Romans 1:1-8


Romans was written about 57 or 58 A.D.  It was written by the Apostle Paul from Corinth or a close area to it.  The basic theme of Romans is salvation by grace alone.  It is the book which sparked the Reformation in 1517.  Martin Luther read Romans 1:17 and rejected the idea of relics and items like that.  A Christian only needed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And did not need any visible objects to increase faith.  The letter is also a great proponent of redemptive revelation and redefines the name “Israel” in places like Romans 2:28-29.  After the cross everything changed in the area of salvation. No longer was the keeping of the law required for salvation.  The Epistle teaches that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer upon salvation.  The true believer is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  The doctrine of Justification is given in this Epistle.  (8:33)  The Epistle to the Romans is one of the books of Paul that puts a death knell to the idea of free will.


Rom 1:1 (KJV)
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Called = Called out, chosen or appointed
Separated = having been separated

Right at the outset we see that the Apostle Paul was chosen to be an apostle as one who is sent.
(Gal 1:15 KJV) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, We see that he was separated for the purpose of sending forth the gospel. A true messenger of God must be separated from the world to bring the good news to the world. A Christian is to be separated in theory and philosophy from the world’s point of view. To be an effective messenger one must not be encumbered by the things or the methods of the world.

Rom 1:2 (KJV)
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

The gospel or the good news which are both synonyms for grace is not strictly New Testament. The prophets of old prophesied the grace of God but it was not fully understood until the New Testament was written. Jeremiah prophesied grace in Jeremiah 31:31-34.

(Jer 31:31-34 KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

He penned under the term “new covenant” which was in contrast to the old covenant from Sinai. The covenant from Sinai was demonstrated outwardly while the new covenant was inward or on their hearts as we read in Jeremiah 31:33. This was also written in Deuteronomy 10:16 as the circumcision of the heart. The new covenant or grace was a promise of God which was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. The covenant of works at Sinai was the covenant that Israel made with God but Grace is the covenant that God made with His Elect.

Rom 1:3 (KJV)
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

The OT Promises and the NT promises were both concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and the focus should not be on national Israel although God did use them in the OT to show His future workings with the church. The Bible is about the Lord Jesus Christ, in both the Old and New Testament. Psalm 40:7 And Hebrews 10:7 attest to this. Christ came through the lineage of David which was an affirmation to those Jews who read the letter to the Romans since genealogy was so important to the Jews. It showed that Jesus descended from a good line. 2 Samuel 7:12-13 details the task that the Lord Jesus Christ will undertake by building a house for God which will last forever.
(2 Sam 7:12-13 KJV) And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. {13} He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

Rom 1:4 (KJV)
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

The Lord Jesus was declared to be the Son of God because of His resurrection from the dead which proved all His claims. He showed that not even death could hold him since death had no right to hold him since His sacrifice for sin was completed and accepted by the Father. This verse details His deity. He was raised according to the Spirit of holiness since death only has power over the unholy, it has no power over the Holy which is the saved, but here we have the Spirit of Holiness as deity.

Rom 1:5 (KJV)
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Here the Apostle Paul is declaring that he received his apostleship from the son of God himself. His apostleship was given to him only after he received grace (salvation) first. No one can ever be a true witness for the Lord Jesus Christ unless they first become saved. The grace Paul was given also gave him the ability to be obedient in faith. Grace under girds the faith of the believer.

For his name = “On behalf of His name” - Paul’s calling was not for himself but on behalf of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:20) He was to bring the name of Christ and with that name salvation (Acts 4:12) to God’s elect.

Rom 1:6 (KJV)
Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Not only does the calling apply to Paul but it applies to every true believer as well. We are also apostles in the sense that we are sent into the world to bring the true gospel. But before we can be Apostles for the kingdom we must first receive the grace of God as Paul did. No unbeliever can ever be a true witness for Christ. Mark 3:11-12 gives an illustration of this.
(Mark 3:11-12 KJV) And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. {12} And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. Christ ordered the silence of these demons because He will not have Satan’s demons being a testimony to who He was, likewise with the unbeliever, they cannot be true witnesses of who Christ is since there was no work of salvation done in them which means they are still under the wrath of God. Christ is still their judge and not their Savior. What kind of testimony can a person be for someone else who is going to cast them into eternal hell.

Rom 1:7 (KJV)
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.

Here Paul is addressing a specific group within the Church of Rome namely the believers. He is addressing both the Jewish believers and Gentile believers in this church. Grace was a greeting to the Gentiles and Peace (shalom) was the greeting to the Jews. Only the true believer is beloved of God. We are called to be saints not “sinners saved by grace.” Think like a saint act like a saint. Think like a sinner act like a sinner.
(Prov 23:7 KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. We also need to drop the notion that everyone in the early church were staunch believers. They had their problem people as we do today. Look at the 7 churches of Revelation with their situations. We are talking about 95 AD when the church was only about 60 years old.

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

Even the thanksgiving to God must come through the Lord Jesus Christ, not only prayers. This gives us insight as to the full mediatorship of Christ that it is not only for prayers but for every phase of the Christian’s life.
(John 15:5 KJV) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Throughout the whole world - This speaks of the known world but brings up a disputatious teaching which the universal salvationist jumps on. What does the term “whole world” mean?

1 John 2:2 - Sins of the whole world - The Bible here speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ paying for the sins of the elect throughout the entire world. (John 17:9 KJV) I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. Universal atonement (UA) is not a biblical based belief.
(John 17:20 KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; Instead UA is an emotional belief based on nothing biblical.

1 John 5:19 - The whole world lies in wickedness - This is a biblical fact that the world does not lie in salvation rather wickedness. If UA is true then why do those who believe it, still evangelize? If UA was true then every human born into the world is saved, only one problem, Psalm 58:3-5.
(Psa 58:3-5 KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. {4} Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; {5} Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. If these verses were not in Scripture then UA may have a chance but these verses kill the concept of UA.