Romans 1

This first chapter of Romans is introductory. It sets the stage for the rest of the epistle. Romans 1 may be divided into four major parts as follows:

  1. The Greeting to Saints (Romans 1:1-7)
  2. The Goal of Sojourning (Romans 1:8-15)
  3. The Gospel of Salvation (Romans 1:16, 17)
  4. The Guile of Sinners (Romans 1:18-32)

A. The Greeting to Saints

Romans 1:1-7

All letters begin with an opening greeting or salutation. The epistle to Romans follows this habit. Some great messages can be found in the opening greetings of Paul's epistles.

1. The Sender of the Epistle (Romans 1:1, 5)

"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God" (Romans 1:1). Most letters do not tell a great deal about the sender, but this one does.

His surname. "Paul." A surname is, according to one of our dictionaries, an added name derived from occupation or other circumstances. We generally think of a surname as the name borne in common by members of the same family, but it can also be a second name given to someone such as "Simon he surnamed Peter" (Mark 3:16). First, the giving of the name. The name of Paul was given to Paul sometime during his first missionary journey (Acts 13:9). His first name was Saul which fit the fact that he was of the tribe of Benjamin from which the first king of Israel came whose name was Saul. What a contrast these two Sauls were; one started well and ended badly, the other started badly and ended well. Second, the glory of the name. When Paul received his name of Paul, it was not a famous name. The name that was famous at that time was Nero, the Roman emperor. Scripture says, "The memory of the just is blessed; but the name of the wicked shall rot" (Proverbs 10:7). That has a lot to do with the fact that we name our boys "Paul" but our dogs "Nero."