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Untitled Document
The Problem
Romans 3:21  
The Power of the Gospel
Romans 1:6-17
Romans 1:18-21
Romans 1:24-32
The Goodness of God
False Security
What About the Jews?
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Unity in Christ
Introduction
About the Author
Does God Exist?
Gospels
Epistles
Prayer
Faith
the Prophets & Prophecy

Psalms

OT History
Early Church History
Church History
Sabbatarian Heritage

The Worldwide Church Of God
Messianic Believers
Evangelism


America-Modern Romans


Latin-American Poverty

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Romans 1:6-17

And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"

Verse 6, "And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ." We don't know how the Roman Christian Church was started. Paul reminds us in verse 6 that first, we didn't find God, God found us. We should say, "When did the Lord find you?" The parables of Jesus Christ all point to the Lord finding us. John 6:44 states that it is God who calls us to Himself. He prefaces it in verse 36 by saying, 'You've seen Me, but you still do not believe!' A lot of people saw Jesus feeding 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes--a miracle--and yet they still didn't believe. John 6:1-13. "Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?' He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, 'Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!' Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 'Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?'

Jesus said, 'Have the people sit down.' There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.' So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten."

A lot of people say, "If I could only see Jesus." Unbelief is not a matter of a lack of evidence or even seeing him in person. They all saw Jesus and in the end they all rejected him. Jesus says the Father has to bring you to him in verse 44 of this very same chapter. The Bible teaches you that the Father has to draw you to Jesus Christ. If you feel the slightest prompting or drawing to Christ I would run to him. John 6:36-37,44. "But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away…No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." So we see that it is God the Father who draws us to Jesus. It is He who finds us, not the other way around.

Verse 8, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." Paul was thankful to God for this church. Here was a church he wasn't worried about as far as a bad lifestyle or falling into immorality, like the Corinthian church, or falling prey to a false gospel like some of the other churches under him (or like the Church of God at Galatia or Ephesus).

Verses 9-10,13, "God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you…I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles." In verses 9-10 we get a sneak peek into Paul's prayer life. Paul reveals: 1) He prays unceasingly. Paul was a man who prayed all the time. He made it a habit to pray for whatever (or whoever) the Lord brought before him, wherever he was--talking to God wherever he was. He had a heart to pray to his best friend (God, Jesus). He prayed as God put things in his mind, as God put people in his mind. God often does this with us. A few months ago I really felt down, in the depths of this depression. I tried to call a friend. No answer. I just couldn't shake this feeling of depression. Then at 11 p.m. here was this gal we led to Christ over 11 years ago. "The Lord put you on my heart to pray for you and call you," she said over the phone. After an hour of encouraging conversation (where I could hardly get a word in edgewise) the depression was lifted! God puts people on your hearts for you to pray about. It isn't just coincidence!

2) We see his prayers are requests, not demands. You can't demand and command God. This new craze among certain Christian groups of name it and claim it is totally unscriptural when you make a careful and complete study of the great men and servants of God and their respective prayer lives. 3) Paul prays according to the will of God. For years I thought prayer was to get my will done, but now I see prayer is to get God's will done. God's will was outlined by Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13. "This then is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name [the lead in for prayer should have praise for God and his holy name], your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven [this is a direct reference to prayer for God's coming kingdom upon the return of Jesus Christ, as well as for his kingdom to come into the lives of those he calls, converts and saves in this age of man before his 2nd coming]. Give us this day our daily bread [yes, you can pray for your physical needs]. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors [as we pray for forgiveness for our sins, we must also forgive others who have sinned against us, or else God will not forgive us]. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one [we are to pray for protection from the effects of Satan's evil world as well as from Satan and his demon world.] This is an outline of God's will for us in our prayer life, what we should pray for that is part of his will. Jesus couldn't have made it any clearer. Demanding something of God which is not part of what is covered in this prayer outline by Jesus will decidedly get you nowhere with God--even if demanding anything from God could get you something. You can make requests for yourselves. Paul prayed, "Please can I go to Rome, please, please???" God said no, not now. You see, God wanted Paul to commit to writing one of the clearest descriptions and presentations of the gospel of Christ ever written down--not just for the Roman brethren of God's church, but for you and me in this 20th century! So God had to say no to a servant's request. In essence, God was saying to Paul, "No not right now, Paul. You will eventually get to Rome. It will be your last stop, but you will get there."

Many times we're not submitting to the will of God. When things get tough many times we're not submitting to the will of God in our prayers. You get mad and bitter--but you can't win, resisting the will of God in your life. Understand God loves you incredibly and has your life in his hands. Understand that God is in control of your life. Everything that happens to you is filtered through God.

Verses 11-12, "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith." Paul started out by saying he wanted to impart a spiritual blessing to them, but then said, 'Hey wait a minute! It is I who am going to get the spiritual blessing by coming to you and serving you!' Paul was in essence saying, 'I want to come and be with you because I will get a blessing from you. Fellowshipping with other brethren gives you a blessing. Paul knew that when you serve other people you get the bigger blessing. You need to get involved in serving others for God. You miss out on blessing when you don't serve others.

In verses 14-17 Paul shares his testimony. He says three things: 1) I am under obligation. 2) I am eager to preach the gospel, and 3) I am not ashamed of the gospel.

"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'" 1 & 2)Paul felt both obligated and eager to preach the gospel and Jesus Christ., he couldn't keep quiet about this. Paul, like the leper Jesus healed, couldn't keep quiet about Jesus and the gospel. In the Old Testament there is this story about when Samaria was under a long siege and the people of the city were starving so badly that they were now eating donkey heads. A group of lepers said to themselves, "Enough is enough! We're going out to the enemy. If we get run through it's better than living like this." They carefully approached the enemy camp. All was quiet and unnaturally still. To their amazement they found the camp deserted. The Lord had routed the enemy somehow, but not before they had prepared tables loaded with cooked food of all kinds. The lepers began stuffing themselves. Then one of them said, "This is not right. We must tell the others in the city that we have food--lots of food." They couldn't keep quiet about what they had found! And isn't it like that with us? We've found the Bread of Life, Jesus! Paul had found this Bread of Life also, and he was saying he felt like he was under obligation--like the lepers--to tell the world that he had found the Bread of Life! He felt both eager and obligated.

  • And then in verse 16 he said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel." Many people are creeping into the seminaries who are ashamed of the gospel. A good friend of mine, a young pastor, was looking for a church to pastor and applied for a job at this small congregation of some mainstream Christian denomination somewhere in the midwest. He went to this woman head of the church with some cassette tapes of his sermons and when she heard them she said, "You will never preach in any of my congregations! All you preach about is all this blood [of Christ] and sin. I don't want my people hearing about any of that!" I tell you, Jesus Christ is ashamed of her. Not long ago they found this graffiti on a wall in Rome. It was an image of a donkey crucified on a cross, with the inscription something like "This is so & so's god!". The Romans were mocking Christians and their use of the cross, a bloody tool of execution as a symbol for eternal salvation. But the gospel is the power of God. It doesn't need us. These Romans wanted all this power but we have the real power. We don't need to be super-evangelists. We just need our own personal testimony of what the Lord has done for us and a knowledge of the gospel of Christ. The gospel is the power to transform lives, the power to transform stony unconverted minds. The greatest demonstration of God's power wasn't when he created the heavens filled with huge powerful stars blazing away--huge balls of thermonuclear fire--some as big as our whole solar system! The greatest demonstration of God's power is when the gospel is preached and a human heart is transformed--when you take a person who is dead in their sins and transform them. Salvation is how God has saved us from our past sins, from the power of sin right now, and when the Lord comes and removes sin from the world at his 2nd coming. "I am not ashamed of the gospel" Paul said. It's for the Jews and for the Greeks--it's a worldwide gospel. Jesus said "Go to all the world and preach the gospel everywhere." The gospel is the power of God to save people from their sins, the power to set people free from sin that is controlling their lives in harmful ways, sin that destroys lives.

Why this power in the gospel? What is this power? Verse 17 says, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." The Christian message doesn't just declare a righteous God, but it declares how you can be right with God. Jesus was executed so we could be right with God by faith in his sacrifice. God added up all our sins and the sins of everyone who ever lived, lives and who will live and placed them on his Son. The execution that he suffered paid the penalty. And if you'll reach out in faith and accept that sacrifice, you'll be made right with God--you'll be set free from your guilt and God's power will step in and transform your life and save you from the power of sin. It is the power of God to change and transform our lives. This power in recent times has transformed drug addicts into non-users, healed people of killer diseases such as cancer, helped people walk away from any and every chemical or alcohol addiction they may have which is destroying their lives. And all of this is the transforming power of God working in us by his Holy Spirit. The Bible says whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. This opens the door for the power of God to come into your life and transform you from what you are now into his righteous children.

[This expository study was composed using notes taken from a sermon given by pastor J. Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church of Phoenix, Arizona.]

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