Romans 1:1-23

Romans 1 Outline for Bible study.  Verses 1-23.  This outline will increase as the study progresses through Romans 1.

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Also, please feel free to use these notes to teach on Romans. God bless.


Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,


Παῦλος Paúlos, occurs 158 times in the N.T.
The change of the name was important since it signified a change in calling.

Saul (prayed for) to Paul (small), (Acts 9:3–6)
Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude), (Gen. 17:5)
Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (God’s people), (Gen. 32:28)
From Simon to Peter (rock), (John 1:42 16:17-18)


δοῦλος doúlos, occurs 126 times in the N.T. Translated as slaves most of the time.
A bondservant is someone given completely over to the service of another, often voluntarily.

Christ Jesus


Χριστός Christós, occurs 531 times in the N.T. In the NASB, it is translated as Messiah (Matt. 1:1, 16-17; 2:4), Lord (1 Cor. 10:9), and Christ (Mark 1:1; Acts 2:31; 1 Cor. 1:1, etc.)
Generally, it means anointed one and messiah.

Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ

“Christ Jesus” (Χριστός Ἰησοῦς, Xristos Iasous) occurs 91 times in the N.T. “Jesus Christ” (Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Iasous Xristos) occurs 135 Times.
I am not aware of the significance of the difference in order


The glorious manifestation of Christ Jesus to Paul who called him to follow Him.
Acts 9:3–6, 15, “As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 5 And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.’… 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.”
Election is the sovereign act of God where, from before the foundation of the world, he chose those whom he would save (Eph. 1:4). This election to salvation is not conditioned upon any foreseen faith (Rom. 9:16) or good works of any individual (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 1:9). The election is based completely on God’s sovereign choice according to the kind intention of his will (Eph. 1:11), the criteria, of which, he has not revealed to us. God elected people because he decided to bestow his love upon them (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4) based solely on his sovereign grace (Gal. 1:15) and for his glory (Isa. 43:7).


ἀπόστολος apóstolos, occurs 79 times in the N.T.
Apostles established churches (Rom. 15:17-20), exposed error (Gal. 1:6-9), and defended the truth of the gospel (Phil. 1:7, 17). Some were empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform miracles (Matt. 10:1, 8), and they were to preach the gospel (Matt. 28:19, 20).
Seven kinds of apostles in the New Testament

The 12 Apostles: There are apostles who were only among the 12: Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot who was replaced by Mathias (Acts 1:26). They performed miracles. Some wrote scripture. (Acts 1:21-22).
Paul: Paul was an apostle (unique?) specifically commissioned by Christ. He performed miracles and wrote scripture. (Acts 14:14; 1 Cor. 9:1;  1:1)
Barnabas is an apostle. He performed no miracles and wrote no scripture. (Acts 14:14, 8-18)
Jesus is called an apostle. He performed miracles (Heb. 3:1)
Sent ones: There are apostles in the sense of simply being sent. They are messengers. They perform no miracles. (2 Cor. 8:23;  2:25; John 20:21)
Anyone involved: It could be possible that anyone who was involved in Christ’s ministry before his death and saw him after his resurrection could be referred to as apostles. (Acts 1:21-22)
False apostles. (2 Cor. 11:13;  2:2)

Set Apart

ἀφορίζω, aphorízō, Occurs 10 Times in the N.T. In the NASB, it is rendered as take, separate, set, hold. (Matt. 13:49; 25:32; Luke 6:22; Acts 13:2; 19:9; Rom. 1:1; 2 Cor. 6:17; Gal. 1:15; 2:12)


εὐαγγέλιον, euaggélion. Occurs 76 times in the N.T. (Matt. 4:23; Mark 1:1; Acts 15:7; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:6)
Generally, it means “good news.”


Θεός Theós. Occurs 1310 times in the N.T.
God is the one who called him. Essentially, got elected him for this purpose which is why it says he was set apart for the gospel.  Paul has a purpose from God.
Gal. 1:15, “But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood.”

which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

God promised the gospel in the prophets of the Old Testament

Gen. 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Gen. 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Galatians 3:8, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.’”

Deut. 18:18, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”
Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 53:4–6, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”

concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

His Son

The Son of God and Eternal Sonship

The doctrine of the sonship of Jesus is the teaching that the second person of the Trinity, the Word (John 1:1,14), has always existed in relationship to the Father by being the Son. The Father elected ‘in the Son.’ This election is not possible without the redemptive work of Christ and the redemptive work of Christ is not possible without election.
Psalm 2:7, “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
Prov. 30:4, “Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!”
Eph. 1:4, “just as He [the Father] chose us [election] in Him [the Son] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him…”

Being “in Christ” see Rom. 6:6, 8; 1 Cor. 15:22.

Descendent of David

2 Sam. 7:12, “When your [David] days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.”
Zech. 12:10, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
Matt. 1:1, “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Declared the Son of God

Paul was made an apostle. But Jesus was declared the Son of God – by God the Father.

Matt. 3:17, “and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”

This does not mean that Jesus was not the Son of God and then was made the Son of God. He has always been the Son of God.

Eternal Sonship deals with the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son where the Father elected and the Son would redeem
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him,” (Eph. 1:4).

The terms “Son of God” and “Son(s) of God” occurs 53 times in the NASB. 5 times in the OT (Gen. 6:3-4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7) and the rest in the NT.

Sons of God in Hebrew is הָ בְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים, bene halohim
Son of God in Greek is υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, huios tou theou

Some say the term “son of God” means that Jesus is not God. If that is the case, does the term “Son of Man” mean that Jesus is not a man?

John 5:18, “For this reason, therefore, the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

Jesus as the Son of God – He is proclaimed the Son of God by an angel (Luke 1:35). John the Baptist called Him the SOG (Mark 3:11; John 1:34), as did Nathanael (John 1:49), Martha (John 11:27), John (John 20:31; 1 John 3:8; 4:15; 5:5, 10, 12, 13, 20; Rev. 2:18), Philip (Acts 8:37), Paul (Acts 9:17; Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:19; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:13), the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 4:14; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29). Jesus refers to Himself as the SOG (John 3:18; 5:25; John 11:4). The demons recognized Him as SOG (Matt. 4:3, 6; 8:29; Luke 4:3, 9, 41). The Jewish religious leaders asked about Him being the SOG (Matt. 26:63; Luke 22:70; John 10:33-36; 19:7). The Romans mocked Him as the SOG at His crucifixion (Matt. 27:40). Yet, some Romans also proclaimed Him as the SOG (Matt. 27:54; Mark 15:39).
People are called sons of God – Adam is called a Son of God (Luke 3:38). Christ’s followers are “Sons of God” (Matt. 5:9; Luke 20:36; 8;14, 19; Gal. 3:26; 1 John 4:15)

The resurrection from the dead

John 2:19–21, “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”

“I will raise” is ἐγερῶ αὐτόν, egero auton, which is the future, active, indicative, first person, singular. This means that Jesus did the action of resurrecting himself – which the active voice designates.

John 10:18, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.’
1 Cor. 15:4, “and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Psalm 16:10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”
Possibly Hosea 6:1–2, “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.”
Matt. 12:40, “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

1 Cor. 15:42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body.”

The body that dies is the same body that is raised. Notice “it is sown” with “it is raised.”
Jesus is the firstborn of the dead.

Col. 1:18, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”

Jesus retained the crucifixion wounds after his physical resurrection

John 20:27, “Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’
However, His body was “without” blood since the blood is the sacrifice

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “

Jesus said, said He had flesh and bones, not flesh and blood.

Luke 24:39, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

The Spirit of Holiness

This would be the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus. Yet, all three members of the Trinity raised Jesus from the dead.

Father – 1 Thess. 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead that isJesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
Son – John 2:19, “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Holy Spirit – Rom. 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

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

Grace and apostleship

Grace is to all believers, but apostleship was to a few.
Grace is χάρις cháris. It occurs 155 times in the New Testament.

Justice is the righteousness of God where He judges a person.

We get what we deserve: Judgment.

Mercy is the favor of God, where He does not judge a person.

We don’t get what we deserve: Judgment.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God that he freely bestows upon us to do his kindness.

We get what we don’t deserve: Salvation, love, forgiveness, etc.

Apostleship is ἀποστολή apostolḗ. It occurs 4 times in the New Testament (Acts 1:25; Rom. 1:5; 1 Cor. 9:2; Gal. 2:8)

Obedience of the Faith

Paul’s calling (and ours) is to bring people to yield to the power and message of God’s Word.

1 Peter 3:15, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
2 Cor. 10:5, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Matt. 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.”

We are the instruments of this salvation via the proclamation of the gospel


Gentiles is ἔθνος éthnos. The word occurs 161 times in the New Testament.
Gentiles are non-Jews.

among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

The called

κλητός klētós, call. The word occurs 10 times in the N.T. (Matt. 22:14; Romans 1:1, 6, 7; 8:28; 1 Cor. 1:1, 2, 24; Jude 1; Rev. 17:14)
The definite article “the” is not in the Greek. The ESV renders it as “called to belong.” The KJV, NKJV, Lexham English Bible say “the called.”
‘Called’ is the nominative case in Greek which means it is the subject. This is why some translations render it as “the called.”


Rom. 8:30, “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
1 Cor. 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
Jude 1, “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.”

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

Beloved of God

Beloved is ἀγαπητός agapētós. The word occurs 61 times in the NT.

Agapetos is used in reference to Jesus as the “beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” (Matt. 3:17), of Barnabas and Paul (Acts 15:25), of Epaenetus (Rom. 16:5), of Stachys (Rom. 16:9), Persis (Rom. 16:12), of Christians (1 Cor. 4:14; 10:14; Eph. 5:1), of Timothy (1 Cor. 4:17), etc.

Deut. 33:12, “Of Benjamin he said, ‘May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, and he dwells between His shoulders.’”


Saints is ἅγιος hágios. The word occurs 220 times in the NT.
It is used in reference to the saints in Christ (Acts 9:32, 41; Rom. 12:13; 15:26; 1 Cor. 1:2, etc.), the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:15; John 1:33, etc.), of Jesus (Acts 3:14; 4:30; 26:10, etc.), of God (Rev. 4:8; 6:10), of the prophets (Acts 3:21), an angel(s) (Acts 10:22; Rev. 14:10), the Scriptures (Rom. 1:2), the Law (Rom. 7:12)

from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

Christ is juxtaposed with God the Father, demonstrating his divinity.

John 5:23, “so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”


1 Cor. 1:3, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Gal. 1:3, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Eph. 1:2, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

Through Jesus Christ

Jesus is the mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and the one through whom many blessings flow.
John 1:17, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
Romans 16:27, “to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.”
Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
1 Peter 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Throughout the whole world

This is not about every single nation that existed but the environment and geographical knowledge with which Paul was familiar. Paul was exaggerating in his expression through what is called hyperbole.

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

I serve in my spirit

Paul serves God from his innermost being and seeks to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The phrase ‘in my spirit’ occurs only here in the NT.

The gospel – εὐαγγέλιον euaggélion. The word occurs 76 times in the NT.

“From the noun from euággelos, bringing good news, which is from (2095), good, well, and aggéllō (n.f.), to proclaim, tell.” (Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000.)
1 Cor. 15:1–4, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

His Son

Jesus is the Son, in relation to the Father, in an eternal relationship.
See Rom. 5:10; 8:29; 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:16, etc.


Witness is the Greek word μάρτυς mártus, from which we get martyr. The word occurs 35 times in the NT. (Matt. 18:16; Luke 11:48; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:23; 1 Tim. 5:19, etc.)

Make mention of you

Paul mentions others and praises others (Php 1:3, 4; Col. 1:3,4; 1 Thess. 1:2, 3).

always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.

In these verses in the opening of the book of Romans, Paul mentions his unceasing prayers to God for the church in Rome. He wanted to be with them and, as is found in the next verse, to impart a spiritual gift to them. But we see that Paul, an apostle of God who sought to come to Rome and visit the church, did not get his prayer answered. At least, not in the way that you would think.
Paul did get to Rome because he went as a prisoner. It was the will of Paul to go to Rome and visit the Roman Church in his own timing. But, God’s plan was different. Instead, according to God’s will and His sovereign plan, Paul was imprisoned and led to Rome in chains.

In Acts 25, the Jews brought charges against Paul. Part of their plan was to have him brought to Jerusalem so they might set “an ambush to kill him on the way,” (Acts 25:3). But, that did not happen. Paul ended up in Ceasarea before a tribunal (Acts 25:6-10). Since Paul was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:27-28), he appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:11). This meant he would have to go to Rome. It is in Rome, while imprisoned, that he wrote Romans, Philippians, Ephesians, and Colossians. Paul mentions his imprisonment in several places (Phil. 1:7, 13; Col. 4:3, 18; 2 Tim. 2:9). In Phil.1:13, he mentions being watched by the praetorian guard who were an elite group of soldiers stationed at the Roman Empire headquarters.
The praetorium (an official residence) is mentioned in Greek in Mark 15:16; Matt. 27:27; John 18:28, 33; 19:9; Acts 23:35; and Phil. 1:13.

The will of God.

We should notice that Paul accompanies his prayers with the phrase “the will of God.”
Was the prayer of Paul to go to Rome a prayer that pleased God?
Paul wanted to go to Rome to minister to the Roman Church, which is a good thing. But in the infinite wisdom and eternal decrees of God, the Lord had predestined that Paul would enter Rome as a prisoner. So when Paul was praying and asking to go to Rome, and yet God’s will was that he not go there except later as a prison (Acts 27:1-28:17), was Paul’s prayer agreeable to God even though it was not in harmony with specific His eternal purpose?
Likewise, if God has eternally ordained whatever is predestined to occur (Acts 4:28), then can our prayers, that are not in complete accordance with His will, be pleasing to Him? The answer is yes.
We are responsible for God’s revealed will, not the secret will. God desires that we pray to Him and ask Him for such things as forgiveness of sins, intercession for others, healing, etc. We know we are to pray these because we have been instructed to do so in the Bible. Therefore, we are in the will of God when we ask for forgiveness, intercession, and healing.
Our prayers are agreeable to God when we offer them in humility, sincerity, and submission to God’s will.
Our prayers are acceptable to God when they are cleansed by the one and only High Priest and mediator, Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 6:20; 7:25).
We do not have the right to demand anything from God. Rather, we have the privilege, through Christ, through the cross, to approach the throne of God and ask the Holy Father for those requests that are upon our hearts. But, even as Jesus said in the garden, “not my will, but your or will be done,” (Luke 22:42), so too must we offer our prayers to God with those same words, “not my will, but you or will be done.”
Prayer that seeks the will of God is a privileged necessity. As Christians, we are to pray for the revealed will of God, for the spreading of the gospel, for carrying out the Great Commission, and for our sanctification. Such prayers cannot be empty words. They must be accompanied by intent and submission to God’s will and the desire to accomplish what God has revealed.
To pray without action is to mock God because it means we do not think enough of trusting Him and so also act upon our words of prayer.
To act without prayer is arrogance because it means we do not need God and His counsel, and thus we rob Him of His glory.
We need to pray and be willing to act upon our prayers and to do that which is necessary to accomplish those requests; that is, if they are within our power to do so and if they are according to the will of God. And, for those prayers whose ultimate answer rests in the eternal decrees of God, we must pray in humble submission seeking His divine will and always trust Him no matter what the outcome. To God be the glory as we seek His face and carry out His will.

For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established

Spiritual gift

The word spiritual is “pnuematikon” and the word gift is “charisma.” There is some debate over the nature of the gift that Paul wished to impart to the Roman church, but it seems evident that it was a charismatic gift.

1 Cor. 1:7, “so that you are not lacking in any gift [charisma], awaiting eagerly the revelation [apokalupsis] of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Established – στηρίζω, stērízō. Occurs 14 times in the NT. It means to strengthen, stand, set fast, fix firmly.

The gift was meant to establish the Roman Church, but the gift is not specified.
There are 10 charismatic gifts given by God to the church that are listed in Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, and 1 Cor. 14:

Word of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8), word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8), faith (1 Cor. 12:9; Rom. 12:3), healing (1 Cor. 12:9), miracles (1 Cor. 12:10), prophecy (1 Cor. 12:10; 1 Cor. 14:1, 5, 29-31; Rom. 12:6), distinguishing of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10), tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:2, 13-14), interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), eternal life (Rom. 6:23).

that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Be encouraged together with you

Mutual encouragement in the Christian faith. We are to encourage one another and lift one another up. This means to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), to love each other, help each other, and be involved with one another.

I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.

I have planned to come to you

Even though Paul the apostle was commissioned by God to do many wonderful things, he was often thwarted in his attempt to minister the gospel to the Romans. Of course, we know that the enemy does not want the gospel preached. But we also know that God ordains what will come to pass.
Sometimes it means being hindered – according to His plan.

Acts 4:27–28, “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
Acts 2:23, “this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

The eternal decrees of God are decisions that God has made from eternity to bring about events.

Eph. 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.“

Within the eternal council of God, there is room for our freedom to minister to one another, to bring glory to God, to seek to accomplish the will of the Father, to evangelize, and more.

Have been prevented

Acts 16:6-7, “They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.”
1 Thess. 2:18, “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.”

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Under obligation

The obligation that Paul is speaking of is not a debt but an obligation to fulfill the preaching of the gospel that the Lord Jesus has commissioned him to undertake.

Acts 9:15, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.’

This can be applied to us all in the Great Commission

Matt. 28:19–20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Greek and barbarians

Greek is Ἕλλην, éllēn. “The Greeks were the Greeks by birth (Acts 16:1, 3; 18:17), or else Gentiles as opposed to Jews (Rom. 2:9, 10)… The Greeks and Hebrews first met when the Tyrians sold the Jews to the Greeks (Joel 3:6).” (Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000.)

Joel 3:6, “and sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their territory.”

Barbarians is βάρβαρος bárbaros. A barbarian was a person who spoke a foreign language. The word occurs 6 times in the NT in Acts 28:2, 4 (as natives) with Rom. 1:14; 1 Cor. 14:11, Col. 3:11 (as barbarians).

So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Preach the gospel – is one word in Greek. εὐαγγελίζω, euaggelízō.

Euaggelizo is translated as ‘preach the gospel’ (Matt. 11:5; Luke 4:18, Acts 8:25, etc.), ‘bring good news’ (Luke 1:19; 2:10; Rom. 10:15; 1 Thess. 3:6, etc.)

1 Cor. 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”

Important point: Baptism is not the gospel and does not make the gospel effective. But, we ought to be baptized.
Paul also said, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel,” (1 Cor. 9:16).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Not ashamed of the gospel

We should be bold and confident when sharing the gospel.

Mark 8:38, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Matt. 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”
Gal. 6:14, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Have you risked anything to preach the gospel?

Rom. 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
2 Cor. 4:17, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,”

Jew first and to the Greek

Matt. 15:24, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Matt. 10:5–6, “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’”
1 Cor. 1:23, “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness.”
Two groups, the Jews and all the others.
Jesus was sent covenantally to Israel, not the whole world
However, the whole world was to be blessed by what Jesus would do.

Gen. 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Gal. 3:8, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.’”
Rom. 8:15, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’”

For in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’”

The righteousness of God

God is, by nature, righteous.
God is the standard of righteousness
God is perfect, pure, holy, and without sin

But the righteous man shall live by faith

Genesis 15:6, “Then he believed in the Lord, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
Hab. 2:4, “The just shall live by faith.”
Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”

We are saved by faith… we live by faith.
Faith in God

Phil. 1:29, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
John 6:29, Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’

Justice, mercy, and grace are all realized in the cross of Christ.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The wrath of God is revealed

The word wrath is ὀργή orgḗ. It occurs 36 times in the NT, as wrath (Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7; John 3:36; Eph. 2:3, Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 1:10, etc.), anger (Mark 3:5; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; James 1:19, etc.)
The word revealed is ἀποκαλύπτω apokalúptō. It occurs 26 times in the NT as reveal/ed (Matt. 10:26; Luke 2:35; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Pet. 1:5, etc.), revelation (1 Cor. 14:30).
Wrath is because God is righteous. The Law is a reflection of His character. Laws have punishments. A law without punishment is not a law. It is a slogan.
If God does not punish the sinner, then He is approving of sin.
But thanks be to God

1 Cor. 15:56–57, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”


The Law requires holiness (Leviticus 11:44–45; 1 Pet. 1:16) but reveals our sinfulness (Rom. 3:20; 7:7)
The Law makes no concessions; it makes demands. (Gal. 3:10).
The Law is spiritual. It works on the spirit – not on the body. (Rom. 7:14).
The Law brings judgment (Rom. 4:15).
The Law is for the ungodly (1 Tim. 1:8-11).
The Law is written on the heart (Rom. 2:14-15), but the gospel is revealed (1 Cor. 15:1)
The Law prepares us for the gospel (Gal. 3:24).

It would be impossible to convert anyone if the Law had not been written on their hearts because it reveals sin (Rom. 3:20).

The Law tells us what God demands (Deut. 27:26). The Gospel reveals what God has done (Rom. 6:23) and requires only faith (Rom. 3:28; 5:1).
We are made righteous in God’s eyes by grace apart from Law (Rom. 3:28; 5:1; Gal. 2:16).
The Law and the gospel both promise eternal life:

The Law by complete obedience to all its commands (Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:26).
The gospel by grace unconditionally (Rom. 3:22-24, Eph. 2:8-9). It demands nothing–makes no threats. It removes from sinners the desire to sin.

Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness

The character of God is pure, absolutely pure. Hab. 1:13 says God’s eyes are too pure to approve evil.
The wrath of God is manifested in the hardening of people’s hearts so that they will do that which is ungodly. This does not mean that God is making them sin. It means that God is giving them over to their sin.
Therefore, we see the manifestation of evil in people’s hearts in their support of homosexuality, abortion, evolution, gay marriage, and other immoral and unnatural acts and beliefs. The unbelievers seek these things because their hearts are depraved and their minds are dull.
They do not have the Spirit of God dwelling within them. So they cannot see the truth. Instead, they will believe lies and encourage others to believe lies as well.

Suppress the truth in unrighteousness

The unbelievers go to great lengths to suppress the truth of God and replace it with their own opinions.
They seek to find ways to intellectually justify their independence from God and their denial of him.
Atheists work very hard at developing means by which they justify living without Him.
Roman Catholics suppress the truth of God by putting the church above God’s word and thereby miss the true gospel.
Evolutionists reject the truth of God’s word and replace the ultimate source of all things with naturalism, the idea that everything operates under the laws of nature and hence we have evolved.

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

That which is known about God is evident within them

God says that they have the knowledge of who He is within them. This is not including the special revelation of who Jesus is. Instead, it is talking about the innate, internal knowing that God exists.

General revelation is found in nature.
Special revelation is found in Scripture.
Incarnational revelation is found in Jesus.

We are made in the image of God and came from God (Gen. 1:26-28). Therefore we naturally know that there is a God. But people who deny God’s existence do so because they choose to do so.
They have chosen to deny that God exists. They have chosen to follow after the passions of their own lusts and the depravity of their own minds. They do not want God to be sovereign over them.
Instead, they want their own sovereignty. They want independence from God.
Adam and Eve choose to be independent of God. They ‘acted like’ atheists.
All who deny God are echoing the Edenic lie that they will be like God deciding what is true, false, good, and bad.
Look at the world around us and see how man’s independence and self-righteousness lead to death.
3:1-7, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” 4 And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”

God made it evident to them

God has revealed himself in creation.
The evidence is there. Therefore, they are without excuse.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Creation of the world

This refers back to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Invisible attributes, power, and nature

God’s invisible attributes are things like his omnipotence (all power), omniscience (all knowledge), omnisapience (all wisdom), omnipresence (existence everywhere).
This speaks of the testimony of the truth of God’s existence from things outside of oneself.

Clearly seen

Note the play on words that God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen. The attributes of God are manifested in creation.
When you look out into creation, you should be able to discover certain aspects of God’s character and nature.

The world exists and did not bring itself into existence. Therefore, God is the Creator.
The universe exists and is vast in scope and complexity. Therefore God is infinitely powerful.
The universe has order and pattern. Therefore, God is the lawgiver.
The world is very well-balanced and detailed. Therefore, we can see that God is wise.
The world continues to provide wind, rain, and food. Therefore, we can see that God is the great provider.
Kalam Cosmological Argument (basic form)

All things that come into existence have a cause.
The universe came into existence. It is not infinitely old. Therefore it has a cause.

If the universe were infinitely old, then there would be no usable energy (entropy issue). But, since we have usable energy, the universe is not infinitely old.
If the universe were infinitely old, then an infinite amount of time would have been traversed to get to now. But an infinite amount of time cannot be traversed. Therefore the universe is not infinitely old.

The cause of the universe is either personal or not personal.
The cause of the universe would have to possess the necessary and sufficient conditions to bring about the creation of the universe.
If the cause of the universe is impersonal and infinitely old, then it would have automatically brought the universe into existence an infinitely long time ago.
This would mean that the universe would be infinitely old. But the universe is not infinitely old.
Therefore, the impersonal cause of the universe is not the cause of the universe.
Since we only have two options, personal and impersonal, and the impersonal cause is negated, then the personal cause created the universe.

The Trinity in creation

Time = past, present, and future
Matter = solid, liquid, gas
Space = height, width, and depth

There is a purpose to the world and its design. Therefore we can see that God is the great designer and planner.

A bird is not a randomly developed flying device.
A fish is not an accidentally formed swimming contraption.
A tree is not an arbitrarily arranged carbon dioxide converter.

They are without excuse

There is no excuse for denying God’s existence, greatness, beauty, and wisdom.
But, many people, such as atheists, openly deny the evidence before them and tribute the wonders of our world to patterns of accident and naturalism.
They say that life comes from non-life.
They say that order comes from non-order.
They say that information comes from non-information

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

They knew God but did not honor Him as God.

This speaks of the testimony of the truth of God’s existence from things inside of oneself.
“They knew God” does not mean they are saved, since they are not known by God (Matt. 7:23; John 10:27; Gal. 4:8-9).
It means that the truth of God’s existence is known within them. But, of course, people deny that internal testimony. They suppress the truth of God’s existence in their unrighteousness.
The internal testimony of God’s existence includes such things as…

The understanding of universal morals.

“It is always wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for one’s personal pleasure.”

The understanding of universal judgment

People regularly speak of justice and what ought to be done to evil people.

The understanding of the order of the world which implies a designer.

The universe and our world are not random.

Or give thanks

A denial of God and His work means the unbeliever does not honor God properly by thanking Him.
They do not appreciate His graceful provision for our needs.

Futile in their speculations

Unbelievers routinely offer various godless explanations for the universe’s existence, our world, life, information, beauty, universal morals, mathematics, etc.
They sometimes say the universe caused itself.
They often say that life formed from non-life via abiogenesis and evolution, brought speciation and increased complexity.
They say information is formed ‘accidentally’ in biological structures, i.e., DNA
They say that beauty comes into existence when we assign beauty to something.
They offer such man-centered teachings as consequentialism, empiricism, hedonism, moral anti-realism, moral realism, naturalism, platonism, pragmatism, rationalism, realism, subjectivism, etc.

Their foolish heart was darkened

Darkness without light

John 1:4–5, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

This is why God is judging them.
Jeremiah 2:5, “Thus says the Lord, ‘What injustice did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty?”

Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Professing to be wise

Answers without God as the origin and sovereign.

They became fools

Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
This means they say that life formed out of non-life, developing into extremely complex life forms in huge diversity.

Exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for creation

Science and materialistic naturalism ultimately results in denying God

Science is a philosophical approach to learning since it is based on philosophical assumptions.

Science is based on the universality of logic.
Science is based on the uniformity of nature.
Science is based on the belief that scientists will accurately reflect knowledge.

Materialistic naturalism is ultimately self-refuting

If the material universe is all there is, then the physical brain is restricted to operate under the laws that govern the material and natural world.
But this would mean that the brain produces necessary chemical reactions based on stimulus received through the senses.
Necessary chemical reactions undermine truth values since necessary chemical reactions are not based on the abstract principles of logical laws such as the Law of Identity, the Law of Non-contradiction, and the Law of Excluded Middle.

Law of identity – something is what it is and is not what it is not.
Law of non-contradiction – statements cannot be both true and false at the same time in the same sense.
Law of excluded middle – statements are either true or false.

Evolution – All species of life on earth evolved from a single original cell through natural selection.

But if evolution is true based on materialistic naturalism, then philosophically, it refutes itself.
It would mean that the human brain works only under the laws of chemistry. This, as stated above, would produce necessary chemical reactions. In turn, this undermines the ability to know whether or not evolution is true since necessary chemical reactions may or may not produce accurate truth values.
To determine the truth of such chemical reactions, a transcendental foundation of truth apart from and existing independently from us, that cannot be based on chemical reactions necessitated by the materialistic, naturalistic evolutionary theory.

A transcendental foundation, in this case, would be truth (an abstraction), which exists apart from our physical brains’ cogitations, that is not dependent on materialism, and is what we discover.

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