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Faithlife

Romans - An Introduction to the Book of Romans 2

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Secular:

  •  Receive a summons… or a tax notice
  •  Obituary in a newspaper
  •  How about a Dear John Letter… left tucked in a door or on the front porch…
  •  Dear John;

You will never know how painful it is for me to write this letter. I have really loved our years together. I know this will break your heart but I have fallen in love with someone else.

It isn’t you John it is me and I am sorry. I hope one day you will be able to forgive me.

            Mary

Biblical:

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Personal:

  •  Story of the Preacher…
    • Preached for a call…
    • Preached same message… same message… same message
  •  God’s word for us… in our hand but buried no the less
  • Remember the Clampet’s

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed

A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,

Then one day he was shootin at some food,

And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know ol Jed's a millionaire,

Kinfolk said "Jed move away from there"

Said "Californy is the place you ought to be"

So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.

  • Old Jed Clampett was sitting on a gold mine (or oil patch) and didn’t even know it…

Bridge:

  •  We have a treasure
  • A GREAT treasure
  • A life changing treasure
  • Words are powerful… especially God’s Word
  • Maybe it’s time to hear them again!

Body:

The Writer

  • Apostle Paul…
  •  Somewhere between 57-59 AD
  •  Died in about 67 AD
  • Acts 22:3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.
  •  This statement by Paul himself tells us a lot about him…
  • Jew
  • Roman
  • Smart man… Harvard credentials… educated under Gamaliel
  • Zealous for God…
    • Passionate… even to persecute believers
    • Before a dramatic conversion.
    • Truly and apostle…
      • Identifies himself as one who has seen Jesus crucified and has Jesus risen…
  • Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."
  • Words are powerful… especially God’s Word
  • Maybe it’s time to hear them again!

The Audience

  • Paul didn’t start the church in Rome
  • Peter didn’t start the church in Rome…
  • Most likely devout Jews present at the feasts surrounding  Pentecost… In Jerusalem
    • In town for the feasts surrounding Passover
    • Acts 2:1-11… “and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes”
  • A letter to friends…
    • Romans 16:3-16… 30 people by name
  • Doctrine
    • Different doctrine
    • Different gospel
    • Food laws
    • Relationship to the historic Jewish Faith
  • There were Orthodox Jews… would have gone to Jerusalem for the Passover /  Pentecost season… witnesses to crucifixion, resurrection… some even for Pentecost
  • An Gentile Christians… Rome was the centre the hub… so a mix… so some confusion
  • Acts 15 shows the confusion in the churches… especially between Jewish and Gentile believers
    • Sabbath…
    • Food laws…
    • Circumcision…
  • Words are powerful… especially God’s Word
  • Maybe it’s time to hear them again!

The Readers

  • The Book often described as a Masterpiece… the most complete, in-depth, explained… presentation of the gospel in the Bible.
  • In history there has been a “Romans Revolution”… The book of Romans will change your life.
  • You may be a Christian for 50 years, 5 years or 5 minutes - - - the book of Romans WILL change your life!
  • It has had an incredible impact on the church for the past 2000 years!

The list of those touched by Romans reads like sort of a spiritual 'Who's who.'

Augustine

  • Augustine who lived about 354 - 430
  • One of the greatest leaders and theologians
  • Traces his conversion to Romans
  • September of 386 that Augustine sank into a great despair.
  • His godly mother, Monica, had been praying for him for decades--praying that he would come to Christ. His Dad wasn't a Christian
  • Augustine was going the way of the world, he was running from God fast as his feet would take him.
    •  a real immoral lifestyle.
    • Started living with a gal
    • Baby out of wedlock
    • He got into all sorts of philosophies.
    • He got involved in some of the cults of his day.
    •  He drank himself into oblivion at times.
    • His life was a mess.
    • And one day sitting in his friend's garden, in September he sat there and just began to cry and cry. He'd come to the end. He looked at his life, he saw what he was, and thought 'How on earth could anyone accept me?' But while he was sitting there in his friend's garden crying, he heard a little child sing a song, a little Latin song. He sang "Take up and read, take up and read, take up and read." And he thought, 'Where's that coming from?' And he looked around, and Augustine looked there right next to him in the garden was an open scroll of Romans. In his own words, he said, "I seized it and opened it! And in silence I read the first passage in which my eyes fell." And this is what he read, "not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealously. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regards to its' lusts." He goes on to say, "I had no wish to read on and no need to do so. For in an instant I came to the end of the sentence and it was as if the light of faith flooded into my heart, and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled." The moment his eyes fell upon Romans 13, he looked at those verses, and the Spirit caused him to be born again, and Augustine was saved--just by reading a couple verses in Romans.

Martin Luther

  • Luther had struggled for years to have peace with God, and he knew that God was Holy, and he was not.
  • He tried all sorts of religious practices, denying himself, hurting himself--studying, praying.
  • He went into the monastery to try to find God, and he could not find God.
  • As a last resort he decided he would go to the Holy City, Rome! And there, there are so many hundreds of shrines. There perhaps by visiting the shrines he could avoid many thousands of years in Purgatory.
  • Rome was far from being the Holy City. In fact the people said, 'If ever there was a Hell Hole open to earth, Rome was built over it.' He went ahead and visited all the shrines and tried to grab all the indulgences he could.
  • Works…works…works…works…
  • Lateran Church, which is famous for its' sacred stairway. And in this great church, supposedly, supernaturally, from Jerusalem, the very staircase that Jesus stood on when Pilate condemned him to die, was transported to Rome…. On their knees repent… stair after stair… rosary
  • He was interrupted as he was praying. This is his own account. He said, "I heard a very small voice, saying, 'Martin, Oh Martin, the just shall live by faith.' 'Who said that?'" That was the verse he had read in the book of Romans that had bugged him for years!
  • Stair after stair as he climbed the words resonated within him!! 'The just shall live by faith!'… 'The just shall live by faith!'… 'The just shall live by faith!'
  • He said, "I stood up. I felt like a man who had come to his senses. I thought, 'What am I doing this stupidity for? Trying to get right by God?--'the just shall live by faith!'" It made sense to him. He ran down those stairs, quickly went back to Germany, and there he began to study the book of Romans.
  • He came to the conclusion the R.C. did not match the book of Romans!
  • He Protested… and the Protestant reformation was born
  • The cry of the reformation was… 'The just shall live by faith!'
  • You may not realize it, but God used the book of Romans to transform his church… otherwise you might be at Mass today.
  • He said, " It was a light and a way into the whole of Scriptures." You understand the book of Romans, you'll understand the whole Bible.

John Calvin

  • "If a man understands the book of Romans, he has a sure road open for him to the understanding of the whole Scripture."
  • Calvin declared that Romans is encyclopaedic
  • Theology is the study of God… Theology is knowing about God and doctrine is organized issues of faith – theology in terms of practice.
  •  

William Tyndale

  • "For as much as this Epistle is the principle and most excellent part of the New Testament, and most pure Evangelia, and that is to say, glad tidings and that we call gospel. And also it's a light and a way into the whole Scripture. I think it meat that every Christian man not only know it by rote, and without the book, but also exercise himself therein evermore continually, as with the daily bread of the soul. No man verily can read it too oft, or study it too well, for the more it is studied the easier it is. The more it's chewed the pleasanter it is. The more groundly it is searched the preciouser things are found in it--so great a treasure of spiritual truth lieth therein."
  • William Tyndale would burn at the stake for his desire to get the word of God in English… into the hands of the English speaking world.
  • Foundation for KJV

John Wesley

  • He was a spiritually dead pastor and missionary of the Church of England.
  • . In his heart he knew he wasn't saved.
  • But one strategic evening on May 24th, 1738 he reluctantly went to a little church gathering where his life was to be forever changed. Later he wrote in his journal what happened that night. Let me read you what he wrote. "I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans.
  • John Wesley saw the message he had read many times in a new light…
  • From John Wesley’s journal… while he (man at Aldersgate) was describing the change that God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ--Christ alone for my salvation. And an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins and death."
  • Words are powerful… especially God’s Word
  • Maybe it’s time to hear them again!

It wasn’t Romans again for Augustine…

It wasn’t Romans again for Luther…

It wasn’t Romans again for Calvin…

It wasn’t Romans again for Tyndale…

It wasn’t Romans again for Wesley…

It should not be OH. Romans again for you…

  • Words are powerful… especially God’s Word
  • Maybe it’s time to hear them again!
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