Paul, Bond-Slave to the King!
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul designates his highest office as bond-servant (doulos). He puts that before his office as apostle.
Paul calls himself a bond slave of Christ Jesus. The case classification is genitive of possession. The apostle is proud of the fact that he is a slave belonging to his Lord. There were certain individuals in the Roman empire designated "Slaves of the Emperor." This was a position of honor. One finds a reflection of this in Paul's act of designating himself as a slave of the King of kings. He puts this ahead of his apostleship.
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
We are not our own, and Paul was proud of that fact. Instead of seeing Christianity as a system of do's and don'ts, he saw it as the privilege of privileges. His was a position of honor.
Who you are in life is largely a result of how you see yourself. We tend to value our life on the basis of our job, our possessions, our influence, our friends, our activities. Paul saw his value by Whose he was. He was a servant of the King of Kings. Who are you? When you lay in bed at night, do you fret about your health, the things you need to do, the things you didn't do? If you are a slave of the King of Kings, you have no rights over tomorrow, over your body, over your job. He has total control. There is no need to fret, no need to worry, no need to be concerned. Only the need to praise Him, draw closer to Him, wait patiently upon Him.
He was a slave first, an apostle second.
The adjective comes from the verb kaleō, "to call" in the sense here of "to call to assume an office." Paul was a called apostle in the sense that God summoned him to that position and placed him in it
Most translations say called to be an apostle, but actually the greek simply says (κλητὸς ἀπόστολος) "kletos apostolos", called apostle.
Paul heard the call of Christ on the Damascus Road, and in answering that call and seeing His Savior, he was placed as one of Christ's Apostles. He took the place of the son of perdition-Judas.
What enabled the violent, self-possessed Saul to become the slave Apostle of the one he admittedly wanted crucified?
Paul allowed himself to be set apart for the Gospel of God!
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, Galatians 1:15 (ESV)
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. Acts 9:15 (ESV)
Paul became a chosen instrument, a chosen vessel for Jesus Christ! Was he forced to comply on the Damascus Road? It may seem that way. Blinded by a strange light, hearing a strange voice-he could have resisted and kept on kicking against the Lord. Or he could have made a profession, but inwardly resented the Jesus. In any case we never would have heard from old Paul again. He would have been a pothole on the pavement of life.
But something happened to this fiery little dynamo. All his training, his intelligence, his passion for the Law and the ways of the Jews melted away when he gazed upon the one whom he had been persecuting. Yes, Paul was made to realize that he had not only been maiming and murdering 'Christians', but he had been doing the same to the very Son of God, the Messiah whom he professed to love so much.
We can't begin to fathom what the Holy Spirit was doing in those three days after his experience on the road to Damascus. But whatever it was, when Saul gave his life to Jesus Christ, he was changed completely. He was a new man, he was set apart no longer to just Jehovah. He was set apart into the GOSPEL of GOD! (ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον Θεοῦ (aphōrismenos eis euangelion Theo).
Set Apart Into the Gospel
He was set apart into the Gospel, because the set apart is the word aphoridzo which pictures marking an area with boundaries, with a wall or fence.
So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous Matthew 13:49 (ESV)
The Gospel of God is a natural divider of man. It will be the divider in the end times. People, you can either believe God or you can chose not to. You belief separates you from God and all of His goodness. It separates you from His grace. Your UNBELIEF separates you from the GOOD SAYING of GOD. Your UNBELIEF separates you from all that is good from God.
Your BELIEF brings you into His presence, into His sweetness.
Are you living as though you were separated INTO God?
The verb means "to mark off (ἀπό) from others by a boundary (ὅρος)."
It is used of the final separation of the righteous from the wicked (Matthew 13:49; 25:32);
of the separation of the disciples from the world (Luke 6:22);
of the setting apart of apostles to special functions (Acts 13:2).
Separated into not "the", not "a", but simply separated into Gospel of God. Normally Paul puts a little article in front of Gospel (as we'll see in verse 9 and 16)
Here Paul's emphasis is not on the specific proclamation of the life of Jesus, but in the Gospel representing the QUALITY of God Himself. This is a key point to consider if you are a converted Jew wondering about how the Gospel relates to the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In this one statement Paul reveals to Jew and Gentile alike that the Gospel is God, His good saying, His Goodness, His character, His Life. The Gospel is not just a collection of really pithy teachings from an untrained rabbi who suffered a martyr's death. The Gospel is God. The same way you speak of God is the same way you speak of Gospel. They are one and the same!
The World Will One Day Know the Power of Gospel Eternal!
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with Gospel Eternal to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14:6-7 (ESV)
PAUL Found a Greater POWER
Now what would persuade this dynamo of a man to become set apart into God's Gospel as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, whom Paul had been persecuting?
I believe he discovered the greatest power in the universe. He realized he was nothing without this power, and he wanted to be a part of it. I believe he reveals the reason he became set apart in verse 16, when he declares this Gospel to be the Power (dunamis) of GOD for salvation.
If you know anything about the power of sin, and of satan, and of death, they don't begin to compare with the Power of the Gospel of God!
The Hope of Tiger Woods in Buddhism
As much as I admired Tiger Woods and his public confession on Friday, when he said he was returning to his Buddhist roots, I realized that there would be no salvation for Tiger Woods. He is doomed to repeat his mistakes, because Buddhism is a religion of self-enlightenment. There is no God, no judgment, no sin in Buddhism. Buddhists do not owe allegiance to a supernatural being. There is no Savior in Buddhism. All a Buddhist can do is seek refuge in the Buddha as a guide, but not seek to be purified in the Buddha. The Buddha does not have the power to wash away sins. The liberation of self is the responsibility of one's own self. Buddhism places heavy emphasis on self-reliance, self discipline and individual striving.
Tiger by sheer will power may turn his life around. Yet he knows nothing of the Power of God. I believe that if Paul had wanted to learn golf, he had enough discipline and will power to be the greatest golfer og his time. Yet even this mighty dynamo of a man knew that he had met his match when he came face to face with the Power of God's Gospel.
1. There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day.
2. Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being.
3. No saviour concept in Buddhism. A Buddha is not a savior who saves others by his personal salvation. Although a Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha as his incomparable guide who indicates the path of purity, he makes no servile surrender. A Buddhist does not think that he can gain purity merely by seeking refuge in the Buddha or by mere faith in Him. It is not within the power of a Buddha to wash away the impurities of others
4. A Buddha is not an incarnation of a god/God (as claimed by some Hindu followers). The relationship between a Buddha and his disciples and followers is that of a teacher and student.
5. The liberation of self is the responsibility of one's own self. Buddhism does not call for an unquestionable blind faith by all Buddhist followers. It places heavy emphasis on self-reliance, self discipline and individual striving.
2,3,4: which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God's Gospel is His Promise
God's Eternal Gospel has been a promise from the very heart of God since time began. The blood runs through every chapter of the Old Testament. The prophets told of His coming in with 360 separate prophecies. They were all written over 500 years prior to Jesus birth.
Jesus Christ was very God and very Man, born at the exact time in history to fulfill the Word of God! Satan could do nothing to stop Him, delay Him, thwart Him. God's purpose established before time began came to fruition and there was nothing that could stop it.
You may be thinking that Jesus was just a good man, maybe even a truly great man, but if He has not shaken you to the core of your being, you are a dead man, because only Jesus Christ has the Power of God unto YOUR salvation. You may be like Saddleback Sam, content with what you have and who you are, but if you are not Jesus Christ's, then you are a dead man, you are nothing.
Declared in Power
Paul says that Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God in POWER when God Raised Him from the dead! That's right! Jesus is alive! We are not talking Elvis here. We are talking the real deal! Jesus Christ lives and rules at the Right Hand of God almighty.
What Jesus says matters. His Name is above all nations, He will be the supreme judge of all nations, and yes, you and me. Jesus tells us that I am the Way, the Truth and the Life! No one, no matter who you are, no matter what you have, can get to the Father unless Jesus is your Savior!
The Gospel is God's eú , good, well, and aggéllō (n.f.), to proclaim, tell. We have come to say "Good News" but originally it referred to the good message of God.
Just as the Jews enjoyed the "Covenantal Blessing" of Jehovah, the message now is that through the "Covenantal Relationship" of Jesus Christ, we not only enjoy God's Blessing, but we enjoy God's Presence God's Life, God's Power, God's Indwelling, God's Favor, God's Never Failing Love. ANd what is so Great about this Message is that it is all ours because of Jesus Christ. There is NOTHING we do to earn any of it. Just as the Jews enjoyed God's Blessing by birth, so do we enjoy God's Everything by belief and life yielding faith in Jesus Christ!
Not a blessed life, but a New Life, and indeed, much more!
VS 5,6"through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,"
Grace and Apostleship
Paul "lambano" received at one time. The minute he said yes to Jesus Christ, her received two things:
Grace and apostleship "charis" power of God when you don't deserve it and apostleship or a special commission. When God has a job for you, He provides the Power. It is no longer up to you. That grace is immediate, the commission is at once. That doesn't mean their is no preparation. As in my case, God's Grace and calling were immediate. My preparation took thirty years. With Paul and with Jesus, it took 3 years. With Moses it took 40 years. With Joshua it took 40 years. Just becasue you are not doing what you believe God has called you to do does not mean that you will never do it, or that you have been passed over because of some sin. It just means you may need a longer preparation than others. It means God may have a different path for you. But do not chuck it away and think that God could never use you. God delights in using broken vessels.
Why didn't God use someone like the Apostle John to preach to the Gentiles? John was by Jesus the whole way. He was beloved. Paul needed someone who was broken, who, because of his brokenness, would be willing to experience all that Paul suffered, and then say bring it on God! I will gladly suffer more! Anything that I might know this blessed Jesus more! Paul was joyful to experience anything for the sake of one thing:
to bring about obedience by faith
Obedience of faith is the obedience which characterizes and proceeds from faith. Word Studies
"it always refers to the faith which obeys God's will...specifically subjection to the saving will of God revealed in Christ and referred to as obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22); obedience of faith (in this verse and in Rom 16:26), and the unquestioning obedience that is demanded by Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV
Your faith means your eyes have been opened to see God, to see the truth of His ways, the truth of His Good Word, His Good News. When you truly see God and what He has for you and has done for you, it produces a change-a change in who you obey, who you value, who you listen to. If there was no change, or if God no longer matters to you -you need to do a heart check. Something is wrong. Being a Christian is not a 3 hour proposition. Being a Christian is a 24/7 deal. It results in a new willingness to OBEY GOD!
It results in becoming the "called" of Jesus Christ.
Paul says these Roman saints were "the called of Jesus Christ." Genitive of possession, "belonging to Jesus Christ." Denney says, "They belonged to Him because they have heard and obeyed the gospel." Wuest's
7: To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7 (ESV)
Paul describes the recipients of this letter also as "beloved of God." The word is in the plural, "loved-ones of God," and the word "God" is without the article, "God's loved-ones" Wuest
"saints by way of call"
"Kletos hagios". Set apart ones because they heard and answered the call of God. Just as Paul was called to be an apostle, and set apart into the Gospel, so we who have answered His call are set apart unto GOD. hagios means holy, or sacred, and we are called to be sacred unto God. God lives in us. We are immediately His when we are born again. He immediately marks us with His seal, setting us apart.
That is why Paul can declare us to be "God's loved ones!"
You may come from a horrible background. You may have experience horrible pain and injustice, even from close family members. I have news for you-YOU ARE GOD"S LOVED ONE! Cry on His shoulders, wait for His touch. Remind Him you are sacred to Him, and trust in His provision for your life.
Grace to you and peace
To this end Paul blesses his readers with the prayer for God's Grace and Peace. But he reminds them that grace and peace are impossible unless they are form God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you feel God's power in your daily life? Have you experienced bucket loads of His grace falling on you as a gentle rain? Then perhaps you do not know Him as your Father. Perhaps you are trying to live your life on your own, when daily you need to come to Him as your Father, and confess your need for Him, even for your daily bread.
Do you have Peace in your life? Do you pillow your head amidst the storms and heartache of life and yet smile yourself to sleep? DO you lie there basking in the warm glow of God's presence and power? Then perhaps you know not Jesus Christ as your LORD! Perhaps you are looking to yourself and yur own resources, and that is causing you to fret and worry! Go to sleep at night saying Jesus You are Lord, and soon your heart will no His peace.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! (Take Heart, Be of Good Cheer, Be brave) "courage in the face of danger." I have conquered the world.” John 16:33 (HCSB)
Grace Is Power Where There Is Weakness
Peace Is Courage In The Face Of Danger and Despair
Who do you want to spend your life with? Who do you want to spend your life trusting in? Do you think you should get to know Jesus Christ a bit better?
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
Verse 8: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. Romans 1:8 (ESV)
First: Paul declares that he thanks God through Jesus Christ. One thing will become clear as we spend time in Romans: None of us can go directly to God to offer anything unless we go through Jesus Christ. None of us have any standing before God in our own righteousness. We can't even thank God unless we go through Jesus Christ.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
Second: because their faith is proclaimed in all the world. They all had a reputation of believing and trusting in God in spite of their situation, in spite of the growing hostility toward Christians. A reputation for having faith only comes about as a result of facing difficult times, of facing situations where normal people would shrink back and fall by the wayside. Hebrews 11 is all about people of Great Faith. The heroes of our faith were commended for their faith that enabled them to conquer obstacles-obstacles of persecution, death, disappointment, betrayal, heartache, loss of loved ones, loss of homes, possessions. Many of them died without ever seeing that which they hoped for. They died hated by the world, thought to be total losers, and yet see what God thought in Hebrews 11:32-39
And what other examples shall I give? There is simply not time to continue by telling the stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jeptha; of David, Samuel and the prophets. Through their faith these men conquered kingdoms, ruled in justice and proved the truth of God's promises. They shut the mouths of lions, they quenched the furious blaze of fire, they escaped from death itself. From being weaklings they became strong men and mighty warriors; they routed whole armies of foreigners. Some returned to their womenfolk from certain death, while others were tortured and refused to be ransomed, because they wanted to deserve a more honorable resurrection in the world to come. Others were exposed to the test of public mockery and flogging, and to the torture of being left bound in prison. They were killed by stoning, by being sawn in two; they were tempted by specious promises of release and then were killed with the sword. Many became refugees with nothing but sheepskins or goatskins to cover them. They lost everything and yet were spurned and ill-treated by a world that was too evil to see their worth. They lived as vagrants in the desert, on the mountains, or in caves or holes in the ground. All these won a glowing testimony to their faith, but they did not then and there receive the fulfillment of the promise. God had something better planned for our day, and it was not his plan that they should reach perfection without us.
Hebrews 11:32-39 (Phillips NT)
They had eternity in view.
How do you respond to hardship?
How do you respond to betrayal, to enemies, to rejection?
Do you live with Eternity on your heart?
Do you have in view a better resurrection?
Vs 9 & 10: For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
Service to God - in spirit and in the Gospel of Christ
He wants the Romans to know that he prays for them without ceasing. God is His witness, whom he serves with his spirit. Serve is latreuō - spiritual service, worship. Service to God must be spiritual. Worship is bound up and expressed in our service. We tend to think of service as a physical act, but everything about God is spiritual.
Jesus said we must worship God in Spirit and Truth. The Priests who served God night and day were not allowed to were anything that would cause them to sweat (Ezekiel 44:18). Sweat is the curse upon men who must labor to get provision. When Adam and Eve walked with God they did not sweat. The ground yielded up an abundance of food without effort. Adam could spend hours without getting tired. That is because he labored in his spirit, not in the flesh. His spirit was the driving force of his life.
After the fall Adam became flesh. The flesh became the driving force of his life. Sweat was the byproduct. Sweat is a reminder that we are fleshly beings,
Paul realized that if he was to serve God, his service required two things: a strong spirit, and a firm dependence upon the Words of Christ - the Gospel of God's Son.
Paul declares that he prays for them, because he serves God with his spirit in the gospel of God's Son.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:5-8 (ESV)
The word "spirit" (pneuma) refers to Paul's human spirit, that part of man which gives him God-consciousness and enables him when regenerated, to worship and serve God. Wuest
Service to God should never be undertaken solely because you had some fantastic experience. And now you are all goose-bumply and all emotional when you think about God. Worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Jesus is the truth! Know the Word-Know the Gospel of Jesus That is to be the foundation of your service, not you emotions. Emotions fade, but the Word of God stands forever! It's great to go to meetings where we get all teary eyed or all pumped up, but grab some Word! Get your heart in the Word of God!
Paul desired to see them face to face:
Vs 11-13: For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. Romans 1:11-13 (ESV)
The purpose of these gifts is that they would become established in their Christian character and service.
Paul is not trying to set himself above them, but only show his concern for the work of the Gospel.
Paul then presents an amazing truth about Christians- when one of us grows, we all benefit.
There is no benefit to the church when only the Pastor or a select few people seem to have all the 'godliness' in the church. No, Christ wants to fill the whole body with His grace. He wants all of us to grow in Him, because when we do, we benefit each other.
The purpose of the impartation of these gifts was that they might be established both in their Christian character and their service. That establishment was not up to Paul. It is out of Paul's hands and placed squarely where it belongs - in God's! It is God who establishes us in Christ. Never rely on man except as an encouragement.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
(God) comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:17 (ESV)
Mutual Benefit of Growth
Paul quickly mentioned that his desire to see them strengthened was not so much a prideful thing as it was a benefit for him. He says he would be "sumparakaléō". King James says 'comforted together with you.' It means to be strengthend with other. Christianity is a mutual ministry whereby we are all strengthened as we grow stronger together.
I depend upon you as much as you depend upon me. When you are established I am encouraged and strengthened - We Complete Me! It is never me completing you!
Paul Desires a Harvest
Note Paul's world-wide vision. He wished to bear fruit among the citizens of Rome as well as "among other Gentiles."
Are you a fruit bearer?
Do You Desire Fruit?
Paul the Eager Debtor
VS 14 & 15 "I am under obligation(a debtor) both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. Romans 1:14-15 (ESV)
The word "debtor" (opheiletēs ) means to owe, to be obligated, to be bound by duty. The Greek is impossible to translate into English, for two ideas are being expressed by Paul. He was a "debtor"...
• because Christ had done so much for him (saved him).
• because Christ had called him to preach (given him a task to do).
The indebtedness was deeply felt by Paul. The idea is that it was intense, unwavering, relentless, powerful. The sense of debt just would not let Paul go. He was compelled to preach the gospel; therefore, he could do nothing else. He was obligated and duty-bound to preach it. He actually felt that he owed the gospel to the world; therefore, if he kept quiet, it would be worse than knowing the cure for the most terrible disease of history and refusing to share it.
Note how Paul declared his indebtedness to the whole world. He made a contrast between the Greeks and the Barbarians. He meant that he owed the gospel to all nationalities and cultures, to all the peoples of the earth whether civilized or uncivilized, industrialized or primitive, rich or poor.
Paul was an "ALL IN" kind of guy.
one point in his life Paul (Saul of Tarsus) felt an obligation to persecute every Christian; but now Paul felt an obligation to preach the Gospel to every man and women, boy and girl on the earth.
If you were a medical researcher and you discovered a cure for cancer, would you keep it a secret? Life is short; death is sure; sin the cause, CHRIST THE CURE!
THE POWER OF GOD
Notice the THREE GREAT "I AM’S" of the Apostle Paul:
"I AM DEBTOR" (verse 14)
"I AM READY" (verse 15)
"I AM NOT ASHAMED" (verse 16)
"Not ashamed" -- Paul was not ashamed to go to prison for the sake of the gospel and he was not ashamed to die for the sake of the gospel. See what our Lord said in Luke 9:26 and compare 2 Timothy 1:8,12. Christians should not be EMBARRASSED of the gospel and they should not be an EMBARRASSMENT to the gospel (by living contrary to its principles).
"Power of God" = Greek word DUNAMIS (cf. Eng.-dynamite!).
Creation was mere finger-play to God
(Psalm 8:3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place)
Redemption required nothing less than the mighty arm of God
(Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?)
Creation cost God very little; redemption cost God His only Son. It took the power of God to transform Saul (the chief persecutor) into Paul (the chief apostle). It takes the power of God to save and transform any sinner
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12-14
"Everyone" -- God’s gospel is not for a select few, it is for everyone
"Believes" -- The gospel must be believed (human responsibility). God does the saving but man must do the believing. Faith is the hand of the heart which reaches out and receives God's gift of salvation (Rom. 6:23).
"SALVATION" -- EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES THE GOSPEL IS SAVED.
To salvation – While other institutions can provide services, only the church offers a gospel that can transform a life from the inside out.
The gospel can save us, forgive us, & bring us into the family of God!
“One can't inhale its fragrance and be content to leave everything the way it is!”
"To the Jew first" -- Here we have an amazing demonstration of God’s grace. The Jews were the very ones who rejected their Messiah and crucified Him. Yet these same people were the first ones to hear God’s good news! The gospel went first to the Jews. Those who heard the gospel on the day of Pentecost were all Jews. The Gentiles did not hear the gospel until Acts chapter 10. Today the gospel is to go to all men without distinction
As believers we are free from the debt of sin, but we are debtors to witness to a lost world.
Are you paying your spiritual debts?
FAITH TO FAITH
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:1-17 (ESV)
What is the relation between “who believes” in v.16 and “faith” in v.17?
It is the same word in Greek, “faith” being the noun form, “believe” the verb. To believe is to have faith, to have faith is to believe. Since “faith” and “faithfulness” are interchangeable, a clearer application for us is that proof of what we “believe” is evident by the degree of our faithfulness.
pisteúō; fut. pisteúsō, from pístis , faith. To believe, have faith in, trust.
The “Just” – This is the basic theme throughout Romans.
What it means to be “justified” & what it means to live a “righteous” life!
Justification is God’s gracious act by which He declares the believing sinner righteous in Jesus Christ because of the work of Christ on the cross.
A righteous standing before God leads to a holy life before men.
By faith – as opposed to “by works”!
“We are not saved by works or by faith plus works; we are saved by a faith that works.”
The believer’s righteousness in Christ means that our acceptance & worth before God cannot be earned…but only received.
And on this very verse Martin Luther realized that all his efforts to work his way to God had been futile. He found the very righteousness of God granted to him in Christ!
GOSPEL OF GOD VS THE GOSPEL OF THE INDIVIDUAL
The gospel of Rome has long since faded from the scene. No one celebrates the birth or enthronement of a Caesar, as they did in the First Century. Other gospels, too, have come and gone. The gospel of God has outlasted has outlasted them all.
Rival gospels surface in every age and in every place. Each gospel makes an announcement and tells a story. The gospel of our age and place declares that the individual is lord. The story culminates in Western Europe in the 18th Century, when humanity supposedly triumphed in the Enlightenment.
The gospel of the individual is preached to us every day, 24 hours a day, over the airwaves, on the internet, in the workplace, on the campus and in the marketplace. “Don’t worry about what God thinks,” the preachers of our age tell us. “We determined long ago that if he exists at all, somewhere up in heaven, he doesn’t really care about what happens on earth. If he cares at all, don’t you think he wants you to have your own way?”
Nineteenth Century British poet William Ernest Henley wrote these lines from “Invictus”:
"I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
The gospel of God confronts the gospel of the individual, just as it confronted the gospel of Rome.
Do You KNOW the Power of the Gospel?
Do You KNOW the Power of the New Life in Christ?
The resurrection of Jesus means this:
He is Lord, and you are not.
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