A Voice in the
The "called apostle" Paul's function was to proclaim the Gospel. (vs.1) While there can be many kinds of apostles for whatever ideologies man devises, and Peter led the disciples in the error of selecting Matthias (Acts1), Paul was chosen directly by Jesus Christ. (Acts9:15) As he was the apostle "to the Nations" (Acts28:28,Gal2:8) he writes a treatise to those at Rome. They say "all roads lead to Rome." Rome certainly has become the focal point of the United World Religions, and is its leader. Whatever began at Babel with Nimrod roughly 4500 years ago has culminated in what is today centered at Rome. While Rome claims that "Peter" is their "father" Peter was actually an apostle to the Jews. (Gal2:8) But since Paul is the apostle to the "nations" it is most appropriate that he would have written this book.
The book "to the Romans" is a most comprehensive collection of teachings presenting the Gospel; the need for the Gospel; and once it has been believed and received... how to live. Everything needed for Eternal Life can be found in this book. I wonder if "Rome" has read it...?!
The "Gospel of God."(vs1) The proclamation of the "kingdom of God." (Mt6:33) The "Gospel of Christ" (vs16) is the proclamation "unto salvation." We've considered before, the Gospel Paul preached, summed up in 1Cor 15:3-4. The Gospel "once delivered to the saints" (Jude3) which "you HAVE RECEIVED.." (Gal1:9) and nothing more is needed. That which does not change. (Mal3:6, Heb13:8)
This Gospel was found in the Old Testament. It began in the Garden of Eden at the fall, continued on through Abel, was proclaimed by Enoch and Noah, and spelled out in detail through Abraham, Moses and the prophets.(vs2) One of God's major proofs of Himself was His design to establish it, prophesy it and fulfill it. God's Word is based upon Himself as He says, "the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Is45:23) "To whom will you compare Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be alike?" (46:5) And to proclaim His uniqueness He explains... "declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not done, saying, My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure...I have spoken, I will also cause it to come: I have formed; yes, I will do it." (46:9-11) Fulfillment of prophesy is God's "unique" niche. The best Nostradamus and Toronto Blessing revivalists can claim is 70%. God's prophecies are fulfilled 100%. His "success rate" can be 100% because He founded creation. He purposed and promised. He fulfills.
When God "so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (Jn3:16) this "Son" came in human form... "seed of David according to the flesh." (vs3) It is necessary to believe that Jesus was "flesh and blood" (Heb2:14). If a person does not believe this, he cannot experience Eternal Life. (1Jn4:2-3)
Of equal importance is to accept Jesus' "Deity." He was "marked out the Son of God." (vs4) He was revealed "according to the Spirit", when He was baptized by John in the Jordan, to be the "Son of God." (Jn1:30-34) The "Word WAS God." (Jn1:1) He is "..Christ our Lord." (vs3a)
His "resurrection from the dead" (vs4b) was the message proclaimed by the apostles, which the Jews rejected. (Acts4:2) Rome also rejects it by their perpetual sacrifice of the "crucifix" & "eucharist."
It is through Jesus Christ that we "receive grace...to obedience to the faith." (vs5) This grace and faith are a "gift of God". (Eph2:8) We do not accumulate "graces" by works and praying to the Queen of Heaven."Mary" does not save us, because "..there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name [than "Jesus Christ"] under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts4:12)
And those who are of Faith in Christ are "called ones." (vs6) Having been "known" by Him (2Tm2:19) since "before the foundation of the world" (Eph1:4) He "chose" us who believe. Those being thus "ordained" (appointed) to Eternal Life (Acts13:48) God calls and "draws" to Himself. (Jn6:44)
Jesus proclaimed, "For whoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, the Son of man shall be ashamed of him when He shall come in His own and in His Father's glory, and that of the holy angels." (Lk9:26) Paul proclaims, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes...for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith...the just shall live by faith." (vs16-17)
Psychology speaks of "shame." Essentially, they try to persuade people to no longer be "ashamed of" their sin. And in the next breath, they reject God's Word as being the worst form of "abuse" to children so taught. But you see, we MUST BE ashamed of our sin. We must "despise" it and repent. (Job42:6) We must implore God for His mercy upon us (Lk18:13) and look to Jesus Christ for His "salvation." (vs16)
Salvation from WHAT? God's WRATH! (vs18) Just as He promised His gospel through the Scriptures, He also "reveals" His wrath from heaven. What is the focus of His wrath? "Ungodliness and unrighteousness."
UNGODLINESS is a rebellion against "God's existence"; His Essence. While God says, "I AM THAT I AM" (Ex3:14) man says, "Where is the promise of His coming?" Since ancient times we have cleverly devised a scheme of multiplied billions of years based on "uniformitarianism" for us to "evolve" to where we are now. (2Pt3:4) The "Big Bang" and mathematically impossible odds are claimed, in order to deny God's existence through evolution. However, things of creation "are CLEARLY SEEN, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse." (vs20) God designed the universe SPECIFICALLY "to show" His power.
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS is rebellion against God's "character". His essence is "righteous." (Ezr9:15,Ps7:9,Dan9:14,etc.) How does man rebel against righteousness? Both intellectually and morally.
"Intellectually" man looks to the created beings, instead of God Himself. They worship animals (vs23) trees (Jer10:3-5) the "host of heaven" (Deu4:19) and man, himself. In this latter pursuit they follow Satan's original lie, "you shall be [just like] God" (Gen3:5) The TV show "Touched by an Angel" proclaims "you're just as good as God." Oprah preaches the divinity within each one of us.
And at the religious level, the "scholars" concoct "translations" of Scripture designed to deny God's Truth. They look to their "scholarship" rather than the Holy Spirit. As such, the Word becomes distorted in order to purposely portray a "different God" than the Most High...since the Scriptures ARE part of God's "essence." The "Word was with God, and the Word [WAS] God." (Jn1:1) "You have the WORDS of eternal life." (Jn6:68) "..the words that I speak to you are Spirit and are life." (Jn6:63) In producing these abominations, they are deliberately "SUPPRESS[ING] the truth in unrighteousness" (vs.18 -nkjv) Jesus proclaimed special "woes" to such.. "But woe to you, scribes...! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in. (Mt23:13) Scribes were those who hand-copied the texts of the O.T. Scriptures. "Rome" has been a major repository of the sources of the modern perversions. They forbad the reading of Scripture in years past. In more recent years, since the perversions have proliferated, they now allow their subjects to read them.
And so God "gave them up..." (vs24) ..to "Moral Depravity". Sexual perversion abounds. Women have perverted their purpose in God's design. (vs26) "Dishonorable affections.." Alluring female sexuality pretty much governs ALL aspects of entertainment, business, and socialization. Homosexuality has so pervaded society, that, as someone e-mailed me a list recently...there is hardly a western nation that has not passed laws condoning same-sex marriages. There are those who claim to have "gay-ministries" and will provide all sorts of Scripture, out of context, to "support" their views. But I have yet to receive an acknowledgment from any of them that vs.27 speaks "against" such practices. They like to ignore this verse...perhaps hoping it will go away..? "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, males with males working out shamefulness..." It is quite obvious to even the least literate, that this is talking about homosexuality. And what is the outcome? "Receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error." Aids is not going away anytime soon, until sin is acknowledged, repented of and forsaken!
And vss 29-31 lists many other such and related sins. But you notice the verdict. Not only do people "do" these things, but they fully "enjoy" the fact that others do them, as well. How else can poles show 80% approval for a depraved president. Or thousands of Mariah Carey fans cheering deafeningly as she cavorts about on stage, practically engaging in sexual activity for all to see...while parents hold their small children in their arms to see it all...teaching them, in so doing, that this all is "acceptable."
This list of intellectual and moral depravity is the definition of the object of God's Wrath. (vs18) But it all boils down, in its simplest form, to the fact that the world has rejected God. They distort His essence in order to not have to "deal with" Him. "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way.." (Is53:6a) God's standards of holiness and created design they spit at, and with all their might live as opposite to His purpose as they can. They enjoy the fact that they are all in it together...cheering each other along in sin. "..every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen6:5)
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer17:9) The depth of wickedness is unfathomable. This is the reason for God's Wrath. But it is also God's mercy which provides "salvation to everyone who believes." (vs16) For those who believe, "God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Th5:9)