Greetings and introduction
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we received grace and apostleship, to obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake. 6 Among whom are you also called to be Jesus Christ's.
7 To all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers 10 making request, if by any means now at length I may succeed by the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to strengthen you. 12 That is: that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.
13 And I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that oftentimes I intended to come to you (but have so far been hindered), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God to salvation to everyone that believes- to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith to faith. As it is written: But the righteous shall live by faith.
Humanity without excuse
18 For the anger of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness. 19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it to them. 20 For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made- even His everlasting power and Divinity- that they may be without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and fourfooted animals, and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonoured among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up to vile passions. Their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature. 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness and receiving in themselves that reward of their error which was due.
28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not appropriate, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; 30 whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, proud, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful. 32 Who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also give approval to them that practise them.
1:3 Jesus was the literal descendant of David; He therefore didn’t pre-exist as a person before His birth. Otherwise the promises to David about Jesus would have been meaningless- they spoke about a future descendant, who would be both God’s Son and David’s Son.
1:10 Paul kept praying that he could visit Rome; but he also did all he could humanly so that this would happen. This is surely why he appealed to Caesar to have his case heard, even though this wasn’t necessary and he would have been acquitted at the more local court (Acts 26:32).
1:16 Without the Gospel we cannot be saved. This is why there is no salvation in non-Christian religions; and why we must preach the Gospel as far as we can.
1:24 Gave them up – As in verses 26 and 28. God confirmed them in the downward spiral they chose. He confirms people in the mental attitudes, the mindsets, which they choose.
1:26 Against nature- Lesbianism / homosexuality isn’t therefore natural. It’s a perversion, what God calls in v. 27 an “error” which He will punish.
1:32 We should not only try not to sin, but also not ‘approve’ sin when we encounter it. This principle affects what we watch, view and read. The list of sins in verses 29-31 are what much modern ‘entertainment’ is all about.