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!
How will we treat this letter from our Creator and Savior Jesus Christ?
And what is the main message from Jesus Christ given to Paul and sent to the Christians in Rome? The main message of the letter is the Gospel! The end of v1 and v2 tells us that the Gospel is from God, promised through the writers of the Old Testament! What is the Gospel?
The Gospel means Good News! The Gospel of God is the Good News promised by God, given by God, and to be declared by people called by God! The Good News was promised by God through the Prophets of the Old Testament. The Good News was given by God through Jesus Christ who left heaven, lived a perfect life on earth as a human being, died on a cross for man’s sin, and rose from the dead to reveal He is God!
And to those who believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and God are called by God to declare this Good News to others.
Did the apostle Paul just decided all by himself to be a messenger of the Gospel? What does v1 tell us? Paul was called by God to be an apostle, to be taught and to declare.
Now look again at v6-7………..
Who else are called by God? God also called all the Christians in Rome to be messengers of the Gospel.
Turn briefly with me to Romans 10:14-15…….
God calls Christians to have beautiful feet! Do you remember what these beautiful feet are in the Full Armor of God? The beautiful feet of Christians are fitted with the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace!