Summary: Our feet can be beautiful to someone as we bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We are starting a new series today with the Letter to the Romans! Please have your Bibles, bulletin and pen ready.
Let us note the power of Rome and what the city was like.
2000 years ago, when Christianity was born, the Roman Empire was quite powerful (show map). From the city of Rome, the Empire stretched to Spain, Great Britain, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East including the holy city of Jerusalem.
The City of Rome was of course a metropolis with a population of about 2 million people! Because of the vastness of the Empire, the City of Rome had people from all over the world including Jews. It is also estimated that half of the population in the City were slaves. Can you picture the City of Rome and its people?
Here’s a picture of a model of Rome……
Can you picture this? (show Chicago skyline picture)……
Picture the City of Chicago without planes, trains, and automobiles and everyone wears a dress, that’s what Ancient Rome was like!
When the Letter to the Romans was written, there were likely many churches not just one main one; and so the letter was for the church as a whole in the City of Rome. The Letter to the Romans is like a Letter to Chicagoans.
As we will note, the letter was transcribed by Tertius for the Apostle Paul while he was in Corinth. We had just finished studying the Letter to the Ephesians. Do you remember who delivered the Letter to the Ephesians?? – Tychicus!
You know who delivered this Letter to the Romans?
Open your Bibles to the end of the Letter to the Romans; look at Romans 16:1-2……..
A woman from a church in Corinth delivered this important letter, not only to the Christians in Rome, but for all Christians including us! Tychicus and a woman named Phoebe were ordinary people in church who served by delivering letters and their simple act of service impacted the entire Christian Kingdom!! There’s a Biblical principle right here isn’t there? God can multiply even our little service for the Lord! And look at v22 of Rom.16… Tertius ministered by simply being a secretary! God can multiply even our little service for the Lord! Let us all commit to serving in the church no matter how simple it may be.
We can note that Paul wrote the letter for the Christians in Rome (as we noted, transcribed by Tertius). What can we note about Paul from verse 1? Paul was a servant of Jesus Christ, he was called to be an apostle, and set apart for the Gospel. The meaning of an apostle is actually defined here in v1. An apostle is one who serves and set apart from others to be an ambassador; and an ambassador brings messages with authority from the one he or she represents. And who does the Apostle Paul represent with authority?
Paul was an ambassador for Jesus Christ! And so, even though the letter was written by Paul, Paul spoke with authority for Jesus Christ; i.e. it was actually Jesus Himself who wrote this Letter to the Romans!