Summary: Some people have read portions of the book of Romans and had a life changing experience. The Reformation and the great Awakening was sparked by men reading Romans.
Series: Riches in Romans
This book is about introducing good news to bad sinners.
An Unlikely Conversion
Intro: I have never preached through Romans because I felt it was more than I could handle, and I was right. I know I am in over my head.
Romans is a book that probably has changed more people’s lives than any other. People who were the most unlikely candidates for salvation have read portions of Romans and experienced an life changing moment. The Roman road to salvation is there. Clear capsuled scriptures about the process of salvation are here. If you want to know how to get your life right with God then you must read Romans.
As a result of reading Romans worldwide revivals have broken out. Martin Luther was a frustrated Catholic priest. As a professor of theology he knew all his religious efforts were vain in attempting to be right with God. He began to realize his church had created all kinds of theological gimmicks to help people try to express to God that even though they fell short of His righteousness they still were contrite and well meaning. Luther realized all of man penance could not make up for the lack of righteousness needed to know God.
When Luther read Romans 1:17 the Holy Spirit quickened this to his understanding and set him free from religious bondage. The reformation followed. We all think revival is pretty. Well the reformation was revival and it was bloody. This little illumination from God caused a fire to spread all across the world.
Augustine was a young man living in the 4th century. Brilliant mind but living wild and immoral. One day he saw some kids playing a game. He overheard them repeat this phrase as part of the game, “Take up and read, take up and read.” Even though those words were not directed at him something seemed to immediately find a copy of the scriptures and read. He found a New Testament and let the pages randomly fall open. His eyes came to Romans 13:13-14, read it now.
He knew instantly God was talking to him. He seized this moment claimed that verse that God was telling him what to do, repented, and that moment was the conversion of one of our greatest saints.
This happens to all of us more than we may realize. God is communicating to us. We call it coincidence and shrug it off. God causes something to happen and for this to be a supernatural intervention into our lives. If we exercise faith in the Lord and seize the moment we have a life changing moment.
Ill. Heard of people getting healed when someone has a Word of knowledge (information from God that they could have known on their own). Television, 700 club. People call in and claim healing. I know there is reason to doubt or question because of the many phonies. But you can’t argue this with those who have been healed! Something (HS) tells you this scripture is yours, you claim it by faith and the results are manifested. Augustine did this.
Not for the name it/claim it. This is where the Spirit quickens to your consciousness this is for you. You can’t explain it, it will sound crazy.
I want to challenge you to read through Romans using the Living Bible, not for accuracy but for clarity. As you do I know God will quicken a Word, or sentence to you personally. Claim it, and act upon it.
Imagine you and I can read the same inspired letter that brought life and power to Luther, Augustine, and Wesley. We can experience the same revival.
Verse 1. “Paul” was the Greek name for Saul of Tarsus. Saul was born and raised in Tarsus, (Turkey) a Roman colony, so he was a Roman citizen. His parents were wealthy Jews who sent him away to one of the highest religious schools of their time in Jerusalem. The school of Gamaliel of the Pharisees. He was to become a rabbi of the Law of God. The Pharisees opposed Jesus because Jesus taught as one “having authority”. They thought they were the only ones with authority to teach/preach about God.
After Jesus was crucified they sought to weed out the disciples of Jesus and Saul of Tarsus was leading the way. In Acts 7:58 he witnesses Stephen being murdered for faith in Christ and it makes an impact upon him. In Acts 8:1-3 he continues to persecute the church. Chapter 9 while on his way to Damascus to continue to persecute Christians there, he has a dramatic conversion.
Ill. Lady came out of beauty shop and was stopped by another lady. “Why Mary Jones, you look so different, you lost weight, changed hair, look taller!” I am not Mary Jones. “You even changed your name?” Saul was such a different man he even changed his name.