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1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
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;
1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
1:16 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.
1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
1:23 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.
1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

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Everything King James Bible:Romans

Verse 1:17 contains the infamous phrase:

The just shall live by faith

This was interpreted, from the Latin sola fide, by Martin Luther to mean that faith was all that was necessary to achieve salvation. This thelogical point sparked off the reformation.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Romans
Book: Romans
Chapter: 1

The Apostle's commission. (1-7) Prays for the saints at Rome,
and expresses his desire to see them. (8-15) The Gospel way of
Justification By Faith, for Jews and Gentiles. (16,17) The sins
of the Gentiles set forth. (18-32)

1-7 The doctrine of which the Apostle Paul wrote, set forth the
fulfilment of the promises By the prophets. It spoke of the Son
of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came
from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be
the Son of God, By the Divine power which raised him from the
dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional
knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings,
but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to
obedience of the Faith, who are effectually called of Jesus
Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are
beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved.
2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called,
called to be saints. These the Apostle saluted, By wishing them
Grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their
hearts, as springing from the free Mercy of God, the reconciled
Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord
Jesus Christ.

8-15 We must show Love for our friends, not only By praying for
them, but By praising God for them. As in our purposes, So in
our desires, we must remember to say, If the Lord will, Jas
4:15. Our journeys are made prosperous or otherwise, according
to the will of God. We should readily impart to others what God
has trusted to us, rejoicing to make others joyful, especially
taking pleasure in communing with those who believe the same
things with us. If redeemed By the Blood, and converted By the
Grace of the Lord Jesus, we are altogether his; and for his sake
we are debtors to all men, to do all the good we can. Such
services are our duty.

16,17 In these verses the Apostle opens the design of the whole
epistle, in which he brings forward a charge of sinfulness
against all Flesh; declares the only method of deliverance from
condemnation, By Faith in the Mercy of God, through Jesus
Christ; and then builds upon it purity of Heart, grateful
obedience, and Earnest desires to improve in all those Christian
graces and tempers, which nothing but a lively Faith in Christ
can bring forth. God is a just and holy God, and we are guilty
sinners. It is necessary that we have a Righteousness to appear
in before him: there is such a Righteousness brought in By the
Messiah, and made known in the Gospel; a gracious method of
acceptance, notwithstanding the guilt of our sins. It is the
Righteousness of Christ, who is God, coming from a satisfaction
of infinite value. Faith is all in all, both in the beginning
and progress of Christian Life. It is not from Faith to Works,
as if Faith Put us into a justified state, and then Works kept
us in it; but it is all along from Faith to Faith; it is Faith
pressing forward, and gaining the victory over unbelief.

18-25 The Apostle begins to show that all mankind need the
Salvation of the Gospel, because none could obtain the favour of
God, or escape his wrath By their own Works. For No Man can
plead that he has fulfilled all his obligations to God and to
his neighbour; nor can any truly say that he has fully acted up
to the Light afforded him. The sinfulness of Man is described as
ungodliness against the laws of the first table, and
unrighteousness against those of the second. The cause of that
sinfulness is holding the Truth in unrighteousness. All, more or
less, do what they know to be wrong, and omit what they know to
be right, So that the plea of ignorance cannot be allowed from
any. Our Creator's invisible power and Godhead are So clearly
shown in the Works he has made, that even idolaters and wicked
Gentiles are left without excuse. They foolishly followed
Idolatry; and rational creatures changed the Worship of the
glorious Creator, for that of brutes, reptiles, and senseless
images. They wandered from God, till all traces of true religion
must have been lost, had not the Revelation of the Gospel
prevented it. For whatever may be pretended, as to the
sufficiency of Man's reason to discover Divine Truth and moral
obligation, or to govern the practice aright, facts cannot be
denied. And these plainly show that men have dishonoured God By
the most absurd idolatries and superstitions; and have degraded
themselves By the vilest affections and most abominable deeds.

26-32 In the horrid depravity of the Heathen, the Truth of our
Lord's words was shown: "Light was come into the world, but men
loved Darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil;
for he that doeth evil hateth the Light." The Truth was not to
their taste. And we all know how soon a Man will contrive,
against the strongest evidence, to reason himself out of the
belief of what he dislikes. But a Man cannot be brought to
greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. As the
Gentiles did not like to keep God in their knowledge, they
committed crimes wholly against reason and their own welfare.
The nature of Man, whether pagan or Christian, is still the
same; and the charges of the Apostle apply more or less to the
state and character of men at all times, till they are brought
to full submission to the Faith of Christ, and renewed By Divine
power. There never yet was a Man, who had not reason to lament
his strong corruptions, and his secret dislike to the will of
God. Therefore this Chapter is a Call to self-examination, the
End of which should be, a Deep conviction of Sin, and of the
necessity of deliverance from a state of condemnation.

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