Summary: First in a series in Romans dealing with introductory matters and Paul’s portrait, passion and persuasion
May 13, 2001
Pastor David Welch
“A Passionate Purpose”
Introduction to the series
How is it possible for a person to compensate for ignoring the living God?
How does an errant person reconcile with a holy perfect God?
Can a person corrupt by their very nature ever get right with God?
How do those who are children of God’s wrath by nature find present and future peace with God?
How does what Christ did in His life, death, resurrection and ascension apply to my life?
What happens to those who never hear of Christ? Are the lost really lost?
Is there any hope or relief for this tug-of-war that seems to continually simmer in my soul?
What practical difference should I expect to see if I reconcile to God?
These are common concerns affecting mankind today.
The Bible does directly address these concerns.
In fact, Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote a letter to the people of Rome a couple centuries ago to enlighten them concerning the good news of new life in Christ.
The letter written by Paul bears the name of the readers – Epistle or letter to the Romans.
This is one of my most favorite letters.
Oddly enough I have never preached through the book, Bible Studies, but not the focus that preaching though a book demands.
At this juncture I want to reaffirm my belief in the value of verse-by-verse study of the Scripture.
We have all but lost the art of following the argument of Scripture (actually the Holy Spirit) as it was written.
Too often we rip out a chunk of truth here and there and try to piece the scraps together and make sense out it.
This practice sometimes results not in deeper understanding of truth but actually error.
Expending the energy to understand the logic of the Scripture in its context is part of what it means to renew the mind.
Romans 1 exposes a darkened mind.
Romans 12 urges a renewed mind.
Since we spent over a year following the life, death and resurrection of Christ through the eyes of the apostle John I felt directed by God to follow up with the narration of such a great salvation with Paul’s letter to the Romans detailing the theology and practical application of our salvation.
Of all of Paul’s letters, Romans comes as close to a logically presented theology of salvation as we will get.
One fourth-century writer calls Paul’s letter a “spiritual trumpet.”
Paul’s “trumpet” calls our attention to a number of spiritually essential issues that must not be disregarded or diminished.
My goal throughout this endeavor is that we will more deeply understand the great truths of our great salvation so wonderfully presented in chapters 1-8 and having understood them more deeply seek to live them more diligently as encouraged in chapters 12-16.
Consider this series a spiritual journey intended by God to deepen your walk with Him.
Commit to applying truth as you encounter it and God enlightens it.
This is more than an intellectual exercise.
This is a spiritual pilgrimage to greater spiritual maturity.
I am much more interested in evidence of the spiritual renewal presented in Romans than our ability to intellectually recall selected facts about Romans.
Max Lucado wrote the following in the introduction of his book called, “In the Grip of Grace” a book based on the truths discovered in Romans.
“Martin Luther called Romans ‘the chief part of the New Testament and…truly the purest gospel.’ God used the book to change the lives of Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, William Tyndale, Saint Augustine, and millions of others. There is every reason to think he’ll do the same for you.”
Ask God’s blessing on the new journey.
Introduction to the passage
Paul began and ended this most influential letter with a deeply personal touch.
Even though Paul intended a highly theological presentation of the gospel, his heart of passion for people emerges like fitting bookends to his letter.
In the first seventeen verses of the letter we get a glimpse of the person, purpose, position and passion of this most impressive servant of God as well as the point of his writing.
We learn a great deal by observing people.
Perhaps by carefully observing this servant of God we might be challenged to take an honest look at our own purpose and passion.
None of us appreciates telemarketers calling and interrupting our dinner or life.
Until recent years they might call and chat on and on like a long lost friend until finally they would get around to the point of their call.
Fortunately, today the law requires they identify themselves and their purpose right up front.
Paul followed the direct approach by setting some things straight right up front, like who he was, what he wanted and intended and his authority to speak for God.