1-6: Paul's rich introduction reveals several things about the gospel. 1.God promised through the Old Testament prophets that Christ would come to atone for our sins 2. The resurrection confirmed Jesus' divinity 3.Paul received grace and apostleship through Jesus that he might preach the Gospel to the nations.
8-15: Paul asked God to make him successful in visiting Rome. His prayer was finally answered at the end of his life. The reason for his visit was to encourage the church there and be encouraged by them. He wanted to strengthen believers and preach the Gospel to those who didn't yet know Christ.
16-17: We have no reason to be ashamed of the Gospel because it saves sinners from God's wrath. Everyone is guilty of sin but can receive forgiveness by trusting in Jesus' atoning work on the cross for the remission of sins. Jesus paid for our sins and gave us His righteousness.
18-22: The existence of a complex, organized universe displays God's Eternal power and divine nature. God's fingerprints are so clear that even those without the Bible have no excuse on judgement day because they too have sinned and rejected God. When people reject God they become foolish by worshiping created things rather than the creator.
23-32: God's judgement to those who refuse to acknowledge Him is allowing them to dive deeper into their debase minds and behaviors. Although homosexuality is celebrated in our culture, it is clearly labeled as a "debase" sin along with many other behaviors in this passage.
1-3: Chapter one addresses the pagan who blatantly dives into sin and chapter two addresses the self-righteous "moral" person who thinks he won't be judged by God. It's easy to play down our own sinfulness and hypocritically condemn others, but we are all judged by the same standard will face God's wrath if we die in our sins.
4-5: It's important not to confuse God's patience and kindness toward sinners as approval of their lifestyle. A sinner may prosper and get away with everything in this life, but he has stored up wrath for the day of judgement.
6-11: Justice demands that we be judged by our works, wether good or bad. Although we are all sinful and deserve judgement, those who seek God will find Christ (verse 7). Through Christ we receive eternal life because He paid the penalty for our sin. Those who are self-seeking will reject Christ and face God's wrath.
12-16: People who have never read God's law are still condemned because God has given everyone a moral conscience and they will be judged by it. Those who have heard the law will be judged by the law. God will even judge us for our the secret sins in our lives.
17-24: The religious Jews were proud because they had the law and felt they were a guide to those who didn't. They hypocritically commanded the Gentiles to obey the law while they themselves didn't. Their inconsistent lifestyles caused the Gentiles to blaspheme God. Just the same, when Christians do evil unbelievers blaspheme and reject God.
25-29: Circumcision was a sign of God's covenant with Abraham that expressed the separation of a people to God from the world. However, this sign was only valid coupled with obedience. Circumcision is a matter of the heart by the Spirit.
1-4: The Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, but just because some were morally unfaithful, doesn't mean God is unfaithful.
5-8: Although our "unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God", it doesn't mean we should sin more or that God isn't just in judging us. Paul later refutes this idea in chapter 6.
9-20: Both Jews and Gentiles are sinners under the law who deserve God's judgement. We cannot be justified by works of the law because the law is the very thing that condemns us.
21-26: This passage gives a clear summary of the Gospel. We are all sinners who deserve judgement, but we can be justified through Christ who paid for our sins. We receive this forgiveness by faith. God passed over the sins of the faithful in the past (Old Covenant believers) and they were covered under jesus' blood atonement.
27-31: We have no reason to boast because we are not justified by works. Our salvation does not mean we overthrow the law, it means we uphold it.
1-12: Abraham was not justified through works or circumcision. He was counted as righteous before circumcision because he trusted in God to cover his sins. Psalm 32 confirms that grace through faith was understood even in the Old Testament.
13-18: The promise that Abraham would be heir of the world came through faith, not the law. God wouldn't be able to promise salvation if it were based on the law because Abraham and his offspring would be condemned through it. However, since the promise is grounded in grace through faith, it can be guaranteed.
19-22: Abraham's faith was demonstrated by his actions. Even though he and Sarah were too old to have children, he trusted that God would keep his promise.
23-25: Just as Abraham's faith was counted to him as righteousness, our faith that Christ was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification will also be counted to us as righteousness.
1-2: Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, absorbing the wrath of the Father. We access His grace through faith in Jesus, which means trusting that His blood atonement satisfied the wrath of God on our behalf. We must know that good works can never cancel out our sins and acknowledge that only through Jesus can we be pure in God's sight.
3-4: The reason Christians can rejoice in suffering is because we know God is using it to grow and sanctify us.
5-11: We can also rejoice in our salvation, that Jesus laid down his life for us even though we reject God by nature.
12-21: When Adam sinned, it brought sin, death and condemnation to the human race, but when Jesus died for our sins it brought life and justification. Everyone who repents and puts their trust in Christ will have eternal life.
1-11: Paul's statement in 5:20 ("where sin increased, grace abounded all the more") could come off as an endorsement of sin, so he qualified his remarks in chapter six . He reasons that just as Jesus died to sin and was raised, we should be dead to sin and walk in newness of life. Baptism is our public proclamation of this.
12-14: We shouldn't let sin control our bodies so that we obey it's tempting passions. Since we are dead to sin, we should use our body as a tool for righteous acts rather than sinful acts. Our hands, brains, eyes etc. should be used in a way that glorifies God rather than gratifying ourselves in a sinful way.
15-23: When we were slaves to sin we were free from righteousness, but being free from righteousness brings shame and eventually death. Instead, we are now slaves of righteousness which leads to sanctification and eternal life. We are no longer slaves to sin. This doesn't meant we never sin, but we desire to do what is right and hate when we sin.
1-6: When we die to the law through Christ, we are freed from the law just as a wife is free from her marriage contract when her husband dies. Now we serve in the new way of the spirit rather than the written code. Christians still have moral obligations but we not longer attempt to follow rules in order to win God's approval. Instead, we obey out of gratitude because Jesus freed us from the law's condemnation.
7-12: Though the law condemns us, it is good and shows us we are sinners who need a savior. However, our sinful nature causes us to want whatever is forbidden.
13-22: Paul explains his struggle with sin. He desires to do what's right but is unable to carry it out. He concludes that he is a wretched man and only Christ can save him from his "body of death". This passage is a good illustration of the Christian's struggle with sin. Because we are repentant, we hate sin and war against it though we don't have the ability to live a sinless life. We were hopelessly condemned sinners who now rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
1-4: If we are in Christ we no longer face condemnation under the law because Jesus died in order that the righteous requirement of the law could be fulfilled in us.
5-6: The way we think and live is an indication of wether we are of the flesh or in the spirit. A person of the flesh will dwell on earthly sinful things while a person of the spirit will dwell on what is pleasing to God. If an unbeliever dives into sin, they try to think of ways to enjoy it more the next time, but when regenerated person dives into sin, they will lament and turn to God in repentance.
7-11: No one can please God without being in Christ because we have no way to atone for our own sins we have committed without Jesus. Only those in the Spirit (who have been redeemed by Christ) can please God and will be resurrected.
12-16: We are debtors to Christ because he adopted us to be heirs of God. Because of this, we are no longer slaves to the flesh and should be motivated to obey him out of gratitude.
18-25: However we suffer int his world, it cannot compare to the glory to come. All of creation waits for God to renew all things, as we wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies.
26-30: We can take comfort in the fact that although we don't always know what to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. And all things, event the bad, work for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.
31-39: God has appeased His wrath against us through Jesus' atonement. Since God is above all things and the only judge over all, we have nothing to fear. Nothing can separate us from God in Christ.
1-5: Paul would rather be cut off from Christ and go to hell then see his Jewish kinsman reject their God. Some have accused Paul's letters as being anti-Semitic but these verses demonstrate how much he truly loved the Jews. Not only was Paul myself a Jew, but anyone willing to suffer for eternity in place of the Jewish people cannot be accused of anti-Semitism.
6-13: Simply being an ethnic or national Jew does not make someone a "child of God" who will escape judgement. Paul quotes the Old Testament to make a distinction between the "children of the promise" and someone who is simply a flesh descendant of Abraham. God sovereignty elected Isaac before he could do anything good or bad.
14-18: God is not unjust for choosing to have mercy on some. We have all freely chosen to sin and deserve His wrath. God would be perfectly justified in not saving any of us. He is not somehow unjust if he chooses to save some of us through Jesus to display his attribute of mercy and allows others to face the judgement they deserve.
19-25: Paul anticipates the argument that "God can't fault sinners if He sovereignly chosen a remnant who would come to saving faith in Christ". His answer is simply to put things into perspective. Who are we to tell God what He can and can't do with His creation? To do so would be as ridiculous as a piece of pottery telling the potter it should have been made differently. In the end, wether someone goes to heaven or hell, it glorifies God. If heaven, it demonstrates his grace and mercy. If hell, it demonstrates His Justice. Eternal punishment may seem harsh from our point of view but we, the criminals, are in no position to tell God what is just.
26-29: Paul paraphrases Old Testament passages that predicted the rebellion of the Jews and God's salvation of the Gentiles.
30-33: In general, the Gentiles have attained righteousness because they pursued it by faith. They trusted in Jesus' work rather than their own. By doing so, their sin has been paid for and they will be judged on jesus' merits. The Jews trusted in their own works, trying to earn their way to heaven. But despite their efforts they have still broken God's law and have no one to atone for their sins. To them, Jesus is a stumbling stone.
1-4: Paul desired that the Jews be saved, but knew their zeal for God was misguided. They have rejected God's righteousness to establish their own based on works. True righteousness can only come from Jesus, who is "the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
5-13: Righteousness through the law demands that we follow it perfectly. Righteousness by faith demands that we trust in Jesus. We must trust that the father raised him from the dead, demonstrating that His atonement was sufficient to pay for our sins. Everyone who puts their trust in Jesus will be saved from the wrath to come.
14-17: Christians are commanded to share the good news of the Gospel because we are the means by which God has chosen to spread it.
1-10: God has not completely rejected His chosen people (the Jews), but has chosen a remnant by grace to be saved. Paul gives the example of himself along with the seven thousand who did not worship Baal mentioned in Elijah. The elect obtained grace and the rest were hardened.
11-16: Though Jews have largely rejected the Messiah, God is still saving some of them by his grace. This is only a "stumble" because there has always been a believing a remnant, and God will save many of them before His second coming at the end of the age.
17-24: The analogy of a tree and branches demonstrates why Gentiles have no room for pride or arrogance toward Jews. Paul makes it clear that the branches (unbelieving Jews) were broken off because of their unbelief, not because Gentiles are somehow better. In fact, God will not spare the Gentiles either if they reject Christ. God is willing to graft in Jews who repent of their unbelief and He has the power to do so. Though the nation still largely rejects him, many Jews have received Christ's pardon and God has kept his promise.
25: Paul already demonstrated that Israel was only partially hardened by giving examples of Jews who have been saved. Israel did not reject God because they were hardened, they were hardened because they rejected God.
26-27: We know from chapter 9 that being an ethnic Jew does nothing to make someone a child of God. Only those who have been predestined to receive the grace of God through Jesus are children of God. Paul quotes Isaiah to explain that all elect Israelites will be saved through God taking away their sins. They are purified through Jesus' merits, not their ethnicity or obedience to the law.
1: The next 5 chapters deal with how a Christian should live in light of God's grace presented in the first 11 chapters. The sacrificial system is no longer in effect because Jesus offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice. However, in light of God's grace through Jesus we must offer our bodies to him as instruments of righteousness. This is not a sacrifice of atonement, but a response to what God as done for us.
2: By default we conform to self-centered philosophies of the world system. Christians are called to have their minds transformed through the study of God's word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only through scripture can we test all things to discern if they comport with God's perfect will.
3-8: God has graciously given us spiritual gifts but we should never let them invoke pride if we do something better than someone else in the Church. We are all one body in Christ and He has given us different gifts.
9-20: These verses are straightforward practical commands that demonstrate how every Christian should live.
1-5: We must obey governing authorities because they have been instituted by God for our good and carrying out judgement. Although governments are flawed they prevent anarchy and act as agents of God's wrath on wrongdoers.
6-7: Because governments are divinely placed by God we must pay taxes. Not only that, but we must pay anyone we owe wether it's money, respect, or honor.
8-10: We fulfill the commandments directed towards our neighbors by loving our neighbors as ourselves. If we truly love our neighbor we will not commit adultery, steal, or covet because these things hurt him.
11-14: Our time on earth is short so there's no time to fool around in sin. We must live for Jesus and take the proper precautions so we don't find ourselves in a situation that would cause us to sin.
1-6: Many Christians in Paul's day thought it was wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols so they had a vegetable diet. Many jewish Christians thought we should worship on the sabbath. Although these boundaries are self imposed, we are not to pass judgement on less informed Christians who have convictions about secondary issues. Likewise, those who do not obey these regulations should not be judged. We are all accountable to God, not man.
7-8: Everything a Christian does should be unto The Lord, not to himself
9: Jesus died for both those who are alive and the Old Testament saints that died before His coming.
10-12: Everyone will give an account on judgement day and God's judgement is all that will matter, not ours.
13-19: All laws of clean and unclean have been abrogated because Jesus fulfilled the law. Verse 18 indicates that we are clean and acceptable to God through Jesus. Although we are free to eat what was once regarded as unclean, we must not damage the conscience of others. If someone with ill-informed theology believes something is unclean, then they are sinning if they eat it. Therefore, it is wrong for us to embolden them to sin by eating the unclean thing in front of them. Only if they are convinced that the thing is no longer unclean can we then eat it in front of them.
1-3: We should have a selfless attitude toward weaker brothers in Christ and value building them up over experiencing the pleasures of our liberties.
4-7: The Scriptures have been written for our instruction and encouragement so we might have hope. The purpose of Christians living in harmony is to glorify God with one voice.
8-13: Jesus' coming confirmed God's promise to the patriarchs which caused Gentiles to Glorify God and believe in Christ.
14-16: Though Paul was confident in the Roman Christians' knowledge and intentions, he felt it was necessary to write boldly on certain topics by way of reminder.
17-21: Paul recognized that his success in ministry is rooted in Christ's power, not his own. God used him to preach the Gospel nowhere it had not yet been heard. He trusted God's promise in Isaiah that those who never heard of Christ would see and understand.
22-24: Paul was hindered in going to the Romans because he was busy preaching the Gospel in places it had not been heard. He made plans to visit them on his in way to Spain for fellowship.
1-16: Paul passes along his greetings to many specific Christians who have helped him and fellow believers. Phoebe funded Paul along with many other missionaries. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for Paul, and many others were partners in the work of Christ.
17-18: We must avoid people in the church that cause unnecessary divisions and create obstacles. These people are serving themselves, not Christ.
21-27: In verse 22 we are told that. Paul's scribe wrote down what he said, which was a common practice during that time. Paul closes out his letter with greetings and a statement giving God the glory.