Summary: This sermon looks at the profile of Paul and unpacks his life past and present seeking his purpose and passion.

Pauls purpose and passion Romans 1:1 - 17:

Series: On the road through Romans.

Background: Over the next few months we are going to be travelling on the road to Rome through the book of Romans, as we do we will be stopping off on route to take in the sights. The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul from Corinth around AD 57 at the end of Paul’s 3rd journey before returning to Jerusalem Rom15.25. Where he spent 3 months Acts20:.3.

At The TIME OF THE letter Paul had never been to Rome neither had any of the Apostles, Yet a Church had been formed by the many Jews who had visited Jerusalem on Pentecost and had been converted the message of salvation went back to Rome and a Church established.

Around 3 years later under the providence of God Paul would arrive in Rome as a prisoner but even in these difficult circumstances the gospel was never bound as we will come to see so jump in and buckle up your seat belts as we travel on the road to Rome.

Overview of the task ahead Romans: is a well organized and carefully presented statement of the faith. A book which gives us clear understanding of the gospel 1:1-3 – the condition of the world and humanity 1:18 -3:20 - the need for Gods intervention – salvation is free to all justification comes through faith 3:21- 5:21 – Christians have freedom from the law - To become like Christ – discovery of God’s love 8:1-39 – How the Jewish nation fits into Gods plan 9 -11 - Jew and Gentile to united 11:13 -36 – personal responsibility to Christ the purpose of spiritual gifts and love 12:3- 21 – Good citizenship 13:1-14 – Christian freedom to be guided by love for the benefit of others 14:1 – 15:4- Unity within the Church 15:5-13 – He concludes with reasons for writing his personal plans and greetings 15:22-16:27.

Romans 1: 1- 17 Paul’s purpose driven life .

Paul’s purpose driven life : who knew his position in life ( a leading Pharisee), his purpose (advancement) and his priority (Persecution of Christians) I believe we would have met a very self-righteous young man. A man who could turn you inside out with words and make his case very plausible he was a gifted young man.

His credentials were impeachable: Here was a rising star in pharasical circles born in Tarsus and taught under Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He was from the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised on the 8th day, regarding the law he was faultless. Here was zealot in every matter of Religion.

What would we call him today? Paul would have called him a religious fanatic or even a terrorist in the way he would go about persecuting Christians. He really believed he was doing God a service. This rising star was heading for greater things in his circles! And he knew this, he says: Gal.1:13 -14…. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers

Persecution was a priority: Acts 22:4. I persecuted the followers of this way to their death arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison. Acts 8v1 He approved of the execution of Stephen. Act:9:1-2 Breathing threats and murder against the disciple of the Lord and sought letters to continue and carry out his threats.

1. His old Purpose is built upon law : Phil.3 :6. Legalistic righteousness faultless.

Paul was a deeply religious and was a slave to law, he was committed to obeying it, and he was bound by it. The Pharisees were ones who were set apart even from other Jews, they were known to keep to the letter of the law and for adding traditions of the elders passed down to them.

Tithing and ritual purity were kept stringentl: They would place limits on others Jews and gentile. They could not eat at the home of a non – Pharisee because they could not be sure the food had been correctly tithed and kept ritually pure. They are known for criticizing others and especially Jesus and the disciples’ (Matt.23:23-26)synomonus Pharisee/hypocrite.

Are we guilty of a pharisaical lifestyle? Are we guilty of pointing the fingers at others without looking at ourselves? Jesus said, Matt 7:1-5 Do not Judge or you too wll be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3- 5

Jesus is calling us to examine our own motives and conduct. Jesus is not saying we should never judge others - he not against all critical thinking for he calls us to later on in the passage to do just that, 7:15 Watch out for false prophets – The Bible teaches the Church should exercise Church discipline 1Cor 4:3-5.

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