Summary: The power of the gospel
March 14, 2010
Tonight we’ll continue through our verse-by-verse study through the book of Romans. So far we’ve learned that the letter is from the Apostle Paul who considers himself a slave of God’s with the purpose of preaching the gospel of God.
This gospel was promised beforehand through the prophets and preserved as Scripture. The central message is the work and person of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Now we’re going to look at verses 7-17 which conclude the greeting and speak of the power of Paul’s gospel.
Paul’s Ministry to the Romans
Paul had never been to the church in Rome at this point in his life, but he that didn’t stop him from ministering to them.
1. Paul ministered to the Roman church through encouragement. (:7-8)
To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Being a Christian wasn’t easy in the Roman Empire. You’ve no doubt heard the stories of unspeakable torture; it wasn’t a fun place to live out faith.
But Paul reminds them that they are beloved of God (despite their suffering) and that they are saints. The word “saint” is sometimes erroneously understood to mean someone special who has long been dead. In fact, Paul’s letter is to the living saints in Rome.
If you are a saved believer, you are a living saint!
He also encourages them with the words grace and peace. Even in their troubles the Romans were the recipients of grace.
It’s only this grace that allows them to have the peace that God provides.
Finally, he encourages them in that their faith isn’t for nothing even on this side of heaven. The whole world had been made aware of the Roman’s confidence.
Application: Encourage our church by reminding people of God’s love, their salvation, God’s grace, and by promoting peace and strengthening faith.
2. Paul ministered to the Roman church through intercession. (:9-10)
9For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.
Paul calls upon God as his witness that Paul always prays for this church. His primary request is that he may visit them.
Note that he prays “unceasingly” and “always” for them.
Application: Intercede for our church by praying for us without ceasing.
3. Paul ministered to the Roman church through edification. (:11-13)
11For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
The reason Paul wanted to visit the Roman church is so that they could each strengthen the other’s faith. There’s something infectious about a person or a group of people who really look to God for provision and guidance. Paul had this faith and the Roman church was known for it around the world.
These are the kind of people we want in our church.
Application: Edify our church through infectious and unwavering faith; speak of God’s greatness and expect great works from Him on our behalf.
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
Incidentally, Jesus says, “He who does not gather with Me scatters” (Mt. 12:30). If it’s true that men influence each other positively, then it’s equally true that men influence each negatively as well.
Paul’s Gospel to the World
1. Paul sensed an obligation to preach the gospel to every person in the world. (:14)
14I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
2. Paul was eager and unashamed to preach it. (:15)
15So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel.
"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18"When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19"Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20“Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21"However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself." (Ezekiel 3:17-21)