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Romans 1

Introduction or Paul's Greetings:

1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,

Observation:

  1. Who is Paul?
    1a
    Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ,
  2. What for Paul was called to be?
    1b
    called to be an apostle,
  3. Why Paul was separated?
    1c separated to the gospel of God
  4. What God promised before?
    Gospel
  5. How and When God promised the gospel of God?
    2
    which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
  6. What concerns His Son Jesus Christ our Lord?
    Gospel
  7. What the Gospel is all about? or What is the essence of the Gospel?
    3
    concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
  8. Through whom Paul got the apostleship?
    5a Through Him
    we have received grace and apostleship
  9. Why Paul got this apostleship?
    5b for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6
    among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Interpretation:

  1. Who is Paul?
    1a
    Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ,
    • What does bondservant means?
      • The Greek word used here is doulos (δοῦλος/G1401). In general it means slave, servant. But it really means a person voluntarily or willingly become slave/servant to his master.
        • One who gives himself up to another's will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
        • devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests
      • (JC) The word “servant” is doulos, meaning “bondslave.” Exodus 21:2 sheds light on what this means: In Israel, a slave was required to serve only six years before he was set free. If, however, at the end of six years, he said, “I like it here. I want to become a bondslave,” the master would drive a nail through his right earlobe and place an earring in it, signifying he was a doulos, a slave by choice.
      • Exodus 21:2-5- 2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl (awl: a pointed instrument for piercing small holes); and he shall serve him forever.
    • Application: Are you bondservant of Jesus Christ?
      • Paul demonstrated this in submitting his desire to God and just do whatever Jesus says through His Holy Spirit. We have seen this in Paul's Obedience to Jesus Christ Blesses All topic in Romans Introduction.
      • (JC) It’s a wise decision to give yourself fully to the Lord as His bondslave because He takes excellent care of those committed to Him. Their lives are filled with purpose and focus; their hearts with peace and joy.
        • Perhaps you’re saying, “I’m my own man—captain of my destiny, master of my fate. I don’t serve anyone.” But reality says otherwise. Everyone will serve someone. Bob Dylan was right when he sang, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.” And Paul chose to serve the Lord in totality.
        • NLT: Eph 2:2- You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
      • If you submit to our God or become bondservant/bondslave then God will do wonders through you.
        • Prov 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
        • NLT: Phil 2:13 - For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.
        • Phil 1:6- being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
  2. What for Paul was called to be?
    1b
    called to be an apostle,
    • What does apostle means?
      • Apostle means a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders, a special messenger of Jesus Christ.
    • For more details about apostle read from Apostle article.
      • What does apostle means?
      • Who ordain/give this apostleship to believers?
      • Is apostleship is earned by believers? or Is it a gift from Jesus Christ?
      • Application: Why Jesus Christ gives these gifts?
      • What are the responsibilities of an apostle?
      • ...
  3. Why Paul was separated?
    1c separated to the gospel of God
    • What does gospel means?
      • Gospel means good news, good tidings, glad tidings.
      • Greek word euaggelion (εὐαγγέλιον - G2098)
    • When Paul was separated for the Gospel?
      • Jesus separated Paul in Acts 9:15 on his way to Damascus.
        • Acts 9:15 - 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
      • Later in Acts 13:2-5 Jesus in His own timing started Paul's ministry/service through His Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel/Good News.
        • Acts 13:2-5 - 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
  4. What the Gospel/Good News is all about? or What is the essence of the Gospel/Good News?
    3
    concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
    • The essence of the Gospel is our Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ.
    • Gospel/Good News is all about His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
      1. who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
      2. and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
        • Rom 8:11 - But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
    • Jesus Himself claims the same in
      • Rev 22:16 - "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
  5. To whom this Good News/Gospel is for?
    • To all of us. To all humanity.
    • John 3:16 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God
    • Rom 3:21 - 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
    • Rom 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
    • We will go through this in detail in Romans 1:17; Romans 3-5.
  6. How and When God promised the gospel of God?
    2
    which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
    • God promised the good news or gospel of redemption when the sin entered to this world.
      • Gen 3:15 - 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." 16 To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." 17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
    • List few Old Testament reference where God promised about (the gospel/good news) Jesus 1st coming, death and resurrection:
      • Jesus from line of Juda/David:
        • Genesis 26:4 - And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
        • Isaiah 11:1 - There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
      • Jesus will born in Bethlehem:
        • Micah 5:2 - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
      • Jesus will be Crucified for the sins of the whole world:
        • Isaiah 53:5-9 - 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 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 of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked-- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 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, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
        • Dan 9:25,26 - 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
      • Jesus will Resurrect:
        • Ps 16:10 - For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
        • NLT: Ps 16:10 - For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your godly one to rot in the grave.
        • Peter preached the first Gospel sermon, he boldly asserted that God had raised Jesus the Jewish Messiah from the dead (Acts 2:24). He then explained that God had performed this miraculous deed in fulfillment of David's prophecy in Psalm 16. In fact, he quoted the words of David in detail as contained in Psalm 16:8-11. Some years later, Paul did the same thing when he spoke to the Jewish community in Antioch. Like Peter, he declared that God had raised Messiah Jesus from the dead in fulfillment of Psalm 16:10 (Acts 13:33-35).
        • Acts 13:33-35 - 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.' 34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.' 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'
      • Jesus will Rule and reign after His 2nd coming:
        • Psalms 2:8, 9 - 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." 7 "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
        • Ps 97:1 - The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!
        • Dan 2:44 - And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
        • Isaiah 9:6,7 - 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no en d, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
  7. Through whom Paul received grace and apostleship?
    5a Through Him
    we have received grace and apostleship
    • Paul received grace and apostleship through Jesus Christ.
      • 1 Cor 1:1 - Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
      • Galatians 1:1 - Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),
      • 1 Tim 1:1 - Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
      • We can read this in details in Who ordain/give this apostleship to believers? topic in Apostle.
    • What is Grace?
      • Grace is getting what we are not deserved, unmerited blessing/favor of God,
      • Eph 2:8 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    • Is Mercy and Grace are same?
      • No
    • What is Mercy?
      • Mercy is not getting what we have deserved.
      • Eg: We are deserved to receive punishment. By the mercy of God forgives us and we didn't receive punished.
      • Lamentations 3:22 - 22 Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
      • James 2:13 - For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
  8. Why Paul received this grace and apostleship?
    5b for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
    • Paul received grace and apostleship to be obedience to the faith
      • Where?
        among all nations
      • Why?
        for His name,
    • Paul was obedience to the faith because he received the grace and apostleship and for Jesus name sake.
      • (Clarke) The gospel gave Paul and the church grace and apostleship, and one reason those two gifts were given was to produce obedience to the faith. “Without the grace, favour, and peculiar help of God, he could not have been an apostle.”
      • Eph 3:7,8 - 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
      • James 2:26- For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
      • Titus 3:8- This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
    • Did Jesus anoint Paul to be an apostle for specific group of people?
      • Yes Jesus anoint Paul to be an apostle for Gentiles.
        • Acts 9:15,16 - 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." 11 So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight." 13 Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
        • Romans 11:13 - For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
    • Did Paul fulfill all the apostle responsibilities?
      • Yes, Paul has fulfilled all the apostle responsibilities.
        • We can read this in the book of Acts and in all of his epistles.
        • Paul, other apostles and Jesus Christ lay the foundation of Christianity through all the books in the New Testament. This is one of the responsibility of the apostle which we can read this fromApostles lay the Foundation of Christianity which is New Testament of the Bible.
        • Ephesians 3:8 - To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
      • Paul was ready to share his faith or preach the Gospel/Good News in all given opportunity by God.
        • 1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
        • Acts 26:9-30 -9 Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. 12 "While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' 15 So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' 19 "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come-- 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles." 24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!" 25 But he said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe." 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." 29 And Paul said, "I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains."

Application:

  1. What role/responsibility God has given to you in His service? or What for God called you?
  2. Are you building on top of the foundation laid by apostles, prophets and Jesus Christ?

Letter to Romans:
6
among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established-- 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

Observation:

  1. To whom Paul addressing this letter?
    7a To all who are in Rome, beloved of God,
    6
    among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
  2. How believers in Rome are called?
    7b called
    to be saints:
  3. How Paul greets them?
    7c Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  4. Whom Paul is thanking?
    8a
    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ
  5. Why Paul is thanking?
    8b for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world
    .
  6. How Paul prays for them?
    9
    For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
  7. What does Paul asking God in his prayer?
    10
    making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
  8. Why Paul wants to see/visit them?
    11a
    For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift,
  9. What does the spiritual gifts do to them?
    11b
    so that you may be established--
  10. What will Paul's visit do to both of them?
    12
    that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
  11. What is God's response to his prayer request in Romans 1:10?
    13a
    Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now),
  12. What one more reason Paul wants to see/visit them?
    13b
    that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
  13. To whom Paul is debtor?
    14
    I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
  14. Why Paul is debtor to them?
    15
    So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

Interpretation:

  1. To whom Paul addressing this letter?
    7a To all who are in Rome, beloved of God,
    6
    among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
    • Paul is addressing this letter/epistle to Roman believers in Christ.
    • Who are called of (to belong) Jesus Christ?
      • Based on Rom 1:5 & 7 Romans are called to belong Jesus Christ.
      • NLT: Rom 1:6 - You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ
    • Among whom they are called of (to belong) Jesus Christ?
      • Based on Rom 1:5 among all nations or gentiles Romans are called to belong Jesus Christ.
      • Romans 1:5 gives us who they are. Romans were called to belong to Jesus Christ among all nations
      • Romans 1:5 - Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
    • Now they are dearly loved by God.
  2. How believers in Rome are called?
    7b called
    to be saints:
    • What is saint means?
      • Greek word for saint/saints is hagios (G40) means set apart or consecrated to God, holy, sacred, HOLY ONE (refers to Jesus)
      • It is translated as holy 161 times, saints 61 times, Holy One (Jesus) 4 times, misc 3.
    • Are they not called to live a holy life since the meaning of saints is holy?
      • Yes, not only them all believers in Christ are called to live a holy life. The apostle Peter in his epistle clearly calls every Christians to live a holy life since God is holy.
        • 1 Peter 1:15 - 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
      • In other words believers are set apart for God, and they are expected to continue to live a holy and sacred life with the help of God.
    • Why then there is a new word "saints" is used here instead of holy?
      • To understand this in details let dig into the the word saint.
      • How this word saints originate from?
        • The English word saint derives from the Latin sanctus (French seinte(saint), Spanish san/santa (femine) eg: San Francisco, Santa Rosa/Barbara,...).
      • How this word saints is used in Old Testament scriptures? or Analyze few usages of saints in Old Testaments and understand better?
        • The Latin term first appears in a Christian context in the Latin translation of the Old Testament.
        • Three different Hebrew words
          • kodesh (H6944 - קֹדֶשׁ) means holiness, separateness,
          • Kadoshe (H6918 - קָדוֹשׁ) means sacred, holy, Holy One (God), set apart,
          • khä·sēd' (H2623 - חָסִיד) means holy one, godly, faithful
        • Deuteronomy 33:3-Yes, He loves the people; All His saints are in Your hand; They sit down at Your feet; Everyone receives Your words.
        • Job 15:15 -If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight,
        • Psalm 16:3 -As for the saints who are on the earth, "They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."
        • There is only thre instances of the singular use of this word saint
          • Ps 106:16 - 16 When they envied Moses in the camp, And Aaron the saint of the Lord, 17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, And covered the faction of Abiram.
          • KJV: Dan 8:13 - Then I heardone saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake , How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation , to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
          • Dan 8:13 - Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?"
        • In New Testament Old Testament believers are also referred as saints.
          • Matthew 27:52 - and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
      • How this word saints is used in New Testament scriptures? or Analyze few usages of saints in New Testaments and understand better?
        • It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.”
          • Acts 9:13 - Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.
          • Acts 9:32 - Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.
          • Acts 26:10 - This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
          • Romans 15:25,26 - 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
          • Romans 16:15 - Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
          • Ephesians 3:8 - To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
          • Revelation 20:9 - 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
        • There is only one instance of the singular use, and that also says every saint
          • Philippians 4:21 - Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.
          • In Scripture there are 61 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…”
        • There are thwo references referring to godly character of saints:
          • Romans 16:2 - 1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
          • Ephesians 5:3- But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
      • Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” represent group of holy people who are set apart for God.
    • Is saint is a special title/position earned by believers through their great service to God?
      • In Romans 1:7 even though the adjective "to be" leads to interpret that they are called to earn/obtain this saints title in future by their great service to God but this adjective "to be" is not in the original Greek text so they are italicized in King James Version.
      • To avoid confusion most online versions introduces parenthesis for these type of added text. Following KJV verse taken from www.BlueLetterBible.com:
        • KJV Rom 1:7- To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      • We can see the same confusion in Romans 1:1
      • Is Paul in Romans 1:1 called to earn the apostleship?
        • No, as we already gone through this in detail in Romans 1:1,5 Paul received this apostleship as a gift from Jesus Christ on the day Jesus called Paul for ministry in Acts 9:15,16.
        • Paul was given an apostleship as a gift from Jesus and expected to fulfill the role of an apostle.
          • KJV Rom 1:1 - Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
      • Without this adjective it reads "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints".
        • (JC) The words “to be” are in italics in the King James Version because they don’t appear in the original Greek text. Thus, this verse should read, “You are called saints.”
      • So, saint is not a special title earned by believers through their works but it is a title or other name given for believers of God/Jesus Christ from the day they started to believe in God/Jesus Christ.
        • (JC) Most people have the idea that saints are special people in religious history. But the truth is, there are only two categories of people: saints and pagans. Therefore, if you’re a believer—you’re a saint.
        • (WW) Not "to be" saints; they already were saints!
    • Are all the believers of God or Jesus Christ are called "saints"?
      • Yes.
      • (WW) A saint is a set-apart one, and the person who trusts Jesus Christ is set apart and is a saint
      • Scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church.
      • All Christians are considered saints.
      • Therefore Saints means believers of God in Old Testament and believers of Jesus Christ in New Testament.
    • How many times the word "Christian(s)" referred in the Bible?
      • Acts 11:26 - 25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
      • Acts 26:28 -Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian."
      • 1 Peter 4:16 -Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
    • How many times the word "believer(s)" referred in the Bible?
      • In King James Version only two places the word "believers" used in the Bible.
        • Acts 5:14-And believers (G4100) were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
        • 1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers (G4103) in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
      • Each of this word "believers" uses different Greek word.
      • There is no singular usage as believer in the Bible.
      • At the same time saints occurs 61 time in the New Testament
    • Warnings:
      • What are the problems if anyone interpret saints as a special anointed believer who earn the title by their unique work/service of God?
        • If anyone interpret saints as a special anointed believers then
        • Only their prayers are heard and answered by God:
          • Revelation 5:8 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
          • Revelation 8:4 - And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.
        • Only they are persecuted by Antichrist:
          • Revelation 13:7 - It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
          • Revelation 16:6 - For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due."
        • Only they go to heave and those are the one comes with Jesus during His 2nd coming:
          • Jude 14 - Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
          • Revelation 19:8,14 - 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
        • This wrong interpretation says all believers in Jesus Christ never go to heaven but only believers who earned the saint title will be saved and go to heaven.
        • It is important to note that saints are equipped to do God's service. It doesn't say believers are equipped to do God's service and earn the saint title.
          • Eph 4:12 - 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--
      • Is it ok to prefix believers names with Saint(St.) like St. Nicolas, St. Thomas, St.(San in Spanish) Francisco, ...?
        • Even though it seams ok but no one in the Bible was called with this prefix (St. Luke, St. Timothy,...). So, prefixing Saint as a title may not be good idea.
    • Application:
      • Are you saint?
        • You are saint if you are believer/disciple/follower of Jesus Christ.
  3. How Paul greets them?
    7c Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • (JC) In Paul’s day, when Greeks greeted each other, they would say, “Charis,” which means “grace.” When Jews greeted each other, however, they would say, “Shalom,” which means “peace.” In the salutation of each of his epistles, Paul linked these two words together. He always put them in the same order because man will never experience peace until he understands grace. If you’re trying to be holier or more deserving of God’s blessings, your Christian life will not be full of peace. But if you understand grace—that God blesses and gives unconditionally—you’ll stop trying to earn His blessings, and you’ll have peace.
    • Where this peace comes from?
      • Peace has to come from God.
    • Application: How to receive this peace and apply/experience in our Christian life/walk?
      This is a three step process.
      1. This peace is always from God. God extends His peace to all humanity.
      2. Putting our faith in Jesus and establish peace with God,
        • Romans 5:1- Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
        • What main thing this peace with God does to believers?
          • Establishing peace with God begins our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
          • This opens/provides free access to God (the thrown of Grace). So, we can freely go to God in prayer and supplication anytime in any situation. We can notice this in Romans 5:2 and Hebrews 4:16
            • Romans 5:2 - 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
            • Hebrews 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
            • (JC) Which is positional and unconditional because Jesus Christ took upon Himself all of our shortcomings and sins, problems, weakness, and rebelliousness (Romans 5:1). Most of us believe the Lord is disappointed in us because we haven’t spent time in the Word, because we don’t pray as we should, because we’re not doing very much for Him. But here, Paul the apostle says, “There is grace and peace for all because Jesus did it all!
      3. When we freely go to God in prayer and supplication we receive the peace of God.
        • Phil 4:6-7 - 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
        • This is not an one time event like establish peace with God (step 2). We need to keep receiving the peace of God always till we meet with Jesus face to face.
        • (JC)Which is experiential and comes through prayer (Philippians 4:7). Perhaps this is what happened to you today: The kids didn’t behave. The job didn’t go well. Your husband didn’t come through, or your friends let you down. As you felt the burdens begin to come and the tension begin to build, you thought, I should pray. But no sooner did you think this than the Enemy was there, saying, “Pray? Now that you have a problem you want to pray? What about devotions, Mr. Prayer Person? You didn’t have devotions this morning, did you? And you think you can pray now?”
        • (JC) You see, gang, we know we have problems, and we are all too aware of our failures. But we think the Father won’t hear us if we haven’t talked to Him for a day or three or ten. We think He won’t answer us if we haven’t been doing what we should do, or going where we should go. In reality, nothing is further from the truth. Look at our Lord, our Friend, Jesus Christ. After He had prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane so intensely that He sweat blood, He looked up, and saw a group of soldiers coming toward Him, led by His disciple, Judas. Jesus looked at Judas and said, “Friend, what seekest thou?” And His heart was revealed in that moment—for Jesus looked at Judas at the moment of betrayal and called Judas “Friend.” Judas was at the lowest ebb possible, yet Jesus still said, “Friend, what seekest thou?” (see Matthew 26:50). This One with whom we walk is so incredibly gracious. He’ll respond to you and work with you anytime you call upon Him.
    • Romans 8:35 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    • Psalm 51:17 -The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.
    • 1 John 1:9 -If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    • Jeremiah 33:3 - 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'
  4. Whom Paul was thanking?
    8a
    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ
    • Paul is thanking his God through Jesus Christ.
    • (JC) “I thank my God,” said Paul.
      • My Lord and my God,” said Thomas, upon seeing the Resurrected Lord (John 20:28).
      • No wonder Martin Luther said, “Christianity is uniquely the religion of the possessive pronoun.”
    • Application: Did you accept this God Almighty Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?
  5. Why Paul was thanking?
    8b for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world
    .
    • Paul was thanking God for the Roman believers because of their faith.
    • How their faith spoken of all over the world?
      • What Paul might have heard about their faith?
        • Since their faith was spoken of and it reached Paul so they are true/real born again believers in Christ and they might have received/filled/baptized with the Holy Spirit often.
          • Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
          • Acts 10:44-45 - 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
        • Eager to learn the word of God and discipled by matured believers/disciple:
          • Matt 28:20a - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
        • Reaching out non-believers by sharing/preaching the Gospel/God News:
          • Matt 28:19a - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
          • NLT: Phil 1:5 - because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
        • Growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ or Growing in the grace of God:
          • Acts 17:11 - 11 These (Bereans) were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
          • 2 Peter 1:2-4 - 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
          • They were not like Jewish Believers who were backsliding:
            • Heb 5:12-14 - 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
            • Heb 6:1-2 - 1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
        • Love each other:
          • Gal 5:22-23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
          • Eph 1:15 -15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
          • John 17:21 - that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
        • Gift of the Holy Spirit are in operations in orderly manner. Using the gifts of the Holy Spirit as per the leading of Holy Spirit. We can see these in detail in 1 Corinthians 12, 14; Eph 4:11; Romans 12.
        • Paul acknowledge these in Romans 15
          • Romans 15:14 - Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
      • What one more think that really made their faith spoken of all over the world?
        • Is their faith spoken of all over the world because Rome was dominated by Christians at that time?
          • No, Roman believers are minority and they where persecuted by the Roman Emperors and even they considered Christians as enemies because they were not worshiping Roman Emperors as Lord.
          • Rome during Paul's time was not like America or Rome now.
          • (Bruce)“The Christians of Rome were unpopular - reputed to be ‘enemies of the human race’ and credited with such vices as incest and cannibalism. In large numbers, then, they became the victims of the imperial malevolence - and it is this persecution of Christians under Nero that traditionally forms the setting for Paul’s martyrdom.”
        • Since Roman believers were persecuted by the Roman Emperors, Roman believers are always and for everything depend on God.
          • They overcame these by the help of God.
          • They stay strong in their faith even to death.
          • They didn't deny their faith due to persecution.
          • Paul acknowledge these in Romans 15
            • Romans 16:19- For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
          • We can see these similarities in Smyrna and Pergamos churches exist during Paul's time referred in Revelation 2:
            • Rev 2:9-10 - 9 I know your (Smyrna) works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
            • Rev 2:13 - 12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
    • Application:
      • How is your faith spoken of in your home, work, extended family (among relatives), community, church, throughout the whole world?
  6. How Paul prays for them?
    9
    For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
    • How often Paul prays for them?
      • Paul was praying continuously making mention of Roman believers.
      • 1 Thes 5:17 - 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
    • Why God is witness to Paul?
      • God is witness to Paul because God listened to Paul's prayers. Paul want the Roman believers to know that he is really praying for them. This shows that Paul is praying for them privately and he is not lying or pretending:
        • Matt 6:5,6 - 5 "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
      • (Spurgeon) “No wonder that they prospered so well when Paul always made mention of them in his prayers. Some churches would prosper better if some of you remembered them more in prayer.”
    • Application:
      • (DG) Perhaps Paul’s acknowledgment of how easy it is to say you will pray for someone, and then fail to do it. He wanted them to know that he was really praying.
      • Did you sincerely pray for those whom you have promised to pray for?
      • Are you continuously praying for those whom you have emailed/said that "I am praying for you"?
      • Are you praying continuously for anyone or for anything?
      • If you are sincerely pray then only God has to be witness for you
      • A sincere prayer warrior will look for results for his prayer.
        • If you pray for some one sincerely then you will check with them whether God responded to that prayer request.
        • This is one of the reason we need to praise God and respond to the prayer warriors whom you have requested to pray for.
      • Without Prayer Journal it is impossible to be a prayer warrior.
  7. What did Paul ask God in his prayer?
    10
    making request
    if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
    • (WW) At the close of the letter (Rom. 15:30-33), he asked the believers in Rome to pray for him as he contemplated this trip; and it is a good thing that they did pray!
      • Rom. 15:30-33 - 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  8. What was God's response to his prayer request in Romans 1:10?
    13a
    Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now),
    1. Is it hard/expensive for Paul to visit Rome?
      • No, during Paul's third missionary journey he already travelled up to Berea, Corinth, Athens which are close to Rome compared to traveling from Jerusalem.
      • Financially Paul was doing ok to travel to Rome. He is not depended on any Church or committee to provide.
    2. Why Paul was asking permission to God?
      • Paul is a bondservant (willing become servant/slave) to God. So, he wants to do what God says to do. He follows the footsteps of Jesus Christ and saying "not my will let God's will be done".
        • Matt 26:39 - He (Jesus) went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
        • Luke 22:42 - saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
      • Application: Are we asking permission to God?
        • If we willingly surrender our self to God as a slave/servant like how Paul surrender himself to God as bondservant we will ask permission to God. He is Lord we are not. His ways are way higher than our ways.
    3. Did Paul go to Rome?
      • Yes, Paul went to Rome after few years later.
        • Acts 19:21 -When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."
        • Acts 23:11 -But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."
        • Acts 28:14 -where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. 16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
    4. How Paul went to Rome?
      • (WW) Actually, Paul had a very perilous journey; and he arrived in Rome a prisoner as well as a preacher. In Jerusalem he was arrested in the temple, falsely accused by the Jewish authorities and eventually sent to Rome as the Emperor's prisoner to be tried before Caesar. When Paul wrote this letter, he had no idea that he would go through imprisonment and even shipwreck before arriving in Rome!
      • We can read this Acts 27 & 28. All things happened on the way to Rome are not the way Paul (or we) might have expected.
        • Instead of Garland he went with chains,
        • Instead of VIP/Ambassador he went as a prisoner.
      • Even at these situations God gave opportunities to
        • share the Gospel with Kings,
        • take a captain role in the ship,
        • lift him among all in Malta by miraculously saving him from deadly viper bite,
        • God also provided place to stay with Roman soldiers in Rome,
        • permitted to preach gospel while he was in Rome imprisoned in a home.
      • Paul went to Rome not using any of his resources/money.
        • (Spurgeon) I do not suppose that Paul guessed that he would be sent there at the government expense, but he was. The Roman Empire had to find a ship for him, and a fit escort for him, too; and he entered the city as an ambassador in bonds. When our hearts are set on a thing, and we pray for it, God may grant us the blessing; but, it may be, in a way that we never looked for. You shall go to Rome, Paul; but you shall go in chains.”
      • To Paul God
        1. Prophesized about going to Rome,
        2. Arranged everything needed to go to Rome and
        3. Finally orchestrated for him.
      • Application: If God leads God will provide just step ahead by faith.
    5. Who hindered/stopped Paul from going to Rome?
      13a
      Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now),
      • Is this hindrance is due to Satan?
        • Daniel prayed continuously and he received response after 21 days due the hindrance of Satan.
          • Daniel 10:13 - 12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."
        • After Jesus Christ death and resurrection since every believers in God has His Holy Spirit so God speak to His believers directly through His Holy Spirit. So, there is less possibility for such type of delay.
        • In the 1 Thessalonians 2:18 Paul clearly says that Satan was hindered/stopped Paul from going to Thessalonica.
          • 1 Thessalonians 2:18 - Therefore we wanted to come to you--even I, Paul, time and again--but Satan hindered us.
        • Here he prays and says that he was hindered but he didn't explicitly say that who hindered him. If Satan might have hindered then Paul might have explicitly referred here.
        • Since he didn't say that here and Paul clearly explains why God didn't permit him in the end of this letter (Why then God didn't allow Paul to go to Rome immediately?) so, this hindrance/delay is from God as a response to his diligent prayer.
      • As a believer of God we will know the difference whether the hindrance is from God or Satan.
        • Even if Satan hinders Paul and if God wants to send Paul to Rome immediately God has power to rebuke Satan and permitted Paul to go to Rome.
      • Application: How do you identify whether this type of hindrance/delay is caused by Satan or God?
        1. Satan may hinder/delay us by deceiving us by his cunning plans:
          1. bringing problems through someone else and make us to engage in that,
          2. keep us busy so that we cannot think of going/doing the things that we suppose to go/do.
          3. tempt/divert us to go somewhere else
          4. make us to stay in the same place by providing comfortable zone/environment,
          5. make us to do some junk thing
          6. make us to engage in the ministry/God's service where God not want us to serve for Him.
        2. God may hinder/delay us by providing peace of mind, reveal his current plan and show us what to do now:
          1. Phil 4:7 - 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
          2. James 3:14-17 - 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
    6. Why God didn't allow Paul to go to Rome immediately? or Why God didn't grant permission immediately to Paul's request to visit Rome?
      • Did Paul lack/week in faith so that God is not answering?
        • No. Paul was keep on praying for this matter to God.
      • Did Paul not asks others to pray for this matter? or Did Paul lacks corporate prayer?
        • No. He requested Roman believers to pray for this matter. He might have requested other believers surrounding him to pray for this matter.
          • Rom. 15:30-33 - 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
      • Is Paul asking God in selfish/wrong motives (as referred in James 4:2-3)?
        • No. God put this burden/desire in Paul's heart on the day God saved Paul.
          • Acts 9:15 - 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
          • NLT: James 4:2-3 - 2 You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can't possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. 3 And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong -- you want only what will give you pleasure.
          • James 4:2-3 - 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
      • Why then God didn't allow Paul to go to Rome immediately?
        1. God has different plan/itinerary for Paul. God permitted Paul to visit Rome in His own timing.
          • Proverbs 19:21 - There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD's counsel--that will stand.
          • NIV: Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
          • Isaiah 55:8-9 - 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
          • Psalm 37:4-5,23-24 - 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass......23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
        2. God wants Paul to write this book of Romans.
        3. God wants Paul to preach gospel to rest of the gentiles before he preach to Romans.
          Paul himself identifies this reason at the end of writing this book:
          • NLT: Romans 15:19b,22 - 19 I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God -- all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum. 20 My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. 21 I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, "Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand." 22 In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.
    7. Application:
      • Are you requesting your needs/wants to God or directing God to bless your needs/wants? or
        Are you being honest and open before the Lord in humility, or are you telling Him what to do?
        • (JC) The best way to pray is to say, “Lord, You know the needs I have. You’ve asked me to share them with You. This is my desire, my burden, my concern. Now, Lord, Your will be done by any means You see fit.”
          • “But aren’t we supposed to name it and claim it?” you ask.
          • Ask Hezekiah.… “O Lord, let me live,” he prayed. “I know Isaiah said I was supposed to die, but, Lord, let me live. I name it and claim it.” In Hebrew, the account reads that he turned his face to the wall and chirped like a bird incessantly, demanding his own way until finally the Lord said, “Okay. Live” (see 2 Kings 20:1–6). When messengers from Babylon came to congratulate him on his recovery, Hezekiah responded by taking them on a tour of the treasures of Israel. And it was this report that led Nebuchadnezzar to subsequently invade Israel. Meanwhile, Hezekiah fathered a son named Manasseh, who would become the worst king in Israel’s history.
          • The Lord did indeed answer Hezekiah’s prayer by prolonging his life fifteen years. But those fifteen years were disastrous both to Hezekiah personally and to the kingdom nationally. How much better it would have been had Hezekiah simply shared his heart with the Father and said, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”
          • That’s how Jesus prayed in the hour of His greatest need (Luke 22:42). Our faith is not to be in our own plans, but in the goodness and wisdom of our Father.
      • So, please do not direct God by telling Him what to do instead be honest and open with humbleness present your need or want to God. He will bring it to pass what is best for us.
        • Isaiah 55:8-9 - 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
        • Jeremiah 33:3 - 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'
        • NIV: Jer 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  9. Why Paul wants to see/visit Romans?
    List all the reasons Paul has given in Romans 1:11-15
    .
    1. Paul long to see the Roman believers to impart some spiritual gift.
      11
      For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established--
      • (WW) "I long to see you!" This is the pastor's heart in Paul the great missionary. Some of the saints in Rome were very dear to Paul, such as Priscilla and Aquila (Rom. 16:3-4), who risked their lives for him; "the beloved Persis" (Rom. 16:12); and others who had labored and suffered with Paul. But he also loved the believers that he did not know.
      • What is spiritual gift? Who gives that?
        • Like natural talents given to us by birth spiritual gifts are given to saints/believers in Christ. They are given to saints/believers in Christ by God through Holy Spirit and they are operate by the power of the Holy Spirit.
        • 1 Cor 12:11 - But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
        • Romans 12:3-6a - 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
      • What are all spiritual gifts referred in the Bible?
        • 1 Cor 12:8-10 - 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
        • Eph 4:11 - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
        • Romans 12:6-8 - 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
      • How to receive these Spiritual gifts? Why Paul needs to go there physically and impart these spiritual gifts?
        • These spiritual gifts are given to saints/believers in Christ after they born again and when they are baptized or filled in the Holy Spirit.
          • Acts 10:44-45 - 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
          • 1 Cor 14: 1 - Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
        • Believers in Christ may also receive these gifts when a anointed pastor/preacher/leader laying their hands on them and pray. But laying hands is not the only option believers receive the spiritual gifts.
          • 1 Timothy 4:14 - Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
          • NLT: 2 Timothy 1:6 - This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.
          • 2 Timothy 1:6 - Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
      • What do these spiritual gifts do to them?
        11b
        so that you may be established--
      • Is the spiritual gifts are given to establish their personal needs/wants such as job, home, car,...?
        • No.
      • Why did God give this spiritual gifts? How do these spiritual gifts helps to establish?
        Establish God's Kingdom
        .
        1. Draw people to His Kingdom:
          NLT: Romans 15:19 - 18
          I dare not boast of anything else. I have brought the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I lived before them. 19I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God -- all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.
        2. Equip the Saints or Believer in Christ:
          Eph 4:12 - 11
          And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--
        3. Establish the Church:
          NLT: 1 Cor 12:7
          - A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
          1 Cor 12:7- But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
    2. Paul may be encouraged together with Roman believers by the mutual faith
      12
      that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
      • How Paul may be encouraged when he meet with Roman believers?
        12
        that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
        • (DG) Paul’s desire to visit the church in Rome is not merely to give to them, but to receive as well, because Paul realized that in their mutual faith, they have something to give to him.
        • (WW) He was looking forward to a time of mutual blessing in the love of Christ.
        • (JC) “In giving to you, I will benefit as well because our faith will grow mutually,” said Paul. That’s always the way it is in ministry. Give and you’ll get. Share and you’ll receive.
      • How their mutual faith encouraged Paul?
        • Sharing testimonies such as sharing their conversion testimonies, how God saved them from a difficult situation,...
        • Believers spirit are renewed by the presence of the Lord when we gathered together in His name.
          • Matt 18:20 - For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
        • (JC) “In giving to you, I will benefit as well because our faith will grow mutually,” said Paul. That’s always the way it is in ministry. Give and you’ll get. Share and you’ll receive.
      • Application: Are you encouraged when you hang around with believers in Christ?
        • Yes, with matured, sincere, or humble believer who wants to grow in the Lord.
        • We may be discouraged with traditional Christians, so called Christians, backslidden Christians or Christians who are not matured and not interested in growing in the Lord. Reason is we do not have anything common to share.
    3. Paul might have some fruit among the Romans as he had among the other Gentiles
      13b
      that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
      • What is fruit?
        • Fruit means in general outcome/result of a labor/work/effort.
          Such as
          1. Work/labor produces wages,
          2. Knitting produces sweater (product),
          3. Business produces return or profit
          These are the fruits of one's labors.
      • What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
        • Gal 5:22-23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
        • Why the Love is called the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
          • The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in the life of a Christian.
            • NLT: 2 Cor 3:18b - And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
        • Is the fruit of the Holy Spirit means just producing good character the Love?
          • Yes, Love is the ultimate fruit that shows spiritual growth and maturity of the believer.
          • In addition to these in general it is not limited to just producing good characters or the agape Love but it can be any outcome/fruit that produced by the believer just by obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit.
          • Since, Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit all other outcome produced obedience to God are in general called fruits. We may call this as fruits of our labor/service to God.
        • What more fruits that believers in Christ can bear?
          • There is no limits. Every true believers in Christ will produce fruit when they abide with Jesus Christ by just doing what He ask them to do through His Holy Spirit. Simple obedience to Jesus Christ produces fruit.
            • John 1:5 -“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
          • God saved us to produce much fruits:
            • John 15:16 - You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
          • One such example is if a believer won a soul by reaching out an unbeliever as per the leading of the Holy Spirit then that new believer is a fruit produced by him. Even though God converts that nonbeliever by doing great miracle of Salvation in his heart God attributes that new convert/believer as a fruit to that believer who just obeyed God as He leads through His Holy Spirit.
            • Philip produced a fruit by just obeying God's leading through angel and the Holy Spirit.
              • Acts 8:26-31,35-37 - 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
            • Paul won new converts/believers among Gentiles by preaching the Gospel through miracles and wonders. These new believers are God given fruits for him.
              • NLT: Romans 15:19 - I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God -- all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.
      • Is Paul is talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit that produces good characters?
        • No. Paul is not talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit that produces good character by the believer who abides in Jesus Christ or obeys the leading of the Holy Spirit.
      • What fruit Paul might have expecting from Romans?
        • Paul is expecting great harvest among Roman non-believers as he won new converts/believers among Gentiles by preaching the Gospel through miracles and wonders. These new believers are God given fruits for him.
          • NLT: Romans 15:19 - I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God -- all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.
      • Application:
        1. Are you producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
          • If you are not then check whether you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior or not.
          • Jesus told if the seed falls on the good soil it will produce at least few fruits. It means any true believer will produce at least few fruits:
            • Matt 13:23 - But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
          • True faith will produce fruit:
            • James 2:26 - For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
            • Titus 3:8 - This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
        2. Are you producing fruit among non-believers around you? or Are you producing fruit among believers around you?
          • To fulfill the responsibility of the Great Commission true believers needs to producing fruit either among "non-believers" or "believers".
            1. Reaching out non-believers by sharing/preaching the Gospel/God News:
              • Matt 28:19a - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
            2. Once they become believers teach them and disciple them:
              • Matt 28:20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
    4. Paul was a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
      14
      I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
      • To whom Paul is debtor?
        • Paul is debtor to all especially non-believers. To make is simple NLT has simpler translation of this passage.
          • NLT: Romans 1:14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in our culture and to people in other cultures, to the educated and uneducated alike.
      • What is debtor?
        • One who owes another.
        • One held by some obligation, bound by some duty
        • One who owes God penalty or whom God can demand punishment as something due, i.e. a sinner
        • A person who borrowed money/kind from someone or a creditor/lender.
        • Greek word used for this is opheiletēs (G3781): Translated as debtor- 5, sinner- 1, which owed- 1
      • Is the feeling of the debtor is same as the guilty feeling?
        • A sinner is a debtor to God as per the definition above, so in one place this Greek word translated as sinner. Guilt always leads to condemnation unless the sinner repent and confess the sin.
          • Luke 13:4 - 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
          • NIV: Luke 13:4 - 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
        • It is more similar but here Paul is not saying himself as sinner. So, he was not feeling guilty but he has a heavy burden in their heart.
          • Romans 15:27 - 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
          • Gal 5:3 - And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
          • Romans 8:12,13 - 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
      • Application: Have you ever experienced of being debtor for a long period of time to someone because you are not affordable to payoff (in full including interest)?
        • What is the main objective/aim/goal for a debtor toward the creditor/lender?
          Note: Think for a moment if you become debtor using credit card or personal loan with very high interest rate
          . Do not think of a loan used to purchase a home, car or any assert.
          • The debtor's main objective/aim is to payoff the loan to the lender and come out of debt. Until they payoff the loan then they will not experience the peace of mind.
        • What happens of the debtor if they could not payoff the loan to the lender forever and the lender has no other alternative to leave the debtor without paying off the loan?
          • They stay forever as a debtor to the lender until they payoff the loan.
          • In a way the debtor become slave to the lender until they payoff the loan.
      • Is this how Paul feels as a debtor?
        • Yes, because Paul was preaching the Gospel/Good News and trying to reach out the whole world but he could not.
        • Even though Paul won many new believers but still there are more non-believers keep on popping up because there are many out there which Paul alone could not reach out.
          • Romans 1:14 - I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
          • NLT: 1 Cor 9:16 - For preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn't do it!
        • (DG) Paul was such a tireless evangelist, working all over the world because he believed he had a debt to pay, and he owed it to the whole world.
        • (DG) Paul recognized he had something of a debt to Rome. The Roman Empire brought world peace and order, they brought a common cultural, and an excellent transportation system to the world. Paul used all these in spreading the gospel, so he can best repay this debt by giving Rome the good news of Jesus Christ.
      • Why did Paul feel as a debtor? or What caused/made Paul to feel like a debtor?
        1. Zeal/Fire for the Lord:
          • (JC) Because he was amazed at the goodness of God that saved him so radically at the very time he was erring so greatly.
          • In reality most believers in Christ leave the first love eventually if they didn't develop the personal relationship with (or stay connected to the vine) Jesus Christ.
            • Rev 2:4 - Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love
        2. Desire/Burden given by the Lord:
          • In addition to Paul's personal salvation experience since God saved everyone with His purpose and had unique plan for Paul so He put His burden or desires in Paul's heart. So, that Paul feel as a debtor to all non-believers.
            • NLT: 1 Cor 9:16 - For preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn't do it!
            • NLT: Jer 20:9 - And I can't stop! If I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am weary of holding it in!
          • We can see this in Romans 1:1,5; Acts 9:15. Paul was called as apostle and separated for gospelto reach out Gentiles (Romans 1:5, 13).
            • Romans 1:1 - Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.
            • Romans 1:5 - Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
            • Acts 9:15 - 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
            • This is God given desire or burden to Paul. So he feels this way.
      • Application:
        • How God put His burden or desires in the believers heart?
          1. Surrender your life to the Lord, I mean complete dependency:
            • Luke 9:23 - Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
            • Matt 11:28,30 - 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
          2. Delight yourself also in the Lord:
            • Psalm 37:4-5,23-24 - 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass ... 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
            • NLT: Phil 2:13 - For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.
            • God not only puts His desire in believers heart if needed God puts His desire in non-believers heart too and accomplish His grand plan.
              • Rev 17:17 - For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
        • Do you feel obligated/burdened/debtor to preach the Gospel to the unreached?
        • Do you feel obligated/burdened/debtor to serve God by equipping the saints/believers?
    5. Paul was ready to preach the gospel to Romans
      15
      So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
      NLT: 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach God's Good News.
      • Why Paul was ready to preach the gospel to Romans?
        • As much as Paul feels as a debtor to non-believers so Paul was ready to preach the gospel.
        • Romans 1:14 - I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
      • Is Paul going to preach the gospel to the Roman believers or non-believers?
        • Paul's aim to preach the wherever it is not preached so he want to reach out non-believers who are dominant in Rome.
        • But there may be many Roman believers never heard the clear simple presentation of gospel of grace as he presented to Ephesians church. Paul is not ashamed to preach the gospel of grace again to born-again believers of Jesus Christ.
      • Did Paul preach gospel in Rome?
        • Yes, Paul preached gospel in Rome to Jews and Gentiles.
        • Acts 28:23,24,30,31 - 17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: "Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. 19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation. 20 For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain." 21 Then they said to him, "We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere." 23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26 saying, 'Go to this people and say: "Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." ' 28 "Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. 30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.
      • How ready Paul was to preach the gospel?
        • (Spurgeon)“A Moravian was about to be sent by Zinzendorf to preach in Greenland. He had never heard of it before; but his leader called him, and said, ‘Brother, will you go to Greenland?’ He answered, ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘When will you go?’ ‘When my boots come home from the cobbler;’ and he did go as soon as his boots came home. He wanted nothing else but just that pair of boots, and he was ready to go. Paul, not even waiting for his boots to come home from the cobbler, says, ‘I am ready.’ Oh, it is grand to find a man so little entangled that he can go where God would have him go, and can go at once.”
        • (Spurgeon) Paul use the words “I am ready” as his motto. Almost the first words out of his mouth when he was saved were, “Lord, what do you want me to do?(Acts 9:6)
          • Paul was ready to preach and to serve (Romans 1:15)
          • Paul was ready to suffer (Acts 21:13)
          • Paul was ready to do unpleasant work (2 Corinthians 10:6)
          • Paul was ready to die (2 Timothy 4:6)
        • (Newell) This is a bold way of talking. “Talk of your brave men, your great men, O world! Where in all history can you find one like Paul? Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, marched with the protection of their armies to enforce their will upon men. Paul was eager to march with Christ alone to the center of this world’s greatness entrenched under Satan with the word of the cross, which he himself says is to the Jews, and offence; and to Gentiles, foolishness.”
      • Application:
        • Are you equipped to preach the Gospel?
          Following are few list of questions that you need to know the answers. So, that when you reach out non-believers by raising these questions or if they raise these questions you can clearly present to them.
          • Why we need Savior?
            • Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
          • Is it possible to go to heaven just by doing good or by obeying the law?
            • No
            • Why?
              • No one can obey the law perfectly as God expect.
              • James 2:10 - For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
          • Why God send Jesus Christ?
            • John 3:16,18 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
          • What the new convert/believer need to do when they accept the Lord as their personal savior?
            • Romans 10:9-11,13 - 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
          • Did you learn the culture, background, language,... of the people whom God is leading you to reach out?
          • Did you learn apologetics (the branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity.)?
          • Are you going through the word of God from the beginning till the end both Old and New Testament?
          • Are you growing in the grace of God?
          • In your conversation do you allow God/Holy Spirit to lead or intervene?
        • Are you ready to preach the Gospel?
          • 1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
          • Prepare a one, two, three, five, fifteen, thirty,... minute gospel message with your personal testimony.
          • Are you living now with only the old testimonies?
          • Is Jesus is still actively working in your life? or
          • Do you have on going relationship with Jesus Christ?

God's Righteousness Revealed or The Gospel Announced:
16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Observation:

  1. What for Paul is not ashamed?
    16a
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
  2. Why Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel?
    16b for it is the power of God to salvation
  3. To whom the Gospel is available/applicable?
    16c for everyone who believes,
  4. In what order the Gospel made it available?
    16c for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
  5. What is revealed in the Gospel?
    17a
    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
  6. To whom the righteousness of God is revealed?
    17b from faith to faith
    ;
  7. How the just has to live?
    17c
    as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Interpretation:

  1. Why Romans 1:16,17 verses are very important?
    16
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
    • These two verse touched and changed many people especially the believers life.
      • This book of Romans inspired Martin Luther when he discovered in it the truth of justification by faith. He praised the Book of Romans: “It is the chief part of the New Testament and the perfect gospel . . . the absolute epitome of the gospel.”
    • (DG) After his introduction, Paul introduces his “thesis statement” for his letter to the Romans.
    • (Leon Morris)“These two verses have an importance out of all proportion to their length.”
  2. What for Paul is not ashamed?
    16a
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
    • Why Paul was writing that he was not ashamed of the Gospel?
      • Did Paul in any point in time ashamed to share the Gospel?
        • Less likely.
      • Is anyone around Paul were ashamed of the Gospel?
        • We do not know but it might have happened.
        • Acts 15:38 - 34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. 35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. 36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing." 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
        • NLT: Acts 15:38 - But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not shared in their work.
    • Why anyone ashamed of the Gospel?
      • May be that person is not deeply impacted by the Gospel.
      • Or they may be not clearly understood the Gospel.
      • Sharing the Gospel is always threat to their life in some place even now.
      • 1 Cor 1:22-23 - 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
      • (WW) For one thing, the Gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter who was crucified. The Romans had no special appreciation for the Jews, and crucifixion was the lowest form of execution given a criminal. Why put your faith in a Jew who was crucified?
      • (DG) In a sophisticated city like Rome, some might be embarrassed by a gospel centered on a crucified Jewish savior, embraced by the lowest classes of people - but Paul is not ashamed.
    • Application: Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ?
  3. Why Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel?
    16b
    for it is the power of God to salvation
    • What is "the power of God to salvation" means?
      • It has power to save people from the wrath of God and from going to hell.
      • 1 Thes 1:5 - For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
      • (JC) Paul was not ashamed of the gospel for two reasons.
        1. The first is that the gospel revives men’s lives. Dead in sin, and without the Lord, men go through the motions of living. But in reality, without any real purpose, they wonder why they exist. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation. It is literally the dunamis—from which we get our words “dynamic” and “dynamite”—to totally turn people around and give them reason for being.
        2. The second reason Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is that it reveals God’s love. God’s love is seen in the fact that He doesn’t just wink at sin and say, “Boys will be boys.” After all, who would want to live in a community in which righteousness was not enforced, in which police officers simply said, “People will be people. So let’s just close our eyes to robberies and murders”? If that was the policy of the community in which you lived, you would move. God neither winks at sin nor wipes us out because of sin. Rather, He washes away our sin by the blood of His Son.
      • (DG) This is why Paul is not ashamed of a gospel centered on a crucified savior. He knows that the gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ - has inherent power. We do not give it power, we only stop hindering the power of the gospel when we present it effectively.
      • (Morris) The gospel is certainly news, but it is more than information; it has an inherent power. “The gospel is not advice to people, suggesting that they lift themselves. It is power. It lifts them up. Paul does not say that the gospel brings power, but that it is power, and God’s power at that.”
      • (WW) In particular, Rome thought it knew all about power: “Power is the one thing that Rome boasted of the most. Greece might have its philosophy, but Rome had its power.” Despite all their power, the Romans - like all men - were powerless to make themselves righteous before God.
      • (Cited in Barclay) For salvation: In the Roman world of Paul's day, men looked for salvation. Philosophers knew that man was sick and needed help. Epictetus called his lecture room "the hospital for the sick soul." Epicurus called his teaching "the medicine of salvation." Seneca said that because men were so conscious of "their weakness and their inefficiency in necessary things" that all men were looking "towards salvation." Epictetus said that men were looking for a peace "not of Caesar's proclamation, but of God's."
    • Application: Is it must to share the Gospel/Good News to the non-believers or just share how God blessed us when we accept Him as a Lord and Savior?
      • It is must to share the Gospel. Worldly blessings are temporal and it is real byproduct of their faith in Jesus. But the gospel has power to save them from going to hell to heaven. It has the eternal value.
        • Luke 9:24- For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it
      • Nothing wrong in sharing how God blessed you in the time of need at same time do not shy out or debate if God gives you opportunity to share the Gospel/Good News to them.
  4. To whom the Gospel is available/applicable?
    16c for everyone who believes,
    • (DG) The gospel’s power to salvation comes to everyone who believes. God will not withhold salvation from the one who believes; but believing is the only requirement.
    • More details are covered in To whom the righteousness of God is revealed? topic.
  5. In what order the Gospel made available to all? Why?
    16c for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
    • God choose Abraham to demonstrate His existence to the world. Jews are decedents of Abraham. God promised Abraham that He will bless all nation through one of his descendant i.e. "Jesus"
      • Gen 3:15 -And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
      • Gen 15:4-6 - 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." 5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
      • Gen 22:18 - In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
      • Gen 28:14 -Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
    • As God promised Abraham Jesus the promised messiah came through Jews. So, Gospel is first available to the Jews and then to others.
      • Gal 3:16,17 - 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
      • Romans 1:3 - 1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
      • (Barclay) This means that the gospel was meant to go first to the ethnic and cultural Jew, and then to the cultural Greek. “At this time the word Greek had lost its racial sense altogether. It did not mean a native of the country of Greece . . . (a Greek) was one who knew the culture and the mind of Greece.”
      • (DG) This was demonstrated both by the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 15:24) and the initial ministry of the disciples (Matthew 10:5-6).
        • Matthew 15:24 - 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed." 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us." 24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" 26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." 27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
        • Matthew 10:5-6 - 5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
  6. What is revealed in the Gospel?
    17a
    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
    • What is righteousness and righteous means?
      • Righteousness means the uprightness, quality or state of being righteous, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting, outcome/fruit of following\keeping moral law or rules and regulations
      • Righteous means a person who characterized by uprightness, morally right, live morally good life, live Holy, live sinless by following the moral law or rules and regulations.
      • Righteousness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit or it is a byproduct of the fruit of the Holy Spirit "the Love":
        • Rom 14:17 -for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
        • Phil 1:11 - 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
      • Greek word used here for Righteousness is dikaiosynē (Strongs G1343) occurs 92 times and it is translated as righteousness.
        • There are similar Greek word close to this righteousness are available and they are translated as justified, judged, righteous,... but this Greek word dikaiosynē(Strongs G1343) is translated 92 times only as righteousness that either represent
        • Out of this 92 times 30 times this word "righteousness" is used in this book of Romans.
        • (WW) The word "righteousness" is used in one way or another (righteous, just, and justified) over sixty times in this letter.
    • How this righteousness represented/referred in the Bible?
      • The righteousness in the Bible either represent
        1. God’s Righteousness or
        2. Our(Human/Man’s) Righteousness
    • Whose righteousness is revealed in the Gospel?
      • God's righteousness is revealed in the Gospel.
  7. Why the righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel?
    17a For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
    • What the Bible says about the righteousness of God?
      • Our God is Righteous because it is an attribute of our God. So. whatever He do will be right and correct.
        • John 17:25 - O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
        • Psalm 11:7 - For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.
        • Rom 9:14 - What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
        • Rom 2:11 - For there is no partiality with God.
        • Acts 10:34 - Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
        • Eph 6:9 - And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
    • How God has expressed/revealed His righteousness to the humanity before the Gospel?
      • God expressed/revealed His righteousness through His judgments, and laws (rules and regulations).
      • God's righteousness are given in entire Bible in a form of moral and ritual laws.
      • Most ritual laws used to access God are given in Deuteronomy.
      • Moral laws are in all over the Bible. Following are few:
        • God gave Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:3-17
        • Jesus teaches moral laws in the Gospels especially in Matt 5 - 7, 19, John 3, 15
        • God inspired all the scriptures to train us in His righteousness in 2 Tim 3:16-17
        • These are summed up in the Greatest commandments in Matt 22:37-40
    • Why God has expressed/revealed His righteousness to the humanity before the Gospel?
      • God has expressed/revealed His righteousness because God is righteous and so He expects everyone to be righteous.
        • Lev 18:5 - You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
        • Matt 5:48 - Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
        • Matt 5:20 - For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
        • 1 John 3:7 - Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
        • 1 John 2:29 - If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
      • Righteousness of God expects everyone to attain a state approved of God, or the condition acceptable to God
      • To approach righteous God we need to be righteous/perfect as he expected according to His righteous standards.
    • What the Bible says about our righteousness?
      • In God's sight or based on God's standard all our righteousness are like filthy rags
        • Isaiah 64:6 - But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
    • Why the Bible says our righteousness are like filthy rags?
      • Our righteousness are like filthy rags because all have sinned or inherited from our birth from the day sin entered the world. Paul explains and proves this in Romans 1:18-3:20.
        • Rom 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
      • What is the penalty/wages of sin?
        • Wages of sin is Death.
          • Rom 6:23a - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
        • Death hear refers to eternal separation from God. If a person sin then that person will be thrown into the lake of fire or Hell.
        • We all are destined to Hell.
      • Are we able to enter into heaven by our righteousness?
        • No, it is impossible because God's expectation is way higher than ours. No one can obey the laws as perfectly as God expects.
          • James 2:10 - For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," also said, "DO NOT COMMIT MURDER." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
        • That is why even disciples asked "Who then can be saved?" and Jesus responded this is impossible by themselves.
          • Matthew 19:25-26a - 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26a But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, ........"
      • Our righteousness are nothing (or filthy rags) when we compare to God's righteousness.
      • Based on God's righteousness throughout history there is no righteous person exist and will ever exist in future.
        • Rom 3:10 - As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;
    • What then we need to get saved or enter into the Heaven? How then can we be saved or enter into the Heaven with God's help?
      • We cannot approach God with our righteousness but we need perfect righteousness like the God's righteousness. Only God's righteousness is perfect and it exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.
        • Matt 5:48 - Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
        • Matt 5:20 - For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
      • So, we need God's Righteousness to get saved or enter into the Heaven.
    • For this reason God revealed His righteousness in the Gospel/Good News.
    • Summary:
      • Do we have the God's Righteousness?
        • No
      • Do we need the God's Righteousness?
        • Yes
      • Why we need the righteousness of God?
        1. To break the separation from God and men
          • To approach God the Father freely.
          • To have a love relationship or commune with God.
        2. To enter into heaven.
          • To exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees
  8. How the righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel?
    17a For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
    • What are all the Gospel/Good News contains so far in Romans 1:1-17?
      1. The essence of the Gospel is Jesus Christ.
        • Romans 1:3-4 - 1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
      2. The Gospel is the power of God to salvation
        • Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
      3. The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God
        • Romans 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
    • Define the Gospel/Good News?
      • 1 Cor 15:3-5 - 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
    • Where in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed/demonstrated?
      • (WW) God's righteousness is revealed in the Gospel; for in the death of Christ, God revealed His righteousness by punishing sin; and in the resurrection of Christ, He revealed His righteousness by making salvation available to the believing sinner.
      • The righteousness of God is revealed
        1. in the death of Jesus Christ
        2. by punishing sin
        3. in the resurrection of Christ
        4. by making salvation available to the sinners who believe
    • How these reveals God's righteousness?
      To understand how these reveals God's righteousness let us go though the Daniel in the lion's den story in Daniel 6:
      • Why Daniel thrown into the Lion's den?
        • Daniel 6:11-21 - 11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king's decree: "Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter." 13 So they answered and said before the king, "That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day." 14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, "Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed." 16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you."
      • Why not the king Darius pardon/excuse Daniel and rescued him from this great punishment?
        • King Darius tried his level best to rescue/deliver Daniel from this punishment that we can see in Daniel 6:14. Since, the king's degree has already established and issued so the king cannot revoke or change the law as in Dan 6:15.
      • Why can't the king revoke the decree he issued?
        • To reign righteously the Medes and Persians had the policy that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed as in Dan 6:15. If a king revoke/change his decree/law then the king is either unrighteous or shows partiality. Even if king's son disobeyed the king's decree then his son might have punished/thrown into the lion's den.
      • Is there anything the king Darius might have done to rescue Daniel from this great punishment?
        • There is only one possibility exist that is the king might have received that great punishment in the place of Daniel if he wants to deliver Daniel.
        • He might have said that "I love Daniel let him live and server this country but since I the king brought this rule so let me receive this punishment and fulfill this degree".
        • King Darius didn't do this to Daniel but our King Almighty God Jesus Christ took our punishment and died in our place.
    • The Gospel revealed the righteousness of God
      1. in the death of Jesus Christ
        • Our God Almighty Jesus Christ came forward and took our punishment and died in our place. (This Shows God's Righteousness & Love)
      2. by punishing sin
        • God punished the sins of all the sinners who believe in Jesus by imputing those to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ crucified on the cross with our sins and fulfilled all the requirements of law. (This shows God's Righteousness)
      3. in the resurrection of Christ
        • God didn't leave innocent blood of Jesus Christ in the grave forever but He resurrected and declared Jesus Christ as Son of God. (This shows God's Righteousness)
      4. by making salvation available to the sinners who believe
        • Instead of revoking the laws that He has given He fulfilled the laws by sacrificing His one and only sinless Son Jesus Christ. He is our substitutionary sacrifice to those who believe. By this way God provisioned a new unique way to receive this God's righteousness apart from keep the laws. (This shows God's Righteousness)
    • (WW) The problem "How can a holy God ever forgive sinners and still be holy?" is answered in the Gospel. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God is seen to be "both just and justifier" (Rom. 3:26).
  9. To whom the righteousness of God is revealed?
    17ab
    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
    • The righteousness of God is revealed and available to those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
    • What is faith?
      • Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    • Why this faith is so important?
      • Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
    • (WW) There are more than sixty references to faith or unbelief in Romans.
    • Who then can be saved or enter into the Heaven?
      • It is impossible by our efforts/works/righteousness but it is only possible by God.
        • Matthew 19:25-26a - 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26a But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
      • By God's mercy instead of condemning those for their sins instead He imputed/credited/given His righteousness to those who have faith in Him.
        • James 2:13 - 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," also said, "DO NOT COMMIT MURDER." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy ; mercy triumphs over judgment.
        • 2 Cor 5:19,21 - 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
        • Eph 2:8-9 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
      • Anyone who put their faith in Jesus Christ can receive the righteousness of God and get saved or enter into the Heaven
        • John 6:28 - Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
        • NIV: Rom 3:21 - This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference
        • Romans 3:30 - since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
        • 2 Cor 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
        • Is 61:10 - I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
        • Zechariah 3:1-5 - 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." 5 And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
        • Jer 23:6 - 5 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jehovah-Tsidkenu).
        • John 3:16- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
        • (WW) He revealed His righteousness by making salvation available to the believing sinner.
        • (DG) It is essential to understand exactly what the righteousness of God revealed by the gospel is. It is not speaking of the holy righteousness of God that condemns the guilty sinner, but of the God-kind of righteousness that is given to the sinner who puts their trust in Jesus Christ.
        • (Murray) This declaration is even greater when we understand that this is the righteousness of God given to the believer. It is not the righteousness of even them most holy mere man, nor is it the righteousness of innocent Adam in Eden. It is God’s righteousness. “The righteousness which is unto justification is one characterized by the perfection belonging to all that God is and does. It is a ‘God-righteousness’.”
  10. What is "from faith to faith" means?
    17ab
    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
    • We received the righteousness of God by our faith in Jesus Christ and we need to continue in this faith.
    • We entered into the Kingdom of God by our faith in Jesus Christ and continue to stay in the Kingdom of God by the same faith in Jesus Christ.
      • (DG) The idea behind this difficult phrase is probably “by faith from beginning to end.” The NIV translates the phrase from faith to faith as by faith from first to last.
      • NIV: Romans 1:17- For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
      • NLT: Romans 1:17 - This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
      • Col 1:23 - if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
      • Jude 20 - 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
    • Paul explaining this point by quoting following Old Testament scripture.
    • What is "The just shall live by faith" means?
      17
      For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
      • Paul didn't stop that from faith to faith he continue saying as it is written, "The just shall live by faith.
      • What is "The just" means?
        • "The just" means "the righteous" person, godly person, morally good person. It refers to our/human righteousness.
        • NIV: Romans 1:17 - For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, a just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
      • From where Paul is referring this quote?
        • Habakkuk 2:4 - "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
        • NIV: Habakkuk 2:4 - "See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith
        • (WW) The Gospel reveals a righteousness that is by faith. In the Old Testament, righteousness was by works, but sinners soon discovered they could not obey God's Law and meet His righteous demands. Here Paul refers to Habakkuk 2:4: "The just shall live by his faith." This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.
          • Romans explains "the just/righteous";
          • Galatians explains "shall live"; and
          • Hebrews explains "by faith."
      • It means the just/righteous person has to live by their faith in God.
      • It means not only the just/righteous person start their Christian life by their faith but they have to continue to live by their faith in God.
      • It means even if you are righteous/just you need faith in God to start and continue live Christian life hear and eternally in the heaven.
      • This principal applies to all people during Old and New Testament time:
        • Even Abraham, David, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Matthew, John, Peter, Paul,.... needs this faith in God - Romans 4 and Hebrew 11 explains this in detail.
      • Since all are sinners by birth so it means not only the sinners start their Christian life by their faith but they have to continue to live their Christian life by their faith in God.
      • (DG)This faith (trust) in Jesus Christ becomes the basis of life for those who are justified (declared righteous); truly, the just shall live by faith. They are not only saved by faith, but they live by faith.
  11. Why the just/righteous has to live by their faith? or Why the just/righteous has to continue the Christian life by their faith? or
    Why the Believers/Christians has to continue their Christian life by their faith?
    • We established relationship with God by faith and we need to continue to maintain that relationship by approaching God by the same faith but not by our works:
      • (JC) Here’s where many of us are vulnerable to error. We know salvation is from faith because we begin by simply embracing the Good News of the gospel but then we go from faith to works. We think we have to mobilize, organize, and agonize over our spirituality. “No, “says Paul. “It’s from faith to faith.”
        • The just shall live by faith. Faith is not only the starting point of your salvation—it’s the staying power of your Christian walk.
        • The just shall live by faith—faith in the finished work of the Cross, faith in the resurrected presence of Jesus Christ.
      • (Poole) “He saith not, from faith to works, or from works to faith; but from faith to faith, i.e. only by faith.”
    • So, never approach God by your righteousness or through your works but always approach God by His Righteousness which is imputed/credited/given to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
      • Rom 5:2 - 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
      • Heb 4:16 - Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
      • Most of the time we approach God by our self righteousness like how Jesus explain in The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector:
        • Luke 18:9-14 - 9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
        • NLT: Luke 18:9-14 - 9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else: 10 "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. 11 The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."
      • For this reason Holy Spirit keeps on reminding us that we need God's Righteousness and it is readily and freely available in the Gospel.
        • NLT: John 16:8,10 - 7 But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Counselor won't come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world's sin is unbelief in me. 10Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the prince of this world has already been judged.
        • John 16:8,10 - 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
  12. How believers in Christ need to live by faith? or How the just/righteous has to live by their faith?
    1. Walk in Faith Not by Sight:
      • 2 Cor 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight.
      • We need faith in God's promises already given in the Bible...
        • NIV: Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
        • Prov 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
        • ...
        • There are many promises like this. Which promise do you claim in a particular situation? We normally chose the one we want. If we choose what we want then it is equivalent to walking by sight not walking by faith. How do your resolve this this issue? Following Walk in the Spirit explains this in detail.
    2. Walk in the Spirit:
      • Gal 5:16-18 - 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
      • Paul explains this in detail in His letter to Galatians 3-5:
        • (JC) “Even as you received Christ,” Paul would say to the
          • Colossians, “so walk ye in Him” (see Colossians 2:6).
          • “Oh foolish Galatians,” he would write, “are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?” (see Galatians 3:1–3).
        • (Harrison) “Perhaps what it conveys is the necessity of issuing a reminder to the believer that justifying faith is only the beginning of the Christians life. The same attitude must govern him in his continuing experience as a child of God.”
          • This is an “echo” of Paul’s message in Galatians 3:1-3.
        • Gal 3:1-3 - 1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
      • We start our Christian life by putting our faith in Jesus Christ at that time God comes and lives within us through His Holy Spirit. So, we are called born-again (in Spirit) believers.
        • John 3:3-6 - 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
      • How to walk by Spirit?
        1. We need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit
          • Which promise do you claim in a particular situation among many promises God has given to us?
            • We normally chose the one we want or which is favorable to us.
            • If we choose what we want then it is equivalent to walking by sight not walking by faith.
            • So by faith approach God and ask. He will reveal to us through His Holy Spirit who lives within us.
          • Pray and ask God and just listen/yield to the Holy Spirit voice.
        2. Once you hear the direction we need faith to obey as per the leading/direction/guidance of the Holy Spirit.
          • John 16:13-15 - 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Application:

  1. Does the Gospel/Good News impacted your life?
  2. How the Gospel/Good News impacted your life?
  3. What believers in Christ need to do with the Gospel?
    1. Start your Christian life by putting your faith in Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the essence of the Gospel and author and finisher of our faith.
      • 1 Cor 15:1-2 - 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
      • Heb 12:2 - looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    2. Continue to live your Christian life in the same faith in Jesus Christ, (JC) finished work of the Cross, the resurrected presence of Jesus Christ.
      1. By listening to the leading/direction/guidance of the Holy Spirit by always approaching God by the God's righteousness which is imputed/credited/given through faith in Jesus Christ.
        • Heb 4:16 - Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
      2. By obeying the leading/direction/guidance of the Holy Spirit once you hear from the Holy Spirit
        • Gal 5:16-18 - 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Note: We will revisit this passage in detail when we go through end of Romans 3rd chapter.

God's Wrath Revealed or The Judgment/Condemnation Announced to all human Race Romans 1:18-3:20:

Introduction:

  • (WW) The theme of Romans is the righteousness of God, but Paul had to begin with the righteousness of man. Until man knows he is a sinner, he cannot appreciate the gracious salvation God offers in Jesus Christ. Paul followed the basic Bible pattern: first Law and condemnation; then grace and salvation
  • (Morris)Unless there is something to be saved from, there is no point in talking about salvation.”
  • (DG) First and foremost, we are saved from the wrath of God that we righteously deserve. In this portion of the letter (Romans 1:18-3:20), Paul’s goal is not to proclaim the good news, but to demonstrate the absolute necessity of the good news of salvation from God’s righteous wrath.
  • (Jon Courson) For, as we will see, Romans 1 makes it clear that creation around him testifies of the reality of God to every man, while chapter 2 clearly declares that conscience within him tells every man how he ought to live.

God's Wrath Revealed:
18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Observation:

  1. What is revealed? From where it is revealed?
    18a
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.
  2. Against whom the wrath of God is revealed?
    18b
    against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
  3. Why the wrath of God revealed on them?
    19
    because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
  4. How God has shown Himself to them?
    20a
    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,
  5. Will God excuse them?
    20b
    so that they are without excuse,
  6. Why God will not excuse them?
    21
    because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Interpretation:

  1. What is revealed? From where it is revealed?
    18a
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.
    • What is the wrath of God means?
      • Wrath is English means:
        1. strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation;
        2. vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger.
      • The Greek word Orge, used here for wrath means "indignation, a settled attitude of wrath, anger exhibited in punishment" God's wrath is not an outburst of temper; it is a holy indignation against sin.
      • (DG) We sometimes object to the idea of the wrath of God because we equate it with human anger, which is motivated by selfish personal reasons or by a desire for revenge. We must not forget that the wrath of God is completely righteous in character.
      • (Murrary)“It is unnecessary, and it weakens the biblical concept of the wrath of God, to deprive it of its emotional and affective character . . . to construe God’s wrath as simply in his purpose to punish sin or to secure the connection between sin and misery is to equate wrath with its effects and virtually eliminate wrath as a movement within the mind of God. Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness.”
      • For more details read The Wrath of God article.
      • Rev 6:16-17 - 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath(orge) of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath(orge) has come, and who is able to stand?"
      • Rev 14:10 - 9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath (thymos) of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation(orge). He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
  2. Against whom the wrath of God is revealed?
    18b
    against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    • Is any godly or righteous in the sight of God ever existed in this earth?
      • No not one ever existed in the earth are godly or righteous.
      • Isaiah 64:6-But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
      • Rom 3:23- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • So, wrath of God is revealed to all human race.
    • (DG) The idea is simple but sobering - God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against the human race, and the human race deserves the wrath of God.
      • Ungodliness refers to man’s offenses against God;
      • Unrighteousness to the sins of man against man.
    • This is how even the believers in Christ before they become believers were living the ungodly and unrighteous life and followed the Satan.
      • Eph 2:1-3- 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
  3. Who suppress the truth?
    • All ungodly and all unrighteous people suppress the truth. This includes all human race.
    • This is how even the believers in Christ before they become believers were suppressing the truth in some way/form and followed the lie or Satan.
    • We will see three group of people in Romans 1:22-3:20 who suppresses the truth.
  4. Why the wrath of God revealed on them?
    19
    because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
    • What is "manifest in them" means?
      • Manifest means readily/instinctively perceived by the eye or the understanding; evident; obvious; apparent; plain.
      • God reveals and put/implant about Himself in their hearts to all human race clearly.
      • Following translation make it clear.
      • NASB: Rom 1:19 - because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
      • NLT: Rom 1:19 - For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.
      • NIV: Rom 1:19 - since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    • Paul explains this in the second part of this verse that God has shown it to them.
    • Rom 1:20a - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,
    • Ecc 3:11- He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
    • NLT: Ecc 3:11- God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
    • (French mathematician Blaise Pascal)There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
    • By birth even though we are sinners God has given basic/minimal capacity/ability to know Him and His Truth. For this reason people are more religious or more concerned about after life.
    • More details covered in Compare this passage Romans 1:18-21 with Ephesians 2:1 topic.
  5. How God has shown Himself to them?
    20a
    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,
    • God has revealed Himself universally to all through His creation of this world.
    • This is called General Revelation of God. Through this general revelation everyone sees God clearly, even if they never saw a Bible or heard about Him.
    • God also reveals Himself through the Bible where He spells out the path to salvation. This revelation is called Special Revelation of God.
    • What attributes of God are clearly seen through this world?
      • Shows how great and big God is, His wisdom, power, creativity, Godhead (NIV,NLT: Devine Nature).
        • If anyone looks up and see the sky for a while then they could not deny the fact that there is God.
      • Ps 19:1-6 - 1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. 6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
    • Is anyone exempted in the History from this general revelation of God?
      • No, it begins from Adam and Eve and till today everyone will see/feel the God's amazing creation.
    • Is anyone exempted in any geographical location from this general revelation of God?
      • No, all human race in every parts of the earth will see/feel the God's amazing creation. This includes people living in remote places such as Mt. Everest, Amazon jungle,....
  6. Will God excuse them?
    20b
    so that they are without excuse,
    • (DG) The universal character of this revelation and the clarity of it leave man without excuse for rejecting it.
    • (Lenski) “Men cannot charge God with hiding himself from them and thus excuse their irreligion and their immorality.”
    • When God will pour out His wrath/punish/condemn/judge them?
      • God start pouring out His wrath during last 7 year period just before His 2nd coming and after 1000 year millennial reign He will judge them on the Final Judgment day.
        • Joe 1:15- Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
        • Is 61:2b- 1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn
        • Rev 6:16-17 - 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath(orge) of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath(orge) has come, and who is able to stand?"
        • Rev 14:10 - 9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath (thymos) of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation (orge). He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
        • Rev 16:1,19 - Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." .... 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (thymos) of His wrath (Orge).
  7. Why God will not excuse them on the judgment day?
    21
    because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile (foolish) in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    • (WW) Men knew the truth about God, but they did not allow this truth to work in their lives.
      • They suppressed it in order that they might live their own lives and not be convicted by God's truth.
      • The result, of course, was refusing the truth (Rom. 1:21-22), and then turning the truth into a lie (Rom. 1:25).
      • Finally, man so abandoned the truth that he became like a beast in his thinking and in his living.
    • (Jon Courson) Although we know God, we fail to glorify Him as God whenever we stop being thankful for whatever He sends our way.
    • (DG) The problem is not that man did not know God, but that he did know Him - yet we refused to glorify Him as God. Therefore, mankind is without excuse. We didn’t glorify God; we transformed our conception of Him into forms and images more comfortable to our corrupt and darkened hearts.
    • (DG) Our rejection of God’s general revelation has not made us smarter or better. Instead, it makes mankind futile in their thoughts, and makes our foolish hearts darkened - and we become fools.
      • The fact is once a man rejects the truth of God in Jesus, he will fall for anything foolish, and trust far more feeble and fanciful systems that what he rejects from God.
      • This futility of thinking, darkening of the heart, and folly must be seen as one example of God’s righteous wrath against those who have rejected His revelation. Part of His judgment against us is allowing us to suffer the damage our sinful course leads to.
    • (Spurgeon) “Will you kindly notice, that, according to my text, knowledge is of no use if it does not lead to holy practice? “They knew God.” It was no good to them to know God, for “they glorified him not as God.” So my theological friend over there, who knows so much that he can split hairs over doctrines, it does not matter what you think, or what you know, unless it leads you to glorify God, and to be thankful.”
    • (Spurgeon) Nor were thankful: Man’s simple ingratitude against God is shocking. “I cannot say anything much worse of a man than that he is not thankful to those who have been his benefactors; and when you say that he is not thankful to God, you have said about the worst thing you can say of him.”
    • (Spurgeon) “But when you glorify God as God, and are thankful for everything - when you can take up a bit of bread and a cup of cold water, and say with the poor Puritan, ‘What, all this, and Christ too?’ - then are you happy, and you make others happy. A godly preacher, finding that all that there was for dinner was a potato and a herring, thanked God that he had ransacked sea and land to find food for his children. Such a sweet spirit breeds love to everybody, and makes a man go through the world cheerfully.”
    • No one can escape the wrath of God if they didn't repent and glorify Him now. Now we are living in His Grace period. If we miss out then we will not escape the Final judgment that leads to eternal punishment in Hell/lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).
  8. Compare this passage Romans 1:18-21 with Ephesians 2:1:
    • Eph 2:1 - 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
  9. What Paul means in Ephesians 2:1 that all human race are dead due to their trespasses and sins before they become believers?
    • (DG) This touches on one of the most controversial areas in theology
      • in what manner, and to what extent, is a person dead before conversion?
      • Must a person be converted before they can believe, or
      • can there be a prior work of God to instill faith that is still short of conversion?
      • Those who argue that man must be regenerated before he can believe like to say that a dead man cannot believe. They takes this particular description further than intended, to say that unredeemed man is exactly like a dead man, because a dead man also cannot sin.
    • Some group of people emphasize this dead state too much than what Paul intended.
      • They emphasize Sovereign power of God and put down Foreknowledge and Righteousness of God.
      • They claim that since all are in dead state so no one has ability to know/identify the truth so God has to open their spiritual eyes. Without supernatural work of God they could not see His invisible attributes revealed in His creation. In this view they completely deny the free will given to all human race to choose God. But they say that God through His sovereign power elected some and open their spiritual eyes so that they can see His invisible attributes. If you question them "why God only choose some but didn't choose others?" then they will ask "Who are you to question God's sovereign power?" quoting Romans 9:20. There are many variations but in general this view is called Calvinistic view.
    • If God choose some to heaven and remaining to destined hell you natural mind raises "Is God is unrighteousness?" If you read Romans 9:20 with context few verse before Paul ask the same question "Is there unrighteousness with God?" and he answers certainly not! If our God is unrighteous God then He can exercise anything He want even without sending His Son Jesus Christ to the cross He might have forgiven and accepted us as His children. Since He is righteous He didn't do that. Our God is Sovereign as well as Righteous God. He never miss use the Sovereign power as He wishes if it contradict with Righteousness or any of His attributes.
    • We can understand this clearly by going through few scriptures God has revealed to us:
      1. What happened when sin entered the world? or What Adam/Eve/humans/we gained when sin entered the world?
        • When sin entered Adam/Eve/humans received the capacity to know good and evil.
        • In other words Adam & Eve's sin introduce the knowledge to identify the good and evil:
          • Gen 3:22 - Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
      2. Do all human race has capacity/ability to know/identify the truth before they become believer in Christ?
        • Yes, as per Romans 1:18-21 God has revealed Himself to all through His general revelation. Not only that He also given them capacity/ability to know/identify the truth.
        • Rom 1:18-21 - 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
      3. Why God created each and every human beings and placed them uniquely in different geographical location?
        • God uniquely created and provide home in different geographical location and circumstance to make us to seek Him.
        • Acts 17:26,27 - 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
      4. Why Jesus came to this earth?
        • Jesus came to this earth to testify the truth.
        • John 18:37- Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
    • So, Paul didn't mean that they have no capacity/ability to know/identify the truth. If he means then he is contradicting his writing in Romans 1:18-21 and the rest of the God's word. But he does mean hear in Ephesians 2:1 that all human race are spiritually dead.
      • (Spurgeon) “Not in a moral sense, nor a mental sense, but in a spiritual sense, poor humanity is dead, and so the word of God again and again most positively describes it.”
      • (DG) We err if we think that dead in trespasses and sins says everything about man’s lost condition. It is an err because the Bible uses many different pictures to describe the state of the unsaved man, saying he is:
        • Blind (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
        • A slave to sin (Romans 6:17)
        • A lover of darkness (John 3:19-20)
        • Sick (Mark 2:17)
        • Lost (Luke 15)
        • An alien, a stranger, a foreigner (Ephesians 2:12, 2:19)
        • A child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3)
        • Under the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
    • Even though we are dead because of our sins but God has implanted the basic capacity/ability/instinct knowledge to know/identify the truth while He formed us in our mothers womb. We are born sinners with instinct knowledge to know and believe/trust in true and living God.
  10. Therefore by birth even though we are sinners we have basic/minimal capacity/ability
    • To know God/Truth
      • Rom 1:19- because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
      • Ecc 3:11- He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
      • NLT: Ecc 3:11- God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
      • Gen 3:22 - Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
      • Rom 1:18- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    • To seek God/Truth or purposefully deny God:
      • Acts 17:27a - 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might
    • Because God loves all of us so much so He is actively working through His Holy Spirit and expecting us to respond:
      • (Spurgeon) “A rock which is in nobody’s way may stand where it is. He that believes in Jesus is born again. These two things are equally true: there must be a work of the Spirit within, yet he that believeth in the Lord Jesus hath everlasting life.”
      • John 3:16,18 - 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
      • For this reason Jesus knocks at everyone hearts and expect them to respond:
        • Rev 3:20- Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
      • We will end up in Hell/lake of fire suffer forever if we didn't respond to His call.
  11. Application:
    • From what the believers in Christ are saved from?
      • (DG) First and foremost, we are saved from the wrath of God that we righteously deserve.
      • (Morris)Unless there is something to be saved from, there is no point in talking about salvation.”
    • Is this wrath of God is revealed to the believer's who sins?
      • Wrath of God is revealed to all the human race but once anyone believe or put their faith in Jesus then they are escaped from this wrath of God.
      • 11 Thes 5:9 - 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
      • John 3:36- He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
      • Eph 2:3 - 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    • How anyone desire can escape this wrath of God?
      • By receiving the righteousness of God which is revealed in the Gospel. It is available to everyone who are in the earth who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
      • Rom 1:17 - 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

God's Wrath Revealed to Pagans or Idol worshipers:
22
Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Observation:

  1. Why the pagans/idolaters suppress the truth?
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
  2. How the pagans/idolaters suppress the truth?
    23
    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
  3. What is God's response to them?
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    28
    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
  4. Did they know about the righteous judgment of God?
    32a
    who, knowing the righteous judgment of God,
  5. What punishment do they deserve?
    32b
    that those who practice such things are deserving of death,
  6. What are they doing in addition to what they practice?
    32c
    not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Interpretation:

  1. Why the pagans/idolaters suppress the truth?
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    • Since they professing to be wise so they do not want anyone wiser than them including God.
    • (DG) Mankind does in fact suppress the truth of God. Every truth revealed to man by God has been fought against, disregarded, and deliberately obscured.
    • (WW) Man the worshiper became man the philosopher, but his empty wisdom only revealed his foolishness.
  2. How the pagans/idolaters suppress the truth?
    23
    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
    • Because they profess to be wise so, they suppress the truth by replacing the wisest person the true and living God with created things such as image, birds, animals.
      • (DG) Image in Romans 1:23 is the ancient Greek word eikon. It is a dangerous thing to change the glory of the incorruptible God into an eikon (image) of your own choosing.
      • (DG) We can’t seem to resist the temptation to create God into his own corrupt image, or even in an image beneath us. One great tragedy in this is that we inescapably become like the God we serve.
      • NIV: Jer 2:5 -5 This is what the LORD says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. 6 They did not ask, 'Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?'
      • NIV: Jer 10:14 - 14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.
    • Why they are replacing the living God with idol or something else instead of jut ignoring?
      • As we have seen earlier in Romans 1:19,21 by birth God has given basic capacity or instinct knowledge to know Him and in Ecc 3:11God has put eternity in our heart. So, they need to replace this knowledge and longing in their hearts with something else because they do not want the truth.
      • (WW) Having held down God's truth and refusing to acknowledge God's glory, man was left without a god; and man is so constituted that he must worship something. If he will not worship the true God, he will worship a false god, even if he has to manufacture it himself. This fact about man accounts for his propensity to idolatry. Man exchanged the glory of the true God for substitute gods that he himself made. He exchanged glory for shame, incorruption for corruption, truth for lies.
      • Even the Atheist has to keep on exercising that there is no God greater than them.
        • Note that first on the list of false gods is man. This fulfilled Satan's purpose when he told Eve, "Ye shall be as God!" (Gen. 3:5, NASB) "Glory to man in the highest!" Satan encouraged man to say. Instead of man being made in God's image, man made gods in his own image—and then descended so low as to worship birds, beasts, and bugs!
    • Compare this passage with Romans 1:21 and answer:
      Romans 1:21- because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile(foolish) in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
      1. (WW) Man knew God; this is clear. But man did not want to know God or honor Him as God.
      2. Instead of glorifying God they are replacing the existence of true and living God with created things.
      3. (WW) Instead of being thankful for all that God had given him, man refused to thank God or give Him the glory He deserves. Man was willing to use God's gifts, but he was not willing to worship and praise God for His gifts.
      4. (WW) The result was an empty mind and a darkened heart.
    • (Jon Courson) What Paul is saying is borne out in anthropology: On every corner of the planet, throughout all of history, every culture has had an innate need to worship. But, suppressing the truth about God, they have substituted gods of their own choosing. The Egyptian said, “If I were God, I would be bright and powerful, causing the crops to grow and blasting people who were out of line.” So his god was Ra, the sun god. The Hindu said, “If I were God, I would be gentle and caring.” So his god is a cow. The American Indian said, “If I were God, I would soar over the mountains majestically.” So his god is an eagle.
    • (Jon Courson) Look at the musicians, the fashion models, the TV shows, movies, and other creeping things our culture elevates, and you will have to conclude that we are as heathen as the pagans to whom Paul was writing.
    • (Jon Courson) Suppression and substitution have been the pattern throughout the history of mankind. And lest you think our society is an exception, what about the Bears and the Seahawks, the Lions and the Falcons? We spray-paint our bodies; we put watermelons on our heads; we stand up and yell; we live and die for our teams. Such is our nature of worship.
    • Application:
      • In what way this passage applies to the life of believers in Christ?
        1. (DG) It is absolutely essential that we constantly compare our own conception of God against the reality of who God is as revealed in His Word. We can also be guilty of worshipping a self-made God.
        2. (Jon Courson) Every man knows there’s a God, but men choose to suppress the truth and deny God exists because they don’t want to give glory to Him as God. You see, if there is a God, then I am required to submit to Him. But my flesh doesn’t want to do that, so I’ll suppress the truth I see all around me. I’ll say God doesn’t exist—even though the heavens and stars scream at me, “Yes He does!”We can fall into this same error as believers. Knowing God, we can fail to glorify Him as God. How? By insisting on our own way, by saying, “God, I believe in You, and now I’m telling You what I want You to do. You better solve this situation, take care of this problem, grant this request, or heal this sickness. I’m naming it. I’m claiming it.”He’s God. We’re not. He knows things we can’t know and sees things we can’t see. Therefore, for me to rub the lamp of faith and expect God to become my genie is, in a sense, blasphemous. Father knows best. Therefore, my part is to talk things over with Him, cast my cares upon Him, and have faith that He will do what’s right—even though I might not initially agree or understand.
        3. (Jon Courson) Anyone who thinks he knows exactly what should happen in his life and precisely how it should take place is a fool.
      • Does worldly wisdom saves your soul/life?
        • Luke 9:24-25 - 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost
        • 1 Cor 1:18-31 - 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."
      • Is it wrong to be wise in the world?
        • Jesus Himself said that we need to be wise as serpent and harmless as doves. Serpent wisdom here is little different than worldly wisdom.
          • Matt 10:16 - "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
        • Worldly wisdom is more self centered but if our wisdom suppress the truth such as existence of God then it is wrong.
          • Knowledge will puffs up
            • 1 Cor 8:1 - 1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
        • We need Godly wisdom which we can receive timely and dynamically when we ask God. Godly wisdom is not self centered.
          • James 3:14-18 - 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
        • Fear of God is beginning of this Godly wisdom.
          • Prov 9:10 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
          • Ps 111:10 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
  3. What is God's response to them?
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    28
    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
    • Since they suppress the truth by replacing God with themselves or some created things so, "God gave them up".
    • What it means that God gave them up?
      • Does that mean God give up on them?
      • It means God let them go as per their desire or gave them up to their desire like the prodigal son.
      • It means God abandoned them to do whatever they desired.
        • NTL: Romans 1:24 - 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
      • God didn't created us a toy/robot so He will not force us. God respect our free will.
    • Why God gave them up?
      • Since this Romans 1:24 starts with "therefore" so we can see why God has given up in Romans 1:21-23. God gave them up because of their sins.
        • Romans 1:21-23 - 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
      • (WW) Because of their sin "God gave them up" (Rom. 1:24, 26) which means that He permitted them to go on in their sins and reap the sad consequences. They received "in their own persons the due penalty of their error" (Rom. 1:27, NASB). This is the meaning of Romans 1:18, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven" (literal translation). God revealed His wrath, not by sending fire on heaven, but by abandoning sinful men to their lustful ways. But there was one more stage.
      • (DG) In His righteous wrath and judgment, God gives man up to the sin our evil hearts desire, allowing us to experience the self-destructive result of sin.
      • Yet, God does not violate man's freedom, forcing man to sin and then judging him for it. Rather, men in this state welcome more extreme degradation and actively embrace it: 'who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness' (Ephesians 4:19).
      • Hosea 4:17 expresses the judgmental aspects of God “giving us up,” leaving us to our own sin:
        • Hosea 4:17 - Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.
      • Consequently, Scripture states both that Pharaoh hardened his heart against God, and that God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 8:32; 9:12).
    • How many times this phrase "God gave them up/over" appears in this passage?
      • Three times - Romans 1:24, 26, 28.
      • (DG) This phrase is so important Paul repeats it three times in this passage.
    • To what God gave them up?
      1. God gave them up to uncleanness.
        24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
      2. God gave them up to vile passions
        26
        For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
      3. God gave them over to a debased mind
        28
        And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
    • What two major sin category you grab from this passage?
      • We can clearly see the Idolatry and the immorality.
      • (WW) Indulgence (w. 24-27) From idolatry to immorality is just one short step. If man is his own god, then he can do whatever he pleases and fulfill his desires without fear of judgment. We reach the climax of man's battle with God's truth when man exchanges the truth of God for "the lie" and abandons truth completely. "The lie" is that man is his own god, and he should worship and serve himself and not the Creator. It was "the lie" Satan used in die Garden to lead Eve into sin: "Ye shall be as God!" Satan has always wanted the worship that belongs only to God (Isa. 14:12-15; Matt. 4:8-10); and in idolatry, he receives that worship (1 Cor. 10:19-21).
    • Which specific sin is against the nature?
      • Homosexuality (sex with same gender) is a sin against nature.
        • (WW) Paul characterizes it as "vile" and "unnatural" as well as "against nature." Not only were the men guilty, but "even the women."
      • Sex with animals or sex outside the human race is sin against nature.
      • Heterosexual (sex between men and women ) immoralities are sins that are not against the nature.
    • What Paul is conveying about homosexuality?
      26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
      • (DG) Some say that the Bible nowhere condemns lesbian homosexuality, but the likewise of Romans 1:27 makes it clear that the sin of homosexuality condemned in Romans 1:27 is connected to the sin of women mentioned in Romans 1:26.
      • There are six primary passages of Scripture that reference homosexuality: Genesis 19:4-9; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. Of these, Romans passage has more details and next to this is the Genesis account of Sodom and Gomorrah.
        • NIV: Gen 19:4-5 - 4 Before they (two angels) had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
      • (WW) The result of this self-deification was self-indulgence; and here Paul mentions a vile sin that was rampant in that day and has become increasingly prevalent in our own day; homosexuality. This sin is repeatedly condemned in Scripture (Gen. 18:20ff; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 7)
      • (DG) Paul categorizes the whole section under the idea of vile passions - unhealthy, unholy. Nevertheless, Paul lived in a culture that openly approved of homosexuality. Paul didn’t write this to a culture that agreed with him.
        • Paul wrote to a culture where homosexuality was accepted as a part of life for both men and women. For some 200 years, men who openly practiced homosexuality, often with young boys, ruled the Roman Empire.
        • At times, the Roman Empire specifically taxed approved homosexual prostitution and gave boy prostitutes a legal holiday. Legal marriage between same gender couples was recognized, and even some of the emperors married other men.
        • At the very time Paul was writing, Nero was emperor. He took a boy named Sporus and had him castrated, then married him (with a full ceremony), brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his “wife.” Later, Nero lived with another man, and Nero was the “wife.”
      • Why some want to be homosexual?
        27
        Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
        • As per Romans 1:27 they are burned in their lust for one another.
        • Molested while they are child or child abused sexually.
      • Is there a penalty for the homosexuals?
        • Yes.
        • (DG) Paul speaks of a penalty for homosexual conduct; Homosexuality has within itself a penalty. This speaks of the self-destructive nature of sin; it often carries within itself it’s own penalty.
          1. Sometimes it is the penalty of disease, which is the consequence of violating nature’s order.
          2. Sometimes it is the penalty of rebellion, resulting in spiritual emptiness and all it’s ramifications. The term “gay” is wishful thinking; it sends a message that there is something essentially happy and carefree about the homosexual lifestyle - which there is not.
        • Since they sin against nature definitely they will get sever punishment from God if they didn't repent.
    • Is this passage in Romans 1:27 just talks about the homosexual or any more to it?
      • (DG) Paul doesn’t even use the normal words for men and women here; he uses the words for male and female, using categories that describe sexuality outside of human terms, because the type of sexual sin he describes is outside of human dignity.
        • NIV: Levi 18:22 - " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. 23 " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion
    • Finally to what God gave them over?
      28
      And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
      • What is debased mind means?
        • The word debased means corrupt, pollute, defile (reprobate in the KJV, foolish in NTL, useless in CEV)
          • It means to reduce in quality or value; adulterate: Eg: They debased the value of the dollar.
          • It meant originally ‘that which has not stood the test’. It was used of coins that were substandard and therefore rejected.
        • Their way of thinking reduced to sub standard, reduced in morality.
        • Debased mind people mind works quite oppositely. They say right what is wrong and say wrong what is right. We cannot see any moral value in them.
      • (WW) When man began feel the tragic consequences of his sins, would think he would repent and seek God; but just the opposite was true. Because was abandoned by God, he could only become worse. Man did not even want to retain God in his knowledge! So, "God gave them over” this time to a "depraved mind" (Rom. 1:28, NASB), which means a mind that cannot form right judgments. They now abandoned themselves to sin.
    • What other sins Paul listed in Romans 1:29-31?

    • 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
      • How many specific sins listed here?
        • (WW) Paul names twenty-four specific sins, all of which are with us today. (For other lists, see Mark 7:20-23; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; and 2 Tim. 3:2-5.)
      • (DG) The list in Romans 1:29-31 gives concrete examples of the kind of things which are not fitting. Notice how “socially acceptable” sins (such as covetousness, envy and pride) are included right along with “socially unacceptable” sins (such as murder and being unloving).
        • Covetousness is literally the itch for more.
      • Is envy a small sin?
        • (DG) Envy put Jesus on the cross. Pilate knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
          • Matthew 27:18 - For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
      • (Clarke) Whisperers: “Secret detractors; those who, under pretended secrecy, carry about accusations against their neighbours, whether true or false; blasting their reputation by clandestine tittle-tattle.”
      • (Clarke) Proud: “They who are continually exalting themselves and depressing others; magnifying themselves at the expense of their neighbours; and wishing all men to receive their sayings as oracles.”
  4. Did they know about the righteous judgment of God?
    32a
    who, knowing the righteous judgment of God,
    • Yes, they know that God will judge them.
  5. What punishment do they deserve?
    32b
    that those who practice such things are deserving of death,
    • What is death here means? or Is death here means just absent from the body?
      • Absent from the body and present with Satan and his followers in Hades first and then in Hell tormented forever after The Final Judgment.
  6. What are they doing in addition to what they practice?
    32c
    not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
    • (WW) But the worst is yet to come. Men not only committed these sins in open defiance of God, but encouraged others and applauded them when they sinned. How far man fell! He began glorifying God but ended exchanging that glory for idols. He began knowing God but ended refusing to keep the knowledge of God in his mind and heart. He began as the highest of God's creatures, made in the image of God; but he ended lower than the beasts and insects, because he worshiped them as his gods. The verdict? "They are without excuse!" (Rom. 1:20)
    • This is what exactly happening in the postmodern world.
    • Application: Whatever we believe we will profess/preach to others.
  7. Is there a hope for these group of people to enter into heaven?
    • Since they do not want to retain the knowledge of God so they are not believing in Jesus. If they are stubborn and continue in their sin then one point in time they will blaspheme against Holy Spirit.
    • What is the outcome of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
      • Anyone who blaspheme against Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
        • Luke 12:10 - And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
    • What is Blasphemy against Holy Spirit?
      • How God has revealed to all people? or How God is working among all people?
        More details covered in Compare this passage Romans 1:18-21 with Ephesians 2:1 topic.
        • By birth even though we are sinners God has provided all of us the basic/minimal capacity/ability
          1. To know God/Truth:
            • Rom 1:19 - because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
            • Ecc 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
            • NLT: Ecc 3:11 - God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
            • Gen 3:22 - Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
            • Rom 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
          2. To seek God/Truth or purposefully deny God:
            • Acts 17:27a - 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might
      • How God is reaching out all people through His Holy Spirit? or What more God is doing among all people through this Holy Spirit? or What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
        • God is keep on convicting all of us through Holy Spirit that we need to believe in Jesus, God's Righteousness is readily and freely available in the Gospel, and Satan is judged by Jesus.
          • John 16:8,9 - 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
          • NLT: John 16:8,9 - 7 But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Counselor won't come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world's sin is unbelief in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the prince of this world has already been judged.
        • If anyone didn't respond to gentle, soft and tender voice of Jesus through Holy Spirit as in the song "Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling..." then they will not respond to Him anymore.
          • Rev 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
          • Matt 11:28 - 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
      • In other words Jesus gently whispers to everyone through His Holy Spirit. They keep on suppress the truth by their unrighteousness and finally blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
        • Matt 12:31-32 - 31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
        • Luke 12:10 - And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
      • Blasphemy against Holy Spirit means utterly rejecting/cursing the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit to believe in Jesus Christ. We can see these type of people during the Great Tribulation time ie last seven year period before Jesus Christ comes in Rev 6 & 16.
        • Rev 6:14-17 - 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
        • Rev 16:9,11,21 - 8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
          10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
          17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
      • Read Blasphemy against Holy Spirit topic for more details.
    • Did they blaspheme the Holy Spirit?
      • Here God didn't give up persuading them but like Prodigal Son God gave them up or let them go as per their desire but with the great expectation to repent from their sins and turn to God.
      • But if they hold on to their desire and sin and not want to repent then eventually and in one point in time completely reject/curse/blaspheme the Holy Spirit and all the works of God. God will not forgive them and they are condemn themselves and destined to hell.
      • Since they do not want to retain the knowledge of God so they are not believing in Jesus. If they are stubborn and continue in their sin then one point in time they will blaspheme against Holy Spirit instead of repent and commit their life to Jesus Christ then they will not be forgiven/enter into heaven/saved.
    • (WW)Impenitence (not feeling regret about one's sin or sins) (vv. 28-32). This portion of Scripture gives ample proof that the heathen are lost. Dan Crawford, British missionary to Africa, said: "The heathen are sinning against a flood of light." There is a desperate need for us to carry the Gospel to all men, for this is the only way they can be saved.
    • Yes there is hope only through Jesus. We can see this in detail in Romans 3:21-31.
      • Rom 10:15 - 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Application:

  1. What is our (believers in Christ) responsibility?
    • Instead of judging these people we need to reach out them.
    • Matt 28:19-20 - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
    • Rom 10:14,15 - 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"
    • Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
  2. Are you eagerly seeking the truth or suppressing the truth?
  3. Are you practicing any of these sins?
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