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A Brief Commentary on

Book of

The apostle Paul sends this letter to the church in Rome detailing
his doctrine, plans, and intent to visit Rome and thereafter Spain
while residing in Corinth through the hands of Phoebe


1. Author ……………………………………………………….2
2. Church in Rome …………………………………………….2
3. Purpose Of Writing ………………………….……..………3
4. Doctrines and its major theme……………………………..3
5. Chapter One ………………………………...………………4
6. Chapter Two ………………………………………………..5
7. Chapter Three ………………………….………….………..6
8. Chapter Four ……………………………..………..………..7
9. Chapter Five ………………………………….….………….8
10. Chapter Six …………………………..…………….………10
11. Chapter Seven …………………….……………….………11
12. Chapter eight……………………………………….………12
13. Chapter nine…………………….………………….………16
14. Chapter ten ………………………...……………….………20
15. Chapter eleven ………….………………………….………23
16. Chapter twelve …………………………………….………25
17. Chapter thirteen …………..………………………….……26
18. Chapter fourteen ………………………………….………27
19. Chapter fifteen……………………..……………….………28
20. Chapter sixteen…………………….……………….………30
Most quotations used herein are from King James Version of the Holy Bible

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


 Authorship

This book was written by Paul around 57 to 58 AD as the probable dates while staying
in the House of Gaius in Corinth. This is during his third Missionary Journey and is the
fifth book of the Pauline epistles. This was the time he was collecting the charity
collections to be taken to the churches in Judea. In his mind, he anticipated that after
delivery of the collections to Jerusalem, he was to visit them on his way to Spain
(Romans 15:23 – 25). He wrote this letter not only to introduce his gospel but also to
prepare them in advance of his intended visit to Rome and that when he arrives they
shall support him in his intended mission in Spain. This letter was delivered by Phoebe
who was a deaconess of the church of Chencrea (Romans 16:1-2) which was near
Corinth and was written through the hands of Tacitus as stated in Romans
16:22(amanuensis). The epistle of Romans is the longest of all letters written by the
apostle and it's both a linguistic and theological masterpiece, detailing the Gospel of
salvation to the Jewish and gentiles alike, putting all humanity under the same category
of equal sinners and in need of a saviour Jesus Christ.

 The Church in Rome

Rome was the Roman Empire capital and the seat of the Caesar, We are not sure who
started this church, however, there have been some suggestions that it could have been
started by:

1. Christians who were at the Pentecost who might have gone home and
evangelized their environs Acts 2:10
2. Christians from where Paul had reached before would have taken the gospel to

From what we get from the first chapter of the book and historical information we learn
that Paul had not visited Rome before and therefore expresses his interest to visit them
and impart some spiritual benefit their faith... Romans 1:10 – 13 and therefore did not
start the church.

By the time of writing to this church, we can say that this church was well known
because of their faith (Romans 1:8) and must have had good standing( Romans 15:13 –
14)as the apostle does not deal with any major issue on their part. Paul knew some
brethren by name though he had not visited them.

The Christian church in Rome probably was composed of several congregations who
met in several places separately, this view is strengthened by the way Paul sends

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


greetings in chapter 16, he names the people according to where and with whom they

 Purpose

This letter was written to the Romans as a preparation of his intended visit. And
therefore Paul introduces himself, his Gospel, and intentions of visiting and finally his
plans also to visit Spain.

 Doctrines taught in the book of Romans and its major theme

In a summary, Paul explains the Righteousness of God in a systematic discussion of the

doctrines of -

1. The universality of sin,

2. Justification by faith,
3. Judgment,
4. The election, and rejection of Israel
5. Respect for human administered governments.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



 Romans 1:1 -7 salutations

Paul starts by explaining who he is and his calling to apostleship by Jesus Christ, who in
flesh was of the lineage of David and was declared the son of God through the power of
God and resurrection from the dead and through him we are saints through obedience
that is through faith in Jesus Christ

 Romans 1:8 – 15 … his desire and plans

He informs the Romans of their well-spoken of faith and his prayers for them and his
request to God that he may visit Rome and how his former plans to visit were impeded
severally. He expresses his desire to bear fruit or impart their faith positively to them
who are in Rome.

 Romans 1:16-17 the Gospel in a nutshell

Paul says he is not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation. The
Greek term salvation is Soteria which means

 To rescue or safety (physically or morally) in KJV it has been translated to:

deliver, health, salvation, save, saving

 Romans 1: 18- 27… God’s wrath

I. Sin and all unrighteousness… vs. 18

II. Atheism… vs…19-20
III. Idolatry … vs…21-23,25
IV. homosexuality and lesbianism (sexual perversion)… vs….26-27
 Romans 1:28-32 … consequences of sin and judgment
I. A Reprobate mind is a depraved, unworthy, un acceptable or evil
II. All manner of sins vs. 29-31
III. The Judgment of God is death not only to them but those who rejoice
or support them.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



 Romans 2:1-16…. equity of judgment

I. Whosoever condemns others peoples sins is as guilty as they are if
he/she is a doer of the same sins... vs. 1-2.
II. Gods judgment is Just and truthful… vs. 3 and 6-8
III. Gods patience and forbearing is meant to create a chance for
repentance before judgment is meted out and should be taken
seriously… vs. 4
IV. Non repentance invites Gods judgement….. vs 5.
V. Gods reward is according to one's deeds and is not partial….…vs 6 -16
 To those who are obedient to him are rewarded by immortality
and eternal life.
 To the rebellious shall receive affliction and distress
VI. Both Jews and Gentiles alike shall be equal before God in the day of

 Romans 2: 17-29… unfaithful Jews

In these verses, Paul informs the Jews of their inability to keep the law of God

I. Jewish pride based on the law of Moses …vs. 17-20

They viewed themselves as:
 Guides and teachers to the gentiles in the matters of God
 The only recipients and holders of the instruments of God (law).
II. Jewish hypocrisy in regard to the law…21-24
 Though they were in possession of and taught and prided in the law yet
in Practice they broke every bit of the law thus were also found to be
offenders of the same law just like everybody else.
III. Equal standing in the sight of God of a Jew and a gentile… vs.25-29

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



 Romans 3:1-3….. the advantages of a Jew

The law of God was given to them and by some not believing in God does not nullify
the promises of God.

 Romans 3:4-8… God is not glorified through man’s sin

God does not gain anything or any glory from man’s wrongdoing otherwise he would
have no authority to judge the world as he would be a beneficiary of their actions and
therefore any judgment to man would be unjust.

 Romans 3:9-20… all MEN have failed!

Paul states that whether one is a Jew or a gentile they are all under sin and he thus
quotes from the old testament scriptures psalms, 5:9,14:3,140:3 and Isaiah 59:7-8 to
prove his case and the indictment of all men. In verse 20 he authoritatively states that
“by the deeds of the law” no man or flesh can be justified in the sight of God.

 Romans 3:21-31 arguments for Gods righteousness through faith

In those verses, Paul argues on the failure of the Law in justifying those who are under
it. From verse nineteen he argues that the main work of the Law is to show or point or
inform a man about sin, in that the apostle shows that after the law pinpoints to a man
his sin it brings up the guilt emanating from the said sin but the law does not remove
the sin and the guilt thereof. Verse 21 now offers a solution to the whole issue as he
states that now the righteousness of God is manifested being witnessed by two major
witnesses these are: the law and the prophets.

In other words, the law and the prophets pointed to all men the righteousness of God
which was to come through faith in Jesus Christ as stated in verse 22. In the following
verse, the apostle states clearly that the Jews and all other men had equally sinned and
had equally fallen short of the grace of God and therefore all are in need of a saviour
and a redeemer. In verse 23 he shows the universality of sin by using the word "all",
therefore giving all men an equal status before God i.e. all are sinners. However, the
Grace of God through Jesus Christ is the one that justifies all who come to Christ
through faith. The other following verses state clearly that all men, whether Jews
Greeks or Barbarians all are justified by faith through Jesus Christ and no one should
boast as Gods righteousness is by faith and not works.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



 Romans 4:1-23……Abraham’s faith as an example

The apostle Paul uses the patriarch Abraham's faith in God as an example to confirm his
argument on Faith versus works as the vehicle for Gods justification. In his statement,
he reminds the Romans that the time that Abraham believed God and was imputed as
righteous before the covenant of circumcision was given. He further explains that
circumcision was a seal of an already faith which he had before he was circumcised. In
verse 6 quotes Psalms 32:2, the blessedness that comes with justification and forgiveness
of sins in this Paul explains this blessedness is for everyone both Jews and the gentile

In verses, Paul states that the promise given by God to Abraham and his seed was one
of faith and not the law and hence whosoever believes becomes an heir of that
Abrahamic promise. In verse 18 - 22 the apostle reveals the strength of Abrahamic faith
through well-chosen strong words e.g.

 Calls those things which are not as though they are

 Against hope believed in hope
 Not weak in faith
 Considered not his body
 Deadness of Sarah’s womb
 Staggered not at the promise of God
 Fully persuaded

In the last verses i.e. 24 and 25, Paul states that the imputation was not Abrahams alone
but also ours after we believe in Jesus Christ.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



 Romans 5:1-5… Justification by faith and the peace with God

The Apostle Paul starts the chapter by explaining the benefits of justification by faith
which are
1. We have peace with God
2. Access to the grace of God
3. We rejoice in Hope of the Glory of God
4. The love of God is in our hearts

 Salvation from God’s wrath Romans 5:6-11

The apostle puts it very well that when we were without strength or weak Christ died
for us who were wicked. An act that is amazing since even for a righteous man no other
human being would even attempt to die for him, but God in exhibiting his love for us
sent his son to die for us. The blood that was shed on the cross has saved us from the
wrath to come that is the judgment of God that shall be poured upon them who refused
to believe in Jesus Christ. In this Paul puts a distinction between them who shall be
saved from God’s wrath and them who shall receive it. In verse 11 he says we shall not
only be saved by his life but also rejoice in the reconciliation with God that we have
received through Jesus Christ.

 The Argument on the Origin of death and sin …Romans 5:12 -14

He explains that the actions of the first man Adam, brought sin and condemnation to
the world (his descendants) through his disobedience to God, thereby rendering all
human beings sinners and therefore death was passed on all men. But thank God, He
has given us the free gift of his grace through Jesus Christ by which we are delivered
from the power of sin and death and unto justification by faith/

 Romans 5:17- 21......The Grace of God

Here the apostle Paul explains that just as the offence committed by one man Adam
brought death to the whole human race, in an equal manner will the obedience of one
person Jesus Christ shall justify many through the grace of God and shall receive the

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


abundance of life through him, therefore as the offence brought judgment and
condemnation even so the righteousness of Jesus Christ shall make many righteous.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



Paul starts with a question “ what shall we say then?”, this is prompted but his last
words in chapter five where he says that where sin abounds then grace abounds more.
In relation to that statement, he now lays down an argument that is well spread in this
chapter. Arguing that we cannot continue in sin that the grace of God may abound

 Romans 6:1 - 11…….our death to sin, Burial and resurrection

In verse two the apostle states that we are dead to sin, therefore we cannot any longer
live in sin> just as dead men don’t live in the earth any longer but are buried and cease
to work, be seen or even continue their former lifestyle so do we after we received Jesus
Christ and were born again in likewise manner we died to the world of sin and all its
power and authority. He affirms his argument by authoritatively stating that we were
baptized (immersed) into Jesus Christ and were buried with him into his death and Just
as he rose from the death we rose into another life…the life of righteousness and the
glory of God.

In verse 5 and 6 he says we were planted together in the likeness of his death and our
former self is crucified with him so as to destroy completely the body of sin that we
should not serve it as through this we died with him so that afterwards we should live
with him. In reference to living with him the apostle uses the future tense in using the
word “shall”, this signifies the apostle anticipated a later salvation when the real body
of flesh shall be done away with and death shall have been defeated and all who are in
Christ shall be raised never to die again. He affirms this hope in verses 7 to 9. He goes
on to tell the Romans to reckon themselves (take into consideration or judge) as in
actuality to be dead unto sin.

 Romans 6: 12-22……Whom we are supposed to serve

In verse 12 and 13, Paul exhorts the church not to let sin reign or take control or rule in
their bodies as it would make them obey the sinful lusts of the flesh but that they yield
to God and offer themselves to righteousness. He explains that a man is enslaved by the
master he or she yields to and each master has a reward, i.e. those who obey sin, their
reward is death and unrighteousness while those who obey righteousness and have
become its servants get everlasting life.

 Romans 6:23….. the wages of sin

This is among the famous scripture quotes of all time, detailing the end product or the
fruit of sin which is separation from God, either in this world or forever while in Gods'
hand is the gift of life through Jesus Christ.
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


In this chapter, Apostle Paul uses life in marriage to show the application and to what
extent does the law binds a person

Romans 7:1-6 …….the example from a marriage

Paul uses what the Romans could understand better and that is the relationship
between a husband and his wife. Paul uses the woman as an example of being bound to
her husband as long as he is alive, she cannot depart and be married to another man
unless the husband dies and she is freed from the law which bound her to that man (The
law binds both as long as they are alive none of the two can leave the marriage union and get
married to another person as long as the other spouse is alive). From verse four, Apostle Paul
reminds the Romans that they died to the law and hence it has no power over them.
Moreso they are now married to someone else who rose from the dead. He goes on to
say that while we lived in the flesh, sin worked in us and this resulted in death but now
we are redeemed from the law, we are no longer in bondage, we are to live in newness
of the spirit and not the former laws and regulations. In these verses Paul explains that
we died to the law, therefore, it has no rule neither does it hold us any longer and we
are therefore free to be married to Jesus Christ(who rose from the dead)

 Romans 7:7-25 ……..is the law evil?

Paul explains the purpose of the law as the instrument that made him to know sin.
Since it's the law that prohibits one from doing certain things. He goes on to say that the
law is good and was destined to life but sin took occasion through the limitations and
the commandments of the law bringing up in a man all manner of lust which when
fulfilled bears forth sin which in turn bring death. The carnal man is sold under sin as it
rules him doing the things that the person did not intend to. This is because of the sin
that flames the lust that is in his or her flesh and thus the person dwells in sin and
exceeds in it.
In view of that Paul calls himself wretched because of the flesh that always works
against the willingness to live a righteous life.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 5 25 I thank
God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God; but with
the flesh the law of sin. 1

Romans 7:24-25
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


In the final remarks in chapter seven, Paul shows a man who is under law and bondage
who needs a deliverer. For anyone who studies the scripture if he ends with the last
verses in chapter seven, then the person would think there is no hope for them who are
saved as they are in a daily struggle and without a way out of their bondage. In this
chapter eight now Paul distinguishes between a carnal man as stated in chapter seven
and a spiritual man who is willing to live after the righteousness of God.

 Romans 8:1-5

The people who are not condemned must be in Jesus Christ and also walk after the
spirit. This shows that those who though are in Christ but follow the things of the flesh
can be or are condemned to die. In verse two the apostle says that he is now free from
the law of sin and death through the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. He goes on to say that
what the law was unable to do i.e. to deliver all who were in bondage of sin, God sent
Jesus Christ in the likeness of humankind that he might conquer sin while in the human
flesh and later to die on the cross for sin thereby becoming a savior of all who comes to
him because he also overcame. John puts it in these words in John 1:12-14

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even
to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full
of grace and truth. 2
In verse 4 and 5 that the righteousness of God is fulfilled in us who walk in the Spirit for
them who are in the flesh will only mind the things of the flesh.

 Romans 8:6- 12

The end of all who are carnal or follow the things of the flesh is death (total separation
from God) but those who mind the things of the spirit they are assured of peace and
life. Paul states that a carnal mind is always in enmity with God since that mind does
not subject to God and indeed it cannot, therefore all who in the flesh cannot please
God as they are in enmity with Him.

But now in addressing the Romans he tells them that they are not in the flesh if the
Spirit of God dwelt in them and finalizes that verse by saying that if any man did not
have the Spirit of Christ then he did not belong to him. In this reference of the Spirit of
Christ, I think Paul did not mean the Holy Spirit as the third member of the trinity but

John 1:12-14
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017

The Spirit of the son Jesus who through our invitation to take control of our lives during
salvation now becomes our master and we are his possession. When read in context
with the following verse 10 then one becomes dead to sin when Christ enters our lives(
in a Spiritual perspective since he is not seen entering the life of an individual with
physical eyes)

In verse 11 here Paul also speaks about the Spirit of the Father who raised Jesus Christ
from the dead, who also give new life or energy to our bodies. Therefore in
summarizing the above Paul encourages the Romans in verse 12 to 13 to live after the
Spirit and to put to death all the deeds of the flesh so that they may live.

 Romans 8:14-23……. our adoption as children and heirs and future glory

He exhorts the church that they did not receive the Spirit of Fear, but were adopted into
the kingdom of God and therefore we call upon God our father and the Spirit of God
bears witness with our human spirit that we are the children of God. John 1:11-13 says
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as
received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 3

We are now joint heirs with Christ on the things of God and in due time God shall
glorify us together with Jesus Christ. In verse 18 Paul says he did not consider his
suffering worthy to be compared or likened to the glory that shall be revealed in us
when God shall glorify his sons.

Verses 19 to 22 Paul explains that the creature which has been in bondage of corruption
(death) lives in earnest expectation and hope of the revelation of the children of God for
at that time it shall be delivered from corruption and share in the liberty of the children
of God. In that, he says that all creation today groan and travails that this deliverance
should come (was Paul referring to the rule of Christ in the millennium or eternity?). In verse
23 he says even we do groan that our bodies to delivered from the corruption that we
put on the incorruptible one, in this, we are patiently waiting for this to happen.

John 1:11-13 (KJV)

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


 Romans 8:26 – 31 ….Gods advance decree

Paul in verse 26 and 27 states that the Spirit( in this case he is referring to the Holy
Spirit) who helps our weak bodies or weak abilities as we are in a corruptible body, the
spirit, in this case, helps us in prayer ( groaning) as we do not know or are incapable to
pray as Gods expects us to . He groans within us praying and interceding for us for the
Father (who searches the hearts) knows the mind of the Spirit i.e. what the Holy Spirit is
intending or praying about, for he the Holy Spirit know Gods will. In the following
verse, he says all things work for good (as stated in verse 26 and 27 ….. The Spirit prays for
us and the father knows what is in the mind of the Spirit and therefore does according to the
requests and intercessions of the spirit) that the purposes of God be fulfilled in us.

In verses 29 to 30, he reveals that God decreed how our lives are to be like or be in line
with that of his son Jesus Christ. God in his immense knowledge did plan and decree
our lives in advance however we have to accept or deny this plan or decree. For those
who accept and are justified are the one the Spirit prays and intercedes for according to
God’s will planned in advance (predestined)

Romans 8:31 – 39…… the five major questions……

1. What shall we then say to these things

2. If God be for us who can be against us
3. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he
not with him also freely give us all things?
4. Who is he that condemneth?
5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?4

These questions are founded on the arguments dealt with earlier.

 The first question deals with our response to the things that God has done for us.
 The second question shows that in the things that God has done is because he
was on our side and therefore Paul asks who can be against us. That does not
mean we do not face opposition but it says all opposition against us has a
formidable person to deal with i.e. God.
 The third shows that if God did not spare his son from the rigours of crucifixion
death and resurrection for the sake of our deliverance and being the only
begotten one, shall he deny us the things we need? Surely no but he shall
through him deliver to us freely all things. This shows that God can give all he
has to what and where he intends to and for His purpose!

Romans 8:31-35 (KJV)
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017

 The fourth one deals with the issue of our Justification, For Jesus died for our
sins and rose again for our justification and intercedes for us, this is to mean
whoever God has justified nobody can condemn him or her or disapprove. To
strengthen this God spoke to Peter in Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)

..On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter
went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very
hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had

been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein
were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping
things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill,
and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is
common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What
God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 5

 The last one Paul asks who shall separate us from the love of Jesus Christ if he
did all to the point of death to redeem us, justify, and glorify us, then what
should separate us from him. This is to inform us the happenings, the situations
we pass through, lack etc. cannot and are not meant to separate us from the love
of Jesus Christ.

In concluding the matter the apostle coined the famous quote in verse 37 …..in these
things we are more than conquerors through him, that loved us…

In the two last verses, he speaks of his faith and persuasion that nothing can separate us
from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ, not even hunger perils or human
problems. We need therefore rejoice in God who did plan all this to the benefit of the

Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


The election of the tribe of Israel

Paul brings up an argument of Israel’s election in the following chapters 9-11,

discussing their present state and the future that awaits them. In this argument, he
shows his personal desire for their knowledge of Jesus Christ/ some people dispute in
these chapters on the stand and state of the relationship between the church and the
nation of Israel specifically on Israel’s election by God.

 Romans 9:1-2……… Paul’s sorrow

In the verses above the apostle now explains his personal feelings on his countrymen
and his desire that they may know Christ and even says that it was better he be
accursed from Christ for their sakes. This shows his agony he had on the unbelieving

 Romans 9:3-5……… Israel’s privileges

 The adoption to be sons of God had belonged to them and the glory
 The covenants were all meant for them both old and new
 Had the privilege to serve God
 Had all the promises God had promised them through their father.
 Christ came from their lineage (tribe of Judah)

Paul was sorrowful that even with these privileges the children of Israel enjoyed above
the other nations, they still refused to obey God and did not believe in Jesus Christ who
was their messiah

 Romans 9:6 - ……does Israel’s refusal make Gods promise of no effect?

In dealing now with this question Paul puts a strong defence of the faithfulness of God
irrespective of Israel’s unbelief

In verse 6 –17 Paul explains that the children of Israel, their selection was not based on
works but a promise that God made long before their fathers were born. He cleverly
uses the example of Gods promise to Abraham made before the birth of Isaac and the
birth of Isaacs children where their future was stated even before their birth. In these
words, Paul intended to put across Gods sovereign choice that he exercises on men for
it is he who calls.

In verse 14 to 17, Paul explains that there is no injustice with God, quoting the words
God did speak to Moses expressing his sovereignty in showing compassion and mercy
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017

even to the point of raising someone to be used as media of showing Gods power to the
other people.

 Romans 9:18 – 24……Paul’s explanation of Gods sovereign power

To avoid fatalism (fatalism is a doctrine that is philosophical and states that all occurrences or
events are preplanned or predefined in advance and no human being can change them) and any
prosperous suggestion on anyone Paul explains that just as the potter has absolute
power over clay as he works on it and the finished work cannot question the porter as
to why he modelled it in the way he did. Paul argues that if a potter has such discretion
why not God over humans who are his creation?

Other scriptures support this stand e.g.

 Isaiah 29:16 (KJV)

16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's
clay: for shall, the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the
thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? 6

 Isaiah 45:9-10 (KJV)

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the
potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest
thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father,
What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? 7

In view of the above verses (18 -24), Paul shows the God will show mercy or power of
his wrath through other human beings universally whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

 Romans 9:25 – 30……Israel’s rejection and gentiles calling foretold.

Paul uses several Old Testament texts to show the acceptance of Gentiles as the people
of God and the rejection of the Jewish nation. He quotes Isaiah the prophet who

Isaiah 29:16 (KJV)

Isaiah 45:9-10 (KJV)
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017

prophesied that though Israelites are many yet a few shall be saved. And the other
quotation is based in Hosea 2:23 (KJV) which states;

And I will sow her unto me in the earth, and I will have mercy upon her
that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my
people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.8

In view of the above verses, it is then clear that the Gentiles who did not seek after the
righteousness of God through the law now attains the righteousness of God through
faith but Israel who followed the law failed to attain the righteousness of God through
their unbelief. Jesus also spoke of the same in Matt 21:41-43 (KJV)

They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his
vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus
saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our
eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to
a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 9

His rejection by the nation of Israel cleared the way for Gentiles to be saved, this is also
confirmed by the Apostle John in John chapter 1:10-12 (KJV)

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him
not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name:10

 Romans 9:32 – 33 ……why Israelites failed

Paul states that the failure of Israelites in attaining the righteousness of God lay in their
approach to God. They sought God and his righteousness through the law and by the
works can no man be saved! They could not believe in Jesus as their Messiah and

8 Hosea 2:23 (KJV)

9 Matt 21:41-43 (KJV)

10 John 1:10-12 (KJV)

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


therefore stumbled at him and thereby full filing the prophecy made by Isaiah in chapter
8:14-15 (KJV)

And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to
both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And
many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.11

11 Isaiah 8:14-15 (KJV)

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



In this chapter, the apostle Paul explains the difference between the righteousness of the
law and the righteousness that if faith through Jesus Christ. He explains that even the
Gentiles will receive the word of God and be saved and sensationally states that both
the Gentiles and Jews who believe in Jesus Christ will never be ashamed. Were the
Israelites aware of this? Surely yes they had been forewarned by Moses and Isaiah the
prophet, however, they did not take heed.

 Romans 10:1-3…Paul’s prayer and desire

Paul expresses his desire and prayer for his kinsmen the Jews who had a zeal for God
which was visible in all their actions events and ceremonies but was not founded in the
righteousness of God but established their own personal righteousness thus failing
from the intended achievement of the will of God

 Romans 10:4-10…. the law versus faith

From the third chapter of this book, Paul has stated clearly that the law and its
righteousness could not save a man. To cement his teaching he quotes from the book of
Leviticus and Deuteronomy which says
Lev 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he
shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Deut 30:11 – 14 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden
from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall
go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is
it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it
unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy
mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

In his sermon at a synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, he clearly stated the following

words Acts 13:38-41 (KJV)

…Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached
unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all
things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest
that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41 Behold, ye despisers, and

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise
believe, though a man declare it unto you. 12

The above text shows Paul’s vast knowledge of Justification by faith and he urges the
Jews not to fulfil the prophecy made against them. In this chapter, he explains referring
to the book of Deuteronomy 30:11-14 where faith emanates from and how it works.
Faith is an admission of belief and thereafter a profession (an open verbal affirmation and
acceptance of your belief) is made and the person is saved for first you must admit and
believe in Jesus Christ then confess with your own mouth of the faith you have received
and salvation is achieved thereby putting to rest that you cannot believe in Jesus Christ
with the heart alone without your professing the same verbally.

 Romans 10:11-17………..no shame for believers

In the above verses, Paul states that both Jews and Gentiles who are believers have an
assurance and shall never be ashamed. From verse fourteen Paul stresses the need of
preaching the gospel and puts a very good chain of delivery of the message
1. First is locating the preacher
2. Then sending the preacher
3. The message is delivered by the preacher
4. Believing the message
He also states that there is no difference between the gentiles and the Jews in matters of
faith as they have the same Lord and he hears all that call upon him. In verse 17 Paul
says that faith comes into being after a person hears the word of God and he gets the
sense of the message heard.

 Romans 10:18-21…..Israel had been forewarned

This message was preached everywhere but Israel ignored it though they had been
forewarned by Moses in Deut 32:20-21 (KJV)

And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they
are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. 21 They have moved me to
jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities:

Acts 13:38-41 (KJV)

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them
to anger with a foolish nation. 13

And the prophet Isaiah predicted in chapter 65:1-2 of a people who God was to manifest
to them although the nation did not seek after God earlier while lamenting of Israel’s
hardness of heart and constant disobedience to God who stretched his hands to them
but they kept on running away from him

Deut 32:20-21 (KJV)

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



In Chapter nine and ten Paul deals with Israel’s unbelief and now in this chapter he
explains that God had not utterly cast his people but he still has a remnant just as in the
days of King Ahab when most people had gone after Baal when God told Elijah (1
Kings 19: 10-18) that he had seven thousand people who had not worshipped Baal.
Even this time when unbelief seems to engulf the whole Nation God has a remnant
through the election of grace.

Romans 11:1-14………Israel has a remnant

Paul explains that God has not utterly cast away his people but has a remnant, reserved,
through the election of God's grace. This is not hinged on merited works but merely on
Gods unmerited favour. Paul's hypothesis is that the Israelites have not fallen forever,
but their current unbelief and blindness of their hearts was for a very important
purpose … the salvation of the Gentiles… the apostle says that this opening for the
salvation of the Gentiles was meant to provoke the Israelites to Jealousy. He theorizes
that if their fall is a benefit to the word how much more will their salvation and election
bring to the world.

Romans 11:15 -24 …..Israel’s present predicament

Paul states that he desires some that are of his flesh to be saved. He uses an analogy of
the dough and the tree to show that Israel is not cast away yet. In his submissions he
states that Israel is like an olive tree whose branches were cut so that the Gentiles can be
grafted in and shred in the ample feed from the roots and the stump, therefore, the
Gentiles should not boast or speak ill of those cast away since they are supported by the
stump and the roots of the original tree they were grafted into. God did cut off Israel
who were the natural branches because of their unbelief, this should act as a warning to
everyone not to boast but to fear God lest you also be cast off. He states that if Israel
changes their stand and leaves their unbelief they shall be grafted in for he is able to
graft the again. Paul cautions the Gentiles who were cut from a wild olive tree and
grafted into a good olive tree how much more will the Israelites be returned to their
former stump when the fullness of the Gentiles is complete.

Romans 11:25 - 32….. Israel’s salvation

He reiterates that the blindness or unbelief on the part of Israel is a benefit to the
Gentiles and it shall continue until the fullness of the gentiles is accomplished then
Israelites who shall be alive shall all be saved as a nation. In support of this opinion,
Paul Quotes from the Old Testament books which speak about Gods saving Israel, and
states that Gods election and salvation of Israel cannot be revoked for his Gifts and
callings are irrevocable.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


Romans 11:33 – 36 ….Gods unsearchable judgements

In these verses, Paul exclaims that the depth of Gods riches in wisdom and judgement
cannot be reached by human beings, for no human being can counsel Him, or give him
something so that the giver is to be paid back by God. He concludes by saying that all
things were made by Him and all things live by him, all glory belongs to him forever
and ever.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



In this chapter apostle, Paul exhorts the Roman church about their consecrated
Christian life and conduct in humility with love.

Romans 12:1-2 …… exhortation to a consecrated life

In the above verses, Paul exhorts the church to offer themselves as live sacrifices to God
which he calls a reasonable service. He also advises them not align themselves with the
actions of the unsaved people of this world but to be totally changed through their
renewal of the mind, through this they shall be able to prove Gods perfect and well-
pleasing will.

Romans 12:3- 8 ….. Different gifts and grace

In the above verses, Paul requests this church to conduct themselves in humility, to be
sober in judgement since they are members of one another. More so he informs them
that they were given different gifts and this is by the grace of God according to the
measure of faith each person had. To cement his argument he uses the analogy of a
human body which has many parts with different functions yet it is the same body, he
informs them that we also are different individual persons but members of the body of
Jesus Christ. Therefore whoever serves, he or she should do it without pride knowing it
is God who has given the person the gift he or she is exercising.
The gifts outlined are as follows
1. Prophecy... to be done according to the proportion of Faith
2. Serve…..one must serve
3. Teaching
4. Exhortation(encouraging or inspiring)
5. Giving ……with sincerity
6. Leadership ……with diligence
7. Showing mercy ….. with cheerfulness

Romans 12:9- 21 ……all conduct be motivated by love

He cautions the brethren that they are not supposed to be hypocritical in their love to
one another, more so they were to hate all evil. Their relationship towards one another
should be dedicated to mutual love, honouring each other. He encourages them to be
zealous and enthusiastically serve the lord. In verse 12 to 20, he gives guidance on how
to exhibit good Christian life virtues and to desist from revenge but to give God a
chance to avenge them himself. In concluding this chapter he gives a very strong advice
to the church to overcome all evil with good.
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


In this chapter the apostle advocates for the submission to authorities and governments
by all church members. He also summarizes that fulfilment of the whole law is achieved
through love and finally call the church to wake up from spiritual slumber

Romans 13:1-7 …….submission to authorities

He exhorts all members to be subject to all authorities as they are instituted by God. He
firmly states that those who resist authorities are rebellious to what God has put in
place and shall suffer judgement. He supports his views by stating that authorities and
rulers do not inspire fear to those who do well but to the evil, therefore if anyone
wanted commendation from the rulers he or she should do what is good. Paul states
that rulers are Gods servants who are there to benefit the people they rule or govern,
they also avenge on Gods behalf to those who are evil and do what is wrong. Verse 5 to
7 he counsels them to remit what they are supposed to pay to the authorities be it taxes
or other kinds of revenue due to the rulers

Romans 13:8-10 ……..the law fulfilled by love

He encourages them not to be in debt in anything apart from loving one another as all
the commandments are fulfilled by love since no one who loves his neighbour would
even want to wrong him.

Romans 13:11-14……Call to wake up

He reminds the church that time has elapsed from the time they accepted Christ and
therefore his return is nearer than the time they did believe in him. He exhorts them to
wake up, to drive his point home he uses the night as an example to show that the time
of the second coming of Christ is at hand and everyone should cast away anything that
is evil and walk in righteousness. In verse 13 and 14 he lists down the evil acts the
Roman church was to avoid and instead they were to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and
not to provide any space for the flesh to satisfy its desires.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



In this chapter Paul deals with disputes and differing opinions arising from foods eaten
or abstained by brothers, he explains in depth how the brothers who are strong and
weak in faith are to relate to one another without judgment either for or against their
preferences in food.

Romans 14:1-4 ….. Do not judge one another on foods

Paul advises the church not to have disputes emanating from their different opinions on
food. He counsels the strong in faith, to receive the weak ones without raising the issues
of contentions as to why they are abstaining certain foods. Even the weak should not
judge the strong on the basis of their partaking all kind of food. He states that it's only
the master who can conclude that the servant is either fallen or standing.

Romans 14:5 –12…… judgment based on days of worship

The church also was to receive mutually the people who regarded some days to be
holier than others while others regarded all days are equal. These disputes were to be
done away with as those who observed one day to be holier than the others were doing
it in honour of God even the ones with different opinions did it for the same purpose.
He states that since they all live and die for God, we all have a common goal, and Christ
died for them all, hence no one should judge the other person on either eating or
abstaining any food, observance of a day or regarding all days as equal for every one
shall give an account of himself to God.

Romans 14:13 – 23 …….the best practice

Paul gives his opinion on the best way forward and that is everyone should determine
never to place a stumbling block on the way which would cause a sister or brother
stumble in his faith. All actions to be guided by love, nobody should destroy a brother
or sister because of food. In verse 16 he states that the kingdom of God hinged on food
but Righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. In verse 19 to 22, he states that all
are to pursue what is peaceful and should take care not to destroy Gods work because
of food. Finally, he says that is good not to eat or drink that which will cause the other
person to stumble for whatever that does not proceed from faith is sin.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017



Paul sums up the topic in chapter thirteen by using Christ as an example whom all
should emulate. He goes on to say that Jesus Christ is the hope for all Jews and gentiles
combined. In this chapter, he introduces his ministry of apostleship to the gentiles and
his plans to visit Rome.

Romans 15:1-7.... Obligations of the strong

Paul exhorts the strong in faith to help the weak and bear with their weakness
intending to build them up. He asserts that each should please the other person and
uses the humility of Christ as an example who did not seek his own. He says that the
scriptures are written to instruct us so that we may be encouraged and endure in hope.
He prays that God may grant them the ability to endure and live in harmony glorifying
God. He concludes this topic by requesting the church in Rome to receive one another
just as Christ received them.

Romans 15:8 -13…..Christ the hope of the Gentiles and Jews alike
Paul informs the Church that although Christ was the son of God yet he became a
servant to the Jews so as Gods truthfulness be confirmed by fulfilling the promises
made to the fathers by God. This also applied to the Gentiles, in verse 9 to 12 he quotes
the promises God made to the Gentiles on their becoming an heir of his kingdom. These
are 2 Sam 22:50; Ps 18:49, Deut 32:43, Psalms 117:1, Isaiah 11:1-10 he also prays that God
may fill them with peace and joy by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13-21 …… His apostleship

He informs this church that he is happy with the church though he had written some
things with boldness, he states this was to remind them of the GRACE OF God
bestowed on him as he ministered to the Gentiles. He informs them that he rejoices in
his work he had wrought in Christ Jesus, and the extent he had preached the Gospel all
the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum( eastern shore of the Adriatic sea), where nobody
else had preached about Jesus Christ. He reveals that he did not want to build on other
persons work but to be a pioneer in the land of the gentiles displaying Gods power and
ability to the Gentiles through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:22 – 31……….His plans to visit Spain

He tells the church in verse 22 to 23 that after accomplishing his work in the lands
stated earlier ( from Jerusalem to Illyricum) he can now be able to visit other areas such
as Rome of which he had desired to visit many years but was hindered. He reveals to
Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017

them that he intends to pass by Rome on his way to Spain so that this church would
support him in this mission after he will have stayed in Rome for some time. In verse 25
to 29, he explains that he was on his way to Jerusalem to deliver the contributions for
the poor in Jerusalem and churches in Judea. He explains that the Gentiles who now are
sharing the spiritual blessings from the Jews had a right also to support them
Romans 15:30 – 33 ….. Request for prayers
He appeals to the church to pray for his protection from the Judaizers who have been
after his life wherever he went, specifically that now he was going to their headquarters
and that the collections he was to deliver to be accepted by the church. More so that
God will grant him a good journey to Jerusalem and even his intended visit to Rome.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


In this chapter, Apostle Paul writes personalized greeting to his friends and accomplices
in Rome as he gives his final admonition and benediction

Romans 16:1 – 16…….personal greetings

In his greetings, he starts by commending Phoebe who was a worker (a servant or a
deaconess) in the church in Cenchrea (the eastern port of Corinth) and a well-known person
who was devoted and a helper of many. She is the one who delivered the letter to Rome
from Corinth.

1. Prisca and Aquila: were fellow workers with Paul, they were also tentmakers.
This shows that they returned to the city of Rome and hosted a church in their
2. Epaenetus: he is the first to convert to Christianity in Achaia(region of Corinth)
3. Mary: She laboured much
4. Andronicus and Junia: fellow countrymen with Paul ( Jews), fellow prisoners?,
were known by the Apostles in Jerusalem and had gotten saved before Paul
5. Ampliatus: beloved of Paul
6. Urbanus: worked with Paul in evangelism
7. Stachys: beloved of Paul
8. Apelles: Approved of Christ
9. Aristobulus: only some of his household were greeted
10. Herodion: countryman with Paul
11. Household of Narcissus: greetings only for those in the lord
12. Tryphena and Tryphosa: laboured in the lord
13. Persis: Labored much in the Lord
14. Rufus and his mother: chosen of the Lord
15. Asynchritus: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
16. Plegon: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
17. Hermes: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
18. Patrobas: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
19. Hermas and his brothers and sisters: worth noting this person appears in this
list of friends
20. Philologus: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
21. Julia: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
22. Nereus and his sister: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends
23. Olympas: worth noting this person appears in this list of friends

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017


Romans 16:17…… final admonition

In verse 17 and 18, he warns the church to watch and mark those who cause divisions
and stumbling blocks or offences (causing them to offend or err in their faith) to the
brethren. He advises them to avoid such people as they did not serve the interests of
Jesus Christ but their own needs thus with cool words and flattery they deceive those
who are naïve. In verse 19 he commends them for their obedience, advising them to be
wise in all that is good and not participate in any evil deeds. He prays that God crushes
Satan under their feet quickly

Romans 16:21 -23 ……greeting from his entourage

The team that was with Paul, i.e. Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius the writer of
this letter, even the city treasure Mr Erastus, Quartus, Gaius his host at this time and the
whole church did send their greetings

Romans 16:24-27 ……. His benediction

Paul commends them to God for their establishment in faith, which shall culminate in
Gods glory through Jesus Christ.

Brief Commentary on The Book Romans JOSEPH K. RUCHIAKA DEC. 2017