Salutation and Statement of Purpose - Romans 1:1-17

 

Introduction

 

We live in a world where Christianity is being challenged on every front. Islam, cults, the world philosophy of tolerance, religion, apostate Christianity, personal opinion mongers, and a host of other entities are bringing an assault on God’s revealed Biblical Christianity. This is not something that we should be surprised about. The Bible tells us:

 

·        1 Timothy 4:1-2 – “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”  [1]

The apostle Paul exhorted young pastor Timothy about such times saying:

·        2 Timothy 4:1-5 – “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  [2]

These are those “latter times,” this is, “the time will come” referred to by the apostle Paul. How should we face these times? What should our attitude and approach be?

The apostle Paul in the opening lines of the book of Romans is inspired to tell us. He states:

·        Romans 1:15-16 – “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”  [3]

Paul says two things here that we need to take note of with all seriousness. First Paul says, “I am READY to preach the gospel to you”  (1:15). Paul was not laid back and unprepared, but he was always able to say he was “ready” to preach the gospel. The word “ready” here is translated from the Greek term PROTHUMOS. This is a very illustrative compound Greek term. PROTHUMOS is a Greek term constructed with the preposition PRO (Strong’s #4253) that means, “in front of, prior to.” [4] The Greek term THUMOS (Strong’s #2372) means, “passion (as if breathing hard); fierceness, indignation, wrath.” [5] Therefore, in verses fifteen Paul is saying that Paul was predisposed, passionate, eager and willing with everything that was in him (i.e. “as much as is in me”) to preach the gospel. Does that describe how you feel about preaching and sharing the gospel with others?  The Lord would have us have the same readiness that Paul expressed in this verse. How can we have the same readiness that Paul had?

Secondly, Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” (1:16). In this second verse Paul substantiates or explains his exclamation of readiness. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ; he did not and would not cower in any confrontation over the gospel. He did not and would not bow to peer pressure. Popularity was not the incentive or motivation of his ministry. No, Paul was unashamed, convinced of, and committed to sharing boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Readiness and being unashamed go hand in hand. PAUL WAS UNASHAMED BECAUSE HE WAS READY. Therefore, we see here a key truth and purpose of not only Romans, but also Gods’ word. The disciple who is readied in the word of God by the Spirit, will be unashamed and empowered by the Spirit. THE SPIRIT REMOVES SHAME BY WORKING THE WORD INTO THE BELIEVER. Being ready and unashamed is what our mindset and heart determination should be for the times in which we live. (Romans 1:15b, 16a). That is what the epistle to the Romans is all about, discipling God’s people in a way that they will be READY and UNASHAMED, courageous, confident, and Christ-like by the power of the Spirit. That is the aim of this study.

The aim of this study is to help the Christian to be made ready by being built up on a solid foundation of the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ so that, when inevitably confronted by the adversaries of God they can stand strong and unashamed in their faith and present a Spirit empowered response that will hopefully lead to the salvation of the opponent.

It’s A Shame

The first use of the word “ashamed,” in the Bible is found in the Garden of Eden. In God’s original plan, the husband and wife were naked and “unashamed” (Genesis 2:25). This was a product of God’s holy matrimony. But one of the first effects of the first sin was a lose of this freedom before each other and more importantly, before God. Read of the effects that sin had on the first sinners:

  • Genesis 3:7-8 – “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  [6]

Why did they cover themselves from each other’s sight and hide from God? Because they were ashamed. What does it mean to be “ashamed”? In Romans 1:16 the word “ashamed” is translated from the Greek term EPAISCHUNOMAI (Strong’s #1870) and means, “humiliation, shame, disgrace, embarrassment.” EPAISCHUNOMAI is a stronger form of another Greek term AISCHUNO (Strong’s #153) that means, “to have a feeling of fear or shame which prevents a person from doing a thing.”[7] Therefore, when Paul says he is not “ashamed” it means, he is not fearful but full of God’s faith and confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why do cults, alternative religions and false teaching proliferate? To a great extent because the believer is uncertain and therefore fearful about sharing what they believe with those who oppose the gospel.  Why have religions such as Islam been able to proliferate the way they have in the world? Why have cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism et.al. grown so rapidly? Because they are on the offensive, they know what they believe, even though it is falsehood, and they aggressively share what they believe. And because they go unopposed by those who do have the truth!

True Christianity has become soft like cellulose. The church is suffering from lethargy, from apathy, from muscular atrophy. Muscles atrophy when they are not used. The church has the truth of the gospel of Christ and has lost its sense of purpose and Christ’s urgent call to share it and make disciples. The church has either turned inward in an absorption with self, (e.g. self-health; self-wealth; self-knowledge; self-obsession) or it has turned away from the inspired and inerrant word of God to the faulty impotent traditions of men and the philosophies of the world. In a nutshell, THE CHURCH IS ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL AND THE CHURCH IS ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL BECAUSE IT IS ILL-PREPARED AND UNREADY REGARDING THE GOSPEL.

Why is the church unprepared and unready? The reason, I believe, is that the church has elected to opt for the expedient seeking of numerical growth in numbers of converts at the expense of discipleship of converts. It’s relatively easy to get someone to say a prayer to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior; it’s quite another thing to solidly ready that convert by discipling them in the faith. Jesus commanded us to go and MAKE DISICPLES, not merely get converts. Teaching and not only preaching was His mandate (Matthew 28:18-20).

If the church doesn’t wake up, she will find herself at the mercy of the sword of her adversaries from both without and within. It’s time to wakeup believer. God is in control and He has a plan. He is looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him so that He can show Himself strong on their behalf. That’s exactly what the Bible says when the inspired words state:

  • 2 Chronicles 16:9 - “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”  [8]

God has a burden for the lost (2 Peter 3:9) and He has a plan to reach them. God plans to use the unashamed to reach the lost and I pray that means you!

The Unashamed on the Attack

As believers, we are instructed by God’s word to earnestly contend for the gospel. Paul was inspired to teach this as we saw above (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Jesus instructed His followers to teach and make disciples. He said:

  • Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”  [9]

A disciple is a learner, one who keeps on learning and growing in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus commanded us to “GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES . . . BAPTIZING . . . and TEACHING THEM . . . .” THIS IS A CHARGE TO GO ON THE OFFENSIVE, NOT BE ON THE DEFENSIVE.

Jesus said:

  • Matthew 16:18 -  “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock [the rock of the gospel of Christ]  I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”  [10]

These words of Jesus are offensive in the sense that they are not defensive. Gates don’t attack, they are stationary and therefore, what Jesus implies is that we need to storm the gates of hell, go on the offensive against every stronghold of the enemy of God.

The other Biblical writers were also inspired by God to exhort about this. Jude was inspired by God to exhort believers to contend for the faith when he was inspired by God to write:

  • Jude 3 – “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  [11]

This is what Peter said when he was inspired by God to write:

  • 1 Peter 3:15-16 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”  [12]

Many have given their lives because they would not back down from contending for the faith. One example of this is Stephen of whom it was stated:

  • Acts 6:8-10 – “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.”  [13]

Stephen was martyred because of his confident, unashamed presentation of the gospel (Acts 7).

The apostle Paul spoke of and lived out a holy competition against other religions for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:25). He at times saw the need to confront others who were in error for the sake of the gospel (Galatians 2:11). He spoke of striving for the sake of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). He boldly presented the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:2).  He rebuked people who strayed from the gospel (Titus 1:13). For Paul life was a war being waged for the gospel. In this last regard he was inspired by God to write:

  • 1 Timothy 1:18 – “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,”  [14]
  • 1 Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  [15]
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  [16]

Can’t you just feel the passion in these words of Paul? Paul was willing to give up his own salvation for the lost (Romans 9:1-3). That passionate readiness is what God wants in us.

John the apostle wrote of the Tribulation saints who overcame the devil and his allies, the enemies of God with a bold testimony:

  • Revelation 12:11 - “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”  [17]

The gospel of Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of; it stands the test and proves superior in every way to every other alternative. There is only one way, the gospel of Christ way. The epistle to the Romans is an inspired writing of God to His people that clarifies His gospel and gives them ammunition to ward off and defeat all opponents. The epistle of Romans is not only an apologetic defense of the faith, it is a polemic battle cry for the believer to storm the gates of hell and steal the lost out of the clutches of the devil.

Speak the Truth in Love in the Spirit

Now we have been sharing some militant words here, (there is a certain militancy about the ministry of God). But lest we get the wrong impression and go out in our own strength, with an uninformed and misdirected zeal (see Romans 10:1-4; Acts 9:1-2) we need to understand the method and the manner ordained by God.

First, the method used by the unashamed in the attack is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. If the unashamed goes out in their own strength, they will fail. We have centuries of church embarrassment to testify to the validity of that truth. The church was never meant to be a human organization; the church is the body of Christ with Him as the Head and the Holy Spirit the One who empowers, guides and works in and through the church. This is a truth found throughout the Bible such as the following verses:

  • Zechariah 4:6 – “So he answered and said to me: 1 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.”  [18]
  • Acts 1:8 - “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  [19]

To rely on the Spirit leads the unashamed to go out not in their own perceived authority (which is really no authority at all) but to go directed by the Spirit inspired word and proclaiming the Spirit inspired word. This is seen in the following verses:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  [20]
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  [21]

Peter sums up the need to rely on God when he is inspired to write:

  • 1 Peter 4:11 – “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  [22]

If we rely on the wisdom of this world and our own opinion and strength to be ready, we will end up inevitably ashamed of what we are and are doing. If on the other hand, we go out relying on the empowerment of the Spirit and the holy, inspired, inerrant word of God, we will be confident, bold and inevitably more than a conqueror in Christ.

Second, the manner in which the unashamed go on the attack is in God’s love. Paul was inspired to say these words:

  • Ephesians 4:11-15 – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”  [23]

What we say and do must be said and done in the love of the Lord. This love is from God and is our motivation as Paul is again inspired to write:

  • Romans 5:5 – “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  [24]
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”  [25]

That is the method with which we go on the attack for the Lord and His gospel. We are to love people into the kingdom of God.

How about you, are you ready and ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Are you suffering from spiritual muscle atrophy, apathy, or anemia? The gospel of Christ as set forth in the epistle to the Romans and is a powerful instrument from God. As you study through it, it will go through you and you too will be one who becomes unashamed of the gospel of Christ.

The Epistle to the Romans

The epistle to the Romans is considered the Mount Everest of the Bible because of its doctrinal and practical material. Read what others have said:

·         Martin Luther referred to Romans as “The masterpiece of the New Testament.”

·         Colleridge said of Romans, “It is the most profound work in existence.”

·         F.F. Bruce said of Romans, “Time and again in the course of Christian history it has liberated the minds of men, brought them back to an understanding of the essential gospel of Christ, and started spiritual revolutions.”

·         Frederick Louis Godet, Bible scholar said of Romans, “The probability is that every great spiritual revival in the church will be connected as effect and cause with a deeper understanding of this book.”

·         John Calvin, church reformer said of Romans, “When anyone gains a knowledge of this Epistle he has an entrance opened to him to all the most hidden treasures of Scriptures.” 

You can expect to be spiritually refreshed, renewed empowered and edified as we study this great Mount Everest of God’s word.

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

Someone has captured well the spirit and essence of Paul’s proclamation of confidence in the gospel and our aim of becoming one who is unashamed of the gospel of Christ. In a statement entitled, “THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED” we can summarize our goal and depict where we want to be at the end of our study as follows:

 

I AM A PART OF THE "Fellowship of the Unashamed."  The die has been cast. The decision has been made.  I have stepped over the line.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.  My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure.  I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.  I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.  I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.  I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love with patience, live by prayer and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.  I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up to the cause of Christ.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.  And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.  My banner is clear: I am a part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed."  [26]

 

This is our objective in this study of the epistle to Romans. Our prayer is that when we are done, you will be able to say with Paul, I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD TO SALVATION!

Therefore, let us now turn to this great epistle and begin our study, a study that is a journey to faith-full confidence in God.

Salutation and Statement of Purpose – 1:1-17

 

In the first seventeen verses of Romans 1 Paul gives an introductory description of himself  (1:1-7), expresses his desire concerning the Roman recipients (1:8-14), and declares the focus and main purpose for which he is writing (1:15-17).

 

Romans 1:1 - Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God [27]

Paul

What do we know about Paul? According to his own testimony he was separated by God and called for God’s purposes “from the womb” (Galatians 1:15). Paul was a very diverse individual which later proved to make him well suited to reach out to many diverse peoples with the gospel. He was born in Tarsus where he learned about Gentile Greek culture in this Greek town (Acts 22:3). He studied under Gamaliel and learned about Jewish culture in Jerusalem where Gamaliel taught (Acts 22:3). Paul and his father were Pharisees (Acts 23:6; 26:5). He was a Romans citizen and therefore learned Roman culture (Acts 22:25-28). His sister lived in Jerusalem (Acts 23:6). He persecuted believers (Acts 9:1-3; 22:4).  He saw Stephen stoned (Acts 7:58).

Paul was converted on the road to Damascus even though he set out initially to persecute Christians (Acts 9). He presented a strong witness as soon as he was converted to Christ (Acts 9:20). Paul was prepared fro ministry by Jesus Himself (Galatians 1:16-18). God’s grace was evident in Paul’s life from the start (Galatians 2:9). He was befriended by Barnabus, a person given to encouragement (Acts 9:27). Paul who once was the persecutor, became the persecuted by his Jewish brethren after his conversion (Acts 9:29). Paul took Timothy under his wing (Acts 16:1-3; 1 & 2 Timothy). Paul demonstrated a willingness to stand up for the truth of the gospel; he tolerated no compromise with the gospel (Galatians 2:11-21). He was willing to give up everything and anything to know Jesus better (Philippians 3).

This is a small overview of the apostle Paul who authored the epistle to the Romans. His opening words give us further insight into this great man of God in whom the grace of God had wrought such a tremendous change.

We should note here that just as God had a plan for Paul, He has a plan for us. God not only has a plan to save us, but to give all of us a useful purpose in life. Individual plans in our lives are revealed moment-by-moment, day-by-day, throughout our lives, but God from the beginning of time planned them. Read what Paul was inspired to relate about this when he wrote:

  • Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  [28]

We are a work of God in progress and He has a special purpose and plan for each of us. Every plan starts with being ready and unashamed of the gospel of Christ.

Willingly Enslaved - Bondservant

Paul referred to himself as a “bondservant” which is translated from the Greek term DOULOS (Strong’s #1401 - dou`lo" doáuloás, doo´-los; from 1210; a slave . . .  bond (-man), servant.”[29] ). This term implies that Paul was not an unwilling but a willing slave; he chose to be a slave of Jesus. Paul was a love-slave­ of Jesus.

We too need to come to Jesus as a bondservant. We shouldn’t come as an unwilling participant forced to submit, but as one who loves their Master so much they wouldn’t hesitate to do anything for Him.

Jesus Christ

“Jesus Christ,” is not the first and last name of Jesus. The name “Jesus,” (Strong’s # 2424 - ÆIhsou`" Ieµsoáus, ee-ay-sooce´ [30])   is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” or “Jehoshua.”  “Joshua” is a name formed by contracting the name of God YHWH or Yahweh or Jehovah to Ya or Ja and combining it with the Hebrew word SHUA, which means “salvation. Therefore the name “Jesus” means literally, “Jehovah is salvation.” 

 The term “Christ” (Strong’s # 5547 - Cristov" Christoás, khris-tos´) is more of a title than a name, (it would be wrong to say Jesus’ last name was “Christ”). [31]Christ,” is the English translation of the New Testament Greek title of CHRISTOS, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah which is MESHEACH which literally means, “anointed.” This refers to the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.

Therefore, Jesus Christ is the anointed One who brings God’s salvation.

Sent on a Mission - Called to be an apostle

Paul was, “called to be an apostle.”  The word “called” ( Strong’s # 2822 - klhtov" kleµtoás, klay-tos´[32])  here was a term used to invite a person to a banquet or to be called with a purpose in mind, selected for a specific purpose. For Paul to refer to himself as “called,” meant God selected Paul with a certain purpose in mind. What is God selecting you to do?

Paul was called for the purpose of serving as an, “apostle” (Strong’s # 652 - ajpovstolo" apoástoáloás, ap-os´-tol-o).The word “apostle,” means, “he that is sent; messenger; a delegate.” [33]  More specifically, Paul, as an “apostle,” was “one sent; one sent forth with orders.” Paul did not take his responsibilities upon himself of his own will or whim, but God called him, sent him into ministry with specific directions and purposes, with a mission.

New Horizons - Separated to the gospel of God

The word, “separated” carries with it some very beautiful imagery. “Separated” is translated from the Greek term APHORIZO that literally means “new horizons; to mark off by boundaries; to set apart for a purpose.” We get the English word “horizon” from HORIZO, AP is a Greek prefix meaning “new.”   (Strong’s # 873 - ajforivzw aphoárizoµ, af-or-id´-zo [34]) As Paul answered the call to be an apostle, his ministry parameters were eventually set as a mission to preach primarily to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15-16; Eph. 3:1-8). God has separated you to new horizons of sharing His gospel, that is an exciting prospect!

The word, “gospel” means literally GOOD NEWS (Strong’s # 2098 - eujaggevlion eáuaggeálioán, yoo-ang-ghel´-ee-on; from the same as 2097; a good message, i.e. the gospel:— gospel.[35] (2097.          eujaggelivzw eáuaggeálizoµ, yoo-ang-ghel-id´-zo; from 2095 and 32; to announce good news (“evangelize”); the gospel: declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).[36]

. The English word “gospel” derived from contracting the two words, “good spell.” Gospel is a translation of the Greek term EUANGGELIUM from which we also get the English word “evangelism.”  When you share the gospel do you share it in a way that your recipients see it as “good news,” or dreaded news?

The Proof is in the Prophecy

Romans 1:2 – “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,”  [37]

One of the most convincing proofs of Jesus Christ and God’s word is fulfilled prophecy. We see this referred to in such portions of Scripture as:

  • Hebrews 1:1-2 – “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”  [38]
  • 2 Peter 1:16-21 – “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  [39]

Jesus fulfilled literally hundreds of prophecies, which were given hundreds of years before His birth. Statistically the likelihood that one person could fulfill even a few of the messianic prophecies is more than enough proof to show that Jesus is the One foretold in the Old Testament. “Statistics experts estimate the probability of all prophecies coming true in ANY one man is about one chance in 10 to the 99 power . . . less than the odds of correctly selecting one electron out of all the matter in the universes. . . or essentially zero without divine intervention.”  [40]

Romans 1:3 – “ concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”  [41]

concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord

Jesus was the “Lord” of Paul His bondservant. He referred to Jesus as, “our Lord.” Can you refer to Jesus as your “Lord”

“Lord”

What does “lord” mean? The word, “Lord,” is translated from the Greek term KURIOS which is a title of supremacy and authority (Strong's #2962 - kuvrio" kurioás, koo´-ree-os). [42]Lord” kurios (2962) is used as an adjective, signifying “having power” (kuros) or “authority.” It is also used as a noun and variously translated in the New Testament as, “ ‘Lord,’ ‘master,’ ‘Master,’ ‘owner,’ ‘Sir.’ “Lord” is a title of wide significance, occurring in each book of the New Testament except Titus and the Epistles of John. It is used in the following ways:

(a)   of an owner, as in Luke 19:33, cf. Matt. 20:8; Acts 16:16; Gal. 4:1; or of one who has the disposal of anything, as the Sabbath, Matt. 12:8

(b)   of a master, i.e., one to whom service is due on any ground, Matt. 6:24; 24:50; Eph. 6:5;

(c)    of an Emperor or King, Acts 25:26; Rev. 17:14

(d)   of idols, ironically, 1 Cor. 8:5, cf. Isa. 26:13

(e)    as a title of respect addressed to a father, Matt. 21:30, a husband, 1 Pet. 3:6, a master, Matt. 13:27; Luke 13:8, a ruler, Matt. 27:63, an angel, Acts 10:4; Rev. 7:14

(f)    as a title of courtesy addressed to a stranger, John 12:21; 20:15; Acts 16:30; from the outset of His ministry this was a common form of address to the Lord Jesus, alike by the people, Matt. 8:2; John 4:11, and by His disciples, Matt. 8:25; Luke 5:8; John 6:68

(g)   kurios is used in the Septuagint (i.e. LXX or “Seventy” named such to refer to the 70 Jewish scholars who made the translation; it is the Greek translation of the OT made around 250 B.C. in Alexandria , Egypt) and the NT quotes of the OT Hebrew to translate the Tetragrammaton or “Jehovah”  (‘LORD’ in Eng. versions) of the Bible. We see this in the following verses:

Quote of Deuteronomy 6:16 in Matthew 4:7 -

·         Matthew 4:7 – “Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord [KURIOS] your God.’ ” [43]

·         Deuteronomy 6:16 - “You shall not tempt the Lord [YHWH] your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”  [44]

Reference to Job 42:10 in James 5:11 -

·         James 5:11 – “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”  [45]

·         Job 42:10 – “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  [46]

We also see “Lord” used in the NT to translate such titles for God in the OT as of adon, “Lord,” in Matthew 22:44 where Psalm 110:1 is quoted.

We see  Adonay, “Lord,” used in Matthew  1:22 to refer to the Lord in the OT.

Finally we see “Lord” used to refer to  Elohim, God, in 1 Pet. 1:25 quoting Isaiah 40:6-8. [47]

  • 1 Peter 1:24-25 – “because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”  [48]
  • Isaiah 40:6-8 – “The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”  [49]

ALL OF THIS IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT IS ONE FURTHER CONNECTION AND PROOF OF THE DEITY OF JESUS. JESUS IS REFERRED TO AS “LORD” JUST AS GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS.

who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh 

This phrase refers to the following Old Testament passage where David has a desire to build God a Temple. The passage states:

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-11 – “Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around,2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.”3 Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” 4 But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying,5 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?6 “For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.7 “Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ’8 “Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.9 “And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.10 “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously,11 “since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.”  [50]

David desired to build God a house and though God did not permit it, God did promise that Messiah would descend from him. The genealogies in Mathew and Luke both show Jesus connection to David. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. Now think about it, no one can plan where they will be born (Jesus birth place was foretold in Micah 5:2), and no one can plan the family in which they are born, yet the family line of Jesus was foretold. These two prophetic fulfillments alone eliminate the vast majority of people in time that could fulfill such messianic requirements.

Romans 1:4 – “and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”  [51]

Jesus is fully God and fully Man. He was born as a man (of the flesh – v.3) from the seed of David or as a descendent of king David. He was “declared” to be “Son of God” by God Himself (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). Jesus is also declared and shown to be the “Son of God” by the power of the Holy Spirit in the virgin birth (Mt. 1:18-25). The resurrection not only of Jesus but also of all who are saved confirms that Jesus is the Son of God (John. 11:25-26; Ephesians 4:8). 

The Bible Knowledge Commentary states:

God’s good news concerns His Son, identified as Jesus Christ our Lord. This asserts Christ’s deity as basic to His person and prior to His Incarnation, since His identification with David’s line “came to be,” a literal rendering of the participle genomenou, translated was. He was genuinely human too, as His tie with David and His resurrection from the dead show. That resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God because it validated His claims to deity and His predictions that He would rise from the dead (John 2:18-22; Matt. 16:21). This declaration was made through (lit., “in accord with”) the Spirit of holiness. This is the Holy Spirit, and not, as some have suggested, Christ’s human spirit.[52]

Romans 1:5 – “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,”  [53]

Through Him we have received grace

Paul is writing about the gospel (“lit. “Good news”) and God’s “grace” is good news. And that gospel is all about Jesus. When you begin to read the writings of Paul and learn about him, you find that he was all about Jesus too. Paul’s life and purpose in life was fixed on Jesus the Author and Finisher of his faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

“Grace” is a word translated from the Greek CHARIS  which refers to an act of graciousness and is translated with the following words, “acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s), worthy.”  “Grace” refers to “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life”  (Strong’s # 5485 - cavri" charis, khar´-ece; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act of . . .  gratitude)[54]).

As we study Romans we will learn about and define God’s grace. In short, GRACE IS GOD, IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, MAKING A WAY IN CHRIST, TO TREAT SINFUL MAN, AS THOUGH HE HAD NEVER SINNED.

And apostleship

Apostleship is the ministry of going forth “among” (Greek preposition – EN: “in; among; by; with; at; on; through”) “all nations.”  We are all called to be salt and light “among” the lost where God has put us as well as obediently go where God calls us to go. The scope of Paul’s particular calling was “all nations.”

For obedience to the faith

While we are not saved by our works or obedience (Gal. 2:16; 3:10-13; Eph. 2:8-9), the faith that saves, works or is obedient (John 14:21; James 2:14-26). The purpose (‘for”) of Paul’s apostleship was to bring people into obedience to the faith “for His name.”

True faith is manifested and verified by it’s obedience. Profession alone does not save, but profession with practice. Saving faith is characterized by genuine repentance and a change of life. There needs to be fruit in one’s life to show salvation (Mt. 7:15-20; John 15).

If you said this building was going to blow up in 15 minutes and then proceeded to continue what you were doing in that building up to and beyond that 15 minute time, you would be showing that you really didn’t believe what you had stated.

In the same way, if you merely declare you believe in Jesus and then it doesn’t show itself in your life, you are showing that you really do not believe. If you say that Jesus is Lord and is coming soon to rapture the righteous, and you live in drunken sin, do you really believe what you say? This is what we are challenged with later in Romans when Paul is inspired to write:

  • Romans 13:11-14 – “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”  [55]

For His Name Not My Own

Paul was in ministry not for himself, but to bring glory to Jesus. Who or what are you seeking to be in ministry for?

Romans 1:6-7 – “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: 1 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  [56]

You also are the called of Jesus Christ

Paul says this and then explains what it entails. “The called of Jesus Christ” are:

 “beloved of God”

Not simply loved; but “beloved” as in a love for one that is close. God loves us dearly and He wants us to love Him too (John 14:21; 1 John 2:15-16; 4:7-21).

“Called to be saints”

God calls us saints. (Note – “to be” is in italics and therefore is inserted by translators; God calls us saints!). God is not limited and sees the finished work in us; He sees us as we will be, holy. We are complete in Christ, a saint, a holy one. God promises to complete His work in us and that means to make us holy (Phil. 1:6).  “Saints” is translated from Greek HAGIOS meaning “holy ones; pure; blameless; consecrated; saint” (Strong’s # 40 - a{gio" hagioás, hag´-ee-os;.[57]) .

In Christ God sees us as holy as the following verse indicates:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  [58]

Saints” are not certain individuals who fit specific requirements lad down by church tradition (e.g. Roman Catholic Church requires miracles of anyone considered for sainthood), but “saints” are all who have put saving faith in Jesus.

Grace to you and peace 

Saints are those who have experience the grace and peace of God. In Paul’s letters “grace” always precedes “peace’ because you cannot experience the peace of God until you have received the grace of God.

“Grace” was the common greeting of the Greeks and “Peace” was the common greeting of the Jews. “Peace” as used in New Testament times meant not only a cessation of war but implied reconciliation and rest (Strong’s # 1515 - eijrhvnh eáireµneµ, i-ray´-nay; prosperity: one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.[59]). What is the source of such peace?

From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

Grace and peace come from God. It would be blasphemous to join the name of Jesus with that of the Father if Jesus and the Father were not co-equal.

Paul was able to refer to Jesus as his “Lord.” Is Jesus your “Lord”? Does your life match your declaration that Jesus is your Lord? – see Mt. 7:21-23.

Paul’s Desire For the Roman Recipients – 1:8-14

Romans 1:8 – “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”  [60]

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all

How does Paul thank God? In prayer for the believers at Rome. Paul was a prayerful person and interceded regularly for those whom God had called him to minister to.

Paul thanks God “through Jesus Christ” demonstrating matter-of-factly that it is only through Jesus that anyone can approach the Father (see John 14:6).

That your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

For what reason did Paul thank God for these people? What were the Roman believers known for by Paul? Paul thanked God for the Roman believers because their faith was strong and “spoken of throughout the whole world.” Some churches are known for their building architecture, their beautifully manicured landscaping or some other external thing. Other churches are known for their entertainment value. But the church that is what it ought to be is the church known for its faith and love. What is your church known for?

The Thessalonians were known for spreading the word, their faith in God, their holy life and their expectation and waiting for the return of Jesus. The Bible testifies to this when it states of the Thessalonians:

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 – “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  [61]

That’s a good model for us to follow.

Romans 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,”  [62]

For God is my witness

Paul’s prayers were evidently offered in his closet as he is only able to call upon God, (who sees in secret) as a witness to the fact that He prayed for these believers. Every great person of God has been a person of prayer. Prayer is the deciding factor in our spiritual warfare. (See Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Always in the Will of God

Romans 1:10 – “making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.”  [63]

Paul prayed that the Lord would make a way for him to personally visit the Roman church. Notice, Paul did not impulsively or presumptuously go to Rome, he prayerfully waited on the Lord to open the door to such a visit (see 15:32).

In the will of God

Sometimes the Spirit says, “Go,”  (Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2-4), and sometimes the Spirit says, “Don’t go,” (Acts 16:6-7; 21:4). But whatever we do should be according to God’s will. God seeks the best for us, if we go outside of His will for us, we miss out on His best for us. How can we discern God’s will for us?

First, we need to have the right attitude which is to delight in God’s will with all our heart whatever it is. The truth of this is found in the following verses:

  • Psalm 40:8 – “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”  [64]
  • Ephesians 6:5-6 – “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,” [65]
  • Hebrews 13:20-21 – “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”  [66]

Second, we need to ask God (pray) to teach us His will. We see evidence of this in the following verses:

  • Psalm 143:10 – “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”  [67]
  • Matthew 6:10 – “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”  [68]

We should not go to God demanding our will, that is borderline blasphemy. We need to ask Him to reveal and teach us His will.

Third, don’t go to the world to find God’s will. The Bible says:

  • Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  [69]

God’s will is revealed to the one surrendered to Him to obey it.

Fourth, doing God’s will should rule our lives . We see this in the epistle of James where it states:

  • James 4:14-15 – “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”  [70]

Fifth, doing God’s will brings us into fellowship with Jesus. Jesus said:

  • Matthew 12:50 - “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” [71]

Sixth, doing God’s will is a characteristic of one who has God’s eternal life. The lifeblood of those who are born again is to obey the will of God. John wrote:

  • 1 John 2:17 – “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  [72]

Seventh, Jesus sought and surrendered to the Father’s will, so should we. If we are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, we should follow in His steps and Jesus always sought to do the will of God. Jesus aimed at fulfilling the will of the Father:

  • John 5:30 - “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”  [73]

The Bible states Jesus followed the will of God even to death:

  • Matthew 26:42 – “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” [74]

 Praying according to God’s will, (“If it be Your will Lord . . .”) is not a lack of faith, as some say, but the height of wisdom. You should always give God the prerogative to overrule your wants with His perfect will, He knows more than you and knows what’s best for you. If your motives are right, it will be easy to discern His will for you.

This therefore, should be our attitude and heart as we study the epistle to the Romans; we should surrender in faith to have God fulfill His will in and through us.

The Longing of A Minister of God

Romans 1:11-13 – “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.”  [75]

For I long to see you

Paul longed to see the Roman believers though he had never seen them before. Paul wanted to see these brothers and sisters in Christ. He prayed for them and his longing to see them grew out of his prayer for them. If you want to love someone, pray for him or her. We often pray for people who we have never seen but who we have been informed that they have a need. We pray for them because they are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is evidence of the bond we have in Christ that crosses over ethnic, cultural and geographical boundaries. There are no denomination sin heaven, no division by class, race, culture, or academic standing. The bond we have in Jesus is greater than any other bond. We are one in Christ - Ephesians 2:11-22

Burdened But Waiting on God

Paul was told by Jesus in Acts 23:11 that he was going to be sent to Rome to preach the gospel. It was God who put Paul’s yearning to go to Rome in him. The Bible tells us that if we delight in God, He will put His desires in us (Psalm 37:3-6). Paul had a burden for his brethren the Jews (Romans 9:1-5; 10:1-1) and when he finally did get the chance to preach to them, they rejected his message as well as him (Acts 21-22). Paul had been called by God to minister to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). But Paul continued to have a burden for his brethren the Jews. It must have been a great disappointment to Paul when he was rejected in what he probably saw as his great opportunity to witness to his brethren. But God used this to confirm His call of Paul to minister to the Gentiles.

The point here is that while Paul was told by Jesus that he would go to Rome in Acts 23:11, it took time for Paul to arrive at his destination. Paul had to wait and trust in the Lord who eventually did bring him to Rome. Sometimes it is necessary to wait on God for His perfect will to be fulfilled.

The Purpose of God’s Servant - “That I . . .” 

Paul wasn’t a tourist; he didn’t just want to visit them to shoot the breeze and see the sights. Paul was ministry oriented and seized every contact as an opportunity to edify and encourage. He also comments that he too is encouraged when in fellowship with believers. The minister is not above the need for encouragement. Paul wants to bear some fruit among them as well as feed on some spiritual fruit himself.

The word “that” (Strong’s # 2443 -  i{na hina, hin´-ah; prob. from the same as the former part of 1438 (through the demonstrative idea; comp. 3588); in order that (denoting the purpose or the result):— albeit, because, to the intent (that), lest, so as, (so) that, (for) to. comp. 3363. [76])  here is a grammatical signpost (Inductive Bible Study) of a stated purpose.

Paul’s personal purposes here are:

  • 1:11 - that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established
  • 1:12 - that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me
  • 1:13 - that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Paul’s desire was that God bless, edify and establish the Romans by ministering to them through the spiritual gifting God had blessed him with (1:11). He sought mutual encouragement (1:12). He wanted to bear fruit among them and eat some of their fruit too (1:13).

Principle of Return

There is a spiritual principle in 1:11-13. The principle is that when you impart to others by the spiritual gifts God gives, you yourself will be encouraged and edified.

There is a similar statement by Paul in a material sense that if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly; if you sow abundantly, you’ll reap abundantly. This is clearly stated in the following passage which states:

  • 2 Corinthians 9:6 – “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  [77]

This principle can be applied to material things, but more importantly, it can be applied to spiritual things. As the teacher teaches the flock in the Spirit, he himself is blessed and ministered to.

The problem with some people is that they are into themselves and seek to sap and suck up all that another person has, e.g. sympathy, pity, counsel, et.al. If they would rather minister instead of seeking to be ministered to they would find a solution to their ills.

The spiritual law is give, not take. Jesus said you need to lose your life to find it:

  • Matthew 16:25 - “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”  [78]

Fruit is that which God supplies as the Bible says:

  • 1 Corinthians 3:7 – “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”  [79]

We need to present ourselves to God for His use and allow His to produce fruit in and through us.

The Indebtedness of God’s Servant

Romans 1:14 -  “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”  [80]

I am a debtor

Paul viewed himself as a “debtor” (Strong’s # 3781 - opheiletes ), “one who owes anything to another.” [81] Paul was a debtor in the sense that he felt obligated to share the great grace and truth that God had shown him. It wasn’t as though he was motivated by guilt, it was as though he felt it criminal to hog God’s glorious graceful gospel truth to himself. Paul just couldn’t hold the gospel back. Paul wrote: 

  • 1 Corinthians 9:16 – “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” [82]

 Can you relate to such a statement? Do you have that burning desire to share the gospel? Pray that you would be on fire like Paul as you study this epistle. 

The KJV Bible Commentary states:

I am debtor. Paul views himself as a debtor to the whole world. He has been placed in debt by the love of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:14). The Pauline concept of Christian service is that each believer is deeply in debt. It is probably this same concept that inspired Isaac Watts to pen the words of the hymn “At the Cross” when he said, “But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’tis all that I can do.” Paul felt he had a responsibility to give nothing less than himself to the propagation of the gospel by which he was saved.[83]

Jesus has paid the debt due God for our sins. The debt is paid in full by Jesus, but we have a moral obligation to share the gospel. We are not our own but have been purchased by Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and have been entrusted with an ambassadorship of the utmost import (2 Corinthians 5:15-21).

Someone has said, Because I have received, I owe, to those who do not know.  

Paul’s Declaration of Focus and Purpose of this Epistle to the Romans – 1:15-17

In Romans 1:15-17 we are given the focus and purpose of this great epistle. Let’s look at the facets of what we will see in this letter.

Ready With a Passion to Preach the Gospel

Romans 1:15 – “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”  [84]

Paul’s description of himself as “ready,” is no incidental comment. As we mentioned earlier in the introduction, the word “ready” here is translated from the Greek term PROTHUMOS and is a very illustrative conveying the image of that Paul was predisposed, passionate, eager and willing with everything that was in him (i.e. “as much as is in me”) to preach the gospel.

An Example to Follow

Paul encouraged his recipients to follow his example and therefore, if he described himself as “ready,” he was taking the lead in presenting an example for them and us to follow. That Paul called his recipients to follow his lead is found in the following verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 – “I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”  [85]
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”  [86]

If Paul said he was passionately and eagerly ready to preach and share the gospel with others, we should seek to be ready in this way too.

Not Ashamed of Christ’s Gospel

Romans 1:16- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” [87]

The purpose for Paul’s inspired letter to the Romans was to proclaim and explain the gospel of God. These verses are the strategic area through which the entire book is to be viewed. The gospel of Christ, the power of God to save, to the Jew first, and also the Greek or non-Jew, salvation and the righteousness of God, by faith in Christ, that is the message.

Not ashamed

Paul here states that he is “not ashamed. ” What is “shame” and what is its cause?

Being “ashamed”  (Strong’s # 1870 - ejpaiscuvnomai eápaischunoámai, ep-ahee-skhoo´-nom-ahee; to feel shame for something: be ashamed[88]) is connected with a number of conditions which we can show from the Bible. Shame is related to the following:

First, shame has to do with not being accepted by peers or because of what they think of you. Today we might call this “peer pressure.” This is found in the Bible as well in the following verses:

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:14 – “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.”  [89]
  • 2 Timothy 1:8 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,”  [90]

These verse show that shame is directly linked to one’s perception of what another thinks of them.

Second, shame is the result of being publicly proved wrong. Peter referred to this when he was inspired to write:

  • 1 Peter 3:15-16 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”  [91]

A great deal of shame is rooted in a fear that you will be publicly proved wrong. As we study Romans, that fear will be dispelled and you will see clearly and confidently what you believe and how the gospel of Christ is indeed the power of God for salvation.

Third, opposition can cause us to be ashamed though it should not, if we are being opposed for speaking the truth of God. The Bible says:

  • 1 Peter 4:16 – “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.”  [92]

Fear of being opposed can cause one to react in shame. But when a person is in the right and opposed, they have a holy boldness and courage in the truth.

The Importance of Shame

Whether or not you are ashamed is important because the one who is ashamed of Jesus, Jesus will be ashamed of before the Father.

  • Mark 8:38 - “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [93]

Paul was able to proclaim in the opening words of Romans that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. How can we reach that point?

How can shame be combated?

There are four ways to combat shame. They are:

 

First, the way to combat shame is to know God. Listen to what the apostle Paul said:

  • 2 Timothy 1:12 – “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”  [94]

Because Paul had a personal living relationship with Jesus, he was able to face the world unashamed. Knowing Jesus puts everything else in proper perspective. The more you know God and are certain of your relationship with Him, the more confidence you will have in life.

Second, the way to combat shame is to know God’s word. Paul wrote to Timothy:

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  [95]

The more you know God’s word, the more sure you will be of His will and way in life and that will birth confidence in God in you.

Third, the way to combat shame is to abide in Him and concern yourself more with being ashamed before Him. John wrote:

  • 1 John 2:28 – “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”  [96]

The key to overcoming shame is to fix your eyes on Jesus and be more concerned about what He thinks of you than what your opposition thinks of you. As you consistently abide in Jesus and grow in your relationship with Him, you will be built on the rock of Jesus and live life confidently.

Fourth, know that if Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren, we ought not to be ashamed of Him. The Bible states:

  • Hebrews 2:11-12 – “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”  [97]
  • Hebrews 11:13-16 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”  [98]

If anyone should be ashamed of anyone, Jesus should be ashamed of us. But He is not and we should not be ashamed of Him either. How could we be ashamed of Jesus, He has done so much for us?

Fifth, Jesus dealt with and deals with shame on the cross. We see this stated in the following verses:

  • Hebrews 12:1-4 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”  [99]

Jesus was not hindered or kept from His mission by the threat of shame; Jesus kept the cross in view and what it would win for the lost. Jesus kept the victory over death and the devil in front of Him and so was able to rise above the pressure and shame that His opponents tried to heap on Him. That’s an example we should follow. First, because Jesus died and rose again defeating death, the cause of shame (fear of failing) is undercut and eliminated. Second, when we look at what Jesus did for us on the cross and the victory He won for us, we receive courage and boldness in the Spirit as the love of Christ compels us on over, through and against any impending threat of shame.

In the book of Romans, Paul is going to attack the shame that is rooted in ignorance of the gospel and what a believer believes. By sharing the inspired truth of the gospel the disciple can be freed from the shame that is rooted in uncertainty about what one believes.

There is another reason, the reason Paul give, for not being ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

The Most Important Reason To Be Unashamed of the Gospel of Christ

What is the m most important reason that we should be unashamed of the Gospel of Christ? Let’s see.

Unashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation

The word “power” is translated from the Greek term DUNAMIS, from which we get two other English terms, “dynamite” and “dynamic.”  The gospel of Christ is what God uses to blast away at stony and calloused hearts of sin. The word DUNAMIS is translated with synonyms such as, “force, miraculous power, ability, might, strength, violence (Strong’s # 1411 - duvnami" dunamis, doo´-nam-is  [100]). 

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL IS EVIDENCED IN ITS ABILITY TO SAVE FROM THE CONDEMNATION OF SIN THAT COMES THROUGH THE LAW, AND TO CHANGE THE LIVES OF SINNERS. THAT IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO BE READY TO PROCLAIM. THAT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!

The word, “salvation” (Strong’s # 4991- swthriva soµteµria, so-tay-ree´-ah) means literally, “to rescue; bring to safety; deliver; health; salvation; save; saving.” [101] The gospel of Christ is “good news” because it contains the dynamic power to save sinners from sin and really change people. This is what Paul is going to teach us in the book of Romans. IN Romans we will see that the gospel of Christ is able to:

  • Transform sinners to saints – Romans 1:16
  • Save people from dead works through faith in God – Romans 4
  • Bring people from a life of chaos and uproar to peace with God – Romans 5
  • To transform and bring people from death to life; from the old man to new man; from slaves of sin to slaves of God – Romans 6
  • The gospel of Christ is able to transform a person from being flesh oriented to Spirit dependent – Romans 7-8

The gospel of Christ is “good news” because it is THE ONLY truly effective means by which people can be changed. Paul put it this way when explaining his calling to Agrippa:

  • Acts 26:14-18 - “And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’15 “So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.16 ‘But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.17 ‘I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’”  [102]

In the world we have little good news:  immorality, abortion, terrorism, false hope in technology, wars and rumors of wars. The only good news that is substantial and eternal is from God in Christ.

For the Jew first and also for the Greek

The gospel was first preached to the Jews and when the Jews rejected the gospel of Christ, it was offered to the Gentiles (see Matthew 21:42-44).

The Gospel is the Revelation of God’s Righteousness

Paul now goes into a further though summary explanation of why the gospel is powerful and therefore why we should not be ashamed of it.

Romans 1:17 – “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  [103]

The gospel of Christ reveals the righteous plan of God to save a lost world from their sin. The means by which He works out this plan is through faith. We receive God’s righteousness by faith and then live it our by faith.

 

The word, “revealed” here is translated from the Greek term APOKALUPTO (Strong’s # 601 - ajpokaluvptw apoákaluptoµ, ap-ok-al-oop´-to) which has a beautiful imagery in its meaning of, to take off the cover; to disclose; reveal.” .[104] In other words, the gospel of Christ blows the cover off of the righteousness of God showing us how we can enter into God’s righteousness.

 

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Paul here quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in conveying the theme of Romans, “the just shall live by faith.” We enter into salvation life by faith in Christ and advance in our walk with the Lord by faith in Him.

 

Righteousness

 

Righteousness” (Strong’s # 1343 - dikaiosuvnh dikaioásuneµ, dik-ah-yos-oo´-nay) is also rendered, “equity; justification; and righteousness.” .[105]  DIKAIOISUNE refers to, “the character or quality of being right or just”; it was formerly spelled “rightwiseness,” which clearly expresses the meaning. “Righteousness” is often used to refer to an attribute of God and is equated with God’s faithfulness or truthfulness (Romans 3:25-26). God is “righteous” in that He is faithful, consistent with His word and to keep His promises. [106]

 

In Romans God’s righteousness is revealed in that God’s plan to forgive sinners and reconcile them to Himself in a just way is shown. What we shall see is that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23a) and Jesus paid the penalty as our substitute on the cross demonstrating not only God’s righteousness and justice, but also His love (Romans 3:25-26; 5:8; 6:23b). We will discuss “righteousness” in much greater detail as we continue in our study.

 

The question then follows, “How can a sinner appropriate Christ’s work in his or her life?” The answer to that is, “The just shall live by faith.”

 

Faith

 

"Faith,” (PISTIS - Strong’s #4102), means, “firm persuasion; conviction; reliance upon; assurance; belief; believe; faith; fidelity.” .[107] PISTIS is used in the New Testament always of “faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual.”  We see this word used in the following ways: “trust” (Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Galatians 3:23; Philippians 1:25; 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 3:2); “trust-worthiness; faithfulness; fidelity” (Matthew 23:23; Romans 3:3; Galatians 5:22; Titus 2:10); the contents of one’s belief, i.e. ‘the faith” (Acts 6:7; 14:22; Gal. 1:23; 3:25; 6:10; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thess. 3:10; Jude 3, 20); an assurance (Acts 17:31); and a pledge of fidelity (1 Tim. 5:12). 

 

Faith in God

 

The differences between “faith in God” and “faith in man” are seen in the use of this word as a verb, (pisteuo). When “faith” is used in regards to God it carries the meaning of:  a firm conviction, a confidence in God’s revealed truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12); a personal surrender to God (John 1:12); and a conduct inspired by such surrender, (2 Corinthians 5:7). If we look at Abraham’s exemplary faith we see a man whose faith in God rested in God, not his circumstances (Romans 4:17,20-21).[108] We discuss faith in greater detail as we continue in our study.

 

From faith to faith

 

The KJV Bible Commentary states:

 

How is righteousness obtained? From faith to faith. Righteousness is received by faith in Christ Jesus and is in turn revealed in faithful living. Thus, in answer to the question, “How are the righteous to live?” Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4, “The just shall live by faith.” This faith implies more than mere acceptance of Christ’s righteousness for salvation. It implies a life style that is characterized by faith and righteous living. It was this truth that excited Martin Luther and initiated the Protestant Reformation (1:18).[109]

 

J. Vernon McGee writes:

“From faith to faith” simply means out of faith into faith. God saves you by faith, you live by faith, you die by faith, and you’ll be in heaven by faith. Let me use a homely illustration. Quite a few years ago I was born deep in the heart of Texas. When I was born, my mother said the doctor lifted me up by my heels, gave me a whack, and I let out a cry that could be heard on all four borders of that great state. I was born into a world of atmosphere and that whack started me breathing. From that day to this I have been breathing atmosphere. From air to air, from oxygen to oxygen. Much later, in the state of Oklahoma, I was born again. I was saved by faith, and from that time on it has been by faith—from faith to faith.[110]

We ACCEPT the gospel of Christ by faith and ADVANCE in life by faith.

Martin Luther was raised in a guilt-producing, corrupt, religious oriented system of Christianity. Pursuing God’s righteousness in his own strength only led to frustration and failure. He did everything in his power to atone for his sin, but he didn’t have it within himself to remove it. Through divine providence he began to study the book of Romans and there he came upon the words, “the just shall live by faith.” Those precious words opened the floodgates of God’s grace to his soul and led to a reformation of a corrupt and faulty church. What Martin Luther said about faith is very important to our study of Romans and is key to us being ready and unashamed. How did Martin Luther define “faith”? Martin Luther writes in his commentary on Romans:

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. ``Faith is not enough,'' they say, ``You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.''  They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, ``I  believe.'' That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything  from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this `faith,' either.

 

Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing.  Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever.  He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

 

Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve      everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.[111]

 

Conclusion

 

Do You want to be ready and unashamed? Paul was, and he was inspired to write this epistle so that those who studied it prayerfully in the Spirit could be too. The gospel of Christ is powerful and is God’s revelation of His righteousness. The gospel of Christ is the means by which a sinner can be reconciled to God and receive an assurance of eternal life with Him. In this day and age in which we live with the hoards of Satan storming the church from within and without, God’s people need to be ready and unashamed instruments useable to their King. If you want to be ready and unashamed; if you want to get closer to God than ever before; if you want to know the grace, peace and love of God like never before; then this epistle to the Romans is an inspired and inerrant word from God for you. Let us proceed in the first major section of this great epistle, The Shameful Sin of All Humanity – 1:18-3:18.

 



[1]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[3]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[4]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[5]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[6]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[7]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[8]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[9]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[10]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[11]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[12]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[13]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[14]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[15]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[16]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[17]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[18]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[19]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[20]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[21]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[22]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[23]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[24]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[25]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[26] Dr. Bob Moorehead of Overlake Christian Church in Seattle, WA.

[27]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[28]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[29]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[30]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[31]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[32]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[33]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[34]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[35]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[36]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[37]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[38]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[39]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[40] Ralph O. Muncaster, Ijesus – Historical Facts, (Mission Viejo, CA: Strong Basis To Beleive1996) p. 15. Quote of Josh McDowell from his book A Ready Defense, (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Pub. 1990).

[41]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[42]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[43]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[44]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[45]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[46]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[47]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[48]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[49]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[50]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[51]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[52]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[53]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[54]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[55]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[56]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[57]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[58]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[59]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[60]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[61]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[62]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[63]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[64]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[65]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[66]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[67]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[68]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[69]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[70]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[71]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[72]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[73]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[74]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[75]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[76]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[77]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[78]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[79]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[80]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[81]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[82]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[83]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

[84]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[85]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[86]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[87]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[88]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[89]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[90]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[91]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[92]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[93]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[94]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[95]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[96]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[97]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[98]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[99]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[100]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[101]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[102]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[103]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[104]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[105]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[106]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[107]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[108]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[109]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

[110]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[111] Martin Luther's Definition of Faith: An excerpt from” An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans,” Luther’s German Bible of 1522by Martin Luther, 1483-1546Translated by Rev. Robert E. Smith from DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S VERMISCHTE DEUTSCHE SCHRIFTEN. Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63(Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp.124-125. [EA 63:124-125] August 1994. This text was translated for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert E. Smith and is in the public domain.  You may freely distribute, copy or print this text.  Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith - Walther Library - Concordia Theological Seminary - E-mail: CFWLibrary@CRF.CUIS.EDU - Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St., Ft.  Wayne, IN 46825 USA - Phone: (219) 481-2123 - Fax: (219) 481-2126