Romans
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  Romans Chapter 1

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Paul writes this book himself to the believers in Rome. He introduces himself as an apostle. He was called out from the world and his former life to be an apostle to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. His life took on a new meaning. It was a radical change. We can read of his conversion in the book of Acts. We see that before his conversion he had religious zeal but for the wrong religion in which he persecuted believers in Jesus Christ, and after his conversion, he had the same zeal for the gospel. Jesus stopped him in this tracks and called him out of darkness into the marvelous light of the gospel which he not only accepted himself but wasn't satisfied until he exhausted all efforts to preach the gospel to as many as he could.

The name apostle in the day of the apostles did not mean the same as we my think in today's world of hierarchy and titles. Apostle simply meant a messenger or ambassador to bring the message of the gospel. It wasn't the same as when we promote someone with an important title and then address him with that title placing him as lord over a others. A true bishop, pastor or apostle is a messenger or servant. He is never to be exalted higher than the laity. Actually I personally do not believe in clergy/laity. We are all the same in the Lord. The Lord ordains and calls certain ones into leadership and we badly need good leadership but they are not to be dictators or lords but rather gentle shepherds. We think of titles as bestowing importance upon people making them higher than the laity. This is the spirit of Nicolaitism which Jesus said that He hated in Revelation chapter 2. This is not why Paul called himself an apostle. He was not making himself into some great one.  I will add here that there are other definitions of who the Nicolaitans were. I just explained the one I particularly agree with but I'm not dogmatic about it.

Rom 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures,)
Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name;
Rom 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

The salvation that comes to us by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was promised in the Old Testament scriptures. Moses spoke of Him in Deuteronomy 18:

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deu 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Deu 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

The Messiah also was promised to come as a priest and as the seed of David. The Psalms speak of this promised one.

Psalm 132:11 The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

There are many more Old Testament scriptures that foretell of the coming of the Messiah. God gave to the world a cloud of witnesses. All these things were not witnessed by only one man but by many living at different times in Old Testament history.

This promised one was Jesus Christ who died for sins and after three days the Spirit of God brought Him alive again. This spirit of holiness is the same spirit that will raise us from the dead in the first resurrection if we are counted worthy to obtain that resurrection. We can obtain it by turning from sin and believing in Jesus Christ. We then can and should desire to live and walk in obedience to the spirit of God that comes within us after we believe.

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.

The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us of sin then draws us to Jesus Christ for remission of sins. When He calls and we answer that calling by obedience to the spirit, we become saints. Beloved, no church can proclaim us to be saints, we are saints the moment we believe. Believe in Jesus means to turn from sin and turn our life completely over to Him. To really believe is to believe in what He teaches and follow His example.

A verse in Hebrews says to follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.

True conversion to Jesus Christ will bring forth the fruit of holiness. Not legalism, but holiness which is supposed to radiate from within us when we continually walk in obedience to Christ.

Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

This is what literally will happen, when we walk in the spirit and do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. People will notice and we will gain a reputation that we walk with Christ. If we claim the salvation of Jesus Christ and return to sin we bring terrible reproach upon the gospel and the name of Jesus.

Rom 1:9 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;
Rom 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
Rom 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Rom 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

This is the way believers show care one for another. We pray for one another fervently and without ceasing. We long to see people we teach and edify, receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit and we should always rejoice when we see other believers exercising the gifts of the spirit that God uses through them to edify even more believers.

We are to edify one another always by teaching, prophesying, preaching, testifying (by the leading of the spirit, not just telling stories), comforting, exhorting, encouraging and at times correcting error.

It would seem here that Paul desired to come to them right away but was led by the spirit to go preach to others also.

Notice that the prosperity he mentions was a prosperous journey, not riches. He wanted to be fruitful by imparting the gifts of the spirit to believers and preaching the gospel to save the lost. The prosperity Paul talked of means simply to be successful in the work of the spirit, not in the things of the world.

Rom 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Rom 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

If Paul would have had enough strength and opportunity, he would have went all over the known world at the time. He had the zeal.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The gospel was for the Jewish people, and to the Gentiles. Salvation is for all who will believe. It is a message that we should never be ashamed to speak and live before men.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.

Once we come to Christ, His righteousness covers us and we then begin to live by faith. We live from faith today to faith tomorrow. It is a continual walk until the return of the Lord.

We live by faith, walk by faith and endeavoring not to return to unbelief which will hinder our walk. We do this by keeping up an active prayer life and never forsaking this private time with the Lord. This builds faith. We build this faith also by worshipping with fellow believers and by studying the written word God so graciously provided for us by our Lord.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Now we see that Paul shows us here that our faith and obedience to the word of God causes us to escape the wrath which is to be poured out upon the world that refuses to repent and turn to God. Their rejection of God results in even more ungodliness and unrighteousness. They even suppress the truth with their ungodly deeds.

To suppress the truth happens in many ways. They once knew who created the world but they purposely turned from Him in rebellion and turned to false gods, idols and false religion trying to find a god to worship that will allow them to keep their sin and still supposedly be okay in the end. There is a satanic spirit behind all images and false gods who will allow sin but also brings oppression and bondage. They promise liberty but in the end all who follow that way will become servants of the very sin they desired.

We can suppress the truth also by knowing the salvation through Jesus Christ but having so many rituals, ceremonies, commandments of men and junk that the gospel is hidden or ignored so that no one is ever saved from sin. This could describe some churches today.

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

See why we are to avoid images like the plague. When we make an image to represent Jesus, Mary or God, we are changing the glory of God into an image like us. Idolatry is the worse thing we can do to separate ourselves from God. False religion will enter our midst and deceive us if we bow down to an image whether or not the image represents the real God. Stay away from this stuff. This is the religion of Babylon.

When we pursue this stuff without repenting, we will get turned over to it. God gives us up and that false religious spirit will destroy us. To remedy this, just repent and get back to the right fellowship with God. He provided for us a way out of sin. Jesus Christ.

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Homosexuality is caused by society first rejecting God, rejecting His holiness and rebelling against His way of salvation. It can get into genes and cause people to be born that way although most of it is caused by things that occur later in life. God never created mankind to be this way. This is a result of continual rejection of God and His holiness.

This can happen by a world that rejects God and replaces Him with humanism or denying His existence.
This can happen by a world that rejects the real God and worships idols.
This can happen by a world that rejects the real God and substitutes a religion that allows them to sin and still think they will be saved.
This can happen to even a Christian who rejects God by claiming to accept Him but denying His right to bring them into repentance from sin and holy living.

Genuine holiness in the life of a believer by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will keep us out of the sin that will destroy our body and our soul if we yield to the Holy Spirit that is given to us. Naturally if we resist the Holy Spirit, we will return to the sin we were saved from. We still have our free will. The Holy Spirit will continually try to draw us back into fellowship with God, the more we resist God though the harder it is to return but we can return. God wants to save, not destroy.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

If we insist on rebellion and rejecting God this is what happens little by little until society is like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Now we see why we see so much of this in our world today. It starts by simply turning away from God and doing our own thing. If we do not have God in our lives, Satan will be free to occupy the part of our soul that God is supposed to fill.

Even in the world around us. The more of God we have in our country, the less power Satan will have. The less of God we have the more power Satan has to steak, kill and destroy.

We need God more than we even realize it.

I believe in a literal fire burning hell but I believe if there was no hell it would still be hell to not have God in my life. The real God cannot come into our lives except through Jesus. That is why Jesus came to be a mediator and bring us to God by first washing away our sin. Then we can receive the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever. Without this Holy Spirit we are empty.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

I can't think of a hell any worse than not having His holy Spirit within me.
 
 
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