¶ Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated
unto the gospel of God,
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
.3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made 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 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
.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.
- Servant Actually "slave." Gr. doulos. Paul recognized
that Christians are voluntary slaves to Christ ga0110,
who bought us 1co0620,
Of course He treats us as brothers and friends he0211,
Our mission is not to fight for rights mt0539ff
although we may, at times, seek justice. It is to work for souls within
the framework of the society we try to reach ph0308.
Masters who follow the "golden rule" mt0712
will respect the interests of their slaves and treat them as they would
want to be treated, and probably set them free.
5 - Grace ... for obedience This book which is often considered a declaration of freedom from obedience begins with this call to obedience and ends with it ro1626.
5 - Faith See vs17.
7 - Called to be saints The word "saints" means "holy ones." Paul uses the term often.
¶ 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 any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
- Mention ... in my prayers A good example for us.
11 - Impart ... spiritual gift Paul was not the one who gave spiritual gifts ja0117, but he could pray. I think he wanted to lead a training program.
| 13 Now I would not have
you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but
was let [hindered] hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also,
even as among other Gentiles.
.14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
.15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
|14 - Greeks ... Barbarians Paul takes the Greek perspective of Greeks and non-Greeks similar to the Jewish viewpoint of Jews and Gentiles. The term "Barbarian" implied difference in culture and not necessarily scorn. 1co1411.|
¶ 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.
.17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
.18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
- Live by faith Paul is quoting from
Habakkuk who clarified that the just one will live according to his faith.
18 - Wrath of God His displeasure with evil. The term is unlike human wrath which results in hurting people. God is love 1jo0408. Sin destroys people. While hating sin, He loves the sinner! He wants peace and happiness for us ez3311, mt2337. When it is finally clear to everyone that God is just, then sin and sinners will be destroyed. No one will ever doubt again.
¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for
God hath shewed it unto them.
.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:
.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.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
.23 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.
- May be known Rather, "is known."
19 - Manifest in them In their hearts and consciences ro0215.
19 - God hath shewed He shows Himself to us in three ways: (1) by appealing to our minds and consciences ro0215, jn0109, (2) by showing us His miraculous work in nature and in human hearts, and (3) by special revelations and through the Scriptures ps119104,5. We usually think of this third way. Paul speaks of those who do not have it and to whom God speaks in the first two ways. See how He communicated to Abimelech ge2003. And see 1th0409.
.25 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.
In expressing deep concerns about impure relationships, we recognize that none of us have been wihout fault before God ro0323. We therefore love people regardless of thier lifestyles.
- Wherefore Why did God give them up?
Because, according to verses 21 and 22, they took things He had created
and replaced them with idols in the form of birds, and so on. Thus worship,
too, was corrupted.
24 - Uncleanness ... lusts ... bodies This is very clear. Lifestyle habits are impossible to change without total commitment to Christ, being ready to die before dishonoring Him. Then we have joy and peace and eternity. Also le2013.
25 - Changed the truth This is the direct connection with verses 19 to 23. Worship had been turned to what should not be worshipped. So, in homosexuality, the plan God intended for marriage relationships he1304 is turned to adulterous practices.
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:
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 recompence of their error which was meet.
- Vile affections Shameful or impure lust. See 1sa1803.
This verse with context is very clear.
26 - Vile affections ... natural use It has been argued that Paul here condemns abusive or exploiting behavior in homosexuality but that "natural homosexuality" in a love relationship is okay. This requires reading cherished ideas into the text. Greek philosophers sometimes condoned the practice but Paul is not following their ideas of "natural." In verse 20, he shows us that "natural" is to be defined by the way God created the world including humans. God created man in His own image ge0127. At the end of His work of creation He saw that it was "very good." ge0131.
27 - Men with men As it was in the days of Sodom ge1904. God clarified the evil of homosexuality le1822, le2013; 2ti0303.
Also see beginning 1co0609.
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;
.29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
- Gave them over to a reprobate mind Why would He do this?
Jesus died for all, but those who insist on freedom to disobey are granted
it. This is often called the unpardonable sin mt1231.
God even gives us freedom to believe what we want even if it's error. This
is also implied in our verse. Sexual drive tests true love for Christ.
Of course money and other habits do, too.
28 - Not convenient Or "should not be done."
| 30 Backbiters, haters
of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient
.31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
.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.
- Covenant breakers This is true of our covenant with God
but I think Paul had in mind the marriage covenant. We must be absolutely
determined, claiming the grace and power of Christ or we won't make it
into the kingdom re0210.
32 - Pleasure in them that do them In the preceding verses Paul expands to people with many vices here showing that they accept such behaviors and even enjoy others who have them. Paul's condemnation here shows that he did not approve the homosexual lifestyle. If Paul condoned any kind of homosexuality he would here be condoning the whole list which is obviously not the case.
The evil of the practices mentioned condemn the corrupt things many watch on TV or read about in books!