God’s Reason for His Delivery

August 26, 2010 at 9:57 am | Posted in Romans | 5 Comments
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The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans was written around A.D. 56. “A.D.” means anno domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord.” What we now know as the Book of Romans was written in Corinth and sent to Rome from there by Phebe.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Romans 1:1

Paul was a voluntary slave to Christ. All slaves serve their masters, but many slaves do not love their masters and question their orders. Paul served Christ willingly, and did not question His instructions.

The part of the Bible which is its main theme, and which we must not, as believers, get wrong, is the Gospel. It is the Gospel of God and of the whole Bible. Most people think of the “Gospels” as the first four books of the New Testament, but it is much more than that.

The Holy Spirit through Paul refers right away to the holy Scriptures – opening the Word of God.

By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Romans 1:5

Paul had a mission. He was sent with grace and a special calling. With these gifts came his obedience to go to all “nations” (Gentiles). What do we have that we can honor God with? Our obedience.

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Romans 1:6

The Holy Spirit had Paul remind other believers that they were appointed – given a special commission. Let’s not waste time waiting around to receive our special “anointing.” God can find me wherever I am. I need to be busy taking the Gospel everywhere and reminding others to do the same, unless and until God leads me into some very specialized ministry. The “body” starts off as just one small cell. It gets more specialized as it develops. God is really the One Who owns “my” time.

In Romans 1:8-15, Paul expresses his love for the other Christians.

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

Romans 1:13-14

He freely told them he was in debt to them – but also to many others. I need to remember that I owe a debt to God I can never repay. What if you discovered a cure for cancer? Would you anxiously start telling everyone, or would you keep it to yourself? When God revealed His Gospel to you by His Spirit, you discovered something far greater than the cure for cancer.

In verse 17, Paul begins to preach:

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:17

This is the main theme of Romans Chapter 1, and, again, Paul preaches straight from the Word of God:

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Habakkuk 2:4

He now begins to explain where the Gentiles went wrong in relation to sin, and he shows that all are guilty before a holy God.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Romans 1:18-19

Unbelievers “hold” the truth, but do not allow it to have any effect in their lives. Sadly, the areas where sinful man first went wrong are the areas where we go just as wrong today.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Romans 1:26-27

I believe the King James version, cited above, is the best translation of these verses, which clearly condemn homosexual acts, but there are many modern Bible scholars who are trying to prove from the New Testament that the original languages didn’t condemn homosexual behavior. However, even in today’s liberal and disbelieving climate, there are still scholars who believe that the Bible passages on this topic are even more clear and more graphic than most fundamentalists believe. From Robert Jewett’s 2007 Romans commentary, here is his version of Romans 1:26-27: “For this reason, God delivered them to the desires of their hearts for passions of dishonor, for their females exchanged the natural use for the unnatural, and likewise also the males, after they abandoned the natural use with females, were inflamed with their lust for one another, males who work up their shameful member in other males, and receive back for their deception the recompense that is tightness in themselves.”

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Romans 1:31

The Holy Spirit through Paul is speaking of people whose affections, desire, love, and “knowledge” were so far from God that He gave them over to a reprobate mind.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Genesis 6:3

A reprobate mind is what happens when God’s Spirit is so grieved that He no longer strives with someone. Let us pray for the unbelievers we know that their hearts would not be hardened.



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