1:1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,1 called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 1:2which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 1:4who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord, 1:5through whom we received grace and apostleship,2 unto obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake; 1:6among whom are ye also called to be Jesus Christ's:
- A servant of Jesus Christ. The especial office of the word of truth, which Paul represents, is to make Christ Spirit manifest.
- grace and apostleship. The grace that we receive is in proportion to the measure of the Christ consciousness that we attain and is the result of that consciousness. The measure of our apostleship is our ability to translate our understanding and love into service.
- Rome. Rome represents the head, in contrast to Jerusalem, which represents the heart. These words represent the will, which must be reached and converted before the teaching of the Christ can become effectual.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
1:8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.1 1:9For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit2 in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers 1:10making request, if by any means now at length I may be prospered by the will of God to come unto you. 1:11For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 1:12that is, that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. 1:13And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (and was hindered hitherto), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles. 1:14I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians,3 both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are in Rome.
- proclaimed throughout the whole world. Because the spiritualized intellect has power to influence and change the life as the emotional nature, unaided by the intellect, cannot do.
- whom I serve in my spirit. By laying hold of the substance of Truth and making it his own.
- to Greeks and to Barbarians. Greeks represent man's intellectual reasonings, Barbarians his uncultivated, unillumined thoughts. To these as well as to his understanding and his ignorance (the wise and the foolish) he owes the gift of the insight and wisdom of the Christ mind.
The Power of the Gospel
1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation1 to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 1:17For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.
- the power of salvation. Salvation is for the whole of man, for his outer organism as well as for his soul; but not all persons, nor all our individual thoughts, are ready for Truth when it is first proclaimed though all will come to perfect understanding in due season. As we daily declare Truth over and over to ourselves, our thoughts and faculties and the very cells of our body will awaken, until finally we shall be fully resurrected into the Christ consciousness.
The Guilt of Humankind
1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 1:20For 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: 1:21because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.1:22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
1:24Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: 1:25for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
1:26For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions:1 for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 1:27and 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 recompense of their error which was due.
1:28And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 1:29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 1:30backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 1:31without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: 1:32who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.
- God gave them up unto vile passions. Peter Gomes has written: Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:1, I Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was concerned with homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented a secular sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish-Christian spiritual idealism. He was against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heterosexuals. To say that homosexuality is bad because homosexuals are tempted to do morally doubtful things is to say that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals are likewise tempted. For St. Paul, anyone who puts his or her interest ahead of God's is condemned, a verdict that falls equally upon everyone. See Gomes, Peter J., "Homophobic? Re-Read Your Bible", New York Times (1992, August 17): Accessed 2017/08/26. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/op-classic-gomes.html
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: Rom. 2