objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each
verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)
Paul's Longing to Visit Rome
God's Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
(Paul introduces himself,
Christ's servant, an apostle called to preach the good news)
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus,
called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— (the
gospel about the Son of God emerges in the Old Testament prophets)
the gospel he promised beforehand
through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son,
(this Son's context was a descendant of David)
who as to his earthly life was a
descendant of David, and (and shown to be the Son of God
by his resurrection) who through
the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by
his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
(through Christ came
God's grace to enable Paul to be an apostle to call Gentiles to
faith) Through him we received
grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience
that comes from faith for his name's sake.
(and so you Romans are
part of that group) And you
also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus
this is to you in Rome who he has called) To
all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
(his resourcing that brings his peace be yours) Grace
and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul's Longing to Visit Rome
(I thank God for you
as I hear about your faith) First,
I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your
faith is being reported all over the world.
(God knows I frequently
pray for you and now that I might be able to come to you)
God, whom I serve in my spirit in
preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly
I remember you 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
(I want to come to bless
you with the gifting that God has for you) I
long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift
to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged
by each other's faith.
(I've often wanted to
come but have been prevented) I
do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, 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.
(I come to all men, the
educated and not educated) I
am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and
(this is why I'm so eager
to come) That is why I am so
eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
(this Gospel is God's
power bringing salvation to both Jew and Gentile) For
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God
that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew,
then to the Gentile.
(the Gospel brings right
living before God, expressed through faith, just as the scriptures
say) For in the gospel the righteousness
of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first
to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.
” [Hab. 2:4]
God's Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
1: turning from the obvious truth)
(but the Gospel begins
with bad news – God is angry about godlessness and wickedness,
because people should be able to learn about God from the world)
The wrath of God is being revealed
from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people,
who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be
known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain
(from the beginning,
His nature is obvious when you observe the earth) 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 people are without
(so people inherently
knew of Him but turned from Him, failed to glorify Him and thank
Him, and so became stupid) 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.
2: turning to worship idols)
they thought themselves clever they weren't as they turned from
God to idols ) Although they
claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory
of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human
being and birds and animals and reptiles.
3: God's threefold judgement, letting them do what they want with
twisted thinking and behaviour)
God lifted off His hands of restraint from them and one expression
of that was how they degenerated sexually) Therefore
God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual
impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
(they turned from the
truth and worshipped the world rather than the Creator) They
exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served
created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
(so again, God took His
hand of restraint off them and let them go their own way so they
rejected His design and distorted their desires) Because
of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women
exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
(men and women both did
it) In the same way the men
also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed
with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other
men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
(turning from knowing
God, a third time he lifted off His hand of restraint and let
them come up with crazy thinking, ignoring His design, doing what
they wanted) Furthermore, just
as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of
God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do
what ought not to be done.
4: sin expressed in so many ways becomes ‘normal' across the earth)
(we see this expressed
in so many kinds of evil and wrong) 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, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant
and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their
parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no
(although deep down their
consciences know this is wrong they still do these things and
even approve them) 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.
Paul introduces himself as the gospel bringer, a gospel all about
He longs to come to them and bring God's blessing to them but
hasn't been able to – so he writes
The gospel is about God's way of making us righteous by faith
in His plan
The Need of the Gospel v.18-32
The good news begins with bad news – facing the reality of our
Mankind has ignored what the world shows us about God the Creator
We should be worshipping Him and thanking him but we don't
This is seen in a variety of ways – we ignore God, turn to idols
and our own ways of thinking
God is angry about this because His presence and His good design
should be obvious.
God's design is good and should bring peace and harmony and blessing
Instead we turn away from God so He respects our self-will, even
if it is folly, and so lifts His hands of restraint off us so
we can run amok with twisted and distorted thinking and behaviour
We so often think this is freedom not realising the way we live
is ultimately harmful and destructive.
For these reasons we need His salvation that draws us back from
the brink and transforms our lives.