Summary: when Paul went to the major cities, he did not go there to see the wonders of the world.
A reminder to remember and repeat.
Romans 15: 14 -- 33. 11/02/03
Paul tells his readers in verse 14 that he is sure they were already aware of the things he wrote them and not only aware of them but able also to teach others. Then the question must be asked, why did Paul write the letter to the Romans? Well, we know it was because of the inspiration of God. Paul was inspired to write this letter.
I think also he wrote the letter to first of all to remind them to EVANGELIZE THE SINNER. That he is to win people to Jesus. Listen, when Paul went to the major cities, he did not go there to see the wonders of the world. When he went to Rome he did not go there to take pictures, he went to convert the sinner’s. In his letter he does not mention the sports arenas or the Coliseum in Rome, he went for the purpose to win souls to Jesus.
I think when Paul went into major cities, he encountered some of the same problems we encounter today. We live among people who don’t know why they are here. They don’t know where they are going. They don’t know their real purpose in life. Paul knew that it was Jesus who could make the difference. When you come to Jesus as your savior, you know where you come from and also where you are going. Christians know that we are only passing through and that we are to win as many to Jesus as we possibly can.
Back in chapter 10: 14, Paul really reminds them they are to evangelize the sinner. He says in that verse, “how then shell they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shell they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shell they hear without a preacher?” The calling of the church of Rome was to evangelize the sinner. The task for the Oak Ridge Church is to evangelize the sinner. To be the baron of good news that Jesus saves.
Now he says in verse 23 of chapter 15, “but now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you.” Does that mean that all of Corinth was saved? No! Then why is he moving on? He isn’t quitting. He is going to carry the gospel to another.
Some of you maybe have shared the gospel with one and waiting for a response. It may seem your effort has little success. Don’t quit, move on to another.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul not only reminded them to evangelize the sinner but to ENCOURAGE THE SAINTS. Look at verse 25.
Many of the Saints had lost their jobs when they came to Jesus. Many were persecuted by even family when they gave their lives to Jesus. There was also famine in the land. The people were poverty stricken and needed encouragement. So Paul was going to take an offering that had been gathered from the Gentile churches to take to the mother church. The church in Jerusalem, because of their faithfulness, had won many to Jesus. Paul said you are in debt spiritually to the church in Jerusalem.
Do you have an appreciation to those who had a part in leading you to Jesus? Have you thanked that person who told you about Jesus? It would be a great encouragement to them. You need to think your Bible study teacher for studying the lessons he/she brings to you on Sunday. He need to make a special effort to be in class, it encourages the teacher. It is also an encouragement to the pastor not to have to preach to empty pews. You are an encouragement to me when I look out there and see this crowd. I was encouraged this week to receive an e-mail from a brother who lives in the Guyana. He said thank you for your sermons, they have helped me a lot. I was lifted that. I was encouraged. Encourage the Saints.
Finally, Paul not only reminded the church in Rome to evangelize the sinner and encourage the Saints but to also EXALT THE SAVIOR. Look at verse 29.
The greatest thought that ever gripped the human mind is that the God who wants to take you to heaven has made it possible through the death of Jesus Christ. What a message to give this nation of ours. I have discovered when we exalt, lift up Jesus, he interns lefts us up. You need a left this morning, then start praising the Lord. Do you know Jesus as your savior?