(Rom 1:1 NASB)  Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Rom 1:1:      What does Paul mean here by being “set apart to the Gospel of Elohim?”  He means that he has passed beyond the things of the world and is totally dedicated to the message of Yeshua Messiah.
Paul is not longer living for the Talmudic teachings that he learned most of his life.  He is now dedicated to spreading the message of Messiah, teaching the ways of Elohim (His Torah), and separated from the traditions of man.


(Rom 1:2 NASB)  which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

Rom 1:2:      The gospel is not brand new.  It has been promised by His prophets all throughout theTanakh.  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mark 1:14-15)
Paul discusses the coming of the Kingdom through Yeshua Messiah in the next five verses.


(Rom 1:3 NASB)  concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

Rom 1:3:      The word “concerning” is the Greek preposition “peri”, which is also used in our words pericospe and perimeter.  It means “that which encircles.”  The Gospel circles around the King of the Kingdom, Yeshua Messiah.
His entire title is spelled out here.  He is the Son of Elohim.  He is our Master.  And the statement “He was born of a descendant of David,” points out the fact that He was the One who was promised through the seed of David who will rule the Kingdom forever (2 Sam. 12:12-16, Isaiah 9:6-7, Jer. 23:5-6 33:15-17).  There is no mistaking the meaning of Him being a “descendant of David.”  That means He is Messiah to those who know the Tanakh.


(Rom 1:4 NASB)  who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Rom 1:4:      The “Spirit of holiness” is the Spirit of Elohim.  He was “declared the Son of Elohim with power by the resurrection from the dead.”  He always was the Son of Elohim, but we saw Him as the Son of Elohim through His resurrection.  Yeshua was accurate when He said He was not of this world (John 8:23).


(Rom 1:5 NASB)  through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name’s sake,

Rom 1:5:      What is grace?  Grace is Elohim’s method of salvation.  Elohim is gracious enough to offer us a salvation we do not deserve.
“Obedience of faithfulness” is the key.  Faithfulness should bring what kind of obedience?  Faithfulness in Yeshua Messiah will bring about obedience of Torah among the Gentiles.  Faithfulness in Yeshua will bring transformation of our lives to desire to live according to the Instructions (Torah) of Elohim (Romans 15:18-19, 16:26, Acts 6:7, 2 Cor. 10:4-6, Heb. 5:9).


(Rom 1:6 NASB)  among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Rom 1:6:      The term for those of us who are called to Yeshua Messiah is “the elect” or “the chosen.”.  The Yeshua made it clear that we are to follow Him.  If the Father chooses you to answer His call, you are one of the chosen (Romans 8:28-30, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Matt. 22:14, Deut. 14:1-3).


(Rom 1:7 NASB)  to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 1:7:      Paul refers to believers here as “called as saints”.  What constitutes a “saint”?  A person is a saint when he is sanctified in Yeshua Messiah (1 Cor. 1:2, 1 Thess. 4:7, 1 Peter 1:15-16).  We are saints when we are called and sanctified in Yeshua Messiah.  Which means we are like the Holy One who called us.


(Rom 1:8 NASB)  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

Rom 1:8:      Romans were turning to Messiah in droves.  So much that it was angering the Roman emperors.  Persecution took place soon after that.


(Rom 1:9 NASB)  For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

Rom 1:9:      Paul mentioned these Roman followers of Messiah to many others.
(Rom 1:10 NASB)  always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.
(Rom 1:11 NASB)  For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;
(Rom 1:12 NASB)  that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Rom 1:12:      The joyful attitude in which the Roman believers received the Word of Elohim was reassuring to Paul’s faithfulness also.  We are not alone in our journey in this world.  The only way we can be effective at all is to support one another in being set-apart in this world.


(Rom 1:13 NASB)  And I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented thus far) in order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.

Rom 1:13:      He has been hindered in getting to Rome.  Many of the believers there were ones he had taught and he longed to see them again.
What does Paul mean by “that I might have some fruit among you…?”  He is speaking of the fruit of the Spirit (obedience to Torah) in the lives of believers.


(Rom 1:14 NASB)  I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Rom 1:14:      The Greeks were thought to be cultured, educated, and civilized.  The barbarians were those we label as pagan and heathen today.  This is a false division, but it was understood by the Romans.
Why was Paul in debt to both the Greeks and the barbarians?  He had a personal transaction with Yeshua Messiah because of the tremendous amount of Elohim’s Grace bestowed upon him.  He personally owed it to every man to tell them about the Kingdom through Messiah.  Paul did that to the best of his abilities.


(Rom 1:15 NASB)  Thus, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
(Rom 1:16 NASB)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rom 1:16:      What did Paul mean by saying, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah?”  Paul was not afraid or ashamed to speak and live the power of the Spirit to be obedient to the Father in his everyday life.  It WAS his whole life.
How is the Gospel lived in someone’s life?  It is through obedience to His Word (1 Cor. 11:1, 1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21-22).
This kind of dedication to Messiah takes time.  It takes dedication in one small step at a time.  Pray for righteousness in your life.  Read at least a small part of your Scripture every day.  Be patient and ask Elohim to help you.
The gospel is “the power of salvation for everyone who believes.”  The word “salvation” simply means “deliverance.”
What is meant by “the gospel … is … for the Jew first and also for the Greek?”  This does not mean that the Jew has top priority.  It means that the gospel first went to the Jews and then to the rest of the world (Acts 13:46).  The gospel began in Jerusalem and then went to the rest of the world.


(Rom 1:17 NASB)  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Rom 1:17:      Notice that this is not the righteousness of man.  It is the righteousness of Elohim given as a gift to us through faithfulness.
What is meant by “the righteousness of Elohim is revealed from faith to faith?”  This simply means out of faithfulness into faithfulness.  Out of the faithfulness Elohim gives you, you live by that faithfulness.  Out of that faithfulness you live by, you die by faithfulness.
“As it is written…” refers to Habakkuk 2:4.  This is quoted in three Epistles in the Brit Hadasha: Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.  In this passage in Habakkuk, the Hebrew word “enumah” is translated as “faith” only this one time.  That is because Christian translators did not want “faithfulness” to be focused upon which points to obedience to Torah.  They deceptively wanted the mystical term “faith” to be the focus of Christians.
“The just shall live by faithfulness.”  Justification by faithfulness is not an arbitrary decision on the part of Elohim.  He does not disregard His holiness and His Justice.  Since Elohim saves us by His graciousness, this means there is absolutely no merit in us whatsoever.  He saves us on no other ground than that we entrust our lives to Yeshua.  Elohim is in danger of impugning His own justice if the penalty is not paid.  He is not going to open the back door to heaven and slip sinners in under the cover of darkness.  But because He loves you, Messiah died for you to make a way.  Yeshua Messiah is the only way to salvation.
Your faithfulness is imparted to you through the grace of Elohim.  Now you should live by that faithfulness and not trample the blood of Messiah by living a life filled with sin.


(Rom 1:18 NASB)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Rom 1:18:      “The wrath of Elohim is revealed…”  If you want to know what salvation is, you have to know how bad sin is.  The wrath of Elohim is not just Elohim’s punishment, but Elohim’s feeling toward sin.  It is His holy righteous anger.  Wrath is the opposite of righteousness.
Some people assert that the Old Testament presents an Elohim of wrath while the New Testament presents an Elohim of love.  On the contrary, there is a continuous revelation of the wrath AND the love of Elohim in the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha.  His wrath is his constant and insistent displeasure with evil.  Elohim does not change.  Elohim is merciful to His people, but He does not close His eyes at willful disobedience to His Torah.
The wrath of Elohim is against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, and those who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness.


(Rom 1:19 NASB)  because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
(Rom 1:20 NASB)  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Rom 1:20:      How are His invisible attributes clearly seen?  Paul makes this paradox purposely to impress upon his readers that the “dim light of nature” is a man-made falsehood.  Creation is the clear light of revelation.  It is the primary revelation (Ps. 8:3-4, 19:1).
It is amazing how so many of us can ignore Elohim in our everyday lives.  Elohim is so rich in His display in our world today, it is a wonder we don’t acknowledge Him on a constant basis.  Man has such a strong tendency to glorify himself that he doesn’t want to give credit to Elohim.  We think we are smart, don’t we?  We know how to use a few of the gifts He has given us.  We know how to put little seeds in the ground and how to pick up and eat the food He grows for us.  But we don’t know how seeds turn into fruit and vegetables.  We think we are doing it all!  We understand that the acceleration due to gravity is 32.2 ft./(sec)2, but we don’t have the foggiest idea of what gravity really is or why it exists!  We don’t even know why our hearts beat.  We only know that either they do or they don’t!  We don’t know why or how the sun emits energy, much less why it puts out just the proper amount of heat and light to make our lives comfortable.  We don’t know why we age.  We don’t understand why all worldly things must die.  We can’t fathom a beginning of everything from nothing, but we know it had to happen.  We can’t comprehend eternity.  We don’t really know much of anything at all.  We are only of superior intellect in our own minds and fantasies.
“So that they are without excuse,”  Creation so clearly reveals Elohim that man is without excuse.  This next section reveals the historical basis of man’s sin.  Man’s sin did not come about through ignorance.  It came about through willful rebellion in the presence of clear light.


(Rom 1:21 NASB)  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:21:      The King James Version states “…but became vain in their imaginations.”  Man hasn’t changed a bit since sin came into the world.  Our “vanity” still keeps us engulfed in our ourselves and darkens our foolish hearts.


(Rom 1:22 NASB)  Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:22:      This is the epitome of mans thinking today also.


(Rom 1:23 NASB)  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Rom 1:23:      This is describing the foolishness of idolatry.  Man does not have the right to make an image or picture of Elohim.  It is turning the glory of an incorruptible Elohim into the likeness of an image of corruptible man.  Idolatry is a cartoon of Elohim.  It is a slur and slander against Him.  I personally don’t like to see pictures of Yeshua.  We don’t know what He looked like.  He is now the glorified Messiah.  He is not that picture on the wall.  If He came into the room right now, you would fall on your face in front of Him trembling just as Daniel, Paul, and John had done.
In the remainder of this chapter it says three times that “Elohim gave them over…”


(Rom 1:24 NASB)  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.

Rom 1:24:      Man’s degeneration is measured by his perversion.  Idolatry and sexual perversion are the bitter fruits of rejecting Elohim’s revelations.


(Rom 1:25 NASB)  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:25:      “exchanged the truth of Elohim for the lie,”  They turned from Elohim to Satan, who is a liar.


(Rom 1:26 NASB)  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
(Rom 1:27 NASB)  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Rom 1:27:      Homosexuality is the epitome of the depravity of mankind.  We see it more rampant in our society today than in any time in recorded history since the days of Sodom.
“Receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”  Your guess is as good as mine.  It seems that Paul is mentioning some form of judgment from Elohim on homosexuals.


(Rom 1:28 NASB)  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

Rom 1:28:      A follower of Yeshua will not stay mired in willful sin on a constant basis without seeking forgiveness.  Turning to Messiah will transform you.


(Rom 1:29 NASB)  being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
(Rom 1:30 NASB)  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
(Rom 1:31 NASB)  without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

Rom 1:31:      One of the terms in the King James Version is, “without natural affection” instead of unloving. This refers to the loss of natural affection we see today in child abuse, homosexuality, and mothers slaughtering their unborn babies.
We can read about each one of these sins in the headlines of any major newspaper in this country on any given day.  How much longer will Elohim tolerate this behavior from us?  He has always judged nations in the past for this behavior.


(Rom 1:32 NASB)  and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Rom 1:32:      Notice that Paul states the ordinance of Elohim states that those who practice homosexuality are worthy of death and should get no mercy (Lev. 20:13).  Paul knows that Elohim’s righteousness does not change..
Man has a revelation from Elohim, but intentionally flaunts it by defying the judgment of Elohim against such sins.  Man continues to practice them and applauds and approves those who do the same.
Patrick McGuire

Copyright 2014
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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