Summary: To develop an understanding of the Apostle Paul in order to understand his message in his letter to the church in Rome.
Series on Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. #1
The Apostle Paul and His Message
Scripture: Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”
Theme: To develop an understanding of the man whom God chose to reveal the message of the fulfillment of all revelation leading up to Jesus Christ and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.
Illustration: Without knowledge of the design of a car there is no way to understand how it runs, nor of how to fix it.
Why study Paul’s letter to the church in Rome?
It is a message that has been used to change the course of history on at least four occasions and hopefully we are near the time when that same message will change the course of history again today. (Paul’s day, Augustine’s day, Luther’s day, Barth’s day, and hopefully today.)
In each period of time the church was faltering and then this message was lifted up. What the social and culture occasion of each period and how did the message meet the need of that occasion?
Paul’s day: The church was moving into legalism which left the believer powerless in dealing with sin, and the world scene was developing answers to meet that need, but the answers were ineffective.
Augustine’s day: The church was being suffocated by Christian teachings that were nothing more than a theology blended with a humanism that render the gospel powerless in dealing with everyday personal sins.
Luther’s day: The church had become controlled oriented and was using that control for self-gratification with no message to help the believer to experience the power of the gospel. The believer was being suffocated by being kept ignorant of the word of God.
Barth’s day: The church was suffering from German philosophies which had usurped the position of theology in the life of the individual. As a result the believer was powerless to stand up to church leadership which was leading the church astray with their blending of theology and philosophy.
Our day: The church is being suffocated with an atheistic philosophy and humanistic psychology. The philosophy denies the existence of God. The psychology denies the existence of the soul of man. The church has lost touch with the living resurrected Christ who lives within to give the individual answers to their life.
The message of Paul in the letter to the church in Rome is Paul’s explanation of how the car is designed, how to know what is wrong with it, and how it can be repaired. That was the message that the world was searching for in Paul’s day, Augustine’s day, Luther’s day, Barth’s day, and now in our day.
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is his final letter that deals specifically with interpreting the revelation of God from the OT, and how it is fulfilled in the life of the believer. The goal of all of Paul’s writing is to establish an understanding of the Christ who lives within.
Paul’s messages cannot be properly understood unless the man himself is understood before his conversion, his conversion, and the man who emerged from that conversion experience on the Road to Damascus.
You listen to the message for it is directed to you. If you want to know what is your self-identify; how your life was put together and how it was meant to operate; what your life was created for; why you are here at this time; how to make connections with God, then listen to the greatest interpreter of God’s revelation in the OT and the life of Jesus and see how he singles you out.
Paul before his conversion was a deeply religious man whose focus was on the written word of God (the torah) and whose intent was to live by that word.
A legist who is set on keeping Judaism pure according to the word (torah).
A rabid rabbi
Killing the Christian who taught that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and was still living, even though having been put to death.
What was your life before you became a Christian?
II. A servant of Jesus Christ
On the Road to Damascus Saul (Paul) meet the living resurrected Jesus.
He did not see Jesus. He heard a voice that identified itself as Jesus.
Paul walked into the very realm and presence of the kingdom of God.
Paul immediately became a servant of the living resurrected Jesus.
He was captivated by the living resurrected Christ, not by His teachings.
Was your conversion traumatizing to the point that you felt compelled to follow the Jesus whom you met in salvation?
Do you see yourself as a servant of Christ? If so, what is Christ saying to you?
III. Called to be an apostle