Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 1:1-5
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 1:1, 2
vs1, 2: In the first verse of this letter Paul revealed deep personal attitudes: his complete surrender to Christ, the ministry assignment given to him when he was converted and his ordination by the church in Antioch. He says God placed him in ministry to proclaim “the gospel of God.” We might have expected him to say “the gospel of Jesus Christ” rather than the “gospel of God” but he didn’t, and the reason becomes evident as he explains what, or rather who, that gospel is. He wants his readers to understand that Jesus Christ is not the founder of a new religion. He is the Savior for whom Israel had been waiting for millennia. He is the Messiah whom God the Father promised over and over again through the prophets. Christians believers in Rome needed to realize that the One who called Paul and set him apart to the ministry of an apostle was none other than the long-awaited hope of Israel.

Monday: Romans 1:3
v3: The Greek word translated “gospel” means a message filled with good news, and the good news God wanted Paul to proclaim is that He sent His Son to the earth to be born as a human into the family of David just as Samuel prophesied He would around the year 1000 B.C. (2Sa 7:1-17). It is because of this prophecy, which became very important in the minds of the people of Israel, that they came to refer to their promised Savior as the “Son of David;” and this expectation would be repeatedly reinforced by other prophets over the following centuries (e.g. Isa 9:7; 11:1-16; Jer 23:5; Mic 5:2-4; Zec 3:8).

Tuesday: Romans 1:3
v3 (continued): Within this single verse Paul looks at both sides of a great mystery. He first refers to Jesus as God’s “Son” which means, as we know from other passages where he clearly explains himself (Php 2:5-8; Col 1:15-20), that Jesus is divine in nature and pre-existed His miraculous conception in Mary’s womb (Lk 1:26-38). Without explaining how God the Father begat a son, Paul simply recognizes that He did and declares that Jesus is that Son (v4). Then he makes a remarkable statement. He says God’s Son “was conceived from the seed of David according to the flesh” (literal). By adding the words “according to the flesh” Paul distinguishes between Jesus’ divine origin and His human incarnation. As far as His flesh (humanity) is concerned He is a descendant of David, but as far as His spirit is concerned He has come forth from God.

Wednesday: Romans 1:4
v4: Jesus is indeed the promised Son of David “according to the flesh,” but “according to the spirit” (in this case the holy spirit of Jesus, not the third Person of the Trinity) He is God’s Son and God has openly declared Him as such by raising Him from the dead. The Greek word Paul uses which is translated “declared” (horidzo) literally means “to mark out by a boundary.” In this case Paul is telling us God drew a line around Jesus so all would know He is His Son. During His earthly ministry there was nothing about Jesus’ appearance that revealed His divine origin, but when God raised Him from the dead He declared Jesus to be the One who will come in power to judge the living and the dead (Ac 10:40-43; 17:31). Jesus didn’t become God’s Son at His resurrection; His sonship was revealed by the resurrection. Repeatedly through his letters Paul makes it clear Jesus pre-existed His incarnation (2Co 8:9; Gal 4:4; Php 2:5-8).

Thursday: Romans 1:4
v4 (continued): Acts 13:17-41 records Paul’s sermon in Pisidian Antioch. In this sermon he quotes from Psalm 2:7, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (Ac 13:33) and says this took place when Jesus was raised from the dead. So we can be reasonably certain Paul had Psalm 2 in mind while writing these words to the Romans (1:4), “…(He) was declared the Son of God in power, by the resurrection from the dead….” Psalm 2 looks forward to the moment when the Messiah will come to establish His rulership over the earth at the beginning of the 1,000-year period of time we often call the Millennium (Rev 20:1-6).

Friday: Romans 1:4
v4 (continued): In this psalm God the Father declares His Messiah will rule the earth from Jerusalem (Ps 2:6). Then, in an abrupt shift of perspective, the Messiah Himself speaks, relaying to us what the Father promised Him. He says the Father assured Him that on the day in which He will begin to rule God will announce His sonship in such a way that all the nations of the earth will recognize His authority, and He will rule the earth as God’s prince (Ps 2:10-12). The Father said He would give His Son the nations as an inheritance (Ps 2:8) meaning He will have absolute governing authority (Ps 2:9, 12; Da 7:13, 14). In Paul’s understanding Jesus was given this authority on the day He was resurrected. This means He has already begun to rule as Lord of lords, though the unbelieving world will not be forced to acknowledge His rulership until He returns to set up His kingdom (Ps 110:1-3; Php 2:8-11).

Saturday: Romans 1:5
v5: This Jesus whom Paul recognized to be the prophesied Son of David, the human Son of Man and the divine Son of God, is the One through whom Paul himself received the grace he needed in order to be forgiven and accepted by the Father; and this Jesus is also the Lord of the church who sent Paul into the world to do the work of an apostle. His assignment was to make disciples of Gentiles rather than Jews. He was to convert and teach people until they were able to obey Jesus. The words “obedience of faith” remind us of Jesus’ charge in the Great Commission to “make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to observe (keep, obey) all that I commanded you” (Mt 28:19, 20). So the goal of his apostleship was not just to produce people who had faith in Christ, but people whose faith made them obedient to Christ.

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