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Romans 1


Romans for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

Romans Chapter 1

Verse 1.  “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,”

An “apostle” is someone who says “yes” to Jesus, and then is “set apart” (sent) to do something special for God.  Paul was sent to tell the “gospel” (good news) about Jesus (which means “the Lord is Salvation”) Christ (which means the “Anointed One”).

Verse 2.  “which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,”

The “prophets” of God promised that Jesus Christ would come to this world.  A “prophet” is someone who tells us words that are from God.  The Old Testament in the Bible (the “holy Scriptures”) is full of the words of God’s prophets about Christ Jesus.

Verse 3.  “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,”

In places like Jeremiah 23:5-6 and Isaiah 9:6-7, it was said that King David would be a human ancestor of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, long before He (Jesus) was born.

Verse 4.  “who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,”

Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, which SHOWS Him to be the Son of God; the LORD of us all.

Verse 5.  “through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,”

Paul and others were “apostles” (sent by God) through God’s “grace” (God’s favor) to help “Gentiles” (people in many nations) become obedient to God by finding faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus.

Verse 6.  “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;”

Paul wrote this letter to people in Rome (Italy) who had been called by God to have faith in Jesus Christ.  It is also written especially to you, when you trust in Him.

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

The Romans that Paul wrote to were “saints,” people who were “called” to have faith in the Lord.  Those who trust in Jesus are given “grace” (God’s favor) and “peace” with God.

Verse 8.  “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.”

Having “faith” is TRUSTING in Jesus Christ.  The Christians in Rome had lots of faith, which was seen in their lives and told to many others.  If you have faith in the Lord, others will see it and tell their friends.

Verse 9.  “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,”

Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to tell others about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and he often spoke about the Roman (Italian) Christians when he did.  They had a lot of faith and Paul told many others about them.

Verse 10.  “always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.”

Paul often prayed that God would lead him to Rome, to visit the Roman Christians in person.  He wanted to SEE the people he had been praying for.

Verse 11.  “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;”

Paul longed to go to Rome (in Italy) and meet the Christians there.  When Paul prayed for someone, they often were given a “spiritual gift” by God, making them useful in God’s service.  He wanted to do this for the Roman Christians.

Verse 12.  “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.”

Your faith will encourage others, just as their faith will encourage you.  We need to be with other Christians who REALLY love the Lord.  It will encourage them – and us.

Verse 13.  “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.”

Paul wanted to go to Rome so he might help them.  So far, the Lord had sent him to OTHER places, not Rome.  “Fruit” is the Holy Spirit working through us and Paul wanted them to be useful to God.  “Gentiles” indicates that many of them were non-Jewish Christians.

Verse 14.  “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.”

Paul the Apostle was called by God to teach “Gentiles” (non-Jews) about Jesus Christ.  “Gentiles” included “Greek” people – the ancestors of most of the people in the areas around the Mediterranean Sea were originally from Greece.  “Barbarians” were people who were not Greek or Roman.  “Wise” and “foolish” meant that some of his listeners were educated people and some were not.

Verse 15.  “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

The “gospel” is the “good news” about Jesus Christ.  Paul had been called by God to tell others about Jesus, and he COULDN’T WAIT to visit Rome and talk to them about the Lord!

Verse 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.”

The “gospel” (good news about Jesus) has the power to SAVE all who trust in Him.  The good news about Jesus was given first to those of Israel (Jewish people), and later it was told to the Gentiles (non-Jews), like those in Greece.  Paul that God has powerfully shown us His good news.

Verse 17.  “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.’”

In Habakkuk 2:4, we are told how to be GOOD (righteous) in the sight of God.  Paul the author of Romans quotes Habakkuk: “The just shall live by faith.”  In life we need more than to be strong or smart.  God is JUST and He shares His justice with us, when we simply TRUST (have faith) in the Lord.

Verse 18.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”

Wrath” is God’s anger at the “ungodly” who pretend the Lord does not exist.  We need Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and those who pretend that He is not real are liars, not only lying to others, but fooling themselves as well.

Verse 19.  “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”

Those who pretend God does not exist are kidding themselves.  God has shown Himself EVERYWHERE to us ALL.

Verse 20.  “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.”

God has SHOWN Himself in His creation.  He made it all: The snowflake, the human eye and vast galaxies of stars.  You can be sure He is real by what He has done.

Verse 21.  “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.”

Underneath it all, EVERYBODY knows God is real, and should thank Him for what He has done.  Those who pretend He isn’t there, become shallow and small in their thoughts and understanding.

Verse 22.  “Professing to be wise, they became fools,”

Those who deny God often pretend to themselves and others that they are wise.  Actually, they are fools.

Verse 23.  “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.”

The foolish often pretend God is like one of us.  He’s not – He’s God!  Those who deny God have sometimes made statues of men or animals and worshipped them!  It’s called “idol worship.”  When we love any thing more than we love God, it is like worshiping an idol.

Verse 24.  “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.”

Sometimes God lets people become worse and worse, so that they might see how awful life without Him can be.  The purpose in allowing sin is so we might see our need of God.

Verse 25.  “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

If you “worship” anyone or anything more than God, you are living a lie.  We are merely His creation – He is the Creator of us all and He is to be “blessed” forever, for He loves you and me.

Verse 26.  “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,”

God created marriage for a man and a woman to be together in happiness for life (Matthew 19:6).  But many people want their way instead of His.  These verses tell us that God judges people by letting them get their own way.  The shameful things they do will show how badly they need God.

Verse 27.  “and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

The marriage of a man and a woman is supposed to help us better understand the love of Christ for His people (Ephesians 5:25).  “Men with men” leads to shame and judgment, just like it did for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-28).

Verse 28.  “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,”

God wants to fill our lives with His love, which is why He sent Jesus Christ to this world.  But many do not want Him, and that is why there is so much trouble.  People become “depraved” (unclean); doing what they should not do.

Verse 29.  “being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,”

When people don’t want God, there is no justice.  They want what others have and start doing bad things to get what they want.  Those who say “no” to God become – selfish!

Verse 30.  “slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,”

See what happens when people deny God – They start saying bad things about others and about God.  They think they’re someone special, but are afraid, all at the same time.  They want to do bad things and won’t listen to their parents.

Verse 31.  “without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;”

What do you really LIKE in others? – Someone who understands you, someone who can be trusted, somebody who loves you and is nice to you.  The only way you can BE that kind of person is to have faith in the Lord.  He will make you likeable.

Verse 32.  “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) – That’s the “ordinance” (law) of God, for not only those who do bad things, but also for the ones who like it when others are bad.  To receive God’s “gift” (Jesus Christ), is to have His “LIFE” and to start doing good - forever! (Romans 6:23).

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries


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