Summary: To set forth to all, that Paul's announcement to Rome should be ours also; delivered with the same intensity, sincerity and sensitivity to all who would hear us regarding the gospel of Christ.
1. I am a Debtor Because of the Gospel
2. I am Ready to Preach the Gospel
3. I am not Ashamed of the Gospel
1. In this lesson today, we will be discussing: “Paul’s Announcement to Rome.” I’m going to focus on three things the Apostle announces to Rome in this text. They are three “I AMs” regarding his desire, for the people and city of Rome.
2. First, he announces, that I am a debtor because of the love of God and the gospel of Christ. The love of Christ and the gospel had made a tremendous impact on Paul’s life. He sought in his own way to right all the wrongs that he had inflicted upon the saints; and the church, before his calling and apostleship. He preached to the church with the same intensity that he had while trying to destroy it. I too, like Paul acknowledge that I am a debtor. I too, owe my very life, my soul and my physical well-being to Christ, the church, and our wonderful brotherhood (sisters and brothers). Without which I would still be in darkness and sin; like many today “having no hope and without God in the world.” I simply desire to stir up the saints and religious people everywhere; with the understanding that they too are debtors to God for all the blessings of life, and the hope of eternal life.
3. Secondly, he announces, that I am ready to preach the gospel. His confidence did not rest in his early education, training or experience under the Law. But his preparedness and readiness resided in Christ who had called and empowered him to be an Apostle. What power, what love, what devotion and humility this beloved apostle exhibit; while preaching the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles alike! He was thankful to God for his immeasurable love and grace; that was showered upon his own life. The chief of sinners had now become the chief soul winner: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ... to save sinner,” 1 Timothy 1:15. This entire week we are going to be pleading for all “to save themselves.”
4. Finally, he announces, that I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. He was not ashamed that this message might seem foolishness to the intellectuals of Rome. The Greeks, who sought after wisdom, would find the message foolishness. The gospel that Paul would preach in Rome would not be perceived as the wisdom of the world by the Greeks – but it is however, the wisdom of God, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. To preach to them, he would be perceived as a “fool for Christ.” The Jews who sought for signs, he was zealous to go to Rome that he might “impart unto them some spiritual gifts,” Romans 1:9-12. The Jews would find his preaching of Christ a “stumbling block and a rock of offense.” But some Jews could possibly be persuaded, by the signs, wonders and miracles, of this apostle. Therefore, he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – realizing that it is: “The power of God unto salvation (deliverance) to both the Jews and the Gentiles.” Apostolic preaching was always accompanied “by signs, wonders, miracles and the gifts of the Holy Ghost,” Hebrews 2:1-4. Paul was equipped by God to meet the needs of the Jews and the Gentiles in the city of Rome.
BODY OF LESSON
I I AM A DEBTOR BECAUSE OF THE GOSPEL
A. I am a debtor. Here was a man, who because of the love of God felt a tremendous debt to all mankind; for the gift of salvation he now enjoyed. He was a debtor because of the Gospel of Christ. I would that every saint felt the same compulsion, conviction, and concern as did the beloved apostle. Notice in his confessions:
1 First to the Galatians: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live," Galatians 2:20. Paul states I LIVE BECAUSE:
a. I am crucified with Christ (continually, crucifying myself unto the world), Galatians 6:14.
b. Christ now liveth in me (I am alive because He abides in me).
c. I rely upon “the faith of Christ” (my righteousness is by the faith of Jesus Christ).
d. The love of Christ (Christ loved me and gave himself for me).
2. Further, to the Corinthians: "For the Love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again," 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. John 3:16 Romans 5:8. We live for Him and for others!
3. Finally, to Timothy: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting,” 1 Timothy 1:12-16.