By Steven Newell
When Paul gave thanks to God, he did it through Christ. Just as we are to go to God, in Christ’s name for our requests, we are also to do the same with our thanks and praise (John15:16).
Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of church in Rome. This is the highest from of praise. Paul did not talk about what the church did
but what they believe. Today, we hear
that faith is not enough to please God, we have to more. This is not true faith since faith never
requires anything else. The faith of the
Romans was known through the world. Since Paul had never been to Rome
Paul states that in his prayers for the church in Rome he desire to visit them (Romans 1:10-13). This desire was for Paul to provide spiritual blessing to the Romans while also receiving from them as well. When Christians gather around Word and Sacrament, there is always mutual strengthen of the faith.
Paul’s obligation comes from his calling when Christ stated
that “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles …
"(Acts 9:15). In Romans 1:14-16, Greeks are those who are
Greek by ethnicity by the “civilized gentiles”. Non-Greeks are non-civilized by what was referred to as barbarians. The “wise” refers to the educated in Greek
culture while the “foolish” are the uneducated. Since Rome
Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel. Paul knows that many Gentiles ridicule the
Gospel. At Mars Hill in
Paul now defines what the Gospel is as being the power of God for salvation to all who believes in verses 16 and 17. The Gospel is what God did and does for us and not what we do since we have no part of our own salvation. While is this not a detailed definition, it does begin Paul’s explanation of Gospel in the following parts of Roman. Paul also makes that statement that it is belief, or faith, that we need to receive that God has done. Again, Paul will farther explain what he means by this. Paul introduces the teaching that true righteousness is foreign to us, but it comes from God.
Finally, Paul ties to righteousness to faith (Romans 1:17). If righteousness comes from God and we are to have faith to receive the
Gospel, then faith also must come from God, since an unrighteous person cannot
live by faith. This is the only way that
could Paul quote Habakkuk 2:4. Later in his life, Paul will
write to the church in Ephesus