The epistles of Romans through Philemon set the doctrine, and the practice, and the right way of living for those who believe in the Administration of Grace, or the Age of Grace. Turning to the Gospels or the General epistles for doctrine in this administration is not only contrary to a spiritual walk, but disobedient to the will of God. Most of Christianity remains disobedient to the will of God because too often mainstream Christianity is focused on Replacement Theology or Covenant Theology while completely ignoring the administrations in the Word of God.
Romans sets the foundational doctrine of what God has accomplished for those who chose to believe in this administration. The heart of the doctrine in Romans is laid out in the first chapter.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
These verses set the foundation and the tone of the doctrine held forth in the epistle to the Romans.
There is a Greek particle that acts as a conjunction tying a statement to a phrase or phrases that follow the statement. In these verses the statement is “I am ready to preach the gospel…” Then the Greek particle gar acts as a conjunction to tie four phrases to this statement.
1.I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. 2.It (meaning the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation. 3.Therein (the gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed. 4.The wrath of God is revealed.
These verses set the foundation of the gospel of God’s grace, what God has freely given to those who believe His words.
The first phrase is a figure of speech called "Demeaning" whereby a thing is diminished in order to emphasize its greatness. Rather than shame, Paul is stating that he is highly honored to be able to preach the gospel. The words “of Christ” do not appear in most texts and should be omitted.
Paul is honored to preach the gospel of God but that brings up the question as to what exactly is the gospel of God? Many have taught that there is only one gospel but they only teach that because that is what they have been taught in their denominational doctrine. A simple study of God’s Word reveals that there is definitely more than one gospel spoken of by God.
First, the word gospel means good news. Unlike the world, God always has good news for those who want to hear and believe.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The Everlasting Gospel is clearly stated in these verses, Fear or have respect for God, give Him the glory, worship Him who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water. The Everlasting Gospel is the supremacy of God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He alone is God there is none beside Him and none before Him. This gospel can be seen from the opening words of Genesis unto the closing words of the book of Revelation.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…
God created, He didn’t have any help and He didn’t ask for any help because He didn’t need any help.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Men have carved wood and stone and adorned these pieces of wood and stone with gems and precious metals and called these things gods but they are only figments of man’s mind and idle fantasies better suited for fairy tales.
To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
Aaron made a calf of gold; the Athenian’s made a statue to the “Unknown god”, whatever man fears he seems to turn into a god of one kind or another. Yet these god’s don’t move, they don’t speak, and they don’t give life or bring salvation for they are simply a powerless piece of sculpted rock, wood, or metal!
The God of Israel is the One, True and Eternal God. He is Almighty and all powerful. He is gracious and merciful. There is none before Him, there is none beside Him, and there will be none that follow after Him. This is the Everlasting Gospel or the everlasting good news.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
The gospel of God has been preached since Genesis 3 when God declared that He would send the seed of the woman to defeat the enemy and save mankind. This good news has been preached to mankind since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
Later, as the descendants of Abraham became the nation of Israel, this gospel of God became focused on the nation of Israel as the gospel of the Kingdom. From the days of Moses through the time of Christ and even after the Administration of Grace when the nation of Israel is once again, this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to Israel and any Gentile that makes the decision to stand with Israel.
Another aspect of the gospel of God was preached when God, by revelation, revealed to the Apostle Paul the gospel of grace as it pertains to the Administration of Grace. The gospel of the kingdom focuses on the nation of Israel and an earthly kingdom. The gospel of grace focuses mostly on the Gentiles and pertains to citizenship in heaven. The gospel of the kingdom is centered upon the earth. Israel never looked forward to going to heaven. The gospel of grace is centered in heaven and never looks to a place upon the earth.
Romans is the beginning of our instruction concerning the gospel of grace, establishing how God has accomplished certain things for the individual believer and within the individual believer so that he can look to heaven as his home. Paul was highly honored to preach this gospel of God, he was not ashamed.
The second phrase from Romans 1:15-18 is that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It is in this gospel of grace that God demonstrates His power and ability to offer salvation to mankind in the accomplished works of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
The word reconciled means the change on the part of one party only, based on the action of the other party. God is the party that has acted, He has acted in Jesus Christ and now the change is up to us based upon the action of God. The change we need to make is to cease from our own works and accept the accomplished reconciling work of God in Christ. That is the gospel of grace! The gospel of grace is not what God has done plus what you need to do. The gospel of grace is what God has accomplished in Christ and you believing Him, you taking God at His Word. God’s power and ability to save is founded in what He accomplished in Christ.
The third phrase from Romans 1:15-18 is that the gospel reveals the righteousness of God. This phrase is a genitive, or in the genitive case. There are ten different types of genitives in the Word of God. This phrase is a genitive of origin and means the righteousness which comes from God. The righteousness that comes from God is revealed in the gospel of grace.
But now the righteousness of God (genitive of origin) without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith (the accomplished believing) of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
The righteousness which comes from God was accomplished for man by the man Jesus Christ and we receive this righteousness when we believe, when we take God at His Word.
The fourth phrase in Romans 1:15-18 is that the wrath of God is revealed in the gospel that Paul preached. This wrath of God or judgment of God is there for those who refuse to believe what God has declared in the gospel of grace.
From Romans 1:19 through Romans 3:20 Paul speaks of the Jew and the Gentile that has gone their own way, the ones who have developed their own righteousness outside of the work of God. Romans 1:19 through 3:20 is speaking of unbelievers.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Man substituting his own works for the work that God has already accomplished and in the process inventing a false god that can and will do nothing for him.
1 Corinthians 12:2
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The Gentiles made gods out of everything. Some made animals sacred; others elevated the sun and the moon and the stars, while still others worshipped the ever growing intellect of mankind. The Jews on the other hand thought because they held the words of God and bore the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham, circumcision, they were saved automatically. Yet God always desired a circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh. Both the Jews and the Gentiles were wrong.
The Gentiles were led away from God by leaders that gave them idols and the Jews were led away from God by leaders that were filled with arrogance and self-righteousness.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Man could not accomplish the work required for salvation after his fall in the Garden of Eden yet many men have refused to believe this truth, believing instead that they could save themselves, that they could be good enough on their own.
Cain was the first man that thought he didn’t require God’s help and countless others have come after Cain with a similar attitude of self-righteousness. That is the gospel of the world that leads only to death.
God gave Israel the Law of Moses not to save them but to show them their need for a savior, to show them they couldn’t do it on their own. When they sacrificed the Passover lamb, a lamb without spot or blemish, they should have seen that they did not fit the qualifications of without spot or blemish!
Every person in the line of Adam carries the corruption that entered the blood line when Adam sinned. Jesus was the only person born, since the Garden of Eden that was not of the blood line of Adam. Jesus had a new blood line, an uncorrupted blood line and that is why Judas declares that he betrayed the innocent blood. Jesus did what no other man could do for no man except Jesus has had a pure blood line.
Beginning in Romans 3:21 and continuing through Romans 5:11God shows how He has taken care of the sins of man. This is what God has done for us, the removal of all sins each man has committed in his life. Sins are the product of our old man nature. Sin is all the old man nature can accomplish. So God took care of the product of our old nature through the justifying work of Jesus Christ.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith (believing) in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Justification is simply defined as, just as if I never sinned. Your past sins are gone, removed, reckoned as though they never occurred because the believer is identified in Christ. As God sees Jesus Christ He sees the believer of today.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
The unbelievers of Romans 1:19-3:20 are subject to the wrath or the judgment of God but those who believe are identified in Jesus Christ, they are justified and saved from the wrath to come.
Some leaders today read “remission of sins that are past” and then teach about your current sins and how YOU must take care of them in order to keep your salvation. The reason Romans 5 only refers to sins that are past is because in Christ God has made the believer righteous.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he (God) hath made him (Jesus Christ) to be sin (a sin offering) for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
In Christ, God has made us as righteous as He is Himself. We couldn’t do it on our own, so God did it for us. Just like God has proclaimed since Genesis chapter 3.
Beginning in Romans 5:12 through 8:39 God declares what He has accomplished in each believer which was to take care of our slavery to our sin nature by creating within us a new nature, a spiritual nature. Whereby from that point on nothing shall be able to separate us from God’s love for us. The old nature will only rebel against and sin against God, so God created within those who believe a new nature, a spiritual nature.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
These are rhetorical questions that provide the obvious answers. Who can charge you with anything, God has justified you! Will Christ condemn you, no, no, a thousand times no! He gave his life for us and continues to make intercession for us.
This is the foundational doctrine that God begins to teach the believer in the Administration of Grace. Our sins before we believed are gone and our old man nature, although still with us (read Romans chapters 6 and 7), has been replaced by a new spiritual nature that God has created within each believer. Then beginning in Romans chapter 12 God details for the believer how he can walk forth in this new spiritual nature.
Romans is to the believer in the Administration of Grace what the Constitution is to a citizen of the United States. It is the bedrock, the solid foundation. If ignored or misunderstood then you lose the greatness of what has been accomplished for you.