Tod Kennedy, July 2013
Foundations for ministry, God's righteousness and faith in the gospel, rejection of God's revelation
Romans 1. Foundations for ministry, God's righteousness and faith in the gospel, rejection of God's revelation. Romans chapter 1:1-17 present Paul's ministry for the gospel, and how the gospel reveals God's righteousness to those who believe God. Paul is an apostle appointed by God to serve Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was promised through the Old Testament prophets which they recorded in the Bible centuries before he was born. His human lineage was in the line of David and he was holy in his human spirit. The resurrection demonstrated his holiness (Romans 1:1-7). Paul wants to visit the Romans and minister to them through his spiritual gifts in order to establish them in the faith, encourage himself and them, and bear spiritual fruit (Romans 1:8-13). The grace gospel has captured Paul's life. He is obligated, eager, and not ashamed of the gospel which gives salvation to those who believe it (Romans 1:14-16). The gospel reveals God's righteousness because God has judged all sin on Jesus. When God grants forgiveness and everlasting life to those who believe the gospel he is applying Jesus' death to them; God is not overlooking sin (Romans 1:17). Romans chapter 1:18-32 shows that all are guilty because God's truth is revealed in nature and conscience. While God's righteousness is revealed in the gospel, God's wrath is revealed against the many, who, though conscious about his existence and creation, reject and suppress his revelation about himself and his creation, replace him and his revelation with pagan ideas and things, and express their pagan ideas. God gives them over to their lusts, passions, and depraved minds (Romans 1:18-32).
Chapter 1 Foundations for ministry, God's righteousness and the gospel, faith in and rejection of God's revelation
- The apostle Paul, servant of Christ Jesus, writes to Roman believers about the gospel, which was promised through the prophets and is about God's son born in David's line and marked out as holy by resurrection (Romans 1:1-7).
- Paul thanks God for the Roman believers and prays to visit them so he may establish them in the faith, encourage himself and them, and bear spiritual fruit (Romans 1:8-13).
- The gospel, which reveals God's righteousness, has captured Paul's life—he is obligated, eager, and not ashamed—because it is God's power for salvation by faith for Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:14-17).
- God's wrath is revealed against all who, though conscious about his existence and creation, reject and suppress his revelation about himself and his creation, and he gives them over to their lusts, passions, and depraved minds (Romans 1:18-32).
Romans 1 Selected doctrinal principles and suggestions for application
- Paul was an apostle and bond slave of Jesus Christ and therefore in his service, and God also puts us in service and gifts us for that service (Romans 1:1). How has God prepared me to serve him and the church? How do my spiritual gift, spiritual growth, spirituality maturity, the Holy Spirit, my faith, and my willingness to serve relate to my service?
- The Old Testament prophets even spoke about God's plan of a Messiah. Their writings were inspired by God and called Holy Scripture. The coming of Jesus was according to God's plan and timing. It was not simply a religious idea dreamed up by first century people (Romans 1:1-4). How does the fulfillment of the Old Testament help my faith? Can it be a help in witnessing to the reliability of the Old Testament documents and to the gospel?
- Paul's message was the gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ died in our place for our sins and offers a forgiveness and everlasting life to everyone who will believe in him (Romans 1:1, 16-17). Do I understand the gospel and how it fits into God's plan for creation? Am I willing to talk to people about Jesus? Do I ever talk to anyone about Jesus and the gospel?
- Jesus Christ the Lord is God the Son who took on humanity as David's descendent for us—Messiah, Savior, King, and the fulfillment of biblical prophecy (Romans 1:2-4). There are great attacks upon whether Jesus ever lived, who Jesus is, and why he is relevant today. Am I ready? Am I loyal to him?
- Paul prayed often for those he served and served with, and he thanked God for them (Romans 1:8-10). Do I thank God for those I serve with and serve? Often, we concentrate less than we should on the biblical or spiritual purposes of prayer. What did Paul concentrate on in his prayer life? Is taking time to pray a struggle for me? Am I too centered on myself when I pray?
- The resurrection is a momentous event in the life of Jesus and demonstrated that he really is the unique God Savior we can believe in (Romans 1:4). How does the resurrection affect my thinking, my confidence, and how I live?
- Paul set an example for us of the right attitude and motivation for ministry—prayer for, minister to, mutual encouragement, bear fruit, obligation, eager, not ashamed (Romans 1:8-16). Why do I serve in church, in missions, at work, at home? Is it out of love for God and for people? Do I serve because of guilt? Am I faithful and responsible to God? Where on the scale of 1-10 do I rate my attitude, motivation, and responsibility for service?
- God is righteous when he justifies believers because he judged all sin on Jesus Christ (Romans 1:17). Why is this so, and can I explain this to someone who does not understand? What Scripture would I use?
- God has revealed himself through creation and in man's conscience so no one has an excuse for rejecting him (Romans 1:18-20). Do I believe this? Am I confident that Scripture teaches this? How does this help me or distract me from speaking up for the Lord? If I put off witnessing to someone and that person died before I witnessed to him, what are my thoughts about God and my failure?
- God gives people who reject him over to their lusts, passions, and depraved minds. This divine judgment in time fits their desires (Romans 1:18, 24, 26, 28). Is this serious? How has this played out in our own country? Am I in danger of this judgment when I get into sin and reject God's correction? How might this discipline display itself?
- How do people reject God? They suppress God's truth and reject God (Romans 1:18-21), they replace him (idolatry) and his revelation with pagan ideas and things (Romans 1:23, 25, 28), and they express their pagan ideas by how they think and live (Romans 1:24-32). Do I ever suppress, replace, or express anti-Scriptural ideas? How do I get into this downward slide? Does this warn me to stay in the Word, in the light, and living by faith?
Select doctrines Paul mentioned in Romans 1
- Bond servant (Romans 1:1)
- Apostleship (Romans 1:1, 5)
- Hypostatic union (humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, Romans 1:3-4)
- Resurrection (Romans 1:4)
- Gospel (Romans 1:1, 15, 16)
- Prayer (Romans 1:9, 10)
- Faith (Romans 1:5, 8, 12, 17)
- Ministry (Romans 1:9-14)
- Spiritual growth (Romans 1:11)
- Equipping believers (Romans 1:11-12)
- Spiritual production (Romans 1:13)
- God’s righteousness (Romans 1:17)
- God's revelation (Romans 1:16-17)
- God’s wrath (Romans 1:18)
- Negative volition—bad choices (Romans 1:18, 21-23)
- General revelation in creation (Romans 1:17-21, 25)
- Conscience (Romans 1:18-21, 32)
- Idolatry (Romans 1:23, 25)
- Futile thinking and dark hearts (Romans 1:21)
- Consequences of negative volition (Romans 1:24, 26, 28)
- Sin (Romans 1:18-32)
- What about those who do not hear the gospel? (Romans 1:18-24)
- God and homosexual activity (Romans 1:24-28)
- Sinful nature (Romans 1:24)