Summary: Series in Romans
Text- Romans 1:8-17
Title- A Love for the Living and the Lost (Turning Inside Out)
Romans 1:8-17 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
I. Love for the Living- 1:8-12
a. Thankfulness v. 8
b. Prayer v. 9-10
c. Fellowship- v. 11-12
II. Love for the Lost- 1:13-17
a. Intentional Witnessing v.13-14
b. Eager Witnessing- v.15
c. Unashamed Witnessing- v. 16-17
Please open to Romans 1:8-17…
Last week we looked at some of the basic information about the book of Romans. We saw how Romans has had a huge impact on the course of human history. We talked about how Romans is a book of deep theological truth and simple application. We saw that the book was written by Paul and his purpose was to teach the believers in the church at Rome some deeper truths about their salvation.
In a lot of his writings Paul begins by offering some personal words of encouragement. That’s true here in Romans. Paul shares his heart with them, and in doing so it gives us this amazing glimpse of the motivating drive behind Paul’s ministry. It helps us understand why he did what he did. And hopefully it will encourage us to adopt that some heart for ministry. Follow along as I read 1:8-17…
As I read through this passage, two things jumped out at me- Paul deep love for fellow believers, and his equally deep love for the lost. He describes how he lives out the greatest commandment. This unconditional love Paul reflected is so unusual, its really a supernatural thing. It can only come from the Holy Spirit.
I saw a T-shirt that said, “I’ll love you when you’re more like me”. I think this is a pretty common sentiment. Even as Christians we have a way of telling people, I’ll love you when you act more my idea of a Christian. I’ll love you when you fit into my mold. But believers in Jesus Christ come in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone will dress the same or talk the same or act the same.
It’s probably a little easier for us to love fellow believers than unbelievers. There are some evil, nasty, hard to love people out there. How can we learn to love those who are so easy to hate? Again, this is where we have to lean on a capacity to love that is greater than ourselves. We have to learn to love with God’s love and see people the way God sees people.
One of my main goals today is to think through how to turn ourselves inside out. How to move from a love for each other as believers, to a love for the lost.
Paul is such a great example to us of someone who was driven and motivated by love and compassion. The first thing we see in this passage is Paul’s love for the living. He cared about his brothers and sisters in Christ. This is seen in three ways. First, Paul expresses his thankfulness for them. Look at verse 8…
Paul is thankful for these fellow believers. He expresses his gratitude in their faith and in the good example they have been to other believers. Their faith is not something that has stayed locked up or confined, their faith has been displayed in such a way that it was spread to other cities and other countries. Their faith was strong and stable and secure.