Summary: Paul’s Obligation is ours!
A Journey Through Romans 1
March 18, 2007
Most of you might not recognize the name Robert the Bruce. His character was in the Mel Gibson’s movie Braveheart!. Robert the Bruce was the Scottish noble whose character is most remembered for betraying Wallace, but he later rose up to lead Scotland to freedom after Walllace’s execution.
He died in 1329 at the age of fifty-four. History and legend teach that shortly before his death, Robert the Bruce requested that his heart be removed from his body and taken on crusade by a worthy knight. James Douglas, one of his closest friends, was at his bedside and took on the responsibility. The heart of Robert the Bruce was embalmed and placed in a small container that Douglas carried around his neck. In every battle that Douglas fought, he literally carried the heart of his king pressed against his chest.
In the early spring of 1330, Douglas sailed from Scotland to Granada, Spain, and engaged in a campaign against the Moors. In an ill-fated battle, Douglas found himself surrounded, and in this situation death was both certain and imminent. In that moment Douglas reached for the heart strapped around his neck, flung the heart into the enemy’s midst, and cried out, “Fight for the heart of your king!” One historian quoted Douglas shouting, “Forward, brave heart, as ever thou were wont to do, and Douglas will follow his king’s heart or die!” The motto of the Douglas clan to which the present duke belongs is even to this day simply, “Forward.”
I really used to believe that the one person that I wanted to meet from Scripture was John. After all, who wouldn’t want to meet John? He was the apostle that Jesus loved.
However, after digging deeper into Scripture that one person that I would love to meet is Paul.
Why? You say! Paul is the one person from Scripture that you really see fighting for the heart of his king.
You know who Paul’s king is, don’t you? Paul’s king is God!
- God the Father
- God the Son
- God the Holy Spirit
And if there was and is one thing that is on the heart of God it is the fact that God wants His people at home in heaven with Him.
You may be familiar with 2nd Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
The heart of God is that everyone comes to repentance. Then there is the statement from Jesus Himself, letting us know what He came to the earth to accomplish. When talking to Zacchaeus Jesus said:
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
The heart of God is for His people to be in heaven. So that takes us back to the life of Paul. The Bible speaks of David being a man after God’s own heart. I also believe that Paul was that man as well.
There are a lot of verses that are worthy of pointing out this fact in the life of Paul, but listen to what he said of himself found in Acts 20:24:
I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
So Paul made it his lifelong goal to fight for the heart of his king. He did that by preaching and writing most of the books that we have in the New Testament. Over the next few weeks we are going to discuss probably the most important book that Paul wrote. The book of Romans!
The theme of the book of Romans is Grace + Faith = Justification (Salvation)
The book of Romans is truly a special book. It has been said by many that if the book of Romans were the only book of the New Testament it would be sufficient for us to understand what God expects of us.
Listen to what the great reformer Martin Luther wrote about the book of Romans.
“This epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament, and is truly the purest gospel. It is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but also that he should occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. We can never read it or ponder over it too much; for the more we deal with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.”
While I agree on the fact that the book of Romans is truly an important book, I don’t want to go as far as saying that it is the only book that we need. After all, the book this great commandment is not found in the book of Romans: Matthew 22:37-39