About Time, right?
Okay, Romans 1 notes. I apologize if this is a little difficult to follow, but I’m not going to add the actual verses, but I will divide up my notes by verse (commentary style). So I suggest having a Bible handy when you read this.
V.1 Paul describes himself as a “Bond servant…… called to be an apostle” rather than as an Apostle proper. A Bond servant is one who has been set free of their master and decides to continue to serve that master of their own free will. Paul refers to himself as a servant who has been called to be an apostle, even though he would write most of the books of the New Testament. This is a breed of humility that is amazingly foreign to the church today. In the few churches that believe in the apostolic at all, the title has been belittled to “just a title” or an intinerant minister. Paul also declares that he was “seperated to the Gospel of God.” One of the main themes of the book is the seperation of man from his sin by the grace of God. Paul himself was seperated from the Gentiles by his heritage, and he was seperated from most of his countrymen be his belief in Jesus… so Paul was thoroughly seperated from most of humanity by his calling.
V.2 The Gospel of God was promised through the prophets and the scripture. God does nothing without first revealing it to the prophets (I believe that verse is in either Hosea or Amos). Christ should have been recognized in his first coming, but the religious institution had its own ideas based off their hatred of the Romans and other biases tought in the Rabbinical schools. Basically their view of God was that He is very vindictive and angry at most of the world. But then again, if the Jews HAD recognized their Messiah, they would have probably rioted against Rome, and possibly turned on God when Jesus died. I guess, had the Jews not turned Jesus in to the Romans to be crucified, he probably would have been arrested for starting a riot and spreading sedition in the empire… a traitorous crime punishable by death. God’s will is always accomplished, and it was God’s will for Christ to suffer and die (Isaiah 52-53).
V.3 Jesus is the Son of God AND our Lord. This being said, He is the Son of God and God… or Christianity is a polytheistic religion. He is Born of God and born of flesh, through the line of a Jewish king (according to Mary’s bloodline). Not only does he have the right to rule in Jerusalem because He is God, but also because He is, in the flesh, through the bloodline of a King. Thus, He is, in fact and not just theology, King of Heaven and Earth.
V.4 Christ is the only man to have been full on resurrected and not merely revived… this once again, proving that He is the Son of God. At the end of the age the other sons of God (i.e., us) who have been bought by His sacrifice will be resurrected as well, thus Christ is the firstborn of many brethren.
V.5 We need grace to be obedient to God. In our fallen state, the last thing we WANT to do is be obedient to anything or anybody, and God is holy, so without gracem it would literally be impossible to live the life of faith and obedience. This is universal, all people, all nations.
V.6 God first loved us and he has called for us to come to Him by the name of his Son, but who has answered that call? Not the people who stand on a line in the carpet and repeat the “sinner’s prayer”, but the people who have truly given their heart to God. Those who have gone from darkness to light are not the ones who fill pews or right big checks to build big buildings and to alleviate their consciences, but those who withold nothing from the One who loves them for all eternity.
V. 7-15 Personal notes for the church in Rome
V. 16 Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel, but many of today’s Christians are. What is the Gospel of Christ? Is it God’s Love? Is it His judgement? Is it His holiness? Is it His mercy? It’s all of the above. To hide any of God’s attributes or to refuse to look at them is to be ashamed of the Gospel. To be hide or ignore God’s heart for Israel is to be ashamed of the Gospel.
V.17 The gospel reveals the Righteousness of God. It also shows the harmony of God’s Judgement, mercy, and holiness. This harmony is the Mystery of the Cross.
V.18-19 The Wrath of God (gasp!). Even mentioning the phrase can get you drummed out of some churches. But God’s wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. No deed goes unnoticed- good or evil. And those who “do not know God” are merely supressing the thruth in the world around them, and that which is written on their own hearts. What may be known of God is seen in these people. God shows mercy by delaying punishment, and then giving “Just enough” to get their attention. God shows justice by punishing evil (i.e., Jesus became sin for us). Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the fater,” so, what is possible to know of God is found in Jesus, and He became sin for us- The one who knew no sin became unrighteousness for our sake. And God’s wrath was revealed in the action of the cross. It would only be God’s idea, in his perfect wisdom, to have such an injustice as the innocent man dying on the cross, to serve as justice for all those who repent.
V.20 God’s character is understood by all of the created order except man. Since the beginning of time, Creation has shouted the unseen qualities of God, and man has turned these shouts in echos of random chance… and we are without excuse.
V.21 When we deny God, everything becomes futility. With futility comes hopelesness and despair. With all of these in place, it makes total sense for someone to break the law or even commit suicide. It is this futility and depression that rules the majority of the earth right now.
V.22 If someone declares themselves as being something, it may be a huge indicator that they are not.
V23. Idols can be one of two things; The attributing of God’s character to an imagined or created thing, or pure demon worship… there isn’t really another option.
V.24 “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” God will giver us the desires of our hearts, and if we desire evil, we will receive evil. Just like in the milleniual kingdom, we will be give over to our desires. We will also act based on our desires. If a dude decides he is gay and desires the cute guy across the room, he probably won’t date the supermodel sitting right next to him. Notice, our sin is our own punishment.
V.25 It is an act of the will to be deceived. We must trade in the truth that is staring us in the face to accept a lie. Whether it be humanism, evolution, or idol worship, it requires that we ignore the conclusion being shouted by the evidence that there is a God. There is an intelligent, caring, all-powerful God that we could learn much about… if we would only listen to the world around us.
V26. What do we really desire? If we truly live is the Psalm 27:4 reality, we will find God. If what we really desire is the person we see in the mirror, we will get exactly that… scary thought, eh?
V.27 Sin is it own punishment, if we lust, we will never be satisfied, if we idolize people, we will always be disappointed when we see their flaws. If we are sexually immoral, we catch STD’s…
V. 28-31 all of the above and more… Sin may start small (disobeying your parents) but it is still sin, and it still affects you mind.
V.32 Sin is a virus. Patient Zero sins a little, then they sin a lot, then they spread their sin to others around them. It is not long before a nasty little habit because acceptable, and the we spread our disease by our example…
Anyway, that’s what I did during track one of FITN.