The Book of Romans: [3] 1:8-17 – Paul’s prayers & desire to see the Romans

ColosseumHaving established his calling and authority to share the Gospel with the Romans, he now proclaims his heartfelt love for them, supporting them in prayer and expressing his deep desire to see them in person.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Key Words

Faith: (Greek: pistis) – “firm persuasion,” a conviction based upon hearing (akin to peitho, “to persuade”), is used in the NT always of “faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual.” It is defined in Scripture as:

  1. a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth;
  2. a personal surrender to Christ;
  3. conduct inspired by this surrender.

World (Greek: cosmos): implies not only the earth, but the unseen world of the spirit; all of creation, seen and unseen,

Obligated (Greek: opheiletes): lierally, a debtor, one held by some obligation, bound by some duty; one who has not yet made amends to whom he has injured.

Greeks (Greek: hellen): Those of Greek nationality, but more generally, the name embraces all nations not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own.

Barbarians (Greek: barbaros): often used by the Greeks of any foreigner ignorant of the Greek language, culture, uneducated. The contrast here is between the cultured, educated, intellectual Greeks and the uneducated, “unwashed masses”, crude, and often brutal.

Wise (Greek: sophos): skilled, expert: of artificers; skilled in letters, cultivated, learned; used in NT of Greek philosophers and orators, Jewish theologians, and Christian teachers. Also carries the sense of those morally astute, as in the contrast between the wise man and the fool throughout Proverbs.

Fool (Greek: anoetos): Unintelligent. uneducated, morally foolish.

Power (Greek: dynamis): strength power, ability; inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth; power for performing miracles; moral power and excellence of soul.

Salvation (Greek: soteria): deliverance, preservation, safety; deliverance from the molestation of enemies; in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the soul’s safety or salvation; Messianic salvation; salvation as the present possession of all true Christians; future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

Believe (Greek: pisteuo): to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in the thing believed; used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul; to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith; can also be used for mere acknowledgment of some fact or event, i.e. intellectual faith.

Key Concepts

Building on Paul’s spiritual relationship with the Romans as fellow Christans: Having stated his authority and calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the introduction, Paul now emphasizes his brotherhhod with Christians at Rome, proclaiming his constant remembrance of them in prayer, and his passionate desire to visit them, for the purpose of building their faith and deepening his own through their ministry to him.

Introduction to his in-depth proclamation and teaching on the Gospel: the “power of God”, available to all who believe, regardless of their status — intellectually or morally, or their lineage, whether of the Jews or the non-Jewish world. The exclusivity of the Jewish nation as God’s chosen people is now dramatically expanded to include all, in or out of the Jewish nation or religion.


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