Romans Chapter One



In this first chapter Paul doesn’t hold back when he slams human nature. He tells all of us that we should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we delight to judge everybody else’s behavior, especially if they happen to be slightly different in culture or mindset or religious background from ourselves. The more he castigates us the more we might feel like wanting to cringe – but all he is doing is contrasting humanity generally with God’s divine and harmonious loving nature.

I have had to find different words for concepts like ‘righteousness’ and ‘justification’ because they have been around for so long with such a straight-jacket meaning of ‘right’ as opposed to ‘wrong’ that it leaves out the sweetness of God, Who is altogether ‘righteous’ and ‘justified’. I see God’s ‘righteousness’ as an expression of His altogether harmonious and ordered relationship within himself and to everything and everyone else.

It follows that our ‘righteousness’ is our harmony with God – placed with Him and by Him into His integrated and ordered nature. We are a million miles away from being ‘righteous’ without sharing the very Spirit Life of Jesus, who is in total harmony with His Father. The problem Paul addresses though is that religion tells people that if they have a good enough set of rules and regulations and principles to live by, especially if those rules are endorsed by God, and if they put up the best show they can of an external conformity to those rules, then they can rate their ‘righteousness’ on some kind of scale. The problem that looms up then is that they become obliged to judge everybody else’s performance as well.

Paul unveils the magnificent master plan of God to include humanity in His life experience and to bring us into partnership and togetherness (righteousness) with the family of the Trinity. It is so expansive, and it has to be, because he is telling the people of the Jewish religion, who have been the custodians of all things concerning the knowledge of God and His Word, that they now have to ‘move over’ and make room for the rest of the world!

This cosmic invitation of God’s is not ‘universalism’, but it is ‘universal’ and he brings it with shocking force not only to those of the Jewish religion, but to all of mankind. He is saying that is it just too great to be ignored and he calls people fools for ignoring it

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1. From Paul, committed to serving Jesus, and delegated with a commission from Him to tell people about the amazing truth of God’s plan for humanity 

2 which now fully explains what God’s prophets have been promising for centuries in the Scriptures.

3 It is all about Jesus being sent as God’s Son to the earth and being born as a human being through the royal seed of King David.

4 And presented to us as the decreed Son of God with divine Holy Spirit power, demonstrated by his resurrection from the dead.

5 Through Him we have taken on this privilege and this mandate to get everybody, from every race and nation to live with and under this worldview and belief system

6 And that of course includes you, as people who have been invited into this wonderful plan of God.

7 So to all of you Romans, doted upon by a loving God, and invited into this sacred experience, I just say take this blessing as a loving gift from God the Father and Jesus Christ and know the security of being one with them.

8 Firstly I want to say how grateful I am to God in His partnership with Jesus for the work He is doing in you. People everywhere throughout the known world can’t stop talking about this life changing faith of yours

9 And God Himself would verify this, (the One that I serve in my spirit, in this life changing message of His Son Jesus,) that I never stop praying for you.

10 I keep asking Him if whenever and however it may happen, that I can get to see you and bring blessing to you, but only if and when He wants me to.

11 The reason I want to get there so eagerly is that I have faith that I can impart and transfer some unique and distinctive empowering of supernatural gifting that will operate through the Holy Spirit and strengthen your faith.

12 so that we can be partners in bringing God’s power into one another’s lives through our shared faith together.

13 I want you to know that I have often made plans to come to see you but up to now those plans have been frustrated. I wanted to come and visit so that I could help you become more fruitful in God, just as I want to do among all races and nations.

14 I owe this commitment to The Greeks and the non Greeks, to the educated and the uneducated.

15 So I am as ready and willing and prepared as I can be to come and share the fullness of God’s eternal plan with you who live in Rome.

16 There is no uncertainty or wavering in my heart and mind about this amazing plan of God through Jesus Christ. This plan has the power to absolutely transform and put all things right in peoples’ lives if they believe in it. The Jewish nation has heard it first and now the Greeks are hearing it.

17 This plan contains within it the perfect and harmonious order of God’s nature, and it also reveals this to us as our belief and trust in it grows from one stage of faith to the next. Scripture records that this growth in faith process will be the way that we live a life that reflects our togetherness with God and the perfect and harmonious order of His nature.

18 And God will reveal His indignation from heaven upon people who treat this noble truth with contempt by their dissonant, disordered and disobedient lifestyles. They stifle its splendour through their amorality.

19 He will do this on account of the fact that He has put it in man to be able to know Him and He has even shown mankind Who He is and what He is like.

20 For the invisible and eternal attributes of God from the very beginning of the creation of the world can be clearly apprehended and understood because of His divine design in the creation. His almighty power and divine sovereignty is stamped on it, so their arguments are indefensible.

21 This is also on account of the fact that in their knowing deep down of God, they did not esteem and honour Him as they should have, or even thank Him for His glorious creation, but they became empty and meaningless in their reasoning, and their thoughts and feelings became fragmented and confused.

22 In asserting their intelligence they have become simpletons -


23 Distorting the magnificence of an immortal and eternal God into low level concepts of humanity and icons fashioned after animals and birds and snakes and all kinds of reptiles.

24 Because of this God has put it right back on them and held them to account for how they actually live – in real life  – impure acts of indecency because of the frenetic desire of their own passions, particularly in the misuse of their own bodies with one another.

25 They changed the noble truth of God into a fiction – they gave God up and began idolizing and religiously bowing the knee to the creation rather than respect and agree to the terms of The Almighty – The Creator of all things – Who is to be held in the highest honour and respect for all time.

26 Again, because of that distortion God has given them up to undignified and disgraceful passions. The women even changed everything around in their physical relationships doing things with one another that are unnatural.

27 The men did the same – forsaking the natural physical relationship with women they became inflamed with excitement for one another – men with men – making a fashion out of indecency and taking upon themselves the consequences of this distorted lifestyle that it deserves.

28 Another consequence of their not even investigating the wonder of knowing God was that God allowed their minds to become devoid of judgement so that they call what is right wrong and what is wrong right, causing them to do weird and woeful things.

29 They (mankind) have become totally comfortable with an amoral mindset about life. We are talking about humanity here, not just some deviates. The list goes on – sexual offensiveness, depravity of mind, fraudulent dealings to the point of extortion, malicious behaviour, destructively jealous of what other people possess, willing to even kill people to get what they want, openly quarrelling and employing means of entrapment and deceit, using rumours to fortify their agendas.

30 Because they despise God they feel free to say what they like about others, recklessly destroying peoples’ good names, and feeling proud about it, which is one of the worst ways to misuse power. They have perfected the art of contriving more and meaner ways of inflicting evil, learning this as children by rebelling against their parents.

31 So they don’t know any other way to live – don’t listen to anybody – don’t agree with anybody – don’t care about anybody – and don’t give anybody a chance or an even break.

32 At the same time they know instinctively that you get what’s coming to you in the end - even from God. They know that the consequences are severe – it could mean an untimely death - but they are not going to give up this way of life – and they even encourage everyone they can to live the same way.

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