Who started the church in Rome? No one knows, but the result was errors in the faith. “Paul knew the Roman church had come into existence without the authoritative leadership of an Apostle of the Lord … and he wanted to add validity to their existence by instructing them in the faith through his epistle. He also desired to deposit a compendium of theological truth and the capital city of the empire was the natural place to do so” (Woodrow Kroll). Romans has 3 major sections, all about righteousness 1-defied, 2-supplied, 3-applied. Today we will look the first one.
1:2-4 The gospel is not about Jesus, Jesus is the gospel.
1:5-7 Those who enjoy God’s love must always take seriously the responsibilities of that love. Love and service
1:8-12 Paul as a prayer warrior Acts 6:1-4 prayer is number one: we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word
1:13 He calls them brothers, earlier saints 1:7. Paul wanted to evangelize the capitol of the world – Rome.
1:14-15 The same obligation that every single believer has to the world. Why did he want so badly to go to Rome? Because Rome as it is the capitol seat of the Roman empire.
1:16 I am not ashamed? Stated because some of those in the Roman church were ashamed … what they knew, believed had not been delivered by someone with the power of God to demonstrate by signs the truth and power of their message. The power of the gospel destroys self-complacency/delusion and sinful self-reliance … all forms of self righteousness.
1:17 faith for faith through the faith of the God who promises the righteousness of God might be revealed in the faith of the man who believes. Three examples from scripture Habakkuk 2:4b and Galatians 3:11 and Philippians 3:9. It is through our faith in Jesus and not the law. “The words faith to faith signify that the believer grows in faith more and more, so that he who is justified becomes more and more righteous in his life (Martin Luther).” You receive righteousness from your faith, and your righteousness is revealed by faithful living..
1:18-20 Look to Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Ungodliness and wickedness are revealed in the who does not believe. God is reveled so no one can be without excuse. Not only has God been revealed to them so they know the truth of His existence and moral requirements, yet they suppress the truth of His existence and righteousness because of their own ungodliness and unrighteousness. VIDEO
1:21-23 They hid from God by worshipping idols, thinking themselves wise by their false worship. Idols that would permit them whatever sin they wished for themselves. They did this in opposition to what was revealed. PHOTO.
1:24 When the thought of the mind is wrong, the bodies are said to be dishonored. This is the truth behind v23 and the next 3 verses as well.
1:25-27 They changed the truth of God into a lie to the point they gave the name of the one true God to those things which are false gods – idols, today the earth and themselves. They changed the natural use into that by which they were dishonored and condemned. All as a result of contempt of the one true God – the prime cause of sin.
1:28-31 Paul places wickedness at the head of the list as he believed evil and covetousness depended on it. They were inventors of evil, not just followers of evil. The idolaters were worse than Satan as they proclaimed the divinity of anything they chose – including themselves. They had no feelings for God or man and someone who is cruel to his own family will be even more cruel to others.
1:32 The Star of Ambrose, a commentator1634 to 1650 years ago, said this
“Someone who is impure and wicked is fully aware of what he is doing and does nothing to avoid it, but rather glories in being the kind of person as if it were a point of honor. He is not ashamed of these things, especially when he sees he can get away with them and he is being supported by those who are not like him.”
“The worst people are those who do these things and approve of others doing them as well as not fearing God, but desiring the increase of evil. They do not try to justify them either, but in their case it is because they want to persuade people there is nothing wrong in doing them.”
Now we know all about those who defy God’s righteousness.
Links for articles mentioned at the end of the message: