Get Bible Study Notes


 (Bible Study)


Romans 1:1-17

 Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr.

February 22, 2023

Paul’s Interest in the Church: Enslavement to the Gospel

 Romans 1:8-15

Introduction: Paul had never visited the Roman church, and he had never seen the believers at Rome; yet here he is writing to them. How could he best reach them and express his purpose for writing them? How could he arouse their interest to such a peak that they would read what he was writing and heed it? This is the subject of the present passage. Paul wanted the Roman believers to know his great interest in them; therefore, to the best of his ability he shared why he was writing to them. Simply stated, he said he was writing because he could do nothing else; he was compelled to share the gospel with the whole world including the capital of the world, Rome itself. In fact he was enslaved by the gospel.


  1. A great church (v.8).
  2. The gospel subjected his spirit to God’s Son (v.9).
  3. The gospel stirred him to pray without ceasing (v.9).
  4. The gospel stirred him to seek people personally (v.10-13).
  5. The gospel stirred him with a deep sense of indebtedness and a readiness to reach all men (v.14-15).
  6. (1:8): The church at Rome was a great church—so great that Paul thanked God for the church “always” (Romans 1:2). The word “always” shows that the church held a very special place in Paul’s heart. This is significant, for Paul had never been to the church. He did not know the church personally; he only knew what he had heard about it. But note: the church’s testimony for Christ was so strong it was being talked about throughout the whole world. It had a phenomenal testimony, and wherever Paul travelled he heard about the strength of the church. What made the church at Rome so strong? Two significant things can be gleaned from Scripture.
  7. The believers were living pure lives in the midst of an immoral, base, and unjust society. The citizens of Rome were known for their…
•  immorality

•  license

•  hoarding

•  drunkenness

•  idolatry

•  greed

•  gluttony

•  sin and wickedness

•  extravagance

•  fleshiness

•  indulgence

•  materialism

•  partying

•  pride

•  selfishness

Nevertheless, the believers were standing firm for Christ and living pure lives, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need for morality and justice among men.

  1. The believers were serving Christ faithfully and laboring ever so diligently for the Lord. Wherever they were, at home or away travelling, they were sharing Christ and ministering to people—so much so that some of them were known by name all around the world. Paul himself apparently had run across quite a few of them as they were travelling about and ministering.

The Roman church stands as a testimony for every church.

1)  No matter how immoral and base, polluted and corrupt a society is, we are to stand firm for Christ.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).


“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17-18).

2)  No matter where we are, at home or travelling away on business or for pleasure, we are to be witnessing and ministering for Christ.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).


“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Every church and every believer should have a strong testimony, a testimony so strong that it is talked about everywhere.

“For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report” (Hebrews 11:2).

  1. (1:9):The gospel subjected Paul’s spirit to God’s Son. Every person should subject their spirit to God’s Son. Why? Because of the gospel, the glorious salvation that is in Christ Jesus: the deliverance from sin, death, and hell. When a person considers that he is enslaved by sin and that he is actually going to die and have to give an account to God, he is most foolish…
  • not to accept the salvation that is in God’s Son.
  • not to subject his spirit to God’s Son.
  • not to serve in the gospel of God’s Son.

Deeper Study of Serve : labor of hire, service that is bought. Paul says, “I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son.” Note three points.

  1. The believer’s labor and service is bought and paid for by the precious blood of Christ.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

  1. The believer owes his labor and service to the Lord. Once he has surrendered to the gospel, he has no choice. He is to diligently serve and work for Christ.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

  1. The believer is to serve God in his spirit and in his body. The spirit controls the body. What the spirit does, the body does. Therefore, if the believer is serving God in spirit, he is serving God in body. If a man’s spirit is right, then his body will be right. For example, a man may feel bad; he may be down, depressed, and oppressed; but if his spirit is strong, he arises and conquers his feelings. He controls and overcomes the oppressing circumstances, and he lives a victorious day. But if his spirit is weak—whether at work or at play—he often wallows around in self-pity, grumbling and griping, and living a defeated day. And too often the day stretches into weeks and months until a person’s life is down more than it is up: all because the spirit is too weak to conquer.

The point is this: the believer is to serve God in his spirit and in his body. He is…

  • to keep his spirit strong,
  • to conquer his emotions,
  • to overcome his weaknesses, the ups and downs of his body.

When a believer does this, then he can serve God to the fullest extent possible.

“What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 10:12).

  1. (1:9): The gospel stirred Paul to pray without ceasing. Paul was a man of intercessory prayer, a man who always prayed for others. Note two points.

  1. Paul called upon God to bear witness that he prayed. He did not…
  • just talk about praying.
  • just tell people he was praying for them as a courtesy.
  • just pretend to pray.
  • just spend a few minutes in a religious exercise of prayer.

Paul really prayed; he took time to ask God to strengthen and help others.

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3).


“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17).

  1. Paul even prayed for believers and churches whom he did not know. Remember he knew only a few of the believers in the Roman church; he had never met most of them. They were totally unfamiliar and unknown to him, yet he prayed for the church.

Scripture is strong in its charge to us. We are to pray constantly and we are to pray for all believers throughout the world. Our prayers are not to be limited to a few minutes each day nor to our loved ones and close friends.

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).


“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).


“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17).


“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually” (1 Chron.  16:11).

  1. (1:10-13): The gospel stirred Paul to seek people personally. He did not leave the ministry and the sharing of the gospel up to others. He became personally involved, so much so that he begged God to give him opportunity after opportunity—even to the point of letting him travel to the capital of the world itself to share Christ with its citizens. Note how deeply he was stirred: he made a request—if by any means, now at last—that he might be allowed to preach the gospel at Rome.

The point is forceful: Paul was stirred to seek people, for he longed to reach people for Christ.

  1. Paul wished to impart some spiritual gift to the believers. Why? So that they might be more deeply established in the faith. The term spiritual gift (charisma) means a gift of grace. The term often refers to specific gifts given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:6-8), but here it means the truths of the grace of God, of His spiritual blessings to man revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Very simply, Paul longed to share the truths of the gospel with the believers at Rome. God’s spiritual blessings were overflowing in his heart, and he was aching to share the gift of God’s blessings.

What an indictment against us! How many of us are so full of the gospel that we are aching to share it? How many of us even know the gospel that well, know God’s gifts and blessings well enough to be overflowing with them?

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:24-25).

Note that God’s spiritual gift establishes the believer. The word “established” means to fix, set, make fast, strengthen. Note the descriptive picture behind each word.

  1. Paul wished to be encouraged together with other believers. The word “comforted” means to be strengthened and consoled together. Paul expected to be taught and strengthened by the believers as well as to teach and to strengthen them. There was to be a mutual sharing among all. Paul expected all believers to be actively sharing the gospel. He even expected them to share with him so that he might grow and be more firmly rooted in the faith.

How many believers are actively grounded enough in the faith to share with Paul? What an indictment! Yet the expectation is that we are to be deeply rooted, ever studying the Word and learning. How much we need to awaken and arise from our slumber.

“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:7).

  1. Paul wished to bear fruit among them. Paul wished to bear the fruit of…

Note Paul’s world-wide vision. He wished to bear fruit among the citizens of Rome as well as “among other Gentiles.”

How desperately God needs men, women, boys and girls with a world-wide vision!

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).


Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).

  1. (1:14-15): The gospel stirred Paul with a deep sense of indebtedness and a readiness to reach all men. Note two points.
  2. The word “debtor” means to owe, to be obligated, to be bound by duty. The Greek is impossible to translate into English, for two ideas are being expressed by Paul. He was a “debtor”…
  • because Christ had done so much for him (saved him).
  • because Christ had called him to preach (given him a task to do).

The indebtedness was deeply felt by Paul. The idea is that it was intense, unwavering, unrelentless, powerful. The sense of debt just would not let Paul go. He was compelled to preach the gospel; therefore, he could do nothing else.

He was obligated and duty-bound to preach it. He actually felt that he owed the gospel to the world; therefore, if he kept quiet, it would be worse than knowing the cure for the most terrible disease of history and refusing to share it.

Note how Paul declared his indebtedness to the whole world. He made a contrast between the Greeks and the Barbarians. He meant that he owed the gospel to all nationalities and cultures, to all the peoples of the earth whether civilized or uncivilized, industrialized or primitive, rich or poor. (The Greeks considered everyone a barbarian who did not speak the Greek language and adopt Greek culture.)

 He made a contrast between the wise and the unwise. He meant that he owed the gospel to the educated and the uneducated, the learned and the unlearned, the motivated and the unmotivated, the seeking and the complacent.

Paul sensed a deep indebtedness to share the glorious news of salvation with the world. The answer to eternal life is now known and must be proclaimed to the whole world. To keep the message to oneself is the most inexcusable and criminal act in all of human history. The glorious news that death has been conquered and that man can now live eternally must be proclaimed. We who know the wonderful news are indebted to get the news out to the world.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

  1. The word “ready” means an urgent willingness. Paul experienced both a willingness and an urgency to preach the gospel. Note the words, as much as in me is.” Paul wanted to take all that was in him and pour it into people—all the energy and effort, all the truth and knowledge of the gospel. There was nothing that could keep him from sharing the gospel, not if he had a chance to share it. He allowed no hindrance to enter his life that would affect his message. He was possessed and obsessed with a readiness to preach the glorious message of the living Lord.

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16).


“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7).

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).


“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).


“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).


“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20).


“His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9).


“The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

1C.               ROMANS 1:16-17


(Bible Study)
Romans 1:1-17
Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr.
April 5, 2023
Paul’s Boldness for Christ: Unashamedness of the Gospel
Romans 1:16-17

Introduction: these two verses contain one of the greatest summaries of the gospel ever written. It is a clear declaration of God’s power to save all who believe, no matter their nationality or condition. It is a clear explanation of why Paul was never ashamed of the gospel.

1. It is the good news from God Himself (v.16).
2. It is the power of God to save (v.16).
3. It is the revelation of God’s righteousness (v.17).

1. (1:16): Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, because it was the good news from God Himself; that is, the gospel is the news that God has given to the world and wants proclaimed to the world. The fact that the gospel had been given by God Himself made Paul unashamed of the gospel. No man should ever be ashamed of anything concern-ing the Sovereign Majesty of the universe. However, Paul had every reason to be ashamed.
1. Paul’s day was a day of moral degeneracy, the hideous days of Nero. Rome was a moral sewer, a cesspool of detestable and inconceivable wickedness. Such a day stood diametrically opposed to the moral righteousness of the gospel.

2. Paul was by nationality a Jew, a race that was thought by many of that day to be a despicable sub-human race, worthy only to be cursed, ill-used, and enslaved. Naturally, Paul would be apprehensive among non-Jews. In the flesh he would be tempted to shy away from them.

3. The gospel Paul preached was almost unbelievable. A male member of the despicable Jewish race was said to be the Savior of the world, and not only was He said to be a Jew, He was said to be a mere man like all other men. But not only that, His death was said to be different from the death of other men. He was said to have died “for all other men,” that is, in their place, as a substitute for them. And then to top it all, He was said to have risen from the dead. His resurrection was said to be the proof that He was the very Son of God. Such unbelievable claims made the gospel a contemptible thing in the minds of many. A natural man would shrink from making such phenomenal claims.

4. Paul was often rejected, not by just a few persons, but by whole communities. The authorities imprisoned him in Philippi (Acts 16:19-23). The religionists ran him out of Thessalonica and threatened his life in Berea (Acts 17:5-15). The intellectuals laughed him out of Athens. His message was considered foolishness to the intellectuals (the Greeks) and a stumbling block to his own people (the Jews). There were several times in Paul’s life when he could have given up in shame and fled to some part of the earth to begin life all over again.

Thought: Many are ashamed of the gospel. They are ashamed because they fear ridicule, rejection, and loss of recognition, position, and livelihood.

They fear two things in particular.
1) There is the fear of intellectual shame. This is the fear that the gospel does not measure up intellectually. It is judged not to be for the scholar or philosopher. Note: this feeling is common to those who do not understand the philosophy of the gospel. No greater philosophy exists; no greater reasoning has ever been worked through A man holds either to the philosophy and thought of the world, or to the philosophy and thought of God’s Son, the gospel of Jesus Christ and His redemption. There is no question which philosophy and intellectual thought is greater.

“The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).

“Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34).

2) There is the fear of social shame. Many fear if they accept and proclaim the gospel, they will be…
• ridiculed and mocked
• left without job and livelihood
• passed over and cut off • rejected and ignored
• left without family and friends
• abused and killed

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:7-9).
2. (1:16): Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God to save. Note four significant facts.
1. The word “power” (dunamis ) means the might, energy, force, and strength that is within God. The power is “of God,” of His very nature. As God, He is the embodiment of power; He possesses all power, that is, omnipotent power, within His Being. He can do and act as He chooses.
The point is this: God has chosen to use His power in a loving way by sending men the “good news,” the gospel of salvation. Being all powerful, God could wipe men off the face of the earth, but instead He has chosen to give men the good news of salvation. This tells us a critical truth: God’s nature is love. He is full of compassion and grace. He is the God of salvation; therefore, He sent the “gospel of Christ” to the world that men might be saved.

2. The word “salvation” must be understood and grasped by every person upon earth. The hope of the world is God’s salvation.

Deeper Study on Salvation: means deliverance, made whole, preservation. From what does man need to be saved and delivered and preserved? Scripture paints five descriptive pictures of salvation, showing man’s great need.

1. Salvation means deliverance from being lost. Man is pictured as wandering about in the forest of life trying to go someplace, but unable to find his way. He is lost, and if he continues to stumble about through the forest of life, the underbrush and thorns of the forest will sap his strength and prick him to the point that he lies down and dies. His only hope is for someone to notice that he is lost and to begin seeking for him. This is where the glorious gospel of salvation comes in. God sees that man is lost and He sends His Son to seek and to save man.
Salvation means that Christ…
• seeks and saves man from his lost condition.
• sets man on the right road that leads him to eternal life.

“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:11-12; cp. Luke 15:4).

2. Salvation means deliverance from sin. It means deliverance from mistakes, from corrupt ideas and thoughts, from moral impurity and from a crooked and perverse generation. Sin is like…
• an infection, a disease for which man has no cure.
• a master that enslaves and will not let go.
• a crooked and perverse world that man cannot straighten out.
Man’s only hope is for someone to discover a cure, someone with the intelligence and power to do it. This is where God steps in with His glorious salvation.
God knows all about man’s infection and enslavement by sin, all about his crooked and perverse world; so He sends His Son to save man, to cure him and liberate him and straighten out his world. Salvation means that Christ saves man from the terrible tyranny of sin, from…
• the infection of sin.
• the enslavement of sin.
• the crooked and perverse world of sin.
Salvation also does something else. It frees man from the pricking and burden of guilt and shame, and it plants within man’s soul a deep sense of health and peace with God.

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourseves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephes. 2:8-9).

“God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:9-10).

3. Salvation means deliverance in the future from all evil and corruption: from aging and wasting away, deterioration and decay, death and hell. It is the complete redemption of man’s spirit and body at the end of the world. It is salvation from the wrath of God—salvation that saves a man from being separated from God eternally. It is the life and exaltation which believers will receive at the final triumph of Jesus Christ. It is the salvation that will keep a man safe and preserve him both in time and eternity.
Man and his world are pictured as having a seed of corruption within their very nature, a seed of corruption that eats away causing them to…
• age and waste away.
• deteriorate and decay.
• suffer destruction and die.
Again, man is hopeless. He cannot stop himself and his world from death and destruction, but God can. God can save both man and his world; God can deliver them from the terrible fate of death and destruction. This is the message of salvation. God loves man and his world and wants to save them, so He sent His Son into the world to save them. Salvation is…
• he complete redemption of man’s body and soul in the future: a redemption that saves man from the process of aging and wasting away, deteriorating and decaying, dying and being condemned to hell.
• the perfect deliverance from the wrath of God: a salvation that saves man from being separated from God eternally.
• the gift of life and exaltation: a salvation that will be given to believers at the final triumph of Jesus Christ.
• the presence of perfect assurance: a salvation of security and preservation both in time and eternity.

“We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope” (Romans 8:23-24).

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thes. 5:9-10).

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me [save me, deliver me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 4:18).

4. Salvation means deliverance from enemies and dangers. Man is pictured as walking in a world lurking with enemy after enemy and danger after danger. Man has to confront all kinds of enemies and dangers that attack both his body and soul, his mind and spirit. He faces all kinds of problems and difficulties, trials and temptations. No matter how much he may long for peace and security, he is forced to combat…
• a hostile environment
• a savage world of nature
• an unknown universe
• an uncertain future
• unregulated urges
• inevitable aging and dying • a lust for more and more (possessions, fame, wealth, power)
• an evil pride and ego
• greed and covetousness
• unpreventable accidents
• dreadful diseases

Man is seen as helpless in overcoming all the enemies and dangers that lurk in the shadows of this world. But God is not helpless—God can save man; He can gloriously deliver man as he journeys along the road of life. This is exactly what salvation means. God delivers man from the enemies and dangers that war against him. But note the next paragraph, a crucial point.
Salvation does not mean that God delivers man from experiencing difficulty and danger, not in this present world. God does not give a life free from the nature and circumstances of this world. What salvation does is deliver one through the difficulties and dangers of life.
Salvation means that…
• God gives security and peace of soul, no matter what happens.
• God gives safety independent of circumstances and environment.
• God gives inward strength and courage to bear the onslaught and attacks of danger.

“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:25-27).
5. Salvation means to make well, to heal, to restore to health, to make whole both physically and mentally. Man is pictured as a suffering creature, a creature who…
• gets sick
• becomes diseased
• struggles against deformities • wears out from aging
• suffers infirmities
• has accidents
Salvation declares that Christ is concerned with man’s suffering. Christ saves and delivers man, rescues and restores man in body as well as in spirit. He takes a man who suffers and makes him whole.

“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:20-22).

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way” (Mark 10:51-52).

(End of Deeper of Study on Salvation)

3. God saves all who believe. Belief is the one condition for salvation, but we must always remember that a person who really believes commits himself to what he believes. If a man does not commit himself he does not believe. True belief is commitment. Therefore, God saves the person who believes, that is, who really commits his life to the gospel of Christ.

4. God saves all nationalities, both Jew and Greek. Note the word “first.” This does not mean favoritism, but first in time. God does not have favorites, favoring the Jew over the Gentile. It simply means the gospel was to be carried to the Jew first. They had been the channel through whom God had sent His Word and His prophets and eventually His Son into the world. Therefore, they were to be reached first; then the gospel was to be carried to the Greeks, that is, to all nationalities.

The point is twofold.
a. The gospel is God’s power, and it can reach any nationality and any person, no matter who they are.
b. Therefore, no one is to be exempt from the gospel.
⇒ No messenger is to exempt anyone from the gospel.
⇒ No person is to exempt himself from the gospel. The gospel is for everyone, no matter his race, color, condition, circumstance, or depravity.

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:12-13).

3. (1:17) Righteousness: Paul is not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the revelation of God’s righteousness.

Note two points.
1. Man has a serious problem—that of thinking he is righteous. The problem is easily seen by picturing the following:
⇒ Man thinks that he is good enough and that he does enough good to be acceptable to God.
⇒ Man thinks he is righteous and that he walks righteously enough to be acceptable to God.

However, there is one problem with man’s thinking: man is not perfect. But God is perfect, and He is perfectly righteous. Therefore, He cannot allow an unrighteous and imperfect being to live in His presence, not even man. Man just cannot live with God, not in his imperfect and unrighteous condition, for he would pollute the perfect world of God, the very ground and atmosphere and nature of heaven, of the spiritual world and dimension.

The only way man can live with God is to be made righteous, perfectly righteous. How can man be made perfectly righteous? The gospel gives the answer. The gospel is the revelation of God’s righteousness and reveals how man can be made righteous and reconciled to God.

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

2. The answer to man’s problem is faith. When a person believes the gospel—really believes that Christ saves him—God takes that person’s faith and counts it for righteousness. The person is not righteous; he is still imperfect, still corruptible, and still short of God’s glory as a sinful human being. But he does believe that Jesus Christ saves him. Such belief honors God’s Son, and because of that, God accepts and counts that person’s faith as righteousness. Therefore, he becomes acceptable to God. This is justification; this is what is meant by being justified before God.

But note a most critical point: a person must continue to believe. A person must continue to live by faith from the very first moment of belief to the last moment of life on this earth, for it is his faith that God takes and counts as righteousness.
What is meant by the two statements…
• “from faith to faith,”
• and, “the just shall live by faith”?

Very simply, the whole life of the believer is to be a life of faith, from beginning faith to ending faith, from faith to faith. Therefore, the righteousness of God is revealed continuously through all of life, from the beginning of a person’s faith to the ending of a person’s faith. As Scripture says:

“And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

“And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).

“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

“A man is justified by faith” (Romans 3:28).

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).