of the time of David to a future King of Israel, "the Anointed One, "the Christ," from the Greek, "ho Christos," Who will inherit the nations of the world, and the ends of the earth, evidently as an eternal inheritance and possession. So the Future Anointed of God, "the Christ," will meet the enraged nations, peoples, kings and rulers of the world in conflict and "break them with a rod of iron" and "dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel," despite the warning of the LORD through the Psalmist in verses 10-12, "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." Notice that individuals throughout the world are blessed when they put their trust in the Anointed One of the LORD = "the Christ." This Anointed One is far more than a temporal king of Israel; for throughout the world one may trust in Him to be blessed. No temporal king can say or do that. Nor can the wrath of a king over all the nations of the earth be so powerful unless He is God Himself, (Ps 2:8-12).

2) [Compare Ps 45:6-7]:

(v. 6) "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom.

(v. 7) You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has set You above Your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy."

3) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(v. 6) "For a child will be born to us, [Israel, (vv. 1-5)] a Son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

(v. 7) There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this."

Old Testament Scripture spoke in ancient times of a Messiah Savior Who would be born as a Child and be God and Man at the same time. The prophet Isaiah verfies that a Messiah-Savior would be born of Israel Who is "Mighty God" and "Everlasting Father" Who could only then be God Himself as there are no other Gods, (Isa 43:10-11; 44:6).

Passages with the phrase "Christ Jesus" stress the exalted and anointed Son of God Who graciously emptied Himself of, i.e., set aside His divine prerogatives, adding to Himself the form of perfect Humanity so to take upon Himself the penalty of sins of the whole world by dying in the cross at calvary - the atonement for the sins of the whole world. So when the Apostle Paul uses the term "Christ Jesus" he is emphasizing the grace of God with a view to His Son's atonement for the sins of the whole world.

C) PAUL WAS CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE BY GOD. HE WAS HENCE SUMMONED FOR THE PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF BEING AN APOSTLE AS DECREED AND FOREKNOWN BY GOD TO BE RESPONDED TO BY PAUL'S OWN FREE WILL

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle (lit., 'called apostle') and set apart for the gospel of God" =

"klEtos apostolos =

"called apostle"

Paul was called by God to be an Apostle. With the meaning of 'called by God' in view, we can conclude that Paul was summoned, or set apart by God for the particular purpose of being an Apostle as decreed and foreknown by God before the world began to which Paul responded to by his own free will as is the nature of response to God's election.

D) PAUL'S SLAVERY IS FURTHER DEFINED AS AN APOSTLE SET APART FOR THE GOSPEL OF GOD

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle (lit., 'called apostle') and set apart for the gospel of God" =

Paul's slavery is further defined when He declares himself to be called as an Apostle set apart for the gospel of God. He stipulates that God gave him the authority of Apostle, lit. a messenger.

Apostle, i.e., Messenger of God, is a specific office appointed by God to be in authority over the proclamation of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith.

Set apart does not mean that one is to separate oneself from others but that one is to be especially committed in this case to proclaiming the gospel of God.

E) THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS DEFINED IN THIS PASSAGE AS THE GOOD NEWS OF THE POWER FOR THE SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND: OF EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES ALONE IN THE WORK OF GOD ALONE THROUGH THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD OF HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD UNTO THE RECEPTION OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle (lit., 'called apostle') and set apart for the gospel of God" (cont.) =

The gospel of God is defined in this passage as the good news of the power for the salvation of all mankind: of everyone who believes alone in the work of God alone through the resurrection from the dead of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord unto the reception of the righteousness from God and eternal life. This is affirmed in vv. 2-4, 16-17:

1) [Ro 1:2-4, 16-17]:

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures

(v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David,

(v. 4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

(v. 16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

(v. 17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' "

II) Ro 1:2]:

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scripture."

OBSERVATIONS

A) SINCE THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS NOT YET COMPLETED PAUL IS REFERRING TO THE PROPHETS OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHO PROMISED BEFOREHAND THE GOSPEL OF GOD

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God (v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scripture." =

Since the New Testament was not yet completed, we can determine that Paul was referring to the prophets of God as reflected in the Old Testament who promised beforehand the gospel of God.

III) [Ro 1:3]:

(v. 3) "regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) THE GOSPEL BEFOREHAND WAS WRITTEN IN OT SCRIPTURE REFLECTING THE PROMISE OF THE SON OF GOD TO COME TO TAKE UPON HIMSELF THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD SO THAT JUSTIFICATION UNTO THE ETERNAL KINGDOM WOULD BE BY FAITH IN HIM ALONE

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David." =

The Prophets in Old Testament Scripture evidently contain the gospel which God promised beforehand - i.e., a future event in history is in view.

The phrase "regarding His Son" immediately follows this message of a gospel promised beforehand and refers to the one and only Son of God Who is evidently the One Who is to fulfill this promise of the atonement so that justification, i.e., an individual's declaration of having the righteouness of God is received unto the eternal kingdom would be by faith in the Son of God alone.

B) THE PHRASE 'THE SON OF GOD' IS A TERM FOR THE ONE AND ONLY SON OF GOD IMPLYING DIETY AS PROPHESIED IN OT SCRIPTURE TO PROVIDE MANKIND WITH SALVATION FROM THEIR SINS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

"(v. 3) regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David" =

The term "the Son of" in this context implies having the qualities of. Hence the phrase 'The Son of God' is a term for the one and only Son of God, having the qualities of God implying Diety, Who was prophesied in OT Scripture to come in human form to provide mankind with salvation from their sins unto eternal life and rule and reign forever. Furthermore, the phrase 'as to His human nature' corroborates the fact that the Son of God has another nature, that of Humanity as well as Diety.


Further details on the Son of God

C) THE SON OF GOD IS FURTHER DEFINED AS A DESCENDANT OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, TESTIFYING TO HIS HUMAN NATURE AS PROPHESIED IN THE OT

"The gospel of God which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy [OT] Scriptures regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David" =

"peri ............tou huiou autou tou genomenou ...................ek ..............spermatos

"concerning .......Son ...His ...the one Who came ..............out of [the] seed .........

dauid ......kata .............sarka"

of David .according to .flesh"

The phrase "according to flesh" qualifies what in this verse is in view regarding the source of God's Son which is the flesh side of the Son, i.e., the human nature of God's Son.

The Son of God is further defined as a descendant of David, testifying to His Humanity as well as His diety which is corroborated by OT prophecy.

Hence God's Son is the unique Son of God, Who is Diety and Humanity at the same time, a descendant of David, Who is the sole fulfiller of the gospel of God.

D) GOD'S PROPHETS IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES SPOKE OF GOD'S SON FULFILLING THE GOSPEL OF GOD AND THE SON'S HUMAN NATURE AS A DESCENDANT OF DAVID

"The gospel of God which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy [OT] Scriptures regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David" =

God's prophets in the Holy Scriptures spoke of God's Son fulfilling the gospel of God and the Son's human nature as a descendant of David.

1) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(v. 6) "For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(v. 7) Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

2) [Compare Isa 52:10, 13-15-53:12]:

(Isa 52:10 NKJV) "The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.

[The Holy Arm of the LORD will bring the Salvation of our God to Israel and all mankind. And as this passage continues through chapter 53, the Holy Arm of the LORD is stipulated as the Servant of the LORD, (Isa 52:13), Who will bring that salvation through His atonement for the sins of all mankind, (Isa 53:4-12)]

(Isa 52:13 YLT) [Behold], My servant [acts] wisely, He is [exalted], and [has] been lifted up], And [has] been [greatly exalted].

[The LORD's Servant, portrayed as the LORD'S Holy Arm of Salvation in Isa 52:10 & 13, is described as One Who will act wisely. God's Servant - His Holy Arm of Salvation - will have the wisdom to accomplish successfully what God has sent Him to do - to bring Salvation to all mankind, (Isa 52:10). This evidently will result in His supreme exaltation. For there is an emphatic repetition regarding Him in this regard: He will be lifted up and greatly exalted. So the Servant of the LORD will be exalted as only God would be exalted - seated at the Right Hand of God]

(Isa 52:14 HCSB) Just as many [have been astonished] at You - His appearance was so disfigured that He did not look like a man, and His form did not resemble a human being -

[In the first part of Isa 52:14, it states "Just as many have been astonished at You." The "many," evidently refers to all mankind, since verse 15, which follows, continues this context, having in view many in the sense of all peoples of many, i.e., all nations and all the kings of history in view. Since not all mankind throughout history could have been present at the time and in the place when and where the Servant of the LORD would perform His mission on earth, then the afterlife of all of mankind must be in view - a time of their judgment before God. Most of mankind, therefore, will indeed be astonished in the sense that they have will have been shown in the afterlife Who He is; and since they had not believed in Who He was when they were still alive; then having discovered Who He was at judgment would be astonishing to them. And appalling would be the consequences to them since they had not believed in Him during their mortal lifetimes.

Among the peoples and kings of the world, He was not to be well remembered because He would have neither worldwide worldly fame nor worldly glory. His life would be a humble one - His mission was a spiritual one which required His physical execution in order to physically and spiritually die for the sins of all mankind throughout the world. At the time of the completion of His mission, His physical appearance as a result of fulfilling His mission was described as so disfigured as to be beyond that of any man, His form marred beyond human likeness, pointing to being so mistreated as to cause such an extreme appearance. Most who were witnesses of Him, considering His appearance, would not believe in Who He claimed to be, nor what He claimed to be doing.

Note that His devastating appearance reveals the severity of the beating which He would receive prior to His work of redemption for the sins of mankind, i.e., His crucifixion (cf. Matt. 27:27-31; Mark 15:15-20; John 19:1f).]

(Isa 52:15 YLT) So [does] he sprinkle many nations. Concerning him kings shut their mouth, For that which was not recounted to them they have seen, And that which they had not heard they have understood!

[Isa 52:15 continues the context of the peoples and kings of the world at judgment. The word rendered "sprinkle" in the phrase "So shall He sprinkle many nations" refers to the cleansing of sins, (Lev 4:6; 8:11: 14:7, Ez 36:25-30) of "many nations," (Isa 52:15) i.e., all the nations of the world - not just Israel, as some contend. So most of the peoples of the world - kings included - will be silenced because of what had not been recounted to them evidently in their mortal lives, for now they see Him - Who He is - for themselves - in the afterlife at judgment. And now what they had not heard about Him, they now understand. For He was considered by the world as of no import. But now - too late - they consider the truth of the matter that He had cleansed all the peoples of the world of their sins. which they had not accepted for themselves in their mortal lives.

So the kings and the peoples of the world throughout history when they see Him exalted at the right hand of God evidently in the afterlife at judgment will have their mouths collectively shut - so astonished they would be at their miscalculation of Who the Arm of the LORD is and what He had done for them - too late, evidently in the afterlife. This is not to say that any individual who might have chosen in his mortal lifetime to believe in Servant to provide salvation would not have been told Who He was during his mortal lifeime so that he would know and believe. But the vast majority of people throughout history would be irretrievably entrenched in their own religious systems and would not be so disposed to believe in God's plan of salvation through His Servant whether told or not]

(Isa 53:1 NKJV) Who has believed our report? And to whom has the Arm of the LORD been revealed?

[Notice that the question, "Who has believed our report [- our message]" implies that few individuals, Jew or Gentile would believe in it - the one essential response to benefit from the Servant's atonement of mankind's sins; and few would believe in it. The word rendered "our" evidently refers to the few Jews who were given this message to spread to the world; for it originated with the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets as evidenced by the content and time of their accounts in Scripture.

It was emphasized in Isa 52:14-15 that there would be nothing about the servant's appearance or what He does that will attract the attention of the people of the world to believe in Him. And the message of Isaiah chapter 52 continues in chapter 53 relative to the Servant of God making provision for the cleansing of the sins of all mankind and of being raised up and exalted by the LORD. Each individual who chooses to "consider," (Isa 52:13-15), in the sense of to believe in the Servant of the LORD for a personal atonement for ones sins will receive forgiveness of all ones sins unto eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God.

As the passage continues, it is clear that it is especially to His own people, Israel, to whom the Arm of the LORD will be revealed. In consideration of the question, "Who has believed our message," author Isaiah asks another question: "And to whom has the Arm of the LORD been revealed?" which repeats the point that only a few will receive this revelation and believe in it. The rest of humanity will not be disposed to consider the message of salvation through the Servant of the LORD]

(Isa 53:2 NASB) For He [grows] up before Him [the LORD], like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

[Isa 52:14 previously stipulated that the appearance of the "Arm of the LORD" would be disfigured beyond any man, that His form would be marred beyond human likeness, implying some kind of physical violence done to Him - evidently as part of His suffering for the iniquities of all mankind, (ref. Isa 53:5-6).

Isa 53:2 stipulates that He would grow up before Him [the LORD] as a tender plant, i.e., coming from the line of David, (cf. Isa 11:1, 10); and as a root out of dry ground, implying one who would not amount to much in the world relative to worldly power and wealth; that is until He completes His mission of providing atonement for the sins of all mankind - the Salvation of God. Then there will be exaltation and glory for Him, (Ref. Isa 52:12-13). It further describes Him as having no form, nor comeliness, i.e., He would not have the stereotype of a royal person or majesty, nor beauty that one should desire Him - again having in view one who would not be especially sought after, or viewed as amounting to much in a worldly sense.

There was nothing in His appearance, nor mighty worldly deeds, such as military feats, nor rulership of great kingdoms / empires nor accumulation of great wealth that would attract great numbers of people of the world to believe in and follow him.

(Isa 53:3 NASB) He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like One from Whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

[And Isa 53:3 declares that He would be "despised and rejected by men. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." People who were there as onlookers would not look upon Him as if they were hiding their faces from Him - especially those who had rejected Him with great animosity. He was despised, people did not esteem Him - in the sense that Who He was was vehemently rejected and despised by those of His time - mostly Jews. His actual physical suffering for their iniquities is evidently in view, described as "sorrows," and "pains", or "sickness," (ref. Isa 53:5-6) - when people would virtually turn to face the other way rather than to gaze upon Him as He suffered so.

(Isa 53:4 NIV) Surely He [has taken up] our pain and bore our suffering, yet we [have] considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.

[Isa 53:4 concludes "Surely he [has taken up] our pain and [has borne] our suffering, yet we [have] considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted" in the sense that people mistakenly had considered that He was not taking up their sins but being punished for His own transgressions. The writer concludes that His suffering was not for any sins of His own, but for "our," i.e., mankind's sins, (ref Isa 52:13-15), described here as taking up "our" pain and bearing "our suffering." This evidently referred to the eternal pain and suffering individuals who have trusted in Him would have been subjected to had the Servant not taken it upon Himself to suffer that eternal pain for all mankind]

(Isa 53:5 NASB) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The [chastisement] for our [peace = "absence of conflict and strife."] [falls] upon Him, And by His scourging [stripes] we are healed.

[But instead of paying for His own sins, Isa 53:5 further explains that the Servant paid the price not for His own sins, (of which He had none, (ref. Isa 53:9b), "But He was pierced through for our transgressions [evidently a literal / physical reference to being nailed to the cross, (Jn 19:18), and pierced with a Roman spear, (Jn 19:34)] He was crushed [in the sense of physically and spiritually destroyed unto death - for our iniquities] The [chastisement] for our peace [= "absence of conflict and strife."] [falls] upon Him, And by His scourging [i.e., stripes] we are healed"

The phrase rendered "The [chastisement] for our [peace = "absence of conflict and strife."] [falls] upon Him," implies that the Servant of the LORD took it upon Himself the chastisement - the punishment - for mankind's sins which sins caused the conflict mankind had with God - so that mankind might no longer be in conflict with God, but at peace with Him, (those relatively few of mankind who would choose to trust alone in the atonement work of the Servant alone, (ref. Isa 53:1).

The phrase rendered, "And by His scourging, [i.e., stripes] we are healed," indicates that He would be severely whipped - scourged - as part of the punishment He would suffer for the sins of mankind, (1 Pet 2:24).

The phrase rendered "we are healed" has in view being healed of ones iniquities, i.e., ones sins; i.e., of being spiritually healed; and not healed physically as some contend. For physical healing has not been a part of the context of this passage; and believers even faithful ones still suffer physically while in their mortal bodies.

Notice a singular, masculine individual human being is in view Who was pierced and crushed not only for the "people" of Israel but for "many nations," i.e., all mankind, (ref. Isa 52:15). Hence all of mankind's transgressions are in view]

(Isa 53:6 NKJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity [the sum of a collection of sins, i.e., all kinds of and the sum total of the sins of all mankind] of us all.

[All mankind is contaminated with sin - born in sin with sin natures who commit acts of sin all the time. And like sheep we all follow one another into sin. Furthermore, verses 5 & 6 stipulate that the Servant was crushed for all of mankind's iniquities, i.e., for all sins committed both conscious and unaware, past, present and future for all time]

(Isa 53:7 NASB) He [has been] oppressed and He is afflicted, Yet He [does not] open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He [does not] open His mouth.

[He was oppressed - persecuted in the sense of one who is innocent yet persistently attacked as if guilty. And He was afflicted - tortured. And through this, the Arm = the Strength and Representative of God submitted to the sacrifice of Himself willingly as a sheep led to the slaughter - in silence, without complaint. He was sacrificed for the sins of the whole world so as to bring to mankind - Jew and Gentile alike - the availability of eternal and temporal peace and spiritual healing = eternal forgiveness of their sins - all through believing in this availability through His sacrifice, (v. 1)]

(Isa 53:8 ASV) By oppression and judgment he [has been] taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of My people to whom the [blow] was due?

The Servant would be unjustifiably oppressed - unlawfully arrested, bound and taken away as a prisoner. He would be judged and sentenced to die, not because of any sins of His own, (for He was without sin, (ref. Isa 53:9, 11); but for the sins of His generation, and for all mankind, (cf. Isa 52:15), to whom such a punishment He received, was due.

The phrase rendered "And as for His generation who among them considered that He was cut of out of the land of the living for the transgressions of My people to whom the [blow] was due?" implies an answer of only a few if any at all of those who would be living at the time would consider the Servant's death significant toward providing payment for the sins of all mankind]

(Isa 53:9 ASV) And they [have] made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

[The Arm of God was evidently an individual Man; a Descendant of Israel, (cf. Isa 9:6-7 ); without violence, lies or sin: "He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth." (Isa 53:9d; cf. Isa 53:11: "The Righteous One"). He was oppressed, taken prisoner, illegally tried, judged nevertheless and declared guilty although innocent, and executed as if wicked. He was to be buried in a mass grave assigned for the "wicked" - for those who are guilty of a capital offense. But He would be buried instead in a grave which was assigned to someone who was rich, (Mt 27:57-61)]

(Isa 53:10 NKJV) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, [referring to being raised from the dead] And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

[It pleased God to "bruise" Him and cause Him to suffer physical and spiritual death in the sense of accomplishing His purpose through Him of restoring mankind to Himself via an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. This "offering for sin," where the word for "guilt or sin offering" is AsAm, is used in Lev 5:15; 6:5; 19:21 and elsewhere as an offering to atone for sin. Thereafter God "shall see His Seed, He shall prolong His days," referring to His being raised from the dead to everlasting life. And the LORD shall take pleasure in prospering Him - in exalting Him forever, (ref. Isa 52:13) - all this by His Almighty power]

(Isa 53:11 NASB) As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by [(the) knowledge of Him] the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.

[The Hebrew phrase transliterated "beda'attô" = literally means, "with His knowledge,"or "by [the] knowledge of Him;" for the pronominal suffix of the Hebrew noun rendered "knowledge," may be rendered subjectively "by His knowledge," or objectively "by knowledge of Him," (ref. Young, "Book of Isaiah," in loc.). According to the Masoretic markings, the phrase links to the words which follow it and is best rendered "by [the] knowledge of Him" as opposed to "by His knowledge," because this alternative rendering best suits the context:

Since the context of this passage, (Isa 52:10-53:12) has One Who would provide Himself as a subsitutionary atonement, i.e., a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind by bearing all their iniquities, as the last phrase in the verse stipulates, (Isa 53:11c); so that a Savior, not a Teacher, would justify those of mankind who have a knowledge of Him doing this for them, in the sense of those who believe in Him for it, (cf. Isa 52:15 and 53:1);

and since the context of this passage does not have an individual in view Who by His knowledge - solely by means of what He knows would on that basis alone justify the many - without any participation on the part of mankind such as requiring their expression of acceptance of His atonement for them, i.e., via a moment of faith -

and since this second rendering of providing justification without the consent of the individual would violate the perfect justice of God;

then the correct rendering for the phrase in question would be that one is justified by the knowledge of Him, i.e., by a moment of faith alone in Who He is and what He did - that He bore ones iniquities.

Note that the Servant of God was stipulated as "the Righteous One" implying sinlessness - an absolutely necessary personal attribute in order to qualify to be an atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Notice again that a singular, masculine individual human being is in view Who was wounded not only for the "people" of Israel but for "many nations," i.e., all mankind, (ref. Isa 52:15). Hence all of mankind's transgressions are in view. Furthermore, verses 5 & 6 and 10 & 11 stipulate that He was pierced for all of mankind's iniquities, i.e., for all sins committed both conscious and unaware, past, present and future for all time]. Consider v. 11, the core of the gospel upon which all of the gospel passages in the bible are based: By the knowledge of Him, i.e., by the faith in the righteous Servant of God bearing their iniquities, an individual will be justified, i.e., declared to have the eternal righteousness of God unto [for] eternal life.

So here in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is contained the gospel of eternal life. Israelites especially would know the content of Isaiah 53. If any individual understood and accepted the gospel as presented in Isaiah chapter 53 as true they would be justified unto an eternal righteouness of God unto [for] eternal life]

(Isa 53:12 NKJV) Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He [has] poured out His soul unto death, And He [has been] numbered with the transgressors, And He [has borne] the sin of many, And [has] made intercession for the transgressors."

[Isa 53:12 begins with "Therefore" signifying that when the servant has willingly followed and completed His plan to provide an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind as stipulated in the second half of this verse, as follows: "Because He [has] poured out His soul unto death, And He [has been] numbered with the transgressors, And He [has borne] the sin of many, And [has] made intercession for the transgressors, Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong." So the Servant of the LORD will receive an inheritance of the dominion of the earth which will evidently be restored to humanity with the Servant of the LORD as Sovereign Ruler, (ref. Isa 9:6-7 ).

Notice that there is no restriction as to the number or kind of sins borne by the Arm of the LORD, as some contend. All the sins of all of mankind are in view - past, present and future, (Ref Isa 52:15). Because of the victory of the Seed of the woman over sin, every individual human being would have the opportunity to be eternally reconciled with God via a moment of faith alone in the sacrificial work of the Seed relative to sin. ..

3) [Compare Isa 11:1-5]:

(v. 1) "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

(v. 2) The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--

(v. 3) and He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes, or decide by what He hears with His ears;

(v. 4) but with righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth; with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

(v. 5) Righteousness will be His belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist."

Notice that a descendant of Jesse, David's father, is through the line of David. Hence this Man Who is God will be a descendant of David Who will rule the earth.

IV) Ro 1:4]:

(v. 4) "and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE HUMANITY OF GOD'S SON

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- (v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." =

The gospel of God is accomplished through the Spirit of holiness, i.e., God the Holy Spirit through the Humanity of the Son of God. The phrase "as to His human nature focuses on the Humanity of the Son of God through Whom the gospel of God, the provision of salvation for all mankind, was accomplished through the Spirit of holiness, i.e., the Holy Spirit.

B) THE GOSPEL OF GOD WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE HUMANITY OF GOD'S SON BY HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD

"And Who [His Son] through the Spirit... was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead" =

Furthermore, the gospel of God was accomplished through the Humanity of God's Son Who, through God the Holy Spirit, was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.

So the gospel of God is made evident through the declaration of THE Son of God to mankind which was made to the world via the resurrection from the dead of the Son of God in His Humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit.

C) THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS THE GOOD NEWS THAT THROUGH A MOMENT OF TRUSTING IN GOD'S SON ONE RECEIVES ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." =

The good news of God regarding salvation unto eternal life offered to mankind is all about God's one and only Son Who in His Humanity as a descendant of David died and then by the power of the Holy Spirit was resurrected. It is implied that trusting in this information unto eternal life is the gospel of God. Notice the absence of human doing - the gospel has nothing to do with man's efforts. It is all about God's efforts.

D) THE SON OF GOD IS DECLARED TO BE JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD

"And Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." =

Notice that the Son of God is declared to be Jesus Christ our Lord.

V) [Ro 1:5]:

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God -

(v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures

(v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David,

(v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord

(v. 5 NAS) through Whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith [in the gospel, vv. 1 & 2] among all the Gentiles for His name's sake."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) IT IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AND FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE THAT PAUL AND OTHERS RECEIVED GOD'S GRACE

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God - (v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (v. 5) Through Him [Christ, (v. 4)] and for His name's sake we received grace and Apostleship" =

It is through Jesus Christ and for His name's sake, i.e., for the benefit of His Holiness that Paul and others ["we", (v. 5 NAS)] received grace.

B) GRACE IN THIS CONTEXT IS DEFINED AS UNMERITED BLESSING, ENABLEMENT AND OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AS AN APOSTLE

"Through Him [Christ, (v. 4)] and for His name's sake we received grace and Apostleship" =

Grace here in particular is unmerited blessing, enablement and opportunity to be a servant of Christ for His name's sake under the office of Apostle.

C) 'HIS NAME'S SAKE' REFERS TO THE REPUTATION OF JESUS CHRIST WHO IS HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS AND ABSOLUTE JUSTICE

"Through Him [Christ, (v. 4)] and for His name's sake we received grace and Apostleship" =

The phrase "for His name's sake" refers to the reputation of Jesus Christ Who is Holy, i.e., absolutely righteous and of absolute justice.

D) PAUL'S PRIMARY FOCUS IS TO CALL PEOPLE FROM AMONG THE GENTILES TO THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, I.E., A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

"Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles..." =

Notice that Paul's primary focus is "to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience of faith in the gospel", that is to say, to present the gospel of God to all the Gentiles so that those who are called by God might choose to respond to the gospel of God by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and be saved unto eternal life.

E) TO CALL PEOPLE FROM AMONG THE GENTILES TO THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH REFERS TO THE GOSPEL WHICH PAUL IS TO PRESENT TO THE GENTILES SO THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE IN IT. TO OBEY THE GOSPEL IS TO BELIEVE IN IT

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God - (v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (v. 5 NAS) through Whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith [in the gospel, vv. 1 & 2] among all the Gentiles for His name's sake =

(v. 5) "di .hou .....elabomen ....charin kai apostolEn ..eis ...hupakoEn pisteOs

"by Whom we received .grace and apostleship unto obedience .of faith

en ........pasin .tois .ethnesin huper .....tou .onomatos autou"

among .all .....the ..nations ..in behalf of ...name ........His"

Paul's duty is to call people from among the Gentiles to the obedience of faith in the gospel, i.e., to call people from among the Gentiles to obey what the gospel of Christ commands of one: to believe in it.

Just as obedience to the command to not covet in the Ten Commandments is obeyed in the mind, so obedience to the gospel is obeyed in the mind by believing in it, that Christ died for ones sins - no further response required. Notice that a moment of faith alone in Christ alone is in view. Ongoing faith and faithfulness is excluded.

VI) [Ro 1:6]:

(v. 6) "And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATIONS:

A) CALLED = TO BE SUMMONED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE PREVIOUSLY DECREED AND FOREKNOWN BY GOD - IN THIS CONTEXT, TO BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST

(v. 5 NAS) "Through Whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith [in the gospel, vv. 1 & 2] among all the Gentiles for His name's sake. (v. 6) And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ." =

"kletoi" = "called"

The word "called", in this context wherein God does the calling, implies a decree, hence a foreknowlege of God of individuals to belong to Jesus Christ before they were born and before the earth created. This implies that those called of God in accordance with His decress and foreknowledge inevitably chose of their own free will to believe in the Son unto eternal life in order to belong to Jesus Christ. Notice that the phrase "to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience of faith in the gospel" immediately precedes verse 6's "And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ". This implies that one's response to the calling is volitional as is the nature of the response of faith. For that is the nature of believing. Furthermore, it is implied that once one believes unto salvation, one then belongs to Jesus Christ.

B) PAUL ADDRESSES HIS LETTER TO GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED TO BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST AS HE STIPULATED HE BELONGED TO JESUS CHRIST

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God"... (v. 5 NAS) "Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience of faith [in the gospel].(v. 6) "And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ." =

"humis klEtoi (Adj) iEsou ....christou" =

"you ....called ..........of Jesus .Christ" =

Recall verse 1 wherein Paul identifies himself as a slave, i.e., one who belongs to Jesus Christ.

Paul addresses those he writes to in his letter which is to Roman believers who are largely Gentile in population as among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Although all have the opportunity to belong to Jesus Christ as vv. 1-6 implies, God evidently calls only certain ones from the entire population to belong to Jesus Christ. And those that are called choose freely of their own volition to believe in Christ unto salvation and hence God gives them to His Son so that they belong to Him. Those that are called inevitably choose to believe in God's Son of their own volition.

VII) [Ro 1:7]:

(v. 7 NIV) "To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) THE MESSAGE OF THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS REVOLVES MAINLY AROUND A MESSAGE TO GENTILES RELATIVE TO CALLING THEM TO AN OBEDIENCE OF FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, CALLING THEM TO BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST, AND CALLING THEM TO BE SAINTS

(v. 5 NAS) "Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith [in the gospel] (v. 6) And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (v. 7a) To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints..." =

"klEtois" = "called", adjective

Paul's message is first to all directed to people in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints. He earlier described the intended audience of his letter in verse 6 as directed "among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ" bringing one to the conclusion that to be "called to be saints" is closely related to being "called to belong to Jesus Christ". Furthermore, in verse 5 we have a calling of Gentiles in general by Paul and the apostles, of which Rome is generally a Gentile city, a calling "to the obedience of faith [in the gospel]". So we can conclude that Paul's letter to the Romans revolves mainly around a message to Gentiles relative to calling them to an obedience of faith in the gospel, calling them to belong to Jesus Christ, and calling them to be saints.

B) PAUL'S LETTER IS TO ALL IN ROME WHO ARE LOVED BY GOD AND CALLED, I.E., SET APART, TO BE SAINTS

"To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints" =

Paul's letter is addressed to all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.

"loved by God" = evidently refers to a special love of God to all in Rome who are called to be saints, i.e., called to be set apart as believers belonging to Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

"hagios" = Saints, literally "set apart". Verses 5 & 6 refer to calling, i.e., setting apart Gentiles to the obedience of faith in the gospel and calling, i.e., setting them apart to belong to Jesus Christ. Now in verse 7, all in Rome are called, i.e., set apart to be saints - those who are set apart to believe in the gospel and belong to Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

VIII) [Ro 1:8]:

(v. 8) "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL THANKS GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST FOR ALL OF THE SAINTS IN ROME RELATIVE TO THEIR FAITH BEING REPORTED ALL OVER THE WORLD WHICH TESTIFIES TO THE SOVEREIGNTY AND GRACE OF GOD

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." =

The fact that Paul thanks God through Jesus Christ for all of the saints in Rome relative to their faith being reported all over the world testifies to the sovereignty and grace of God in enabling them to come to saving faith and faithfulness and the news of this spreading all over the world.

B) THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVERS IN ROME WAS BEING REPORTED ALL OVER THE CIVILIZED WORLD, I.E., THE ROMAN EMPIRE

"your faith is being reported all over the world." =

This phrase refers to the Roman believers' demonstration of the faith in the gospel of God and the doctrines of the faith in their daily lives.

"World" is an hyperbole here which refers to the area of the world which was currently accessible for believers to spread the gospel, i.e., the area of the Roman Empire, i.e., the civilized world. Other parts of the world were not yet accessible such as the North American and South American continents and would not be in view.

IX) [Ro 1:9-10]:

(v. 9) "God, Whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

(v. 10) in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL EXPRESSES THANKS TO GOD FOR ALL OF THE ROMAN BELIEVERS WHOSE FAITH IS BEING REPORTED ALL OVER THE WORLDWHOM HE DECLARES HE SERVES WITH HIS WHOLE HEART

(v. 8) "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. (v. 9a) God, Whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son =

Paul expresses thanks to his God Whom he declares he serves with his whole heart, i.e., with all of his capacity relative to preaching the gospel of His [God's] Son. He interjects this declaration of his wholehearted service to His God within his expression of his thanks to his God for the faithfulness of the believers in Rome whose faith was being reported all over the world [of the Roman empire]. This worldwide report was evidently a testimony of Paul's commitment to serve God relative to preaching the gospel of God with his whole heart which was evidently successful in being spread throughout the world such that those in Rome have heard it and become faithful believers as a result.

B) PAUL RELATES THAT GOD IS HIS WITNESS THAT HE HAS AT ALL TIMES BEEN PRAYING FOR THE BELIEVERS IN ROME

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, Whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times" =

Paul relates that God is his witness that he has been constantly and at all times remembering to pray for the believers in Rome. This has in view Paul's constant concern for the believers which includes ongoing prayer especially since Paul used the absolutely emphatic phrase "God is my witness".

C) PAUL PRAYS THAT IT IS GOD'S WILL TO COME TO THE BELIEVERS IN ROME

"and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you." =

Paul then prays specifically for it to be God's will that the way be opened for him to come to Rome and minister to the believers there.

X) [Ro 1:11-12]:

(v. 11) "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--

(v. 12) that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL LONGS TO SEE THE BELIEVERS IN ROME TO IMPART SOME SPIRITUAL GIFT TO THEM TO MAKE THEM STRONG IS THE CONTEXT

Paul expresses his longing to see the believers in Rome in order to impart to them some spiritual gift to make them strong.

(v. 11) "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong" =

B) SPECIFIC GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE NOT IN VIEW, RATHER SPIRITUAL GIFTS ONE BELIEVER IMPARTS TO ANOTHER WHILE IN FELLOWSHIP TO MAKE ONE ANOTHER STRONG

Since other passages in Scripture stipulate that imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit is solely the prerogative of the Holy Spirit; and since Paul does not use the plural word "gifts"; and since v. 12 indicates a mutual gifting benefit of Paul's visiting with the Roman believers; then we can conclude that gifts of the Holy Spirit are not in view here. Instead we have in view spiritual type gifts or blessings one believer imparts to another in the spiritual realm via fellowship with one another. Several mutual benefits of fellowship are stipulated here: that which will make you strong and mutual encouragement.

XI) [Ro 1:13]:

(v. 13) "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL PLANNED BUT WAS PREVENTED FROM COMING TO THE ROMAN BELIEVERS - THE PURPOSE TO HAVE A HARVEST OF SALVATION AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH AMONG THEM AS HE DID AMONG THE OTHER GENTILES

"I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now)" =

Paul advised the fellow believers, ("brothers") that he planned many times to come to visit them in Rome but has been prevented from doing so until now. The reason(s) for the prevention is not stipulated. Evidently Paul had not as yet visited Rome, although he planned to many times.

The purpose of Paul's visit was so that he might have a harvest among them like he had among the other Gentiles from other places. Harvest here evidently refers to what Paul harvested with the "other Gentiles" Since Paul's primary mission was to proclaim the gospel of God to Gentiles, (vv. 1, 5), with the stipulated result of obedience of faith in the gospel (v. 5 NAS) and to "belong to Jesus Christ" (v. 6); we can conclude therefore that the word "harvest" in the phrase "I might have a "harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles", means to result in obedience of faith in the gospel and to belong to Jesus Christ. Evidently there were those in the congregations in Rome as well as many outside the congregations who needed to hear so that they might come to the obedience of faith in the gospel and/or come to belong to Christ.

XII) [Ro 1:14]:

"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL IS OBLIGATED TO BOTH GREEKS AND NON-GREEKS, WISE AND FOOLISH ALIKE

"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish." =

Paul declares that he is obligated to both Greeks and non-Greeks, lit. 'Barbarians', [and] the wise and foolish, which covers all humanity, to whom he is obligated to preach the gospel per verses 1, 5 & 6.

B) THE GOSPEL IS APPLICABLE TO ALL MANKIND, NOT TO A LIMITED FEW

"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish." (cont.) =

There is no sense of limitation of population of the whole world here such that the gospel is preachable or applicable only to certain individuals within the groups of Greeks and non-Greeks, (i.e., elect vs non-elect).

The phrase "both to the wise and foolish" sets in stone the universal applicability of the gospel to all mankind. For all men are either wise or foolish.

If there is a limitation such that the gospel is not applicable to the whole world this then begs the question, 'How is Paul to know which individuals the gospel applicable to, so he can preach only to them?

XIII) [Ro 1:15]:

(v. 15) "That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL IS OBLIGATED TO ALL MANKIND AND THUS HE IS EAGER TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THOSE IN ROME AS WELL

(v. 15) "I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. (v. 15) That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome." =

Paul's obligation to preach the gospel to everyone in the whole world motivates him to include those in Rome.

XIV) [Ro 1:16]:

(v. 16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

OBSERVATIONS:

A) PAUL'S UNASHAMED CONFIDENCE AND EAGERNESS TO PREACH THE GOSPEL COMES FROM HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD FOR THE SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE OF EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES - A MOMENT OF FAITH IS IN VIEW

(v. 14) "I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. (v. 15) That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. (v. 16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" =

Paul's unashamed confidence and eagerness to preach the gospel comes from his understanding that the gospel is the power of God for the salvation unto eternal life of everyone who believes - first Paul's message was proclaimed for the Jews and then it was proclaimed by Paul for the Gentiles.

Notice that it is by the power of God through Whom anyone can receive salvation unto eternal life. In the absence of qualifiers like the adverb "continuously", the present tense verb "believes" conveys a single present moment of believing producing the result of salvation unto eternal life. Since eternal life is received at the first moment of faith in the gospel, and since eternal life by its very nature is an eternal/everlasting intrinsic part of an individual once received; then it cannot cease to exist in that individual if that individual waivers or ceases to believe in the gospel. Hence to demand a continuous belief in the gospel in order to continue to have eternal life which has already been received as an everlasting and intrinsic part of one is redundant, unscriptural and illogical.

Evidently the power of God relative to the gospel which is the good news by which one can be saved unto eternal life is released to save any individual unto eternal life at the moment he believes.

B) THE CONTENT OF WHAT ONE IS TO BELIEVE IN ORDER TO BE SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IS TO BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD FROM THE DEAD WHICH BY IMPLICATION PROVIDES THE ONE WHO BELIEVES WITH PAYMENT FOR ONES SINS AND SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- (v. 2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." (v. 16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." =

The gospel is called the "gospel of God", (v. 1), which is declared to have been "promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures', (v. 2), which is "regarding God's Son Who as to His human nature" (v. 3), and through the Holy Spirit He "was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ our Lord.", (v. 4), which power of God provides "salvation of everyone who believes," (v. 16).

Paul's focus from the beginning of this letter has been the content and proclamation of the gospel of eternal life. The gospel, it is implied, is the content of what one is to believe in order to be saved unto eternal life which is to believe in the resurrection from the dead of the Son of God. This by implication provides the one who does believe in it with eternal life through the power of God. In some manner, then, we can conclude from this that the Son of God, as a descendant of David, (v. 3), in human form has covered the sins of everyone who has ever lived via His death. His resurrection from the dead supports this implication and through a moment of belief in this fact does the power of God operate such that one who believes receives eternal life.

[BKC, NT, cont., p. 441]:

"Paul's eagerness to evangelize sprang also from his estimate of his message, the gospel. (This is the fourth of five times Paul used the word 'gospel' in these opening verses: vv. 1, 9, 15-17.) Many consider this the theme of the letter, which it is in one sense. At least Paul gladly proclaimed it as God's panacea for mankind's spiritual need. He identified it as the infinite resources (dynamis, 'spiritual ability') of God applied toward the goal of salvation in the life of everyone who believes regardless of racial background."

C) THE GOSPEL IS TO BE PRESENTED FIRST TO THE JEW, THEN BUT NOT TO THE EXCLUSION OF GENTILES

(v. 16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believesfirst for the Jew, then for the Gentile" =

The gospel was and is to be presented to and through Jewish individuals as a first priority then but never to the exclusion of Gentiles. This is not to say that one is to ignore or avoid opportunities to present the gospel to Gentiles out of deference to Jews being present or not present. In most societies it is hard to readily discern who is a Jew and who is not anyway. On the other hand, historically speaking, God provided His chosen people, the Jews out of the mass of Gentiles with special and unique revelation especially through the prophets and the Law both of which provided the gospel to the world primarily through and to the Jews. The gospel has always been available to all mankind beginning with Adam and Eve but not in these two special ways: via the prophets and the Law. The early church was of nearly all if not all of Jewish origin. The focus was to spread the gospel within and through Israel to the world. The general revelation of God continues, but this special revelation through the Jews focused all humanity on God's use of His chosen people to spread the gospel to all the world.

[Everett F. Harrison, The Expositors Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol 10, Zondervan Pub., Grand Rapids, Mich. 1976, p. 19]:

"The Jew receives 'first' consideration. This does not mean that every Jew must be evangelized before the gospel can be presented to Gentiles. But it does mean that God, after having dealt in a special way with the Jew in OT days and having followed this by sending His Son to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, could not pass by this people. To them was given the first opportunity to receive the Lord Jesus, both during His ministry (John 1:11) and in the Christian era (Acts 1:8; 3:26). Paul himself followed this pattern (Acts 13:45, 46; 28:25, 28). It is a case of historical priority, not essential priority, for the Jew who is first to hear the gospel is also the first to be judged for his sins (2:9)."

[Newell, p. 21]:

"To the Jew first and also to the Greek - The Jew had the Law. They had the temple, with its divinely prescribed worship. Heretofore, if a Gentile were to be saved, let him become a proselyte and come to Jerusalem to worship as did the Ethiopian eunuch. Christ came 'to His own things' (John 1:11), to Jerusalem, to His Father's house (literally 'the things of My Father'). The apostles were to be witness - beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). The Holy Spirit fell upon the hundred and twenty at Jerusalem. Upon the persecution that arose in Jerusalem from Stephen, the disciples 'were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles,' but Jerusalem was the gospel's first center, then Antioch in Syria, whence Paul and Barnabas, afterwards Paul and Silas, went forth. Afterwards, the center of God's operations was Ephesus, the capital of proconsular Asia, where after being rejected by the Jews in many cities, Paul separates the disciples, and all distinction between Jew and Greek in the assemblies of the saints is gone. Then he goes to Jerusalem to be finally and officially rejected - killed, if it were possible. God waits two years at Caesarea for Jewish repentance: there is none, but the direct opposite. Then the apostle, having been driven into the hands of the Romans by the Jews goes to Rome, the world's center, only to have the Jews reject his teaching (Acts 28). Thereupon it is announced: 'Be it known therefore unto you, that this salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles: they will also hear.'

Therefore, in expressing to the Jew first, Paul is not at all prescribing an order of presentation of the gospel throughout this dispensation. He is simply recognizing the fact that to the Jew, who had the Law and Divine privileges, the gospel offer had first been presented, and then to the Gentile. As Paul says in Ephesians 'And He came and preached peace to you that were far of [the Gentile], and peace to them that were nigh [the Jews]' (Eph 2:17). We might just as sensibly claim that Ephesians 2:17 gives Gentiles priority because they are mentioned first - 'you that were afar' over the Jews who were mentioned last, - 'them that were night.'

To claim that the gospel must be preached first to the Jew throughout this dispensation, is utterly to deny God's Word that there is now no distinction between Jew and Greek either as to the fact of sin (Rom 3:22) or the availability of salvation (Rom 10:12). Paul's words in Galatians 4:12 are wholly meaningless if the Jews still have a special place.

The meaning of the word 'first' (prOton) is seen in verse 8 of our chapter: 'First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all.' That is, thanksgiving to God was the first thing Paul wrote to the Romans in this Epistle. Then he proceeds to other things. It is an order of sequence; just as the gospel came 'first' to the Jew and then to the Greek, and now, since the 'no difference' fact, is proclaimed to all indiscriminately, Jews and Greeks."

XV) [Ro 1:17]:

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' "

A) A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS REVEALED AS IMPUTED TO ONE WHO BELIEVES (A MOMENT OF FAITH) IN THE GOSPEL AND RECEIVES SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' " =

Notice that the gospel stipulates that everyone who believes receives salvation unto eternal life, (v. 16), wherein a perfect righteousness from God, not based on anything man does is revealed. Such a righteousness being from God is necessarily a perfect righteousness, completely without sin which evidently is imputed to the one who believes and receives salvation. A moment of faith alone in the gospel, (Jesus Christ), is in view. Continuous faith and faithfulness is not.

B) THE ONE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH IS THE ONE WHO WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE AND WILL LIVE OUT HIS TEMPORAL LIFE IN A RIGHTEOUS MANNER AS HE LIVES BY THAT SAME FAITH

(v. 16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 17 YLT) For the righteousness of God in it is revealed from faith to faith, according as it [has] been written, 'And the righteous one by faith shall live,' " =

1) [Compare Hab 2:4]:

(Hab 2:4 NASB) "Behold, as for the proud one, (v. 6), His soul is not right within him; [Hebrew and Septuagint Greek word order]: But a righteous man by his faith will live."

The proud one [the one who is self-righteous, the Babylonian, (vv. 6-20)] his soul within him is not right - not righteous - with God. But the righteous soul - the one declared righteous before God through faith in God will live out his temporal life, the years appointed to him and forever in eternity, not so the self-righteous one.

This verse is best rendered from the word order of the Hebrew text wherein a man is not righteous before the exercise of his faith, he becomes righteous by the exercise of his faith in God's promise of eternal life through a coming Messiah / Savior by which faith he will live in the sense of have eternal life; and he will live out his temporal life in a righteous manner as he lives it by that same faith.

And by quoting the Old Testament in Ro 1:17, Paul showed that even during the dispensation of Law, legal obedience was not the basis for a justified standing before God because, as the Prophet Habakkuk wrote, "The righteous by faith will live," (Hab 2:4).

2) [Ro 1:17b Greek Interlinear]:

"Ho dE ...dikaios .............Ek pistEOs zesEtai"

"The but righteous [one] .by faith .....will live"

Note that most versions have "the righteous [one] / the just shall live by faith" [NASB, NKJV, HCSB, ASB, KJV, NIV]. Only a few like the YLT follows the correct word order:

3) [Compare Ro 1:17]:

(Ro 1:17 YLT) "For the righteousness of God in it is revealed from faith to faith, according as it [has] been written, 'And the righteous one by faith shall live,' " [Hab 2:4]

When the improper word order for Hab 2:4 / Ro 1:17 / Gal 3:11 is read as it appears in most versions, it could easily be misconstrued to mean that those that are righteous before God are those who live by being faithful to law, despite the fact that the context of the verses which precede and follow indicates that man cannot faithfully keep the Law or any law and will remain accursed if he tries to be righteous by any kind of human doing.

XVI) [Ro 1:18]:

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness"

A) THE PHRASE "IS REVEALED" IN V. 18 HAS IN VIEW MAKING THE WRATH OF GOD FROM HEAVEN OBSERVABLE BY MANKIND IN TEMPORAL TIME. THIS CORROBORATES THE INTERPRETATION OF THE SAME PHRASE "IS REVEALED" IN V. 17 WHICH REFERS TO MAKING A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD EVIDENT TO MANKIND SO AS TO BE OBSERVABLE IN A BELIEVER BY MEN IN TEMPORAL TIME WHEN THAT BELIEVER IS FAITHFUL TO HIS BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

The phrase "is revealed" in v. 18 has in view making the wrath of God observable by mankind in temporal time. This corroborates the interpretation of the same phrase "is revealed" in v. 17 which refers to making a righteousness from God evident to mankind so as to be observable in a believer by men in temporal time when that believer is faithful to his belief in the gospel.

B) GODLESSNESS = THAT WHICH IS REBELLIOUS TOWARD GOD, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, HOLINESS & SOVEREIGNTY - NOT WORSHIPPING HIM, UNBELIEF

WICKEDNESS = THAT WHICH IS SINFUL, EVIL - MORE SPECIFICALLY IN THIS VERSE, THAT EVIL WHICH SUPPRESSES THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD: THAT HE EXISTS, IS RIGHTEOUS AND SOVEREIGN, AND REQUIRES MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS. IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Godlessness is defined as anything that is rebellious against God, His righteousness, His holiness, His sovereignty, sinful behavior, not worshipping Him - unbelief. Wickedness is defined as that which is sinful, evil - more specifically in this verse: that evil which suppresses the truth about God: that He exists, is righteous, sovereign and requires man to be righteous. Hence the passage is addressing the lifestyle of immoral unbelievers, behavior which does not express worship or acceptance of God.

C) IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS WHO NEITHER WORSHIP NOR ACKNOWLEDGE GOD ARE IN VIEW, WHO BY THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS SUPPRESS THE TRUTH THAT GOD EXISTS, IS SOVEREIGN, RIGHTEOUS AND EXPECTS MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness =

Immoral unbelievers who neither worship nor acknowledge God are in view, who by their godlessness and wickedness suppress the truth that God exists, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous.

Suppress = to keep from public knowledge; to exclude from consciousness; to inhibit growth or development of.

The phrase "suppress the truth by their wickedness" refers to keeping from public knowledge and ones consciousness by virtue of being wicked, the truth about God, that He exists, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous. Since wickedness is defined as behavior which is evil and thus against the sovereignty of God, more specifically in this verse: evil which suppresses the truth about God that He exists, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous, then the phrase "suppress the truth by their wickedness" describes an activity which does not worship God nor acknowledge that He exists, i.e., immoral unbelievers.

D) JUST AS AN ABSOLUTELY PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS IMPUTED TO INDIVIDUALS WHEN THEY BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL AND IS REVEALED TO MANKIND AS PRESENT WITHIN THOSE INDIVIDUALS FOR THOSE MOMENTS WHEN THEY ARE FAITHFUL TO THEIR BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL; SO THE TEMPORAL WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MANKIND FROM HEAVEN IN SOME MANNER AGAINST ALL THE GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS OF MEN WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD BY THEIR WICKEDNESS

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Just as an absolutely perfect righteousness from God is imputed to individuals when they believe in the gospel and is revealed to mankind as present within those individuals for those moments when they are faithful to their belief in the gospel; so the temporal wrath of God is revealed to mankind from heaven in some manner against all the godlessness and wickedness of men - unbelievers who suppress the truth by their wickedness. Hence we have a contrast of God revealing a righteousness from Himself vs. revealing His wrath from heaven: a temporal contrast.

So God reveals both His righteousness and His wrath from moment to moment in temporal time in response to man's behavior.

Whenever individuals persist in being godless and wicked, suppressing the truth about God via wicked behavior which is godless, then God's temporal wrath is revealed, i.e., exercised on the earth toward those individuals in some manner. In view is that group of individuals who are godless, i.e., immoral unbelievers who do not worship God. That this wrath is temporal and the manner of it's being expressed by God is stipulated in the verses which follow.

[Everett F. Harrison, The Expositors Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol 10, Zondervan Pub., Grand Rapids, Mich. 1976, p. 22]:

"At the outset it is important to observe the correlation between righteousness and wrath. Both are represented as being revealed [both are in the present tense]...

Wrath... is viewed here as parallel to the manifestation of righteousness, belonging to the present age. It is 'being revealed.' This means that the unfolding of history involves a disclosure of the wrath of God against sin, seen in the terrible corruption and perversion of human life..."

[BKC, NT, p. 442]:

"1:18. This verse serves as a topic sentence for this entire section. In addition, it stands in contrastive parallel to verse 17. The continuing revelation (the verb is being revealed is in the pres. tense) of the wrath of God is an expression of His personal righteousness (which also 'is being revealed,' Gr., v. 17) and its opposition to human sinfulness. Therefore people need the continuing revelation of 'a righteousness from God" (v. 17 NKJV) that He provides. God's wrath is directed against all godlessness (asebeian, 'lack of proper reverence for God') and wickedness (akikian,'unrighteousness') of men... (God's wrath will also be revealed in the future; cf. 2:5).'

E) THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MEN AGAINST ALL THE GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS FROM HEAVEN, POINTING TO THE FACT THAT GOD IS ACTIVELY RESPONDING TO MAN'S GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS ON THE EARTH FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT FROM HEAVEN

"The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men" =

The wrath of God is stipulated as revealed from heaven, sending the message that God is active from moment to moment responding to the godlessness and wickedness of men on the earth with His temporal wrath.

F) ONE MUST HAVE THE TRUTH PLAINLY SET BEFORE THEM IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO SUPPRESS IT BY THEIR WICKED, GODLESS BEHAVIOR

(v. 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Note that whenever there is godlessness and wickedness wherein truth is suppressed by that wickedness, it is as a result of the suppression of the truth about God, that He exists, is righteous, and that men were created by Him to be godly and righteous. In order for one to suppress these truths, one must have the truth plainly available to one in the first place. Verse 19 corroborates this:

1) [Compare Ro 1:19]:

(v. 19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Failure to give God His due inevitably results in failure to treat people, created by God in His image, the right way. Conversely, people (in their unrighteousness toward others) continue to suppress (katechontOn, lit., 'holding down') the truth (cf. 1:25; 2:8) concerning both God and man. People had God's truth but suppressed it, refusing to heed it. And these wicked ones did this in an attitude of wickedness (en adikia)."

XVII) [Ro 1:19]:

(v. 19 NIV) "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.'''

A) THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD IS PLAIN TO MEN WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD, WHICH KNOWLEDGE DECLARES THAT HE EXISTS, IS THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR, IS RIGHTEOUS AND REQUIRES MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live. (v. 18 NIV) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them." =

The truth, i.e, the knowlege about God, that He exists, is the Sovereign Creator, is righteous and requires man to be righteous, has been made plain to men who suppress the truth about God by their godlessness and wickedness, i.e. such truth is plainly available to those who suppress the truth about God. This is why verse 18 can stipulate that men suppressed the truth by their wickedness, implying that they can plainly see the truth in the first place in order to suppress it. Verse 19 corroborates this by stipulating that this truth has been made plain to man by God.

Notice that God expresses His wrath against all godlessness and wickedness of men implying that He expects all men to be godly and righteous.

B) THE PHRASE "GOD HAS MADE IT PLAIN TO THEM" IMPLIES THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED INFORMATION TO MAN ABOUT HIMSELF IN A MANNER WHICH IS READILY DISCERNIBLE, I.E., NATURAL REVELATION

(v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.''' =

The phrase "God has made it plain to them" implies that God has provided information to man about Himself in a manner which is readily discernible, i.e., natural revelation.

[BKC, NT, p. 442]:

"These verses declare that knowledge concerning God is available to all. This knowledge is called natural revelation because it is seen in the created world, is accessible to the entire human race, and is not soteriological, dealing with salvation effected by Christ...

Paul called this knowledge plain (phaneron), which means visible or clear. This is true because God has made it plain..."

XVIII) [Ro 1:20]:

(v. 20 NIV) "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

A) FOR SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD GOD'S INVISIBLE QUALITIES - HIS ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE - HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD FROM WHAT HAS BEEN MADE, SO THAT ALL MANKIND OF ALL AGES ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE - INCLUDING THOSE WHO DO NOT WORSHIP GOD AT ALL

(v. 19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." =

The particular qualities of God - His eternal power and divine nature are stipulated as invisible yet they are declared here as clearly seen since the creation of the world. That one can clearly see God's invisibile qualities, His eternal power and divine nature through an observation of creation implies that creation testifies clearly to a Creator with a view to His eternal power and divine nature. So something in the qualities of creation sends a clear message to all mankind of all ages, including those that do not worship God at all, that an eternal power was responsible for its existence and that power has a divine nature: God.

The reason and purpose that "what may be known about God is plain as opposed to hidden to mankind even to those who are godless and wicked and suppress the truth about God, even that He exists, is that what has been made, i.e., all that exists including man himself, reflects information about God to the extent that it clearly portrays God's eternal power and divine nature for the purpose to show that all mankind of all ages are without excuse when they suppress the truth of the existence of God and suppress the truth that creation clearly shows his eternal power and divine nature and what may be known about Him.

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18). In view of the context of v. 20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So individuals of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past.

B) GOD'S ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE AND WHAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT HIM HAS BEEN MADE PLAIN AND CAN CLEARLY BE SEEN IN CREATION

(v. 19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." =

What can be known about God is stipulated as being in plain view in creation. Furthermore, it is stipulated that God's eternal power and divine nature can clearly be seen in what has been made. This implies that the eternal power of God motivated by His divine nature, His holiness and His absolute righteousness created all things. The power it takes to create and maintain creation and its very nature reflects the eternal power and nature of God, Who only could have created and maintains such a creation. Evidently there is a magnificence in creation - a complexity, divine order and purpose which could only be from and clearly point to God and Who He is. This cannot be denied and when the truth of it is suppressed it is evident that those men that do that are godless, wicked and without excuse.

XIX) [Ro 1:21-23]:

(v. 21 NIV) "For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

(v. 22 NIV) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

(v. 23 NIV) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

A) IF ONE SUPPRESSES THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD BY WICKEDNESS WHICH INCLUDES NEITHER GLORIFYING GOD NOR GIVING THANKS TO HIM, ONE DETERIORATES INTO FUTILE THINKING WHEREIN ONES FOOLISH HEART (MIND) BECOMES DARKENED (EVIL) - IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" =

When ones lifestyle becomes wicked and godless, one suppresses the truth of the evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power, divine nature and righteousness; whereupon one becomes futile in ones thinking and ones foolish heart, (mind), becomes darkened (evil). Immoral unbelievers are in view. Futile thinking is defined as that kind of thinking that is without useful result, trifling and frivolous. Evidently when truth about God is rejected, over time ones thinking becomes futile, i.e., unable to be effective in recognizing and receiving what is true so that ones life can be righteous and effective.

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18). In view of the context of vv. 18-20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So individuals who are immoral unbelievers, of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past.

So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness from man that He commands, (vv. 20-21), do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior which is contrary to the righteous behavior God commands of all mankind. They are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth about God, (v. 18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (= thinking, minds), become darkened, (v. 21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they became fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22).

B) THE WICKED, UNGODLY BEHAVIOR OF IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS SUPPRESSES TRUTH ABOUT AND EXCHANGES THE GLORY OF THE IMMORTAL GOD - HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE - FOR IMAGES MADE TO LOOK LIKE MORTAL MAN, BIRDS, ANIMALS AND REPTILES

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." =

It is implied that "the glory of the immortal God", (v. 23), is expressed in "God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature" which reflects His righteousnes which is embodied in the gospel implying that this is God's standard for mankind to keep. The wicked, ungodly behavior of immoral unbelievers supresses truth about and exchanges the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, birds, animals and reptiles. So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17, 20-21), do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior. As immoral unbelievers they are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth, (v. 18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (= minds), become darkened, (v. 21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they become fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22). In effect these godless, wicked immoral unbelievers have "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, (v. 25).

These wicked individuals exchange the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles - even today!

[BKC, p. 443]:

"When the true Source of wisdom is rejected... people's claim to be wise is an idle boast. Progressively they became fools (emOranthEsan, lit., 'became stupid'), a reality demonstrated by the worship as gods of idols in the forms of people and animals ... The ultimate irony in humanity's refusal to glorify the true God is the insanity or stupidity of idolatry... Man's refusal to acknowledge and glorify God leads to a downward path: first, worthless thinking; next, moral insensitivity; and then, religious stupidity (seen in idol-worship).

In a real sense the results of God's condemnation on rebellious humanity are nothing more than the natural consequences of suppressing truth, ignoring revelation, and perverting God's glory. However, God did more than simply let nature take its course. God acted to abandon (the thrice-mentioned 'gave them over' [vv. 24, 26, 28] is paredOken, 'abandoned') people to expressions of a corrupt lifestyle that deserved God's wrath and the sentence of death (v. 32)."

XX) [Ro 1:24]:

(v. 24) "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another."

A) SEXUAL IMPURITY IS AN EXPECTED OUTGROWTH OF GODLESS AND WICKED BEHAVIOR WHEREIN GOD GIVES THE IMMORAL UNBELIEVER OVER TO SUCH DESIRES IMPLYING TEMPORAL SELF-DESTRUCTION. THIS IS ONE WAY IN WHICH THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MEN THRU OBSERVING THE UNRESTRAINED LIFESTYLE OF IMMORAL BELIEVERS

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened... (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (v. 24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." =

The word "Therefore" which begins verse 24 concludes for the reader what was begun in verse 18 which has in view God's wrath being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of all mankind of all ages, especially immoral unbelievers:

The godless and wicked behavior of all mankind, especially immoral unbelievers suppresses the truth about God leading to futile thinking, a darkened heart, (mind), and the exchange of the glory of the immortal God for images of idols; whereupon God gives them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies, one with another. Hence sexual impurity is a potential outgrowth of godless and wicked behavior and God will give the godless, wicked individual over to such sinful desires implying temporal self-destruction.

The wrath of God is thus revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who are immoral unbelievers who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18), in one way, as stipulated in v. 24, via God's giving such men over in the sinful desires for the degrading of their bodies with one another to their temporal self-destruction, (v. 24).

[BKC, p. 443]:

"One aspect of mankind's corruption (to which God actively let people go) was sexual profligacy. The frequency of live-in lovers, wife-swapping, and group sex parties today only confirms this result of God's abandonment. Sex within marriage is a holy gift from God, but otherwise sex is impurity (lit., 'uncleanness') and the degrading of ... bodies by using them contrary to God's intent."

B) GOD ACTS AS A RESTRAINER OF THE SINFUL DESIRES WITHIN MAN

(Ro 1:24) "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." =

Notice the phrase "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts" implies that God acts as a restrainer of the sinful desires within man. On the other hand He ceases to restrain sinful desires in those who lead godless and wicked lifestyles, i.e., immoral unbelievers.

XXI) [Ro 1:25]:

(v. 25) "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen."

A) TO KNOW GOD WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS MADE PLAIN TO ALL MEN, YET BE GODLESS AND WICKED IS TO SUPPRESS THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT GOD, TO BECOME FUTILE AND FOOLISH IN ONES THINKING UNTO A DARKENED MIND, AND TO EXCHANGE THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE AND WORSHIP AND SERVE CREATED THINGS RATHER THAN THE CREATOR

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen." =

So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17, 20-21), i.e, immoral unbelievers do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior. They are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth, (v. 18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (minds = mentality which are already stipulated as foolish), become darkened, (v. 21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they become fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22). In effect these godless, wicked unbelievers have "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator", (v. 25).

B) REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT MEN WORSHIP GOD, HE IS DECLARED AS BEING FOREVER PRAISED

(v. 20) "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse... (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen." =

Notice that regardless of whether or not men worship God, He is declared as being forever praised. Verse 20 indicates that all creation clearly shows God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature. In this regard all Creation praises God - even mankind who is wonderfully made. Paul's "Amen" at the end of verse 25 makes this emphatic.

XXII) [Ro 1:26-27]:

(v. 26) "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

(v. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

A) FOR MEN TO KNOW GOD WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS MADE PLAIN TO ALL MEN, YET BE GODLESS AND WICKED IS TO SUPPRESS THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT GOD, TO BECOME A FUTILE, IMMORAL UNBELIEVER, FOOLISH IN HIS THINKING UNTO A DARKENED MIND, WHO EXCHANGES THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE AND WORSHIPS AND SERVES CREATED THINGS RATHER THAN THE CREATOR. BECAUSE OF THIS GOD GIVES THE IMMORAL UNBELIEVER OVER AS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS WRATH TO THE UNBELIEVER'S SINFUL DESIRES, EVEN SHAMEFUL HOMOSEXUAL LUSTS

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.. (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen. (v. 26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (v. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." =

To know God which knowledge is made plain to all men, yet be godless and wicked is to suppress the plain truth about God, to become a futile, immoral unbeliever who is foolish in his thinking unto a darkened mind, (v. 21), who exchanges the truth of God for a lie and worships and serves created things rather than the Creator, (v. 25). Because of this God gives the immoral unbeliever over as an expression of His wrath (v. 18), to the sinful desires of the unbeliever's heart, (v. 24), even to the shameful lusts of homosexuality that he himself entertains but was restrained by God, (vv. 26-27)

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18), i.e., immoral unbelievers.

In view of the context of vv. 18-20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So all individuals of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past and no other.

[BKC, p. 443]:

"In a sense this verse (v. 25), repeats the truth of verse 23, but it expresses more. The truth of God is not only the truth concerning all things, including mankind. This truth is that people are creatures of God and can find true fulfillment only in worshiping and obediently serving God the Creator. A lie (lit., 'the lie') on the other hand says that the creature - angelic ... or human.. - can exist independently of God, self-sufficient, self-directing, and self-fulfilling. Mankind made himself his god in place of the true God. Because God the Creator is forever praised (in contrast with creatures who are undeserving of worship), Paul added Amen. This word transilterates in both Greek and English the Hebrew word meaning 'so let it be.' As an affirmation, not a wish, it places approval on what has just been said."

B) HOMOSEXUALITY IS STIPULATED AS A SHAMEFUL, UNNATURAL, INDECENT, PERVERSE LUST THAT BECOMES PREVALENT IN WOMEN AND MEN DUE TO THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS

Notice that same sex sexual relations, i.e., homosexuality is stipulated as a shameful, unnatural, indecent, perverse lust. Men and women are in view. Evidently this shameful, unnatural, indecent, perverse lust is an inherent sinful desire within individuals. At a certain point of their expressing this kind of godlessness and wickedness, God no longer restrains it, but turns them over to it. Thus it is revealed all the more to mankind as evidence of God's wrath.

C) SEXUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN ARE NATURAL, I.E., ORDAINED BY GOD AS HIS NATURAL ORDER. ALL SAME SEX SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS CONDEMNED AS WICKED AND GODLESS

(v. 26) "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (v. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. =

Notice that sexual relations between a man and a woman are stipulated in v. 27 as natural, i.e., ordained by God as His natural order; hence men with men and women with women is unnatural. So all same sex sexual activity is condemned as wicked and godless, including those who claim to be 'born' homosexuals. No one is thus created to be a homosexual, such activity is unnatural, ungodly and wicked.

XXIII) [Ro 1:28-31]:

(v. 28) "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

(v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

(v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

(v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless."

A) THE WORD "FURTHERMORE" IN V. 28 CONTINUES TO PORTRAY THE DOWNSLIDE OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY IN IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS RESULTING FROM NOT THINKING IT WORTHWHILE TO RETAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND GOD'S WRATH TURNING THEM OVER TO THEIR OWN CHOICE OF EVERY INCREASING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SIN LEADING TO PREMATURE PHYSICAL DEATH

SO A DELIBERATELY GODLESS AND WICKED LIFESTYLE PATTERN IS THUS FILLED UP WITH EVERY KIND OF WICKEDNESS, EVIL, GREED AND DEPRAVITY. ONE BECOMES FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT AND MALICE. SUCH INDIVIDUALS ARE GOSSIPS, SLANDERERS, GOD-HATERS, INSOLENT, ARROGANT, BOASTFUL, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, SENSELESS, FAITHLESS, HEARTLESS, RUTHLESS

(v. 28) "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." =

The word "Furthermore" in v. 28 continues to portray the downslide of human depravity in immoral unbelievers resulting from not thinking it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God and God's wrath of turning them over to their choice of ever increasing self-destructive sin leading to premature physical death.

So a deliberately godless and wicked lifestyle pattern is thus filled up with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. One becomes full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. Such individuals are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, disobedient to parents, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Note that the descriptive terms just listed are not just idle words or dramatic expressions to motivate an individual to repent of wickedness and godlessness. The words actually reflect the thoughts, words and deeds of individuals whose lifestyle continually suppresses the truth of God, Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind.

B) GOD IS CONCERNED FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS. HE RESTRAINS SINFUL BEHAVIOR IN THEM FOR THEIR BENEFIT; FOR SIN IS ALWAYS HARMFUL. HE DOES THIS UNTIL THEY REJECT HIS EFFORTS BY THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS, (UNBELIEF AND IMMORALITY)

(v. 28) "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (cont.) =

It is implied in these verses that God restrains sinful behavior in mankind until individuals rebel against God and become godless and wicked, immoral unbelievers, suppressing the truth about God by their wickedness. Then He gives "them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done," which has self-destructive effects on individuals even to the extent of premature physical death. So God is concerned for individuals, and restrains sinful behavior which is harmful to them for their benefit until immoral unbelievers reject His efforts by their godlessness, wickedness and suppression of the truth about God, (unbelief).

XXIV) [Ro 1:32]:

(v. 32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

A) GOD'S ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN AND UNDERSTOOD AND THEREBY MEN KNOW GOD'S RIGHTEOUS DECREE. SO MEN ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE. YET ALL MEN SIN AND DESERVE PREMATURE PHYSICAL AND ETERNAL DEATH

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous by faith will live.' (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse... (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (v. 32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." =

Since salvation unto eternal life by faith apart from human doing is in view, (vv. 16-17) and eternal death is a result of not receiving justification by faith apart from human doing; then the word "death" in v. 32 refers to premature physical death.

Since all mankind in general is in view in v. 20 which sets the context of v. 32, then all men in general are in view in v. 32; hence all men are stipulated as knowing God's righteous decree that all who do such things as listed in vv. 29-31 deserve physical death, i.e., premature physical death, (cf. vv. 17-18) Note that other passages deal with the subject of eternal death being caused by sin.

Notice that all men are stipulated as being provided with the knowledge of God such that all are without excuse, (v. 20). Such knowledge of God includes Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17-32).

B) NOT ONLY DO MEN DO SUCH THINGS AS IN VV. 30-31 WHICH DESERVES PHYSICAL DEATH AS A RESULT OF UNRESTRAINED EVIL, BUT THEY APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH EVIL THINGS, JUSTIFYING THEIR CONDEMNATION ALL THE MORE

(v. 32) "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." =

Not only do immoral unbelievers do such things as in vv. 30-31 which deserves physical death, but they approve of those who practice such evil things, justifying their condemnation all the more.

CORROBORATION STAGE

ROMANS CHAPTER 2