The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 9 : Romans (Commentaries on the Book of Romans)

[Chapter 1-6] (Romans 1:1-32) Paul, a Missionary To the Gentiles

(Romans 1:1-32)
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is 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 suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
 
 
(Romans 1:1) “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.”
Paul was chosen for God’s gospel. Who could be chosen to preach God’s gospel? If anyone thinks that he was chosen as a servant of God without knowing the gospel of God’s righteousness, he is only fooling himself. If you do not know this gospel of God’s righteousness, and yet you believe you were called by God, this is a delusion. One is called by God only after he comes to know His righteousness and believes in it. How could one ever be called His servant if he is completely ignorant of the gospel of the righteousness of God? No one can be called like this.
In spite of this, countless pastors all over the world have turned themselves into God’s servant all on their own, without understanding the gospel Word of God’s righteousness. One of their common characteristics is that they are hypnotized by their own emotion. Another characteristic is that they have become God’s servants all on their own, as they have made a vow to God, and they feel they are bound by this promise. Could such people really be called as God’s servants?
Some pastors are hypnotized by their own congregations. They received recognition from many people and heard them saying, “You can become God’s servant.” Hypnotized by what people around them say, they are made ministers by others. If they do not know what God’s righteousness is, there is clear evidence of their incapacity to do God’s work. In other words, God does not call someone who is ignorant of His righteousness to be His servant and He does not use such people. Who then, does God call to be His servant? Those who are called by God are those who know and believe in the gospel of the righteousness of God. Those who become God’s servants are called to His service only after they first receive the remission of their sins by believing in the Word. Then God gives them the power to preach the gospel of His righteousness. Of course, there are servants who are called and used as ornamental knobs for the spreading of the gospel. There were seven bowls made like almond blossoms on top of each branch of the golden lamp in the Tabernacle. Each bowl was supported with an ornamental knob so that the lamp gave light brightly inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-39). In fact, Jesus is the Light and we are the ornamental knobs that support the preaching of the gospel of the righteousness of God.
Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles. He was God’s servant who testified the righteousness of God clearly and systematically. Had Paul preached man’s righteousness instead of God’s righteousness, he would not have been a servant of Christ. He was, however, an apostle sent by God who preached His righteousness. This is why he is greatly respected in Christian communities. If Christians do not believe in the righteousness of God that Paul preached, it would seriously undermine the Christian faith. By believing in Paul’s written testimony of the righteousness of God, Christians have been passing their faith from generation to generation. Through the righteousness of God revealed in the Book of Romans, we can come to understand the righteousness of God and believe in it.
 
 
Paul Was Sent by God
 
What does the word Apostle mean? It means one who is sent by God. An apostle is one who is sent by God to testify the works of Jesus Christ who has saved mankind from sin and to bear witness of His salvation. Why is apostleship so special? We can find the answer to this question if we examine the duties performed by the apostles who were sent by the Lord. They did not see themselves as mere witnesses of the gospel. They knew that they were God’s special ambassadors. Because they were apostles, God spoke through their authoritative words, and therefore the words they spoke had power that came from God.
In the Book of Romans, Paul wrote the letter introducing himself as an apostle. Paul reminded the saints in Rome of this, but this also pertains to us. It tells us how we should interpret the Book of Romans for our benefit. We must accept it as the Word of God that preaches His righteousness to us. God does not speak to us directly, but through the Pauline Epistles we can still hear of God’s righteousness. Therefore, we must obey what God is teaching us through the Apostle Paul. This is why the apostle’s words are so important. The words of the apostles are the words that reveal God’s will and His righteousness, and they have His authority.
 
 
The Historic Gospel Where God’s Righteousness Is Manifested
 
(Romans 1:2) “Which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,”
The gospel of the righteousness of God must be able to be proven in the Old Testament. A gospel claiming to be the gospel of God’s righteousness, and not having the support of the Word prophesied in the Pentateuch and the Books of the prophets in the Old Testament cannot be called the gospel of the righteousness of God. The true gospel cannot be completed on its own without the Word of the Old Testament.
Then what is the gospel of the righteousness of God? It is a gospel that is founded on the Word of promise prophesied in the Old Testament. In speaking about the gospel of the righteousness of God, the Apostle Paul said, “Which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Just as this passage says, the gospel of God’s righteousness can be found in the sacrificial system that was practiced in the Tabernacle. This sacrificial system practiced in the Tabernacle prophesied about how and by what method Jesus Christ would take upon Himself the sins of mankind. The laying on of hands included in the Tabernacle’s sacrificial system refers to Jesus’ baptism in the New Testament.
The most important word in the opening of the Book of Romans is the “gospel” where God’s righteousness is manifested. This word is critical because it is the very subject of the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans was written to explain God’s great righteousness.
In verse 1, Paul mentioned “the gospel,” and he stated that it was “the gospel of God.” It was for this gospel that he was called and separated. In verse 2, he explains in more detail where this gospel began. He found its beginning in the promise of the Old Testament, “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” In other words, it is a gospel that is founded on the prophecies of Jesus Christ. In verse 9, Paul once again underscores the majesty of the gospel, calling it the “gospel of His Son.”
 
 
To Understand the Gospel as the Good News
 
We take the meaning of the “gospel” (euaggelion in Greek) as “good news.” However, many people stop at this definition of the gospel as the good news, and are unable to grasp that it actually means God’s righteousness. For us to understand why the gospel is the good news, we need to begin by first understanding how flawless God’s righteousness is.
In the religions of this world, the standard of good and evil is relative. However, in Christianity, the righteousness of God is absolute; it is something unique that cannot be compared to any human being’s righteousness. Paul said that God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel (Romans 1:17). Therefore, the gospel of the righteousness of God is the gospel of salvation for all sinners. If anyone believes in the gospel that contains the righteousness of God, all his sins will disappear and he will become a sinless person. This is the very purpose for which God has given us the gospel where His righteousness is revealed.
Before Paul came to know the righteousness of God, he followed the Law. The Law demanded good deeds and high moral standards. However, this Law could not bring any peace to him, nor could it enable him to receive the true righteousness of God. Paul, like all of us, was incapable of keeping the Law, and he confessed that in the Law, he was an utterly “wretched man" (Roman 7:24).
Even the atheists, if they turn around, hear what the good news of the righteousness of God is and believe in it, then they too will be saved from their sins and receive eternal life. This is the most precious blessing coming from the righteousness of God. It is not the righteousness of man. The gospel that God has given to mankind is good, because His righteousness is in it. Also, it is good because God has saved us from our sins through the works of Jesus Christ. Because of our sins, we could not come before God. Our sins had separated us from God. The righteousness of God opened a bridge to enable us to go to God because Jesus Christ took upon all our sins and blotted them all out. Even though we had longed to do so, we couldn’t find God because we did not know God’s righteousness. Now we are praising the Lord who has come to us as the righteousness of God.
 
 
Jesus Christ Is God for the Believers
 
(Romans 1:3) “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”
This passage tells us that Jesus Christ was born in the household of Judah. From the very beginning, Jesus Christ was the Son of God and the King of kings. According to Old Testament’s prophecies, He was born of the seed of David, in the household of Judah, and became the High Priest of Heaven. Only the Levites could become priests of the people of Israel. No one could become a priest unless he was from this tribe. However, Jesus Christ is not an earthly priest, but the heavenly Priest. He came to this earth, and to remit away all the sins of this world through His baptism and His shed blood on the Cross, He has blotted out the sins of the world. The duty of the heavenly Priest lay in the baptism He received and the blood He shed on the Cross.
Christ is the center of Christianity and the incarnation of God’s righteousness. Everything else plays only a supplementary role. Jesus Christ is God Himself, and the Savior for all those who believe in Him. Jesus not only had divine attributes, but for mankind, He has become their Savior. There is no human being who is like Him. Only Jesus Christ is the everlasting God and the Savior of sinners. For us, only Jesus Christ and He alone is our God. This does not mean that we do not recognize God the Father and the Holy Spirit as God.
 
 
For the Entire Mankind, the Lord Is the Everlasting Creator and the Eternal Savior
 
(Romans 1:4) “And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
In essence, Jesus Christ is the sinless, holy Son of God. Jesus Christ is the Holy God by nature, but He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, took upon Himself the sins of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, was crucified and shed His blood on the Cross, rose from the dead again, thereby becoming the Savior of all who believe in God’s righteousness.
Because Jesus Christ is our Creator, even death and darkness could not hold Him back. He is the Son of God the Father, the Lord who lacks nothing to be recognized as the Savior of sinners. Although Jesus Christ is omnipotent, He has saved sinners from their sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist and His shed blood. He has thereby completed His work to move them to the Kingdom of God. What did Jesus do when He came to this earth? By being baptized by John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again, He has given the gift of the Holy Spirit to all those who believe in the righteousness of God. This is why Jesus Christ is the Savior who has saved sinners from their sins by receiving His baptism on His body for sinners, dying by being nailed to the Cross, and rising from the dead again. He has become the God of all His believers, because He has fulfilled His promise truthfully.
“Jesus is the Son of the living God and the Savior of sinners.” This statement was the basic element of the Christian faith during the Early Church era. However, such faith has been substituted by the “Apostles’ Creed” in terms of formalism. Since 313 AD, when Constantine the Great proclaimed the Edict of Milan that granted Romans religious freedom, the Apostles’ Creed has been used as the standard bearer for baptizing people as a sign of being Christians.
To call Jesus as the Lord entails two meanings: First, it means Jesus is God; second, it means Jesus is the Savior of sinners. These two meanings show us why the Early Church Christians did not want to use the name “Lord” for anyone else. If they had used this name for someone else, it would have been tantamount to not believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Lord is the everlasting Creator for all mankind and the eternal Savior. Jesus Christ is the everlasting righteousness of God.
 
(Romans 1:5) “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,”
Those who have been remitted from all their sins and become the servants of the righteousness of God by believing in the God-given righteousness are the ones who have become Jesus Christ’s people and obey Him. Because of this, they only preach the righteousness of God achieved by Jesus Christ, and they have no reason to spread their own carnal wisdom, knowledge, or pride. If anyone claims to be God’s servant and yet boasts of his knowledge, wisdom, or good deeds of the flesh, then he is not a servant of Jesus Christ. Those who have truly become Jesus Christ’s servants preach and spread only the righteousness of God throughout their entire lifetime. To testify the righteousness of God, His servants may use examples in their sermons, but through such examples they just want to exalt God’s righteousness even more.
God’s servants are those who live only for the works that manifest the righteousness of Jesus Christ. God has made such servants of righteousness spread His righteousness to everyone throughout the world. By hearing the Word of salvation preached to them by the servants of Jesus Christ, countless people living on earth are being remitted from all their sins and becoming God’s children.
 
(Romans 1:6) “Among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;”
All the saints in Rome were Gentiles at first. We, too, were not God’s people at first, but Gentiles. However, by realizing the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit containing God’s righteousness, and by believing in this gospel Word, we have come to belong to Jesus Christ.
We are the followers of Jesus Christ called by God. We now belong to Christ. This is such a great blessing and wonderful honor. How could something like this have happened to us? By nature, we could not avoid being born as slaves to sin from our very birth, and yet through the gospel of the righteousness of God, we have now become the followers of Christ. We can only thank God for the gospel of truly amazing power.
 
(Romans 1:7) “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Those of us who believe in the righteousness of God desire everyone to have the God-given grace of the remission of sin and peace in their hearts. That is why we want to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we, the righteous, did not have this desire, then we would not be devoting our hearts to other souls. However, in the hearts of all those who have attained the righteousness of God by faith, the Holy Spirit dwells in them, and they have the yearning for everyone to receive the remission of sin. As such, to all those who still do not know the righteousness of God and still have all their sins intact, we want to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the God-given gift of the remission of sin, and we want them to believe in this gospel. It is my heart’s desire for all of you to believe in God’s righteousness, and for your hearts to have peace flowing like a river.
 
 
Paul Gave Thanks to God Due to the Faith of the Righteous
 
(Romans 1:8) “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”
Paul, who believed in God’s righteousness, always rejoiced whenever the gospel containing the righteousness of God was preached all over the world. Like him, the righteous are thankful for their faith in God’s righteousness and His will. The righteous are rejoicing because the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit is now being spread vigorously throughout the entire world. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the gospel of Truth that the Lord spoke of in John 3.
In John 3:5, the Lord said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” The water mentioned here refers to the baptism that Jesus received from John (1 Peter 3:21). The Spirit here implies that Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself, and that by believing in the baptism that Jesus received when He came to this earth to blot out our sins, in the death He suffered on the Cross and in His resurrection, we can become God’s people and enter and live in the Kingdom of God.
Why did the Apostle Paul say that he was thankful to God for the saints in Rome? There were two reasons for this. First, because the saints in Rome believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and by believing in this righteousness of God, they were saved form their sins. Second, it was because of the saints in Rome that the gospel was being preached throughout the whole world.
To preach the gospel in the Book of Romans, Paul often quotes from the Old Testament prophecies. He defines the righteousness of God as one “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,” and he concludes that his calling is to make the Gentiles among all nations obey God by faith. After saying this, he praises God for the Christians in Rome. He does this because their fundamental faith was the very faith placed in the righteousness of God, and because they preached God’s righteousness to others as well.
The reason why the faith of the Roman Christians was pure is because they had defended their faith in God’s righteousness even in Rome. Rome was a place filled with pagan religions, and this is why Paul thanked God for the faith of the Christians living in Rome. This does not mean, however, that Paul began his epistle by exalting them for their devotion. Rather, Paul just gave glory to God for their faith. Christians in Rome were all born again by believing in the righteousness of God. Like this, the result of our faith in God’s righteousness makes us to be born again. Had the Christians in Rome fronted their own righteousness of man rather than God’s righteousness, Paul would have rebuked them. It was to the Christians in Rome who believed in the righteousness of God that Paul wrote his letter of fellowship.
 
(Romans 1:9) “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,”
The Apostle Paul loved the brothers and sisters in Rome. He thanked God very much for the believers in Rome. Why? The fact that there were God’s people in Rome made Paul’s heart so happy. And because through Rome, he yearned to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in which the righteousness of God was manifested throughout the whole world. So, Paul prayed constantly for the gospel, and for the people of God in Rome so that the gospel containing the righteousness of God would be preached throughout the whole world. In the end, Paul’s desire would be fulfilled.
 
(Romans 1:10) “Making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.”
A missionary who spreads the righteousness of God always prays and looks for the door of the gospel. And rather than working by himself, he wants to work united with others. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles and a true spiritual father to them.
As the saints in Rome once again came to learn and know what the righteousness of God was through Paul, they came to cast aside the righteousness of man. Today, the entire world is also coming to believe in the righteousness of God manifested in the gospel preached by Paul through the Book of Romans. Through Paul, God made the gospel of the baptism of Jesus, His death on the Cross and His resurrection known to and heard by not only the Romans in Paul’s days, but people all over the world. Now as then, anyone who believes in God’s righteousness lacks nothing to become one of God’s people.
 
(Romans 1:11) “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—”
To establish the faith of everyone who believed in Jesus even more firmly, Paul wanted to share the gospel Word, the spiritual gift that contains the righteousness of God.
It is when we believe in the God-given gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that our faith is made even more solid; unshakable by any doubts. The reason for this is because in this true gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed. When Paul saw the faith of the saints in Rome, he saw at least some need to strengthen it more. This is why he said that he wanted to impart “some spiritual gift” to them.
What, then, is this spiritual gift before God? It refers to the gospel of the water and the Spirit containing the righteousness of God, with which God has blotted out the sins of mankind. This God-given Word of the water and the Spirit fortifies Christians’ faith and enables them to be born again. If one believes in the gospel holding God’s righteousness and preached by Paul, an unstable faith is changed into a stable faith. Do you not also want to change your imperfect faith into perfect faith?
 
(Romans 1:12) “that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
The gospel of Truth preached by Paul and containing God’s righteousness brings peace and comfort to the minds of all who believe in it. That’s because the gospel preached by Paul is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The saints in Rome needed to be comforted by the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Paul’s heart, too, could always be comforted by the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that he preached.
Is the gospel that you believe in is a gospel that comforts your hearts? The Truth that can really bring peace and comfort to mankind is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This gospel is the gospel that both Peter and Paul, along with all the Apostles believed in (1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:27; and 1 John 5:6).
 
 
Prayers That Are Answered
 
(Romans 1:13) “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.”
Paul wanted the gospel to bear fruit. He had covered very large areas as his mission field, preaching the gospel containing the righteousness of God in many different regions. And every time he did so, he had abundant spiritual fruit; that is, he had many people receive the perfect remission of their sins and become God’s sinless children by believing in God’s righteousness.
The gospel preached by Paul was different from the gospel preached by today’s religious people. The gospel that the Apostle Paul preached contained God’s righteousness. But in the gospel that is preached by today’s Christians, this righteousness of God is missing. The gospel of Truth that holds God’s righteousness is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and any gospel that does not include the righteousness of God is an imperfect gospel. In the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, the baptism that Jesus received from John, His death on the Cross and His resurrection are all contained. However, in the gospel preached by today’s Christians, only His death on the Cross and His resurrection are found.
The Apostle Paul wanted to go to Rome to preach the gospel containing the righteousness of God. But his way was blocked. Although the Apostle Paul longed to go to Rome, his prayers were not answered so easily. Like this, there are times when it seems as though God doesn’t answer the prayers of His saints and servants so easily, but God never fails to hear to them. God’s answer to Paul’s prayer may seem to have been somewhat reluctant, but it was just to make the situation in Rome ripe for Paul’s evangelical ministry, and to prepare his heart.
God wants wholehearted prayers. What, then, is a prayer that asks for truly spiritual things? It is a selfless prayer that’s offered for the preaching of the righteousness of God. There is no reason for such a prayer to go unanswered. All prayers that are given according to the righteousness of God are answered without fail. You may be disappointed when your prayers are not answered for a long time, but if you pray according to God’s righteousness, then your prayers will be answered right away. As such, if we have truly come into the faith that knows the righteousness of God, then our prayers will also be answered. Paul, too, entered Rome as his prayers were answered, and he preached the gospel containing God’s righteousness to people all over the world.
 
 
The Gospel Is Always for Everyone Who Is Poor in Spirit
 
(Romans 1:14) “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”
Through his faith, Paul explains the gospel in which the righteousness of God is manifested. “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”
Such a heart is one that can be had only by those who know the righteousness of God. As someone who had faith in the righteousness of God, Paul had the duty to preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to everyone throughout the whole world. This responsibility weighed down his heart. That’s why he called himself a debtor. Even now, the believers in God’s righteousness desire to preach the gospel to people all over the world.
The gospel where God’s righteousness is manifested is always for all those who are poor in heart. Jesus Christ taught the gospel not only to the likes of Nicodemus, the privileged few who were born into good families and were well educated, but He also taught the gospel to “tax collectors and sinners.” In John 4, Jesus taught the gospel of the righteousness of God to a Samaritan woman. Later on, during the Apostolic Age, God told Peter that the gospel was given not only to those who are ritualistically “clean,” like the Jewish people, but also to the Gentiles like Cornelius. To this, Peter declared the following statement and made this fact clear: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35).
 
(Romans 1:15) “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”
In Paul’s eyes, even among the Christians in Rome who were professing to believe in Jesus, there weren’t enough believers who actually understood God’s righteousness properly. So Paul also wanted to preach the gospel that he believed in to the Romans who already had faith in Jesus.
You and I must be able to understand Paul’s heart. Can you understand why Paul wanted to preach the gospel even to those who already believed in Jesus? To understand Paul, we must first approach the gospel that he believed in. This gospel that Paul believed in contained God’s righteousness. The overwhelming majority of today’s Christians believe in a different version of the gospel that does not contain the righteousness of God instead of the gospel that holds God’s righteousness. Paul wanted to preach the true gospel that holds the righteousness of God.
 
 
The Gospel Where God’s Righteousness Is Revealed

(Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
 
The gospel preached by Paul was a gospel that enabled anyone to be saved from his sins, if only he would believe in it. Today, in contrast, there are many people who are preaching other gospels, and many Christians also believe in such false gospels. What, then, is the gospel that has “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes”? This gospel is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that contains the righteousness of God. Few, however, know this. While many people talk about the power of the true gospel that Paul talked about, they do so only with their lips. There is only an extremely small number of people who have actually experienced what this power of the true gospel is like by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
What about you? Have you really experienced the gospel power of the water and the Spirit that Jesus spoke of? If you had really believed and really experienced it, then no doubt you would have become wholly sinless, and you would have witnessed to people all over the world to proclaim the gospel power of the water and the Spirit and make it known.
This passage is the subject of the whole Book of Romans, and it is the key principle of Christianity and the core of faith. The reason for this is this verse explains to us how we can encounter the righteousness of God. The fact that we are incapable of reconciling ourselves to God on our own is the very Truth taught by God’s righteousness. Because we had rebelled against God, without a peace offering it’s impossible for us to be reconciled to God—on the contrary, we must be condemned by Him. Moreover, we have been polluted by the sins of our forefathers. Just as someone who is very sick and emits a repugnant odor looks unclean to others, in God’s eyes, we are not only unclean, but if we stand before God in that state, we will be destroyed forever.
How, then, should mankind solve the problem of their sins? On our own, there is nothing that we can do to remove our sins. However, God has given us His righteousness that has blotted out our sins. It is by simply believing in this righteousness of God that we can receive the remission of our sins. God’s righteousness given to us is contained in the Word of the water and the Spirit (John 3:4-5; Matthew 3:13-17; and 1 Peter 3:21).
 
 
The Righteousness That Came from God
 
As Paul summarized in this passage, the righteousness of God refers to the fact that Jesus Christ has saved mankind from their grave and hopeless sins. God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the glorious Truth. The reason why “God’s righteousness” was thus revealed to mankind is because everyone is a sinner and cannot reach the righteousness of God by himself. So, we must find God’s righteousness on the assumption that mankind is totally depraved and incapable of reaching God’s righteousness from its origin.
The righteousness hidden in the gospel is the righteousness of God. This righteousness of God comes “by faith in Jesus Christ.” When we look at what the Apostle Paul said in the beginning of this epistle, we can see that the righteousness of God is none other than the righteousness of Christ that God has given to us. So Paul says, “God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel.” And the gospel is related to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:2-3). Therefore, He who fulfilled God’s righteousness is Christ, and it is by believing in this righteousness of God fulfilled by Christ that we are saved.
Paul explains God’s righteousness in two parts, and both of them are indispensable. First, from the very beginning, Jesus has been righteous. Put differently, because Jesus is God, He is absolutely holy and completely sinless. This is why when He was in the flesh, He could say, “I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29), and asked His opponents, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46)
Second, by obeying the Law of God, Jesus fulfilled the perfect righteousness of God. When Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him, John said to Him, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” Jesus then said to John, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:14-15).
Paul said that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel, meaning that God’s righteousness can be found in the baptism that Jesus received from John. This shows us how we can attain the righteousness of God that we all need. It also tells us that God’s righteousness can be attained only by faith.
 
 
What Is the True Righteousness of God?
 
(Romans 1:17) “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”
We can see that the gospel spoken of by the Apostle Paul is different from the imperfect gospels preached by today’s Christians. That’s because in the gospel that Paul spoke of, the righteousness of God is revealed. What, then, does this gospel where God’s righteousness is manifested refer? It refers to the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus spoke of (John 3:5).
What exactly is the gospel of the water and the Spirit then? It consists of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood that He shed on the Cross. Why, then, was Jesus baptized by John the Baptist? He was baptized to fulfill all the righteousness of God (Matthew 3:15). What did Jesus achieve by being baptized? By receiving His baptism, He accepted all the sins of the world once for all. Where is the evidence for this? The words “for thus” in Matthew 3:15 are the evidence. The words “for thus” are “οϋτως γάρ” in Greek, which mean “just in this way,” “most fitting,” or “there is no other way besides this.”
In other words, by being baptized by John, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world once for all, and in doing so He fulfilled everything that God the Father sought to do. Having shouldered the sins of the world through His baptism, Jesus Christ went to the Cross and was crucified. He then rose from the dead again, and has washed away all the sins of mankind, just as the Father desired. This is the righteousness of God.
Paul says that it is by believing in God’s righteousness that we can join the ranks of the born-again believers. Indeed, the righteousness of God is found in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and all those who believe in this gospel become sinless and God’s own people. In contrast, unbelievers cannot reach God’s righteousness, for they do not believe in the righteousness of God that has come to them by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Paul goes on to say, “The just shall live by faith.” This means that even if one has received the everlasting remission of sins once for all by believing in the righteousness of God, he should still continue to lead his life of faith by believing in God’s righteousness to the end. Those who believe in God’s righteousness will live; but those who do not believe will die. The gospel that the Apostle Paul is speaking of is the gospel in which God’s righteousness is revealed, just as he said, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed.” Do you believe in this gospel where God’s righteousness is revealed? You can live only if you believe.
“The gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed” is written in Matthew 3:13-15. Through Mary, Jesus was born unto this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. It is written, “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Here in this passage, the name Jesus means “Savior,” that is, Jesus is the One who will save all mankind from their sins.
When Jesus came to this earth, He had led a private life serving His family until 29, but when He turned 30, He went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist according to the will of God the Father. This was the beginning of His public life. At that time, John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River. The baptism that John gave to the people was a baptism that demanded their repentance, but the baptism that He gave to Jesus was the baptism that put all the sins of everyone in this world on Him.
We must be very careful here and not confuse these two different types of baptism; that is, the baptism of repentance that John the Baptist gave to ordinary people, and the baptism of Jesus through which John passed all sins to Him. It was to take upon all the sins of the world that Jesus was baptized by John. Jesus had ordered John, “You shall baptize Me,” but John asked Him, “When I should be baptized by You, why are You telling me to baptize You?” However, Jesus answered and said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” and John could do nothing but obey Him.
What meaning is hidden in this passage? As I told you just before, the words “for thus” in Matthew 3:15 are in Greek “οϋτως γάρ”, which mean “just in this way,” “most fitting,” or “there is no other way besides this.” The meaning of the word “thus” refers to the process through which Jesus had to take upon the sins of the world by receiving, without fail, the baptism that was given by John the Baptist. This was the reason why Jesus had to be baptized by John the Baptist.
By being baptized by John, Jesus shouldered all the sins of the world. The gospel of the water and the Spirit testifies the righteousness of God. When Jesus was crucified, as He bled to death on the Cross, right before taking His last breath, He said, “It is finished.” These last words meant that by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood, Jesus has now saved everyone from all the sins of the world. 
The baptism and blood of Jesus constitute the gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed. Jesus had to take upon all the sins of this world until its end by being baptized, He had to shed His blood and die on the Cross, and He had to rise from the dead again. This gospel, where God’s righteousness is manifested, can save all the sinners of this world from their sins. This and nothing else is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. This very gospel is the greatest and most joyful news brought to all sinners.
Are your acts perfect, or are they insufficient? Do you believe in the righteousness of Jesus? Do you believe in the significance of the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross? It is the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross that constitute the gospel in which the righteousness of God, which has blotted out all the sins of this world, is revealed. You must all believe in this gospel with all your hearts, that Jesus has washed away all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist.
When those of you who are single get married, most of you will have children of your own. True faith, then, is to believe that even these children’s sins were included in the sins of the world and were all passed onto Jesus through His baptism. If we assume here that a brother among us will live for 82 years before passing away, then we must believe that all the sins of his entire lifetime, all 82 years, were also passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus is telling us that each and every sin that was, is, and will ever be committed until the end of this world are all included in the sins of the world, and that to take upon all these sins, He was baptized by John the Baptist. He went to the Cross and shed His blood. The baptism here that Jesus received from John was the perfect baptism that was more than sufficient to wash all of mankind from all the sins of the world. Romans 1:17 says, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” This gospel is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit where the righteousness of God is revealed.
 
 
True Faith Is to Believe Like Abraham
 
Abraham had no child even as he was a hundred years old. One day, God appeared before him when he was still named “Abram” and called him, “Abram, Abram.” “Come out and look at the sky. Do you see the countless stars?” “Yes, there are so many stars.” “I will give you as many descendants as those stars in the sky.” “Yes!” Although this seemed impossible in Abraham’s thoughts, he still believed in it, because it was God’s Word. Like this, because Abraham believed in God’s Word, his faith was approved by God.
Abraham believed that mankind, who was incapable of keeping the Law of God and all its 613 commandments, would receive God’s righteousness by believing in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and His blood. Since Sarah,’ Abraham’s wife, was already past menopause, realistically speaking, it was impossible for her to give birth to a child. Yet despite this, Abraham still believed God’s Word, and because of this faith he was able to attain Isaac. This kind of faith is the faith in the righteousness of God. It is with such faith that we believe in God’s righteousness and are saved from all our sins.
Just as Abraham was approved by God because he believed that there was nothing God could not do, and that He would keep His promise without fail, our faith, too, is approved by God when we believe in His Word. He who believes in God’s Word has received the gift that is obtained by believing in His righteousness. He who believes in the righteousness of God receives the remission of his sins and the gift of Holy Spirit. If you believe in God’s righteousness bestowed on mankind, you will be blessed to have this righteousness of God.
God brings salvation into the arms of those who believe in His righteousness manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What kind of faith does God demand from us? If God had said that we would be saved from our sins through our own righteous acts, no one would be able to be saved from sin. However, it is to those who believe in God’s righteousness that He has given them salvation from sin. God does not take on the attributes of man. Did God really give the Law to mankind so that people would keep it? Didn’t He give His Law to them so that they would realize their sins and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? That’s right. Today’s Christians must realize just how gravely erroneous it is to believe in God without knowing His righteousness. It is to teach mankind that everyone has sin, which binds all to hell, that God gave the Law (Romans 3:20).
Romans 1:17 says, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” We human beings have no righteousness of our own before God. From our very birth, we were all born with twelve different sins by nature (Mark 7:21-25). When we commit all kinds of evil, arrogant, murderous and adulterous sin throughout our lives, how could we not need God’s righteousness? Our God made Jesus bear the condemnation of our sins through His baptism and blood, and in doing so, He has saved from all our sins by believing in this righteousness of God. It is by believing in the gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that we have obtained righteousness from God.
Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and profess the following will receive the Holy Spirit from God: “Through the righteousness of our own acts, we cannot attain the righteousness of God. That’s why it is only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can receive God’s righteousness. When it comes to our human righteousness, there is nothing that we can boast of. We believe that the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross compose the righteousness of God.” By faith, we have become the ones who have received all the blessings that God has promised. Do you have this perfect faith placed in the righteousness of God? God’s righteousness is in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and His blood.
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he shouted out to people, referring to Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) By being baptized, Jesus took upon the sins of the world. All the sins of us mankind were passed onto Jesus. Therefore, all the sins of mankind are washed away by believing in this gospel that Jesus has blotted out all those sins with His baptism and blood. If anyone still has his sins remaining intact in his heart, that’s because his heart does not have the righteousness of God, and therefore he has not been able to be washed from his sins. It is through the testimony that John passed the sins of the world to Jesus by baptizing Him and Jesus took them all away, that we are washed from our sins. Your sins were also all passed onto Jesus through His baptism, and Jesus shouldered all the sins of the world once for all, went to the Cross, was crucified, shed His blood, and thereby completed the righteousness of God.
Let us turn to John 19:28-30. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
Now then, to whom were the sins of this world passed? And where were they condemned? As Jesus was baptized by John, all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus’ head. By being baptized and shedding His blood, Jesus has blotted out this world’s sins entirely. Yet despite this, some people claim, “Jesus took away original sin, but not personal sins, and therefore one must be remitted from his personal sins by asking for God’s forgiveness everyday through prayers of repentance.” This kind of faith is not the faith that is placed in the righteousness of God. The Bible clearly states that Jesus has saved sinners from their sins by being baptized and shedding His blood. That is indeed the case. Anyone who believes in Jesus properly must have no sin in his heart.
Once human beings are born, for them to be saved from their sins, they must receive the remission of their sins by believing in the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who are born again by their faith in the righteousness of God can overcome the world and live a life that is completely free from the sins of the world. This is also followed by their newly attained rights as God’s children. Before we believed in Jesus as the Savior, “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2:3). But once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit where the righteousness of God is revealed, we become the righteous. The very moment we believe in this Truth, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
That is why we must all believe that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross are God’s righteousness. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit in which the righteousness of God is revealed. I beseech all of you to also return to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to accept the gospel of the righteousness of God! All the sins in your hearts will then be cleansed away as white as snow, and you will receive the fullness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
 
If We Are Vigilant Christians
 
(Romans 1:18) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”
The wrath of God is brought upon those who stand against the gospel of His righteousness with their unrighteous thoughts and judgments. Who, then, are such people? They are the ones who do not believe in the gospel of the righteousness of God. In other words, among Christians, there are those who believe in God’s righteousness and are thankful for it, but at the same time, there also are those who stand against it and blaspheme it.
So for such people, God’s fearful wrath awaits them in the last days. Since they are ungodly before God, they have no desire to study the Word of God any further. Because they do not fear Him, they ignore God’s righteousness and do not believe in it. God will punish such people with the judgment of fire and brimstone brought down from the sky. Hell is a place that is prepared for those who do not believe in God’s righteousness. The righteousness of God is the love with which He loved us. To those who have rejected God’s love, only the fearful wrath and punishment of God await them.
It is written in Song of Solomon 8:6, “For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.” God the Father gave us His Son, passed our sins onto the Son, put Him to death on the Cross, and raised Him from the dead again. By doing so, God has saved all sinners so that they may all received the remission of their sins. This is God’s love. To anyone who does not believe in the salvation that has come through this love and rejects it, His love will change and descend on them as cruel punishments. The reason for this is because they are standing against God as Satan’s servants.
Song of Solomon 8:7 also states, “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.” Far from believing in the righteousness of God, many Christians who claim to believe in Jesus are instead volunteering and devoting themselves to other causes in His name. Although they may labor hard to give more offerings and evangelize, all that awaits them is to bear God’s despise and wrath. You must realize that the wrath of God will descend on all those who do not believe in His righteousness.
Sermons in today’s churches are too lacking in testifying the righteousness of God. However, the wrath of God and His righteousness are the main teachings of the Bible, and when it comes to preaching the Lord’s Word, the gospel that reveals the righteousness of God must not be overlooked. Yet despite this, when we examine today’s Christian denominations according to the Word, most of them tend to leave out God’s righteousness and His wrath, and instead just tell people to believe in Jesus somehow. That’s because today’s Christianity has turned into a worldly religion. If anyone is a vigilant Christian, he must of course believe in both the righteousness of God and His wrath.
 
 
The Righteousness of God Is an Indispensable Element for Evangelization
 
When today’s Christians preach the gospel to other people, what do most of them preach first? Most of them begin with the blessings of the flesh when they “evangelize.” They take the blessings of the flesh that their listeners can easily agree as the starting point of their evangelizing effort. The reason why they do this is because they try to satisfy the desires of their listeners. However, when it comes to believing in God, the most fundamental problem that must be solved first is the problem of sin. Before God, one must focus on the issue of how he can solve the problem of his sins, and decide whether or not he would have faith in God.
But when many Christian actually go about trying to evangelize others, do they actually address mankind’s sins and God’s righteousness? No, they don’t really address these issues. On the contrary, they are incapable of addressing them, so they actually try to avoid them. That’s because they do not know the righteousness of God.
Paul said, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” (2 Timothy 4:3). The “itching ears” here refer to one’s pursuit of his own desires. In this passage, Paul is warning that an evangelist must not try to evangelize sinners by fulfilling their human desires. The Apostle Paul did not preach the gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed to satisfy such “necessities.” However, today’s preachers are promising carnal blessings to their listeners. In other words, they are preaching the gospel by emphasizing that the listeners would receive abundant rewards only if they accept Jesus.
The most commonly used strategy to preach the gospel is to emphasize that Jesus has blessed us in the flesh. And for this reason, Christians are also encouraged to preach the gospel to others. However, Paul did not use such tactics as his evangelizing method. On the contrary, Paul said, “The reason why I want to go to Rome and preach the gospel to you is because I want to tell you about the righteousness of God that I have received, so that you may also have the same faith. You can have this faith if you want it, and God’s righteousness is all ready for you.” Yet many people still do not believe in the righteousness of God, and therefore they are still under His wrath and at the risk of being forever condemned by His hands.
 
(Romans 1:19) “because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.”
To those who stand against the righteousness of God and do not believe in it, what may be known of God has already been given in two ways: One is the conscience that God has given them, and the other is the Natural Revelation of creation. By manifesting these things, God has made those who stand against Him know His existence as well as the fact that He is the God of love who has bestowed the grace of salvation on them. However, because most of them do not accept God’s love to the end even when they know this, they all deserve to bear the punishment of curse from God for their sins.
 
 
Even If One Were to Come up with Excuses
 
(Romans 1:20) “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,”
Those who are to bear the wrath of God will claim that they did not know about His existence. However, God has already manifested His existence to everyone through His creation. Therefore, those who do not believe in God, nor believe in the love of God’s righteousness even as they heard it from His evangelists, will not be able to excuse their sins. It’s His law of justice for God to apply the principle that “the wages of sin is death,” and cast sinners into their destruction. Whoever escapes from God’s law of love will be judged by God with His law of wrath, that is, His law of justice.
Toward the latter part Romans 1, Paul spoke about what will happen in the last days, saying that men and women will stand before God in silence. They will not be able to excuse their unbelief in God’s righteousness even if they were to try, and that the whole world will be under God’s judgment.
We are now living in the age of God’s grace. However, His wrath is still accumulating. We see the wrath piling up as a flood. My fellow believers, do not wait until you are buried in this wrath. Do not give excuses. Admit that you won’t be able to give any excuses for not believing in His righteousness before God, and escape from His wrath by holding onto His righteousness. To be saved from God’s wrath, there is no other way but to believe in His righteousness. You should remember that God has given the gospel of the water and the Spirit even to you, who do not know His righteousness, so that you, too, may be clothed in the righteousness of God.
 
 
This Passage Applies to Today’s Christians Also
 
(Romans 1:21) “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Who will bear the wrath of God? They are the Christian sinners who, while believing in God, have nonetheless not been delivered from their sins, for they do not believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that has glorified God and become His righteousness. Most Christians today are such sinners. In other words, while they do believe in God and in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they do not believe with their hearts the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, through which God has remitted away every sinner’s iniquities. This kind of faith is erroneous. Anyone who has this kind of faith stands against the love of God’s righteousness, even as such people profess to believe in Jesus. That’s why God said that He would make sure to bring His wrath upon such people.
This passage is fulfilled to today’s people also as written in the Bible. Because they do not know the righteousness of God, even as they claim to know Him, they do not thank Him, nor do they glorify Him, but their thoughts are filled with only futile thoughts. That’s why Paul explained the fearful state in which those who are exposed to the wrath of the Almighty God are placed, and what made them come under God’s wrath. The reason why they have become the objects of God’s wrath is because they have rejected the knowledge of the righteousness of God. This knowledge is the Truth that God has manifested Himself comprehensively through the nature and all things created in it, and has made us His children through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
By showing the wretched consequences that stems from rejecting the knowledge of God, the Apostle Paul sought to describe the future of mankind in more detail. The human heart is darkened by sin. When the righteousness of God is shown by the revelation of nature and written in the Word of the Bible, not to believe in it even as one sees it is to ask for God’s wrath on his own.
Who, then, can “glorify” God? He who has the proper knowledge of the righteousness of God can glorify Him. Only those who know that God is the Lord, holy, omniscient, unchanging, full of love, and righteous can glorify God.
The reason for man’s existence is to glorify God. But people do not like God because of His sovereignty over them. They dislike Him because His sovereignty negates their independence. They dislike Him because He is holy. God’s holiness points out their sins and condemns them, and because God is omniscient, people do not like Him. God’s omniscience makes them fearful, because they are afraid that their sins might be exposed. People do not like God also because God is unchanging. That God is unchanging means that His attributes are always the same without changing. Human beings do not like such truths. So they try to suppress these truths and to deny their existence. However, what is clear is that because of such human characteristics, people do not praise God.
Nonetheless, through the righteousness of God, people can obtain His mercy and come to glorify God. But that is possible only if one believes in the righteousness of God.
 
 
Foolish People
 
(Romans 1:22) “Professing to be wise, they became fools,”
Who are the fools? They are the ones who do not believe in the Word of God, and instead believe in themselves, thinking themselves to be wise. Since such people believe they are smart on their own, they don’t dwell too much on what the righteousness of God is and what their souls need, so they feel no need to believe in God. God described people like these as beasts that perish (Psalm 49:20).
What about you? Do you not consider yourself a good Christian, even as you do not know the righteousness of God? If so, then you must turn around from your foolish thoughts and believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. You will then receive the wisdom and salvation of God.
Sinners substitute God with material things. That’s why they’ve become fools. Fools act foolishly. They commit the foolish act of turning God into an image of a creature. This is why God’s servants must preach His righteousness to them. Unless they do so, mankind cannot hear God’s righteousness, and people will be destroyed as fools. However, God’s mercy is such that His righteousness is preached sufficiently even to the foolish people.
 
(Romans 1:23) “and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”
Those who are foolish before God give up their souls to Satan and idols, when they should partake in the glory of God instead. They will therefore suffer with the world when it’s destroyed, and be forever accursed.
Everyone needs the kind of faith that knows God properly and glorifies God properly. Anyone who worships God’s creatures as his god is a fool.
 
 
Many People Say to God, “Please Leave Me Alone!”
 
(Romans 1:24) “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,”
Those who are to be cursed by God are the ones who betray the Truth of His righteousness, disbelieve it and reject it. Such people live in this world according to the wishes of the lusts of their flesh. God leaves them alone to go on to commit their sins, and the reason why He does so is for them to fill the amount of their sins, so that they would surely be destroyed on the last day. That’s because God has mercy on whom He has mercy and condemns those whom He cannot help but condemn.
Ungodly people commit sin according to their lustful desires. The ultimate embodiment of carnal lusts is homosexuality. But, you should realize that the wrath of God is revealed “from heaven” against such sinners. Human beings, unaware of this wrath of God, insist to Him, “God, please leave me alone. Don’t try to reign over me; just leave me alone so that I can live my life as I wish.” People do not even wish to know the righteousness of God. This is a great sin. That’s why God leaves them alone under His wrath. However, like the father of the prodigal son, God is still waiting for the rebellious children of wrath to return. He is waiting for them to know His righteousness and come back to Him.
We must return to God. Our own wish, too, is to return to God, but the problem is that we cannot return to God through our own efforts. On the contrary, our own efforts can only bring the opposite results, making us depart from God and stand against Him.
In our flesh we think that God has taken away everything that can make us happy. We think that if we run away far from God, we would be happy and free. However, what we discover more and more as we run away further and further is not happiness, but misery. It’s not freedom that we see, but only our helpless weaknesses of the flesh. Therefore, we must give up our preposterous ideas, and obey God’s Word to receive His love of salvation freely.
God does not just leave mankind in futility, but He hands them over to His judgment. However, mankind can still overcome the judgment through their faith in the righteousness of God. By believing in God’s righteousness, they no longer have to be actually condemned for their sins; on the contrary, they will receive far better splendor.
 
(Romans 1:25) “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
God is to be forever praised by all of us. Far from praising God, however, there are those who disobey His will, exalting and worshiping human sexuality above the will of God. Homosexuals are at the extreme of such people. Even so, God’s righteousness is such that for even these people, if they believe in the gospel of His righteousness, their sins can be washed away as white as snow, and they, too, can become God’s children.
 
(Romans 1:26-27) “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
There are many people dying from AIDS on this planet. At this very moment, this disease continues to bring untold sufferings. It has been reported that AIDS is more infectious for homosexuals than heterosexuals. God abhors the sins and acts committed by homosexuals. Yet because human beings are weak, many still continue to commit these sins. They will however eventually come to bear the costs of their sins with their own bodies. But still, through the gospel of His righteousness, God has washed away all the sins that are in their souls.
Even if you have fallen into this sin, if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in which God’s righteous is manifested, then you, too, can be delivered from all your sins. God loves your soul. That’s why Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist to accept the sins of the world. He died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become your Savior.
For you to escape from the curses of disease and eternal death, there is no other way but to believe in the righteousness of God. If you believe in God’s righteousness, this righteousness of God will become yours. It’s my sincerest desire for you to have God’s blessings.
 
(Romans 1:28) “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;”
What consequences are brought about to those who do not wish to retain God in their hearts? Their hearts are injured. As a result, they end up committing all kinds of sins, and because of these sins, their souls are ultimately destroyed. They turn into truly wretched souls. It breaks our hearts to see that there are so many such souls on this planet. All of us believe that the gospel Word containing the righteousness of God is absolutely needed by them. That’s because they, too, can be saved from all their sins if they believe in God’s righteousness.
 
(Romans 1:29) “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,”
These sins are most prevalent among the Christians who believe in Jesus but have not been born again yet. Their sins are usually manifested in these forms, and the first of these is that their thoughts are evil. For those who do not believe in the righteousness of God, their hearts are ruled by Satan, and they commit countless sins that stem from their evil thoughts. Their hearts and acts are ugly and wicked. The hearts of sinners are filled with all kinds of greed, and full of desire to do evil. They like to talk about others behind their backs. God described such people as “a brood of evildoers” (Isaiah 1:4). However, these people, too, can still be washed from all their sins if they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and return to God. I pray that the righteousness of our God’s mercy is with you all.
 
(Romans 1:30) “backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,”
These are the list of sins committed by those who stand against the righteousness of God and do not believe in it. The hearts of sinners, which do not have the Holy Spirit, are filled with such sinful desires so much that their hearts are overflowing with them. First, they are prone to criticize others and have no mercy for anyone else. Second, they hate God. They torment and hate God’s people. Because their hearts are proud, they spend all their time boasting of their own righteousness. Third, they scheme to do evil. Such people disobey their own parents of the flesh and cause them heartache. However, even if they have lived this kind of life and committed all these sins until now, if they believe in the gospel where the righteousness of God is revealed, then they, too, can be freed from all their sins and receive everlasting life as sinless and righteous people. Therefore, all such people must also believe in Jesus as their Savior. Jesus, as their Savior, will then bestow the grace of the remission of sin on them and clothe them in the glory of Heaven.
 
(Romans 1:31) “undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;”
Because sinners’ minds are blinded, they are incapable of discovering the real Truth on their own. They betray their promises. They do cruel things that no human being should do. If their interests seem to be threatened, they resort to merciless acts to protect their interests. Because of such sins, they will face death and be cast into hell.
To them also, however, God has given the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the grace of salvation, and has thus granted them the opportunity to be saved. I thank the Lord.
 
(Romans 1:32) “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Everyone knows and believes that he would be sent to hell if he has sin. Yet despite this, sinners not only practice their sins, but they also like to provoke their fellow sinners to commit the same sins. They do this because they are seeds of evildoers. Therefore they will not be able to avoid the punishment for their sins. However, if they acknowledge before God that they are seeds of evildoers and return to the righteous salvation of God and believe in it, then they, too, will be remitted from all such sins.
The Lord has promised us all, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I admonish all of you to believe in this Word of the Lord, and to return to the faith that is placed in the gospel Word, the righteousness of God. Although all human beings are seeds of evildoers, if they believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, they can all be saved from their sins.