Summary: John Gibson Lockhart, in his famous biography of Sir Walter Scott, said, “He was making himself all the time, but he didn’t know what he was until the years were past.” And such it is with every life.
Disclaimer Please note that all my sermons come from the Lord. But I get my info from many sources from my library and other sources. I do not claim all material as my originality. I don’t quote all sources but I give credit to the Lord who is the author of all sermons. “All originality and no plagiarism makes for dull preaching" Charles Spurgeon
Paul Is Debtor
Text: “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise” (Rom. 1:14).
Scripture Reading: Romans 1:1 – 16
This epistle quotes the Old Testament some 57 times, more than any other New Testament book. It repeatedly used key words-God 154 times, law 77 times, Christ 66 times, sin 45 times, Lord 44 times, and faith 40 times.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans. Chicago: Moody Press.
John Gibson Lockhart, in his famous biography of Sir Walter Scott, said, “He was making himself all the time, but he didn’t know what he was until the years were past.” And such it is with every life. We grow up never quite realizing the influences that shape us until we look back upon our lives from mature years. Paul wrote to the Romans, “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” What are these influences that shaped the life of the apostle Paul?
First of all, it was the influence of history. Paul said, “I am debtor to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians.”
Paul was indeed debtor to the Greeks. Paul and the whole world owes much to those Hellenists! Under Philip the Macedon, the Greek states were united. After his assassination in 336 BC, his son Alexander, only twenty years of age, set out to rule the world. He conquered Persia in 334, then Babylon and Syria, Arabia and Egypt. With his armies came the Greek language, culture, art, and philosophy.
Rome and its Caesars took up where the Greek conquerors left off. Rome extended the empire from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic, from Britain to the Nile, from Hadrian’s Wall to the Euphrates. What would this mean to Paul and the spread of Christianity? It would mean peace and safety. There were Roman governors in every province. Paul’s Roman citizenship saved his life often. From end to end of the empire ran the Roman roads. Travel was easy though travelers were often in danger of robbers. The whole world was joined under one law and authority. Before this time the world was not ready to receive the missionary message of the gospel. Now, by a common language and in the safety and protection of the Romans, Paul could take to all the world the message of redemption. What were the other influences that made Paul the man he was?
A quick look at any newspaper or passing glance at a weekly news magazine reminds us that in our world most news is bad and seems to be getting worse. What is happening on a national and worldwide scale is simply the magnification of what is happening on an individual level. As personal problems, animosities, and fears increase, so do their counterparts in society at large.