Romans 1:14-17 (NET) 14 I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”
- In the last passage, Paul expressed his desire to visit the Romans that they may be mutually comforted by each other’s faith. Now Paul says he is also eager to preach in Rome the gospel which is God’s power for salvation.
I am a debtor –
- Although Paul says he is a debtor to all, this does not mean that he owes them or is under obligation to them directly, instead he means that he is obligated to reach them because of God’s calling on his life.
- Thayer Greek Lexicon Defines the Greek word for debtor as one held by some obligation, bound to some duty.
- Acts 26:16-18 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
- Do you think we have the same obligation to share the gospel today? If so, why?
both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish-
- Barns Commentary. This term “barbarian,” Βάρβαρος, Barbaros, properly denotes one who speaks a foreign language, a foreigner, and the Greeks applied it to all who did not use their tongue
- Keeners Bible Background Commentary says…Gentiles (1: 13) included two categories, by the Greek division: Greeks considered everyone else in the world “barbarians”; they also often considered themselves wise and others foolish.
- Cambridge Bible For Schools and Colleges says the meaning for wise and fools is …the cultured and the uneducated.
- Why are Christians biased against other races, the poor, and the uneducated that they don’t make efforts to give them the gospel as they to toward others?
Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome-
- Meaning Paul was ready and willing to announce the good news specifically to the Romans as part of his mission to tell all the world.
- How can we be better prepared to share the gospel?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel-
- Meaning Paul was not embarrassed of the gospel, meaning the faithfulness of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for our sins.
for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes-
- Meaning the gospel is powerful to convert the believer from being condemned in sin to being justified and acceptable before God.
- When did you understand the gospel and believe? Explain.
to the Jew first and also to the Greek-
- Meaning the gospel came to the Jews first through Jesus and also through Paul who preached in the synagogues before going to the Gentiles.
- Acts 13:45-46 (NET) 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles.
For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith-
- A) righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – Meaning not God’s righteous character is revealed but rather God’s gift of righteousness and justification is uncovered in the gospel to the person who has faith in it.
- B) faith to faith – The Cambridge Bible for schools and colleges says…(1) The initial step, the entrance to justification, is faith: (2) The life of the justified is maintained by faith: faith is the starting-point and the course.
just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”-
- Paul reiterates that the life of those justified is by faith and quotes Habakkuk 2:4.
- Philippians 3:8-9 (NET) 8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.
- Romans 3:20-23 (NET) 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.