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Romans
Chapter 1

Commentary by Tom Brown

This book may be divided into two parts: chapters 1-11 doctrinal and chapters 12-16 practical.

Rom 1:1
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--
To fulfill the call in the ministry one must both be called and set apart. The call is sovereign, however to be set apart is man's responsibility.  
2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures The gospel is deeply rooted in the Old Testament Scripture. Paul did not make it up as he went along.
3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, The gospels painstakingly tell us Jesus genealogy, and trace it to the human race.

Jesus body was given to him through Mary. It is not required for us to believe that Mary gave Jesus his divine nature. The spiritual nature comes from the seed, and the seed comes from the father. The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus. Mary gave birth to Him. God is called the Father of Jesus, and thus he was begotten of God.

Being human Jesus could experience the full range of human experience, including pain, emotions, temptation, and even death.

4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Being Divine Jesus could represent the human race since as Creator He would be greater than the human race.

God became flesh. Flesh does not change God anymore than Michael Jordan was changed when he became a Wizard. He is still Michael Jordan no matter what uniform he puts on. So it is with God; He did not change by becoming a man. Jesus was still God even though He was a man. This is called a mystery. see 1 Tim 3:16.

Resurrection ultimately proves his divinity.

5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. The letter is primarily written to Gentiles, and the purpose of Paulís letter is to prove that the Gentiles along with the Jews have a place in Godís salvation plan.

Obedience that comes from Faith. Not faith is the sense of mental assent to certain truths but faith which affects one's lifestyle. Faith in Jesus changes a person unlike other things we might believe in such as UFO's or Who shot J.F.K. Those latter beliefs do not change a person.

6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Letter written to Rome, which was the most important city in the Known World. It was the Political head. Caesar lived there and the Senate was set up there.

Grace and peace. Old Testament salutation was "Peace be with you" now "Grace" is added.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.  
9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you  
10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you. You do not want to arrive anywhere unless God wants you to.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-- Spiritual gifts are to make the recipients strong, not simply to exalt the ego of the giver.
12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. There is something to learn from everyone, no matter how insignificant a believer may be.
13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. Paul did not visit until he had exhausted his field of evangelism.
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. Wise and foolish. People generally are classified as either intellectuals or mystics. The gospel provides wisdom for the intellectuals and miracles for the mystics.
15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. Rome evidently had a great mixture of Greeks and Barbarians. It was a very cosmopolitan city. 
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Not Ashamed. Many Romans prided themselves in their wisdom and education, so Paul shows that the gospel is the greatest wisdom of all.

everyone who believes. Medicine prepared will not cure the patient if it is not taken. The gospel must be embraced before salvation is affected.

17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." faith from first to last. Faith is the beginning and progress of the Christian life.
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, Paul begins in verse 18 and through the rest of this chapter by using the known facts and rumors about Caesar and the Senate as an example of depravity. Since they were the "head" of the world, the world could be no better. This was Paulís way to show the universality of sin in the world.

suppress. Truth is suppressed not by logic but by wickedness. Suppress implies subconsciously keeping it out of the mind.

19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. People could not be faulted if the truth about God was not plain.
20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. A creation is proof of a Creator. Nothing cannot produce something. The fact that the creation has a beginning proves that the creation is the not eternal, and thus there is an eternal being that made everything.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Paul is writing to Rome--the head of the world, and he reminds them that the leaders of the world at one time believed in the true God. (see Daniel 2:47)
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools A fool says there is no God.
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. The first moral failure is always idolatry. From idolatry comes all other impurities.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. degrading. Sexual impurity is not freedom but humiliation.
25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen. exchanged. Gr metallaso. Found only in this passage and the following verse. It is a combination of two Greek words "meta" meaning "against" and "allasso" meaning "to change." Literally it means "against changing." Paul, therefore, acknowledges some inborn desire for both idolatry and homosexuality. Exchange does not mean a total willful abandonment but an unwillingness to change.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. exchanged natural relations. This passage deals with homosexual conduct.   
27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. abandoned. This word implies a forsaking of what is natural. There are two groups of homosexuals: those who have an inborn or early desire for the same sex and those who have a normal desire for the opposite sex yet still engage in homosexual practices. Both are wrong, but the latter deserves a greater condemnation. The same could be said of drunkenness. Some get drunk out of a willful desire to do wrong and still others are alcoholics--having an almost uncontrollable desire for liqueur. Alcoholics nevertheless can abstain from alcohol as many of them have proven.
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. depraved mind. This is the worse state of a fallen creature.
29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, The list of sins are lengthy in order to point out the various ways that a person can do wrong.
30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;  
31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  
32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. approve. It is one thing to be tempted, but it is another thing to encourage others to be tempted.

Chapter 2

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