Reference: Romans, Epistle To The
(3.) This epistle was probably written at Corinth. Phoebe (Ro 16:1) of Cenchrea conveyed it to Rome, and Gaius of Corinth entertained the apostle at the time of his writing it (Ro 16:23; 1Co 1:14), and Erastus was chamberlain of the city, i.e., of Corinth (2Ti 4:20).
(4.) The precise time at which it was written is not mentioned in the epistle, but it was obviously written when the apostle was about to "go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints", i.e., at the close of his second visit to Greece, during the winter preceding his last visit to that city (Ro 15:25; comp. Ac 19:21; 20:2-3,16; 1Co 16:1-4), early in A.D. 58.
(5.) It is highly probable that Christianity was planted in Rome by some of those who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:10). At this time the Jews were very numerous in Rome, and their synagogues were probably resorted to by Romans also, who in this way became acquainted with the great facts regarding Jesus as these were reported among the Jews. Thus a church composed of both Jews and Gentiles was formed at Rome. Many of the brethren went out to meet Paul on his approach to Rome. There are evidences that Christians were then in Rome in considerable numbers, and had probably more than one place of meeting (Ro 16:14-15).
(6.) The object of the apostle in writing to this church was to explain to them the great doctrines of the gospel. His epistle was a "word in season." Himself deeply impressed with a sense of the value of the doctrines of salvation, he opens up in a clear and connected form the whole system of the gospel in its relation both to Jew and Gentile. This epistle is peculiar in this, that it is a systematic exposition of the gospel of universal application. The subject is here treated argumentatively, and is a plea for Gentiles addressed to Jews. In the Epistle to the Galatians, the same subject is discussed, but there the apostle pleads his own authority, because the church in Galatia had been founded by him.
(7.) After the introduction (1:1-15), the apostle presents in it divers aspects and relations the doctrine of justification by faith (1:16-11:36) on the ground of the imputed righteousness of Christ. He shows that salvation is all of grace, and only of grace. This main section of his letter is followed by various practical exhortations (12:1-15:13), which are followed by a conclusion containing personal explanations and salutations, which contain the names of twenty-four Christians at Rome, a benediction, and a doxology (RO 15:14-ch. 16).
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and the transient residents from Rome, both Jews and the proselytes [to Judaism from other religions],
Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also.
Then after he had gone through those districts and had warned and consoled and urged and encouraged the brethren with much discourse, he came to Greece. Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia.
For Paul had determined to sail on past Ephesus, lest he might have to spend time [unnecessarily] in [the province of] Asia; for he was hastening on so that he might reach Jerusalem, if at all possible, by the day of Pentecost.
For the present, however, I am going to Jerusalem to bring aid (relief) for the saints (God's people there).
Now I introduce and commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae,
Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brethren who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church here, greets you. So do Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus.
In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.
ROMANS, EPISTLE TO THE
1. Time, occasion, and character.
Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.
And while they were gazing intently into heaven as He went, behold, two men [dressed] in white robes suddenly stood beside them, Who said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was caught away and lifted up from among you into heaven, will return in [just] the same way in which you saw Him go into heaven.
Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, resolved to select men from among their number and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, [both] leading men among the brethren, and sent them.
So when [the messengers] were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having assembled the congregation, they delivered the letter.
She kept following Paul and [the rest of] us, shouting loudly, These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation! And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment. read more. But when her owners discovered that their hope of profit was gone, they caught hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities in the forum (marketplace), [where trials are held]. And when they had brought them before the magistrates, they declared, These fellows are Jews and they are throwing our city into great confusion.
And when they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,
After staying there some time, he left and went from place to place in an orderly journey through the territory of Galatia and Phrygia, establishing the disciples and imparting new strength to them. Meanwhile, there was a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus. He was a cultured and eloquent man, well versed and mighty in the Scriptures. read more. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and burning with spiritual zeal, he spoke and taught diligently and accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he was acquainted only with the baptism of John. He began to speak freely (fearlessly and boldly) in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and expounded to him the way of God more definitely and accurately. And when [Apollos] wished to cross to Achaia (most of Greece), the brethren wrote to the disciples there, urging and encouraging them to accept and welcome him heartily. When he arrived, he proved a great help to those who through grace (God's unmerited favor and mercy) had believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ as Lord and Savior). For with great power he refuted the Jews in public [discussions], showing and proving by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).
Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also.
Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also.
Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also. And having sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, he himself stayed on in [the province of] Asia for a while.
And having sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, he himself stayed on in [the province of] Asia for a while.
And having sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, he himself stayed on in [the province of] Asia for a while. But as time went on, there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way [of the Lord]. read more. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of [the goddess] Artemis [Diana], brought no small income to his craftsmen. These he called together, along with the workmen of similar trades, and said, Men, you are acquainted with the facts and understand that from this business we derive our wealth and livelihood. Now you notice and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost all over [the province of] Asia this Paul has persuaded and induced people to believe his teaching and has alienated a considerable company of them, saying that gods that are made with human hands are not really gods at all. Now there is danger not merely that this trade of ours may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may come into disrepute and count for nothing, and that her glorious magnificence may be degraded and fall into contempt -- "she whom all [the province of] Asia and the wide world worship. As they listened to this, they were filled with rage and they continued to shout, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Then the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed together into the amphitheater, dragging along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were fellow travelers with Paul. Paul wished to go in among the crowd, but the disciples would not permit him to do it. Even some of the Asiarchs (political or religious officials in Asia) who were his friends also sent to him and warned him not to risk venturing into the theater. Now some shouted one thing and some another, for the gathering was in a tumult and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd called upon Alexander [to speak], since the Jews had pushed and urged him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, wishing to make a defense and [planning] to apologize to the people. But as soon as they saw him and recognized that he was a Jew, a shout went up from them as the voice of one man, as for about two hours they cried, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! And when the town clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone [image of her] that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet (keep yourselves in check) and do nothing rashly. For you have brought these men here, who are [guilty of] neither temple robberies nor blasphemous speech about our goddess. Now then, if Demetrius and his fellow tradesmen who are with him have a grievance against anyone, the courts are open and proconsuls are [available]; let them bring charges against one another [legally]. But if you require anything further about this or about other matters, it must be decided and cleared up in the regular assembly. For we are in danger of being called to render an account and of being accused of rioting because of [this commotion] today, there being no reason that we can offer to justify this disorder.
Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia.
Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia.
Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia. He was accompanied by Sopater the son of Pyrrhus from Beroea, and by the Thessalonians Aristarchus and Secundus, and Gaius of Derbe and Timothy, and the Asians Tychicus and Trophimus.
From Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God, Which He promised in advance [long ago] through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures -- " read more. [The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David, And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One). It is through Him that we have received grace (God's unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name's sake among all the nations, And this includes you, called of Jesus Christ and invited [as you are] to belong to Him. To [you then] all God's beloved ones in Rome, called to be saints and designated for a consecrated life: Grace and spiritual blessing and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
To [you then] all God's beloved ones in Rome, called to be saints and designated for a consecrated life: Grace and spiritual blessing and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because [the report of] your faith is made known to all the world and is commended everywhere. read more. For God is my witness, Whom I serve with my [whole] spirit [rendering priestly and spiritual service] in [preaching] the Gospel and [telling] the good news of His Son, how incessantly I always mention you when at my prayers. I keep pleading that somehow by God's will I may now at last prosper and come to you. For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you; That is, that we may be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other's faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brethren, that many times I have planned and intended to come to you, though thus far I have been hindered and prevented, in order that I might have some fruit (some result of my labors) among you, as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. Both to Greeks and to barbarians (to the cultured and to the uncultured), both to the wise and the foolish, I have an obligation to discharge and a duty to perform and a debt to pay. So, for my part, I am willing and eagerly ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome.
So, for my part, I am willing and eagerly ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God's power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, read more. For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. For God's [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it). For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another -- "men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution. And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome, Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers, Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents. [They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless. Though they are fully aware of God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.
Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]. [But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things. read more. And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God's judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent ( to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)? But by your callous stubbornness and impenitence of heart you are storing up wrath and indignation for yourself on the day of wrath and indignation, when God's righteous judgment (just doom) will be revealed. For He will render to every man according to his works [justly, as his deeds deserve]: To those who by patient persistence in well-doing [ springing from piety] seek [unseen but sure] glory and honor and [ the eternal blessedness of] immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and self-willed and disobedient to the Truth but responsive to wickedness, there will be indignation and wrath. [And] there will be tribulation and anguish and calamity and constraint for every soul of man who [habitually] does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek (Gentile). But glory and honor and [heart] peace shall be awarded to everyone who [habitually] does good, the Jew first and also the Greek (Gentile). For God shows no partiality [ undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another]. All who have sinned without the Law will also perish without [regard to] the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged and condemned by the Law. For it is not merely hearing the Law [read] that makes one righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be held guiltless and acquitted and justified. When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them] On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts). But if you bear the name of Jew and rely upon the Law and pride yourselves in God and your relationship to Him, And know and understand His will and discerningly approve the better things and have a sense of what is vital, because you are instructed by the Law; And if you are confident that you [yourself] are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, and [that You are] a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the childish, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -- " Well then, you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you teach against stealing, do you steal (take what does not really belong to you)? You who say not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery [are you unchaste in action or in thought]? You who abhor and loathe idols, do you rob temples [do you appropriate to your own use what is consecrated to God, thus robbing the sanctuary and doing sacrilege]? You who boast in the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law [by stealthily infringing upon or carelessly neglecting or openly breaking it]?
Then what advantage remains to the Jew? [How is he favored?] Or what is the value or benefit of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, to the Jews were entrusted the oracles (the brief communications, the intentions, the utterances) of God. read more. What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]? By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men]. But if our unrighteousness thus establishes and exhibits the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust and wrong to inflict His wrath upon us [Jews]? I speak in a [purely] human way. By no means! Otherwise, how could God judge the world? But [you say] if through my falsehood God's integrity is magnified and advertised and abounds to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner? And why should we not do evil that good may come? -- "as some slanderously charge us with teaching. Such [false teaching] is justly condemned by them. Well then, are we [Jews] superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control]. As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God. All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one! Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways. And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize]. There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God. For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [ not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character]. But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward [ before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time ( in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.] Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [ which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ]. Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.
Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God].
Do you not know, brethren -- "for I am speaking to men who are acquainted with the Law -- "that legal claims have power over a person only for as long as he is alive? For [instance] a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is loosed and discharged from the law concerning her husband. read more. Accordingly, she will be held an adulteress if she unites herself to another man while her husband lives. But if her husband dies, the marriage law no longer is binding on her [she is free from that law]; and if she unites herself to another man, she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives), the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs, in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh), so that we bore fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. What then do we conclude? Is the Law identical with sin? Certainly not! Nevertheless, if it had not been for the Law, I should not have recognized sin or have known its meaning. [For instance] I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another]. But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing]. Once I was alive, but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again and I died (was sentenced by the Law to death). And the very legal ordinance which was designed and intended to bring life actually proved [to mean to me] death. For sin, seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment, beguiled and entrapped and cheated me, and using it [as a weapon], killed me. The Law therefore is holy, and [each] commandment is holy and just and good. Did that which is good then prove fatal [bringing death] to me? Certainly not! It was sin, working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon], in order that through the commandment sin might be shown up clearly to be sin, that the extreme malignity and immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear. We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [ which my moral instinct condemns]. Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [ fixed and operating in my soul]. So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. But I discern in my bodily members [ in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [ in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. read more. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [ the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [ subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.
So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. read more. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it -- "[yet] with the hope That nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children. We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God's sons). For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will. We are assured and know that [ God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]
What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? read more. Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me That I have bitter grief and incessant anguish in my heart. read more. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off and banished from Christ for the sake of my brethren and instead of them, my natural kinsmen and my fellow countrymen. For they are Israelites, and to them belong God's adoption [as a nation] and the glorious Presence (Shekinah). With them were the special covenants made, to them was the Law given. To them [the temple] worship was revealed and [God's own] promises announced. To them belong the patriarchs, and as far as His natural descent was concerned, from them is the Christ, Who is exalted and supreme over all, God, blessed forever! Amen (so let it be). However, it is not as though God's Word had failed [coming to nothing]. For it is not everybody who is a descendant of Jacob (Israel) who belongs to [the true] Israel. And they are not all the children of Abraham because they are by blood his descendants. No, [the promise was] Your descendants will be called and counted through the line of Isaac [though Abraham had an older son]. That is to say, it is not the children of the body [of Abraham] who are made God's children, but it is the offspring to whom the promise applies that shall be counted [as Abraham's true] descendants. For this is what the promise said, About this time [next year] will I return and Sarah shall have a son. And not only that, but this too: Rebecca conceived [two sons under exactly the same circumstances] by our forefather Isaac, And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them], It was said to her that the elder [son] should serve the younger [son]. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob). What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God's part? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion (pity) on whom I will have compassion. So then [God's gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. [It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him.] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over. So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills. You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will? But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?
What shall we say then? That Gentiles who did not follow after righteousness [who did not seek salvation by right relationship to God] have attained it by faith [a righteousness imputed by God, based on and produced by faith],
But of Israel he says, All day long I have stretched out My hands to a people unyielding and disobedient and self-willed [to a faultfinding, contrary, and contradicting people].
But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree, Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you. read more. You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in! That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you are guilty of the same offense]. Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you -- "provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away). And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree. Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits), I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren: a hardening (insensibility) has [temporarily] befallen a part of Israel [to last] until the full number of the ingathering of the Gentiles has come in, And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins. From the point of view of the Gospel (good news), they [the Jews, at present] are enemies [of God], which is for your advantage and benefit. But from the point of view of God's choice (of election, of divine selection), they are still the beloved (dear to Him) for the sake of their forefathers. For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] Just as you were once disobedient and rebellious toward God but now have obtained [His] mercy, through their disobedience, So they also now are being disobedient [when you are receiving mercy], that they in turn may one day, through the mercy you are enjoying, also receive mercy [that they may share the mercy which has been shown to you -- "through you as messengers of the Gospel to them]. For God has consigned (penned up) all men to disobedience, only that He may have mercy on them all [alike]. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)! For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor? Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).
As for the man who is a weak believer, welcome him [into your fellowship], but not to criticize his opinions or pass judgment on his scruples or perplex him with discussions.
But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful].
And further Isaiah says, There shall be a Sprout from the Root of Jesse, He Who rises to rule over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles hope. May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. read more. Personally I am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are rich in goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another also. Still on some points I have written to you the more boldly and unreservedly by way of reminder. [I have done so] because of the grace (the unmerited favor) bestowed on me by God In making me a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I act in the priestly service of the Gospel (the good news) of God, in order that the sacrificial offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable [to God], consecrated and made holy by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have legitimate reason to glory (exult) in my work for God [in what through Christ Jesus I have accomplished concerning the things of God]. For [of course] I will not venture (presume) to speak thus of any work except what Christ has actually done through me [as an instrument in His hands] to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, [Even as my preaching has been accompanied] with the power of signs and wonders, [and all of it] by the power of the Holy Spirit. [The result is] that starting from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel [faithfully executing, accomplishing, carrying out to the full the good news] of Christ (the Messiah) in its entirety. Thus my ambition has been to preach the Gospel, not where Christ's name has already been known, lest I build on another man's foundation; But [instead I would act on the principle] as it is written, They shall see who have never been told of Him, and they shall understand who have never heard [of Him]. This [ambition] is the reason why I have so frequently been hindered from coming to visit you.
This [ambition] is the reason why I have so frequently been hindered from coming to visit you. But now since I have no further opportunity for work in these regions, and since I have longed for enough years to come to you, read more. I hope to see you in passing [through Rome] as I go [on my intended trip] to Spain, and to be aided on my journey there by you, after I have enjoyed your company for a little while. For the present, however, I am going to Jerusalem to bring aid (relief) for the saints (God's people there). For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make some contribution for the poor among the saints of Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it; and surely they are in debt to them, for if these Gentiles have come to share in their [the Jerusalem Jews'] spiritual blessings, then they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. When therefore I have completed this mission and have delivered to them [at Jerusalem] what has been raised, I shall go on by way of you to Spain. And I know that when I do come to you, I shall come in the abundant blessing of the Gospel of Christ. I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spirit, to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf.
I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spirit, to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf. [Pray] that I may be delivered (rescued) from the unbelievers in Judea and that my mission of relief to Jerusalem may be acceptable and graciously received by the saints (God's people there),
[Pray] that I may be delivered (rescued) from the unbelievers in Judea and that my mission of relief to Jerusalem may be acceptable and graciously received by the saints (God's people there), So that by God's will I may subsequently come to you with joy (with a happy heart) and be refreshed [by the interval of rest] in your company. read more. May [our] peace-giving God be with you all! Amen (so be it).
[Remember me] also to the church [that meets] in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was a firstfruit (first convert) to Christ in Asia.
Now to Him Who is able to strengthen you in the faith which is in accordance with my Gospel and the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ (the Messiah), according to the revelation (the unveiling) of the mystery of the plan of redemption which was kept in silence and secret for long ages, But is now disclosed and through the prophetic Scriptures is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, [to win them] to obedience to the faith, read more. To [the] only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One)! Amen (so be it).
I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
This may justly be called the fundamental epistle of Christian doctrine. Its value and importance are seen in that its doctrine lays in the soul a moral foundation by the presentation of God in qualities or attributes which the state of things existing in the world appears to call in question. Thus God is justified in the eyes of the believer, and this being the case, the purposes of His love are made known to him.
In looking at all that is around us in the world, everything appears to be out of order: the presence and domination of sin, a broken law, and the corrupt and violent will in man, all call in question the righteousness of God; while the scattering of God's people Israel raises the question of His faithfulness to His promises.
Now in Christ all this finds its full and complete answer. The Son of God, by whom all were created, has Himself come in the likeness of sinful flesh, and, by offering Himself a sacrifice for sin, has completely vindicated God's righteousness, while revealing His love. At the same time the man, or order of man, that has sinned against God has been judicially removed by His death from before the eye of God, so that God can present Himself to man in grace.
The moral perfection of the offerer of necessity brought in resurrection, in which all the pleasure of God's grace in regard to man is set forth in righteousness; and Christ risen is the deliverer who is to come forth from Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Thus God's faithfulness to His covenant is established in Zion. God is proved to be faithful and righteous: we have here the first elements of the knowledge of God.
But it way be desirable to open up the epistle a little in detail. After the introduction, in which the fact may be noticed that the glad tidings are said to be concerning God's Son, a picture is given us of the moral condition of man in the world, whether heathen, philosopher, or Jew. In the heathen we see the unchecked development of sin (Rom. 1). In the philosopher the fact that light in itself does not control evil (Rom. 2); and in the Jew that law is proved to be powerless to bring about subjection to God, or to secure righteousness for man. The conclusion is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and warned and consoled and urged and encouraged them; then he embraced them and told them farewell and set forth on his journey to Macedonia. Then after he had gone through those districts and had warned and consoled and urged and encouraged the brethren with much discourse, he came to Greece. read more. Having spent three months there, when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he resolved to go back through Macedonia.
Romans, Epistle to the.
1. The date of this epistle is fixed at the time of the visit recorded in Acts 20:3 during the winter and spring following the apostle's long residence at Ephesus A.D. 58. On this visit he remained in Greece three months.
2. The place of writing was Corinth.
3. The occasion which prompted it,,and the circumstances attending its writing, were as follows:--St. Paul had long purposed visiting Rome, and still retained this purpose, wishing also to extend his journey to Spain. Etom. 1:9-13; 15:22-29. For the time, however, he was prevented from carrying out his design, as he was bound for Jerusalem with the alms of the Gentile Christians, and meanwhile he addressed this letter to the Romans, to supply the lack of his personal teaching. Phoebe, a deaconess of the neighboring church of Cenchreae, was on the point of starting for Rome, ch.
and probably conveyed the letter. The body of the epistle was written at the apostle's dictation by Tertius, ch.
but perhaps we may infer, from the abruptness of the final doxology, that it was added by the apostle himself.
4. The origin of the Roman church is involved in obscurity. If it had been founded by St. Peter according to a later tradition, the absence of any allusion to him both in this epistle and in the letters written by St. Paul from Rome would admit of no explanation. It is equally clear that no other apostle was like founder. The statement in the Clementines --that the first tidings of the gospel reached Rome during the lifetime of our Lord is evidently a fiction for the purposes of the romance. On the other hand, it is clear that the foundation of this church dates very far back. It may be that some of these Romans, "both Jews and proselytes," present. On the day of Pentecost
carried back the earliest tidings of the new doctrine; or the gospel may have first reached the imperial city through those who were scattered abroad to escape the persecution which followed on the death of Stephen.
At first we may suppose that the gospel had preached there in a confused and imperfect form, scarcely more than a phase of Judaism, as in the case of Apollos at Corinth,
or the disciples at Ephesus.
As time advanced and better-instructed teachers arrived the clouds would gradually clear away, fill at length the presence of the great apostle himself at Rome dispersed the mists of Judaism which still hung about the Roman church.
5. A question next arises as to the composition of the Roman church at the time when St. Paul wrote. It is more probable that St. Paul addressed a mixed church of Jews and Gentiles, the latter perhaps being the more numerous. These Gentile converts, however, were not for the most part native Romans. Strange as the: paradox appears, nothing is more certain than that the church of Rome was at this time a Greek and not a Latin church. All the literature of the early Roman church was written in the Greek tongue.
6. The heterogeneous composition of this church explains the general character of the Epistle to the Romans. In an assemblage so various we should expect to find, not the exclusive predominance of a single form of error, but the coincidence of different and opposing forms. It was: therefore the business of the Christian teacher to reconcile the opposing difficulties and to hold out a meeting-point in the gospel. This is exactly what St. Paul does in the Epistle to the Romans.
7. In describing the purport of this epistle we may start from St. Paul's own words, which, standing at the beginning of the doctrinal portion, may be taken as giving a summary of the contents. ch.
Accordingly the epistle has been described as comprising "the religious philosophy of the world's history "The atonement of Christ is the centre of religious history. The epistle, from its general character, lends itself more readily to an analysis than is often the case with St. Paul's epistles. While this epistle contains the fullest and most systematic exposition of the apostle's teaching, it is at the same time a very striking expression of his character. Nowhere do his earnest and affectionate nature and his tact and delicacy in handling unwelcome topics appear more strongly than when he is dealing with the rejection of his fellow country men the Jews. Internal evidence is so strongly in favor of the genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans that it has never been seriously questioned.
Now those who were scattered abroad went about [through the land from place to place] preaching the glad tidings, the Word [ the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God].
This occurred three times, and then all was drawn up again into heaven.
He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and burning with spiritual zeal, he spoke and taught diligently and accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he was acquainted only with the baptism of John.
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper inland districts and came down to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus as the Christ]? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. read more. And he asked, Into what [baptism] then were you baptized? They said, Into John's baptism.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God's power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.
Now I introduce and commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae, That you may receive her in the Lord [with a Christian welcome], as saints (God's people) ought to receive one another. And help her in whatever matter she may require assistance from you, for she has been a helper of many including myself [shielding us from suffering].