The Judgment of God

Romans 1:24–32 — “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen.

“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: 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 recompence of their error which was meet.

“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; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 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.”

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The Wrath of God Revealed

Romans 1:18–23 — “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 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: 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. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Now in our study of Romans, the Apostle Paul comes to the place why the gospel of Christ is needed, and what the salvation that it is the power of God unto, is salvation from.  We read previously that in the gospel of Christ the righteousness of God is revealed, and that the just shall live by faith;  but here we read that the wrath of God is revealed.  God is righteous, but mankind, both collectively and individually, is ungodly and unrighteous.

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From Faith to Faith

Romans 1:16–17 — “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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Continuing to look at these key verses in the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans, we see how the righteousness of God is revealed.  The gospel of Christ reveals the righteousness of God from faith, to faith.

What does it mean for this righteousness to be revealed from faith to faith?  Let us look to the Scriptures for the answer:

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The Just Shall Live By Faith

Romans 1:16–17 — “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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the day when Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” and effectually began what is known in history as the Protestant Reformation.  The statement that the Apostle Paul makes in Romans 1:17 is long remembered as the statement that opened Luther’s eyes to justification by faith:

“The just shall live by faith”  Continue reading “The Just Shall Live By Faith”

Precedent

The apostle Paul often used verses and statements from the Hebrew Scriptures in ways that did not always fit their original context.  That “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” is enough for me to accept that these quotations are used correctly.

An example of this is in Romans 10, where Paul, speaking of salvation by grace through faith is also available to the Jew even in the time of their national blindness, makes the statement “for whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  Most of us when quoting this verse use it in much the same way that Paul uses it here, except we use to say how salvation by grace through faith is available to all.  In Joel 2:32, however, it is about the salvation that the people of Israel will receive during the future day of the LORD.

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The Righteousness of God

Romans 1:16–17 — “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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

The two verses above are a great declaration from scripture regarding the purpose of this great epistle:  the revelation of the righteousness of God.  These were covered as a part of the entire passage in the last study, of how Paul is not ashamed to stand up and preach the gospel of Christ in the capital of the world. Continue reading “The Righteousness of God”

The Power of God at the Center of the World

Romans 1:13–17 — “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. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

In this passage, we find out that the Apostle Paul had great intentions to get to Rome.  “Now I would not have you ignorant” was the way that he made his intention known unto them.  This phrase or similar is found several times in Paul’s epistles, see the following references:

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That Ye May Be Established

Romans 1:8–12 — “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 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; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

Before beginning to discuss the Apostle Paul’s words in this chapter, I want to point out something that may make you scratch your head:

If we turn one page back in our Bible to Acts chapter 28, we read of how Paul reached Rome, being escorted there by the government of Rome, and after three days he did something:

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Grace to You and Peace

Romans 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.

Paul had many kind things to say about the saints at Rome, but the first kindness that he had for them was not about them, it was to them; and it did not originate with him, but it was from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of God

Romans 1:1–7 — “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His Name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 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.”

As the Apostle Paul opens his greeting to the saints at Rome, he begins by letting them know the official nature of this letter.  In verses one through seven, we almost can see a “letterhead” of sorts, showing the genuineness of this epistle as official.  That verse seven sends another greeting, we can see the true Source of this epistle:  God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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