One cannot begin Romans without acknowledging Paul's introduction. It's important!
Rom 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
[Note: Paul was the 12th Apostle, selected by Yehovah-Yeshua, to replace Judas Iscariot. Remember how Peter and the others selected Matthias to replace Judas, but then you never heard about Matthias again (Acts 1)? It's because Matthias was the wrong choice - man's choice, not God's.]
Rom 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Rom 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
Rom 1:4 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,
[Note: Sha'ul acknowledges Yeshua and acknowledges Scripture (Old Testament Scripture) as confirmation and validation of Yeshua.]
Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,
[Note: Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. If the RCC wants to claim a first Pope, they should have proclaimed Sha'ul! (Yes, I know about the "Key", but that's for another blog.) Please notice, Paul's work is to bring about "obedience of faith among all the Gentiles". Obedience infers "doing", "action". What is this "obedience of faith"? It's the following of Torah, as we'll see later. Also, "grace" is not a N.T. notion! Grace has always existed!]
Rom 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
Rom 1:7 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.
[Note: Please notice that Yehovah-Yeshua calls Saints. Man cannot ever "create" a Saint. So much for the RCC and it's man-made silliness!]
... I can't continue without quoting more! Because it is so apropos for today's World! ARE YOU LISTENING - AMERICA? ...
Rom 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
Rom 1:14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Rom 1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
Rom 1:16 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 1:17 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."
[Note: When did the "gospel" start? It started way back, at the beginning, for the Jew first, and was a matter of faith to them as well as to us Gentiles. Sha'ul is quoting Habakkuk. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is a continuation of the "faith once delivered to the Saints". For in it, the "old" teachings, the righteousness of God is revealed. Righteousness. Let's look at that word. It is defined as someone being innocent, pure, without sin, holy, and just. By definition it is one who has "right standing in Torah" since sin is defined as the breaking of Torah. And, those who live by faith, not those who simply have faith, but those who's actions demonstrate a life of faith, shall be righteous!]
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
[Note: May Yehovah-Yeshua forgive me for ever thinking Torah was done away with!]
Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Rom 1:20 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 1:21 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 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 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 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
Rom 1:25 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.
... listen America!
Rom 1:26 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 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 1:28 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 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
Rom 1:32 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.
[Note: How many Churches in America give hearty approval to these practices? Many do! Some even make them Pastors and Priests!]
Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
Rom 2:2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Rom 2:6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
[Note: Yes! We are judged by what we DO, or, Don't DO! Not what we say we believe in!]
Rom 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Rom 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Rom 2:10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Rom_2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Rom_2:13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Rom_2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Rom_2:15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
[Note: Paul begins to do something interesting here. Over the next chapter he begins to develop an academic concept of, "those under Torah", and "those under their own personal "Torah". Please notice, the text says, if you have sinned and don't have Torah you will perish. But also, if you have sinned while trying to live under Torah, you will be judged by Torah. Then Paul explains further, being hearers of Torah is not enough, one MUST DO TORAH! Verses 14 and 15 are argued by Churchy types to say that persons in the Church have the "Law" written on their hearts and do "Torah" instinctively. This kind of "sound bite" verse selection is a rampant disease in most denominations. The two verses actually say, a Gentile who does not have Torah (meaning an unbeliever), who does things of Torah instinctively has a "Torah" to himself, in that it shows Torah written on his heart.]
... then Paul continues ...
Rom_2:17 But if you bear the name "Jew" and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
Rom_2:18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,
Rom_2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,
Rom_2:23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?
Rom_2:25 For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Rom_2:26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
Rom_2:27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?
[Note: Very clear language here. If you live under Torah, teach it to others, and profess it's obvious truths (Paul is actually bragging on Torah), yet break Torah - YOU DISHONOR GOD! Sha'ul reemphasizes this in the next 3 verses using circumcision as an example - to make his point. In other words, if an uncircumcised man who instinctively keeps Torah, notices a Torah keeper sinning, will he not regard the Torah keeper as a sinner? This instructive teaching, btw, is not arguing against circumcision (required by Torah). Paul is academically using circumcision as an example to show that if BELIEVERS, who have Torah, don't actually live by Torah, they are transgressors (sinners) of Torah!]
Folks, I hope you see how the writings of Paul CANNOT be "cherry-picked" and singled out as sound bites. You will go in the wrong direction every time! I hope you have enjoyed this intro to Romans.