It’s amazing how God’s word is really new and refreshing, I had read Romans 1 before but I got a different insight this time around. If you’re just visiting the blog for the first time, you can read up what led to this study here. The study will take the following format, a central theme for each chapter, analysis of the verses and a reflection.
Romans 1 – Good News and the Truth
Verse 1 – 4 : – This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News (Gospel). God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. [NLT]
Reflections: – Paul can be likened to our present day Pastor, Priest etc while we can’t all verify who commissioned them to carry out the message they bring to the world, Paul was chosen by God and his sole purpose was to speak of Good News. In order not to keep us guessing or getting into an argument of what Good News meant the next verse explained it as the Son of God. Simply put the Good News/Gospel is all about Jesus Christ. This is the crux of Christianity.
Verse 7 – 8 : – To all who are in Rome beloved of God called to be saints, grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.[NLT]
Reflections: – Paul writes to the Romans about Jesus Christ as well as God the Father, for every time he mentions Jesus we read about God the Father. For he knows his only access to God the Father is through the Son Jesus Christ, even while he prayed he adopted the same procedure. How often have we sought help from the Father through other means?
Verse 9 – 12 : – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. [NKJV]
Reflections: – He serves God in his spirit… but what of those who serve in the Church, the Choristers, Protocol, Evangelists etc. Don’t they serve God through their various works? Why didn’t Paul say God whom I serve with my body? Remember the conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well, He ended by saying they that worship God, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Our service/worship stems from the spirit. Without that we are just displaying works of flesh, and remember the flesh is always in competition with the spirit. Sooner or later we will wear out if our service is from the flesh, it all becomes about us, rivalry and pride sets in. He went further to say he desires to be with them to impart some spiritual gift note he didn’t say gifts (just like the fruit of the spirit Eph 5:9), that they may be established. The spiritual gift from God is all encompassing, how much of it have we desired, just like in the harvests of 30’s, 60’s, 100’s. Do you have anyone writing letters to you? Have you become an Island? What kind of impartation are you receiving? While you may think the Romans only needed the impartation for their good, Paul says it was of mutual benefit. Iron sharpens iron. Have you been imparted with spiritual gift? If you have, what are you doing with it?
Verse 16 – 17: – For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith [NLT]. As the Scriptures say, For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith “ [NKJV].
Reflections: – Why would anyone be ashamed of this Good News? If you’ve ever been ashamed, it’s time to analyze what you believe. For this is what makes us right in God’s sight, it transforms us. Notice he didn’t say the works you do rather the Good News which is Jesus Christ. Just when you’re wondering how, he says it is by faith. Hold on, I thought faith was only applicable to receiving great and mighty miracles from God, that mountain moving testimony but here Paul is saying our righteousness, right standing is by faith. Let’s hold that thought a bit
Verse 18 – 20: – But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God [NLT]
Reflections: – This verse wasn’t written to the ignorant or unbelievers rather to those who already know God. Could this be written to Christians? Or better still those who have experienced the truth about God and probably given the mandate to share that truth with others. Are you a minister, apostle or preacher in the Lord’s house? Have you withheld the truth God Himself revealed to you from your congregation? You may not be heading a Church but you are putting an end, concealing the truth from people. What exactly is that truth? The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Nothing was created without God, and all that was created was made for His pleasure and to bring Him glory. The entire world we see points to God, therefore we really have no excuse not to know Him.
Verse 21 – 24: – Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.
Reflections: – The first verse reveals pride; they knew God but wouldn’t worship Him and were equally unthankful. Once again these are people who know God. They are the self-sufficient ones, the wise ones, maybe I could be one of them. When you think your wisdom has gotten you to the place you are now, and in that assumed wisdom you start to create a God that best suits your imagination. These imaginations lead to the creation of idols which can be in any form, career, spouse, accolades, wealth, fame etc. As a result of this God abandoned them, I think this is the worst state to live in. Gen 20 gave an account of how Abraham lied to Abimelech that Sarah was his sister that resulted in Abimelech taking her as his wife vs 6 says ‘’In the dream God responded to Abimelech, yes I know you are innocent that’s why I kept you from sinning against me and why I didn’t let you touch her’’. Imagine if God had abandoned Abimelech to fulfill his desires, it’s like a hedge around us, once it is removed the true evil intents of our heart gets to work.
Verse 25 – 28: – They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done [NLT].
Reflections: – Paul mentions the truth again; in this case idol worship was practiced. Remember idol worship isn’t just carved images. Whenever the issue of same-sex relationship is mentioned, most Christians refer to this verse and maybe while reading this, you are saying please tell them but a careful look at the verse above reveals these actions came from their inner lustful desires. When God abandoned them they practiced it. Question is, what is your own inner lustful desire and for a second imagine if God abandons you now, what act will you display?
Verse 29 – 32: – Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
Reflections: – As a result of the shameful things practiced their lives became filled with terrible things, and they started to invent new ways of sinning. But the terrible things they did are not too far from us, they are within us every day. Is there a correlation to out hidden lustful desires? To crown it all vs 32 says they know God’s justice for those engaging in it, they don’t just do them but give their seal of approval to those who practice them.
I didn’t think it would have been this long, but then again remember I said I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I hope you have started questioning yourself and your beliefs. Chapter 2 will be explored tomorrow by God’s grace.
Loads of Love