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Chapter 1

Romans 1 Commentary

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Romans 1:1 meaning

Paul starts out his letter by giving his credentials and explaining his purpose in ministry.

Romans 1:2-4 meaning

Paul is establishing the facts of the gospel: that Jesus was promised in the Old Testament, he was born of David, was God and man, and was resurrected from the dead by the power of the Spirit of holiness, who is one with Jesus.

Romans 1:5-6 meaning

Paul is an apostle who was called by God to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. The Romans to whom he is writing are Gentile believers in Jesus.

Romans 1:7 meaning

After introducing himself, Paul addresses his audience: all of the believers in Rome.

Romans 1:8-10 meaning

The faith of the Roman believers is being talked about throughout the world; Paul thanks God for their faith and prays for them unceasingly. Paul has never met these believers, but hopes to.

Romans 1:11-13 meaning

These Gentile believers have faith that is being talked about throughout the world, but Paul still hopes to go to them so that he may be encouraged by them while also strengthening their faith, helping to produce even greater fruits of faithfulness.

Romans 1:14-15 meaning

Paul’s call from God was to preach the gospel to all Gentiles. He desires to preach the gospel to (or encourage) the believers in Rome.

Romans 1:16-17 meaning

Paul boldly preaches the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe. Initially, faith saves us from hell, but for the believer, faith continues to allow us to live righteous lives through the resurrection power of Christ.

Romans 1:18-21 meaning

Those who live unrighteous lives, whether believers or nonbelievers, will experience the wrath of God. The wrath of God here is God giving us over to the natural consequences of our choices. God has given everyone knowledge of right and wrong, giving no one an excuse.

Romans 1:22-23 meaning

The pride of those who choose to not follow God leads them to worship other things, which further leads to becoming foolish.

Romans 1:24-25 meaning

When we claim to know better than God and pursue unrighteous living, God removes His protection and gives us over to the natural consequences of those choices. God intends great things for us, and when we pursue unrighteous living, our bodies are dishonored.

Romans 1:26-27 meaning

God’s design for sex is between a man and a woman within marriage. When we decide we know better than God, we exchange what is natural for unnatural and this brings negative consequences.

Romans 1:28-31 meaning

Eventually when people persist in sin and insist that they know best, God will give them over to a depraved mind. This results in a loss of mental health—a mind that cannot tell right from wrong and is totally focused on “me.”

Romans 1:32 meaning

Paul reiterates that the people who practice such things still instinctively know right from wrong. Even though they know the actions they engage in are sinful, they applaud the sinful behavior in others, as a way to justify themselves.