Summary: A scholar once said:Matthew through John gives us the “Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ” The Acts of the Apostles give us the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”But it is in Romans that we are given the “Gospel of God”

Sermon Series “The Gospel of God – A Study of Romans”

Week #1 “Introduction to Romans”

Text: Romans 1:16-17

INTRODUCTION: Knowledged and experienced, a district attorney makes his case. After calling witnesses, presenting evidences and giving an airtight summary, he leaves the jury with a stirring challenge

The apostle Paul was intelligent, articulate and committed to his calling. Like a skilled litigator he presents the case for the gospel to the believers in Rome

More than any other individual, Paul is responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire

He made three missionary journeys through much of the Mediterranean world

He gives the most systematic presentation of the Gospel found in the New Testament

In fact one scholar said:

Matthew through John gives us the “Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ”

The Acts of the Apostles give us the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”

But it is in Romans that we are given the “Gospel of God”

History: Paul most likely wrote this epistle while in Corinth, as indicated by those who he mentions in his writing

Notable: It was by the hand of a female servant, Phoebe, that Paul sent this important Epistle

(Phoebe was from the Corinthian church according to Romans 16:1)

Off Subject: The same word used for “servant” to describe Phoebe is the word “Diakonos” where the church gets the word Deacon. Phoebe was a Deaconess

The Roman Church was most likely founded by believers converted at Pentecost

While mentioning all who heard and were converted at Pentecost, Acts 2:10 states “Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,”

Purpose: Paul’s purpose in writing to Rome was to teach the truths of God’s grace to believers who had never received apostolic instruction

The overall theme of Paul’s letter is that righteousness comes from God – It is God who justifies the guilty by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE

Note: Because Romans is the preeminent doctrinal work of the New Testament it naturally contains a number of difficult passages

1. The perpetuation of Adam’s sin (Ch 5)

2. The temptations of Paul as a non-believer and as a believer (Ch 7)

3. The doctrines of election and God’s sovereignty (Ch 8-9)

4. The future of Israel (Ch 11)

5. The role of Human government (Ch 13)

Our Goal: In the next few weeks of study we are going to look at Romans as a whole – many dangerous and improper doctrines have been established by studying only one or two verses form this book

Rule: Remember the first rule of Bible study is to always look at the text according to its context – you gain perspective on what a verse is saying when the entire thought, chapter or even the whole book is taken into account

This evening we are going to look over Paul’s introduction. He gives three exhortations within the first seventeen verses:

I. The Exhortation of Christ (v.1-6)

a. He explains Jesus’ earthly genealogy

i. (v.3) “…Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…”

ii. Paul was saying the Jesus’ physical birth fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament

iii. It also verifies Jesus’ reality as a true historical character

1. Jesus is not only talked about in the Bible

2. Tacitus, Josephus and Pliny the Younger, all ancient historians and writers, confirm Jesus’ historicity

iv. This is important because there was a sect of Christians who believed Jesus was spirit only and never truly flesh

1. This was a major problem that John dealt with in his first epistle

2. 1 John 4:2,3 “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

v. Paul and John were confirming that a belief in the physical nature of Christ is necessary and even a test of true Christianity

b. Paul then explains Jesus’ heavenly genealogy

i. (v.4) “…declared to be the Son of God… by the resurrection from the dead”

ii. The word ‘declared’ is the same word we receive our word for ‘distinguish’

iii. It is by Christ death, burial and resurrection that He can be declared and distinguished as The Son of God

iv. His victory over death was the supreme demonstration and most conclusive evidence as to who He is

II. The Exhortation of Christ’s Church (v.7-15)

a. Paul thanked God for the church’s faithfulness

i. (v.8) “…I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

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