Summary: Paul’s incredible letter to the church in Rome begins with an explanation of who he is, and an encouragement that he desires to visit and work alongside them.
Romans, Part 1
- Paul is writing this letter to the church in Rome, to the believers living there
- Paul is writing this letter in about AD 57
- At this time he is actually in Corinth (in Greece), teaching the church there
- He is writing because he desires to visit the church here; to fellowship with them
- When the church was founded is not certain, but this letter is to followers
- Chapter 16 identifies several that could have helped found the church
- But the important part to note is that the church IS alive in Rome here
- The membership of the church consisted of both Gentiles and Jews.
-- Several verses tell us that Gentiles are in the church (1:5, 6:13, 11:13)
-- Several verses tell us that Jews are in the church (2:17, 4:1, Ch. 9-11)
-- Importance is that all in the church are dedicated to following Christ!
- IMP APP: This letter is NOT a rebuke to the church; but an encouragement
- Rev Fred Bishop: “The book of Romans is the Gospel according to Paul!”
- Beginning today, I pray that we would read, learn, and study together this book
- There are many challenges the church faces, all of which are addressed here
- Because they are addressed … we can KNOW how to overcome and survive
- IMP APP: The only way to overcome is through Christ; this book strengthens
- Stand and read Romans 1:1-13 / Pray
Point 1 – Paul is a servant of Christ
If one is a servant, he has NO freewill; you are enslaved to the master
- Old Testament; “servant” meant prophet/witness God
- Jer 7:25, “From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets.”
- APP: Today, you and I are called to be servants in the same manner
- To be a bond servant means that we no longer belong to ourselves
-- It means that our will is NOT important; and we submit totally to the Master
-- The Lord Jesus Christ, fully man/fully God died to redeem you; will you serve?
- A few weeks ago we agreed that everyone on this Earth needs the Gospel
- We also agreed that no one gets out of life alive … and Jesus is the need
- So, as servants of His – we MUST be willing to send the Gospel out, always
- When conflicted about how to present Jesus to others, here is the way:
- Re-read verses 3 and 4
- Paul writes about two very important things regarding Jesus:
-- 1) Fully human in His ancestry (Matthew 1)
-- 2) Fully God in His divinity
Isa 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Matthew 1:23, Jesus is called “Immanuel” … which means “God with us”
John 8:58, “I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!”
- He has come to fulfill the prophecies of the entire OT; and we must know this!
VERY IMPORTANT: CHURCH FOCUS: GRACE IS THE KEY TO MINISTRY
Verse 5 – Paul has received Grace through Christ, just as we have today
- The Grace that Paul has received MOVED him into ministry
- APP: The challenge is what has it done for you and I? Have we been moved?
- Paul’s understanding of what Jesus did for him is same as John, Peter, etc
- APP: These men were moved to respond; and when wondering what we should do – the message and assignment of the mission is VERY clear
- Saying you believe in God will not earn you Grace from Christ
-- James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Even the demons believe in God … are we in same category?
- Saying you follow Christ is only the beginning; you must respond as well
-- In order to reflect the Grace that Christ gives you; it calls us to move
-- But, before you can move you must accept the Grace freely given
-- The cross that Jesus endured for you was to take away your sins (beginning)
-- Salvation by accepting Jesus is the only way to Heaven, but it doesn’t end there
-- Now, we have a responsibility to respond, just as we see Paul writing about
- Paul concludes his brief biography, and gets down to the meat of the letter
- Re-read Verse 7
-- Paul gives an open invitation to the church in Rome, it’s an attention getter
-- It’s being written to followers of Christ; (APP) it is being written to you and I