Romans 1:8-13


Romans 1:8     

 prwton   men  FIRST,  
I THANK         tw   qew  MY     mou  GOD         

dia   THROUGH       ihsou  JESUS   cristou  CHRIST  

uper  FOR      pantwn  ALL         umwn  YOU

 oti    h  THAT     pistiV  FAITH     umwn YOUR       

 kataggelletai    IS ANNOUNCED         en  IN

olw  WHOLE     tw  THE           kosmw  WORLD


The word “first” gives the impression that Paul is beginning with a list but he never arrives at a “second.” 

Paul’s use of the word must then be “of primary importance” or “Let me begin. . .”


Paul offers thanks to “my” God “through” Jesus Christ.

a)      Paul recognizes God’s work among the Romans

b)      Paul recognizes God as his personal God.  Paul identifies with his God.

c)      Paul uses the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ to offer this thanks to God.  Since Paul,
a mere man, does not have access to God accept through Jesus Christ.  Paul does not approach
God because he is an apostle, because he is obedient, because he is chosen.  Everything comes
from God to us through Jesus and everything goes from us to God through Jesus.

d)      Hebrews 13:15, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name."


Paul is thankful for “all” the believers.  Not the good ones, or the mature ones or the church leaders. 
He is thankful for every one of them that has placed faith in Christ.


Their “faith” is “announced” all over the world.

Paul does not say their “great” faith.  The fact that there are people in Rome with faith in            

Jesus Christ is noteworthy enough that missionaries, apostles, pastors and         
believers everywhere have made note of this fact. 

People are probably encouraged to accept Christ because even the citizens in the city of Rome have turned to Christ.

The phrase “the whole world” is probably a hyperbole and is focused on “the whole Christian world” that has been reached with the gospel.




Romans 1:9 

martuV  FOR      gar  WITNESS     mou  MY           estin    o IS      qeoV  GOD,   
 w   WHOM  latreuw  I SERVE     en    tw  IN      

 pneumati   mou  MY SPIRIT     en  IN       tw  THE  euaggeliw  GLAD TIDINGS      
OF       uiou  HIS autou   SON,         wV  HOW  adialeiptwV  UNCEASINGLY     
MENTION  umwn  OF YOU              poioumai  I MAKE,


“For” (left out of the NIV) gives more information concerning Paul’s prayer for the       Romans.

Besides giving thanksgiving for their faith he will say in verse 10 is to visit them.

In other letters Paul also mentions praying for the recipients of his letter.

1)      Consistency of his prayer

a.       1 Corinthians 1:4

b.      Ephesians 1:16

c.       Philippians 1:4

d.      Colossians 1:3

e.       1 Thessalonians 1:2

f.        2 Thessalonians 1:3

g.       Philemon 4

2)      Concern for the readers

a.       (same as above)

3)      Desire for their spiritual growth

a.       Ephesians 1:16b-19

b.      Philippians 1:9-11

c.       Colossians 1:9-11

d.      Philemon 6


“God. . .is my witness”

Paul uses this “call to be a witness” formula at other places where it is important to him   that his readers to know what he is saying is the absolute truth.

a)      2 Corinthians 1:23 – “I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.”

b)      Philippians 1:8, “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

c)      1 Thessalonians 2:5, 10 – “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed – God is our witness. . .
You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.”


But before Paul finishes his “call to be a witness” formula he digresses to affirm the        
sincerity and the motive for his ministry and why he would even be motivated to            
come to Rome.


Paul’s motive for doing anything of service to the Romans (including his prayers) is        
because he says it is “God whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son”.


Motivation:  Service to God and his Message - Paul stands before God motivated to serve

Production: The result is that Paul is preaching, praying and concerned about the Romans


Motivation is Vertical. . . . . . . . . toward God

Production is Horizontal . . . . . . .toward people


Worldly religion will reverse these:

a)      Producing to please God

b)      Motivated by people’s opinion


If we are motivated by God we can serve people.

If we are motivated by people we cannot serve God nor will we be helpful to people.


Notice in the Greek instead of  “with my whole heart” (NIV) it says en IN tw THE

 pneumati   SPIRIT   mou   OF ME"  


 adialeiptwV  UNCEASINGLY or in the NIV "constantly"

". . .I remember you in my prayers."

  • adialeiptwV - "without interruption, unceasingly, constantly"
  • Used in Greek to refer to a cough.
  • Here, and in verse 10 “always”, refers not to non-stop, constant prayer but to a consistent, disciplined practice of never failing to remember them in his prayers when he prays.
  • This is speaking of a disciplined prayer life with set times of prayer and a consistent reference to the Romans in those consistent prayers.
  • This does not mean that Paul never stops praying for the Romans every second of every minute (or once a minute, or once an hour, or once a day, or once a week, etc.)
  • Paul uses this adverb “adialeiptwV” three other times and each time he is using it in reference to prayer:
    • 1 Thessalonians 1:2 – “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before God  . . .”
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “We also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”


This could be translated:

            “how constantly I make mention of you, always at my prayers asking. . .”

            “how constantly I always make mention of you at my prayers, asking. . .”


The point is Paul is consistently praying for two things:

a)      For the Romans

b)      To visit the Romans


Romans 1:10 

pantote  ALWAYS      epi   twn  AT

 proseucwn    mou  MY PRAYERS

 deomenoV   BESEECHING,      eipwV  IF BY ANY MEANS       hdh  NOW            

euodwqhsomai  I SHALL BE PROSPERED       en  BY               tw  THE            
WILL      tou  OF      qeou  GOD  elqein  TO COME        
TO        umaV  YOU



Romans 1:11 

epipoqw  FOR I      gar  LONG         idein  TO SEE umaV  YOU        
THAT        ti   SOME

 metadw  I MAY IMPART        carisma  GIFT

 umin TO YOU          pneumatikon  SPIRITUAL,

 eiV  TO              to  THE [END]     

 sthricqhnai  BE ESTABLISHED         umaV  YE


Three reasons are listed in verses 11-15 for wanting to come to the Romans:

a)      Verse 11 – “to share some spiritual gift”

b)      Verse 13 – “to have a harvest”

c)      Verse 15 – “to preach the gospel”


“some spiritual gift” is not precisely known to us or even to Paul at the time of writing since he did not know what their
 needs where and what the Spirit would do until the moment when Paul was with the Romans.


“Spiritual Gift”

1 Peter 4:8-11

Romans 12:6-8


“Impart” is “metadw” means “to share with someone”

The Holy Spirit gives the gift and the Holy Spirit gives the manifestation:

1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. . .
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”






Romans 1:12 

touto   de    estin   THAT IS,

 sumparaklhqhnai   TO BE COMFORTED TOGETHER

 en  AMONG        umin YOU       dia THROUGH        thV  THE
 en IN          allhloiV   ONE ANOTHER        pistewV   FAITH,  umwn  BOTH      
YOURS       kai  AND       emou  MINE


The phrase  touto   de    estin   THAT IS:

·        is used only here in the Greek NT.

·        Implies that Paul is going to correct or clarify what he just said.

·        Paul is wanting to clarify or expand his last statement “to make you strong” and add to it “that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”


 sumparaklhqhnai   TO BE COMFORTED TOGETHER

  • Aorist Infinitive Passive
  • “to encourage together, to encourage mutually.”
  • Paul mentions this again in 15:32, “so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.”
    • “refreshed” here means “to rest together, to refresh together”
    • Or could be translated, “I may rest and refresh my spirit with you.”


“Faith” here may refer to the faith that comes with the gift.  Not salvation faith, and not the doctrine of core beliefs
called “the faith” but the faith (vision, purpose, manifestation) that comes with each individual gift


Romans 1:13

ou  BUT       qelw   I DO NOT      de  WISH     umaV  YOU        
 agnoein  TO BE IGNORANT,  adelfoi  BRETHREN,        
THAT  pollakiV  MANY TIMES      proeqemhn  I PROPOSED
 elqein  TO COME       proV  TO       umaV  YOU  kai  AND      
ekwluqhn  WAS HINDERED  acri  UNTIL      tou  THE         
PRESENT  ina  THAT      karpon  FRUIT       tina  SOME

scw  I MIGHT HAVE       kai   ALSO       en  AMONG umin  YOU       
ACCORDING AS       kai  ALSO       en  AMONG         
THE  loipoiV  OTHER          eqnesin   NATIONS


Paul has wanted to visit (verse 11), has prayed to visit (verse 10) Paul says here in verse 13 that he had made plans to visit Rome.


Notice the use of the “ignorant” formula – “I do not want you to be unaware (ignorant), brothers.”  This phrase is used by Paul when he wants to disclose or reveal information.

This is also used in:

  • Romans 11:25, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers. . . . .Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers . . . (then Paul lists a series of OT events) . . .These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:1, “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:8, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have not hope.”


Paul wants to have a harvest among the Romans with his apostolic gift. 

This would come in two basic ways:

a)      Evangelizing the Roman people and bringing in new believers

b)      Strengthening those who are currently members of the body of believers.


Paul then closes with a statement of apostolic confidence that agrees with God’s call on his life,  “a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.”

·        Paul knows his gift and knows the result of using that gift.

·        In verse 12 Paul is confident of the mutual benefit he and the Romans would share from each other, but here he is focusing on their benefit from his visit.