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.
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. To be a debtor is to first conclude that one has incurred a debt. In today’s economy, I can’t think of to many who could say they are not in debt. If you own a new car or home, rather are purchasing one; you are in debt and therefore, a debtor. I can recount on many occasions how difficult and financially stressful it was being a debtor! There had been time when there was nothing left after meeting all my obligations, for dinners, outings, movies or even a little “mad money” (a term used by my wife). If you can remember such events, you can understand how Paul must have felt about how much he owed the God of heaven, for his salvation and his apostolic appointment. In our lesson today, 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 city of Rome.
2. First, he announces, that I am a debtor because of the love of God and the gospel of Christ. What a tremendous impact Christ and the gospel had made in and on his life. He sought in his own way to make right all the wrongs that he had inflicted upon many saints; and the church before his calling and election. He preached to the church with the same intensity that he had while trying to destroy it. Paul states that his debt was to all, to the wise and the unwise, to the Greek and to the barbarian, to the rich and to the poor, to the intellectual and to the unlearned. 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 more so for 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 (1:1-2). It was not his seat at Gamaliel’s feet that prepared him for this work; but his seat at the feet of Jesus. What power, what love, what devotion and humility did this Apostle exhibit while preaching the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles! 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…,” 1 Timothy 1:15.
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 intellect of Rome. The Greeks, who sought after wisdom, would find the message foolishness. To preach to them, he would not be ashamed to be called a “fool for Christ.” 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. As for the Jews who sought for signs, he was zealous to go to Rome that he might “impart unto them some spiritual gifts,” 1:9-12. The Jews would find his preaching a “stumbling block and a rock of offense.” But some Jews could possibly be persuaded by the signs, wonders and miracles, of an apostle in the city of Rome. Therefore, he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – realizing that it is “the power of God unto salvation (deliverance) to both Jews and Gentiles,” 1:16. Apostolic preaching was always accompanied “by signs and wonders and various miracles and the gifts of the Holy Ghost..,” Hebrews 2:1-4. Paul was equipped as an apostle to meet the needs of both the Jews and the Gentiles in the city of Rome. He understood that Christ was truly the “stone which was rejected by the builders; which has become the chief cornerstone…and neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:11-12.