JUNE 28: ROMANS 1: 1-13 INTRODUCTION
When asked about the Book of Romans, R.C. Sproul was quoted to say, “There is a war in the Christian life between flesh and spirit. We still battle with the flesh, but the battle is not with our physical body. It may include that, but the battle between the flesh and the spirit is the battle between the old man, who is fallen and corrupt, and the regenerated person, who is now living by the Spirit of God”
John Calvin said of the Book of Romans, “When anyone understands this Epistle, he has a passage opened to him to the understanding of the whole Scripture.”
Alva J. McClain says: Romans is the first epistle in the reading of the Word of God. I believe it was placed there by the Holy Spirit because the canon of the New Testament would not be in proper order otherwise…McClain went on to say…
- It stands there much as the brazen altar stood in the tabernacle: when the worshiper started to approach the Holy Place, the first thing he came to was the brazen altar on which the sacrifice was placed. He could not pass; he could not enter the tabernacle until he came to that.
The Book of Romans is the place where we find Christ set forth as the Propitiation [He Paid A Price We Could Not Pay] which Justifies and Enables us through Faith in His Blood to go on in Christian Truth.
Martin Luther’s study of the book of Romans may have had more to do with him developing the convictions that kindled the Protestant Reformation than any other single factor. Not surprisingly, Luther was bold in his opinion of the book of Romans:
- This epistle is the real chief part of the New Testament and the very purest gospel, which, indeed, deserves that a Christian not only know it word for word by heart but deal with it daily as with daily bread of the soul.
- For it can never be read or considered too much or too well and the more it is handled, the more delightful it becomes and the better it tastes.
Romans stands as the Clearest and most Systematic Presentation of Christian Doctrine in all the Scriptures. Paul began by discussing that which is most easily observable in the world—the Sinfulness of All Humanity.
- All people have been condemned due to our rebellion against God. However, God in His Grace offers us Justification by Faith in His Son, Jesus.
- When we are Justified by God, We Receive Redemption, or Salvation, because Christ’s Blood Covers Our Sin.
- Paul makes it clear that the believer’s pursuit of God doesn’t stop with salvation; it continues as each of us is Sanctified—Made Holy—as We Seek to follow Him.
The Primary Theme running through Paul’s letter to the Romans is the Revelation of God’s Righteousness in His Plan for Salvation.
In Romans 1:16–17 Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
- In Chapters 1-3 Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin.
- Chapters 4-5 Speaks about Receiving God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith.
- Chapters 6-8 Demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers.
- Chapters 9-11 Confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews.
- Chapters 12-16 Applies His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives.
Application of Romans Will be Our Goal: Romans Begins with eleven chapters of doctrine, and then transitions into five chapters of practical instruction.
This Union between Doctrine and Life Illustrates for Every Christian the Absolute Importance of Both what We Believe and How We Live Out Those Beliefs.
Romans Challenges Us to Consider…Does Our Day-to-Day Life Mirror the Beliefs We Hold…OR…Do We find Ourselves in a Constant Battle with Hypocrisy?
Today we will Focus on the first 5 Verses Romans 1: 1-5 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.
In Verse One Paul Makes 2 Statements about himself: “Called & Set Apart”. These are the Two Essentials In Living the Christian Life! LIKE PAUL…What We Need to Understand is that God Calls Us to to Be Set Apart for His Glory.
Paul Makes it Clear…that When we are Called and then Respond to Receive Christ as Our Savior…God’s Desire for Us is to Be “Set Apart” Unto the Gospel of God!
When You Choose to Follow Christ…You’re Saved for a Purpose Other than Just Yourself…God’s Plan is for You to Share the Grace You’ve Received with Others.
- We are to Let People See Christ and Gods Love Through Us!
In Vs 2-4 we See the Biblical Reality of Grace. Paul says the Gospel is about the fulfillment of Old Testament Hopes with the Arrival of the Messiah, God’s Son…Jesus
- Who Died on the Cross for Our Sins and Rose Triumphant over Death 3 Days Later…Breaking the Shackles of Sin and Providing the FREE Gift of Salvation to Anyone who will Receive Jesus as Savior!
- From this we Understand that “Grace is Not Something We have a Right to… Rather…Jesus Obtained it for Us.”
- However…Grace is Not Just About Forgiveness of Our Sins…So, to better Understand God’s Grace I want Us to look Closely at Verse 5,
Verse 5, “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake”.
We’re going to focus on 3 phrases found in Verse 5 “Grace and Apostleship,” “Obedience of Faith” and “for His Name’s Sake.”
- I Want Us to See the “Nature”of Grace as a FREE and Undeserved Enabling for Ministry…
- I Want Us to Understand the “Effect”of Grace which comes through the OBEDIENCE of Faith…
- And I Want Us to Realize that the “Ultimate Goal”of Grace is to GLORIFY Christ’s Name Among All Peoples.
When We Understand These 3 Aspects of Grace Then We Will Comprehend What Paul is Saying about God’s Gift of Grace to Each of Us in Romans.
Repeat Verse 5: “Through Him We Received Grace and Apostleship to Call All the Gentiles to the Obedience that comes from Faith for His Name’s Sake”.
Verse 5 begins with Paul saying, “Through Him We Have Received Grace.”
- In Romans 3:24-25; 5:18-21…We see that Grace was Obtained for Us through the Obedience and Death of God’s Son…
- There is NO Grace for Sinners Apart from the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Verse 5 says plainly that God Gives Grace “Through Him,” referring to “Jesus Christ our Lord” at the end of verse 4.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Grace is Always Received through Faith, It Cannot Be Earned by Our Works.
- Romans 11:6 states the principle: “If it is by Grace, it is No longer on the Basis of Works, otherwise Grace is No longer Grace.”
- It’s Not Something We’ve Earned Through Our Works…Jesus Obtained it for Us.
- We Get it Freely because of the Obedience and Death of Another…JESUS.
To Clarify…For Paul Grace was his ministry and apostleship…He says, “Through [Christ] WE have Received Grace and Apostleship.”
- Now When Paul says “WE” The plural here is met as Singular…It was usual for those clothed with authority to express themselves in this manner.
- eg: ‘We,” the apostles, have received the appointment from Jesus Christ.
- Paul is saying that his Calling as an Apostle was a Gift of Grace and that he Fulfils that Ministry Exclusively by the Power of this Grace.
This is a KEY Truth Paul wants Us to Get: God’s Grace is Not just God’s Clemency toward Paul’s Sin, But is Also a Power to Enable Paul to do his Calling as an Apostle.
And Paul’s Message to Us in Romans…Is that It’s the Same for You and Me!
- God’s Grace in Your Life is Not Only About Forgiveness of Your Sin…It is For You to Use The Gift of Grace to Serve God on Mission and have a Ministry!
- Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His Handiwork, Created in Christ Jesus to do Good Works, Which God Prepared in Advance for Us to Do”.
Note: Romans 12:6 says, “We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us.”
- You See, Grace is God’s Enabling for Various Ministries through Gifts He Gives.
- Paul’s gift includes speaking as an Apostle…Like Paul…God wants YOU to Know and Use the Gift of Grace YOU Have Been Given.
Because…Each Member of LifePoint Using their Unique Gifts for Ministry that God Provides allows Our Body to Meet each-others Needs and Reach Our World for Christ!
FACT: MINISTRY IS ALWAYS THE DESIRED “EFFECT” OF GODS GRACE:
- In verse 1, When Paul calls himself a “bondservant of Christ Jesus” and an “apostle,” he means that he serves the risen Christ as an Apostle.
- From Vs 5, We Understand that ALL Service is Given and Enabled by GRACE.
- Today there are No More Apostles as they had to be personally called by Christ…Paul was the Last Called on the Road to Damascus.
Today Gods Spiritual Gifts: Administration; Discernment; Mercy; Evangelism; Exhortation; Faith; Giving; Healing; Helps; Hospitality; Knowledge; Leadership; Prophecy; Serving; Teaching (aka shepherding) & Wisdom are for Ministry in the body.
These are Not Human Talents…These Gifts Come from God the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ as Savior…
- Grace Begins with God Forgiving Your Sins as You Surrender Your Life to His and Seek to Follow Him every Day of Your Life!
- Then…Grace Continues in Your Life as You Obediently Follow Him, Allowing His Holy Spirit to Fill Your Life and Empower You to Use Your Gifts for Minister!
Romans 15:18 says, “I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me [That’s the Enabling Power of Grace], Resulting in the Obedience of the Gentiles” —This is the Aim of Romans 1:5.
- Paul serves Christ by the Grace with which Christ serves Paul…“Grace is Not God’s Response to Our Deserving or Meriting…Grace is God’s FREE GIFT Before We Do ANYTHING GOOD.”
- This is the Essence of how God Means for You to Live Your Life.
God wants YOU to read verse 5, and Put Your Calling in the place of the word “apostleship.” “Apostleship” is Paul’s — Not Mine and Not Yours.
- You might put, “Through Christ, I have received Grace and the Teaching Role.”
- Or: Grace and Singing. Or: Grace and Or Maybe: Grace and Singleness…Or: Grace and Widowhood. Or: Grace and Motherhood…
You See…In Christ, You are to Declare that God has Freely Given You Forgiveness and with it, the Enabling Power to Do God’s Calling and Fulfil His Role for Your Life that YOU Accepted by Faith.
KEY TRUTH: There is Not Any Role in Your Life that Can Be Lived the Way God Wants It Lived Apart from His Enabling Grace.
- We Must Humbly Surrender to God each Day and Allow His Power to Accomplish His Plan In and Through Our Lives!
- Being a godly Father, Mother, Employee, Business Owner OR AN APOSTLE is IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT THE POWER OF GRACE.
Throughout the Book of Romans, Paul is Tremendously Jealous to Exalt Grace in his life and in Yours…This Becomes Clearer as we look at the next 2 phrases in Verse 5.
‘The Obedience that Comes by Faith’ “Through Him [JESUS] We Received Grace and Apostleship to Call All the Gentiles to the Obedience that comes from Faith for His Name’s Sake”. It Is Grace that Empowers Us to do Ministry.
- God Gives Gifts of Grace so that We will be His Instruments in Bringing About “the Obedience of Faith.” That People will Respond and God Will Be Glorified!
This is Called the “Effect of Grace”. Gods Desired Outcome in Your Life!
With this statement the Obedience that Comes by Faith Paul wants us to think Not only of the Obedience that Faith is…But also “The Effect” that Faith Produces
- We will see in Chapter 6 that Paul cares a great deal about Christian Obedience.
- In Romans 9 Paul Makes Clear that Apart from Faith there is No Righteousness Which was not found in the Law [WORKS] that the Jews sought.
- In Genesis 15 Abram was Found Righteous Not by Works But by Faith!
- And we will see in Romans 14:23 that “Whatever is Not from Faith is Sin.” In other words, Paul Declares…All True Obedience is the Fruit of Faith.
- It is Your Faith that Causes You to Be Obedient!
Through Faith…You Receive Grace to Be Obedient and Gods Power for Ministry!
- All True Obedience is Done in the Power of Grace…NOT OUR OWN POWER.
Romans Makes it Clear that the Essence of the Christian Life is that God Wants to be the Giver in this Relationship with You and Me.
- God wants to be Gracious. God wants to be the Fountain and the Source of Our Service, Our Obedience and Our Ministry.
- Whether a Pastor and Teacher or a Parent or a Student or any other calling.
- God intends to be the Source of Enabling, Empowering, Sustaining Grace.
- Our Job is to Trust Him and Act in Reliance On Him.
So You May Ask…Why is Everything Dependent on God’s Grace through Our Faith? The last phrase in Romans 1:5 gives Us the Answer: “For His Name’s Sake”.
- The Ultimate Goal of All God’s Dealings is that His Name Would be Known and Admired and Cherished and Praised Above All Other Realities.
- Romans 9:17 puts it like this: “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
If Our Ministry and All Our Obedience is by Grace through Faith, then God Gets the Glory and We Get the Help.
- If Paul Relied on Himself to Serve as an Apostle…If the Effect of his Ministry was to Bring about the Obedience of Works…NOT the Obedience of Faith among the Gentiles, then the name of Christ would not be praised, Paul would be.
The Giver of the Power, the Enabler of the Obedience, Gets the Glory.
1 Peter 4:11 puts it this way: “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.”
Peter Clearly Makes this Connection: God Gets the Glory for Our Service if God Gives the Grace for Our Service…And if We Serve by Faith in that Grace, in the Strength of that Grace and Not Our Own.
People often ask is a God who aims at the exaltation of his own name a loving God.
- The book of Romans gives two answers to that question.
First, in Romans 10:13 Paul says, “Everyone who Calls upon the Name of the Lord Will be Saved.” So Yes…It is loving for God to push His Own Name and His Own Glory…Because Everyone who Calls on that Name Will Be Saved…For Him Not to Spread and Exalt His Name as Our Only Hope Would Be Unloving of God.
The Second answer is given in Romans 5:2, where Paul says that while we stand in Grace by faith “We Boast in hope of the Glory of God.”
- In other words, the Glory of God isOur Hope and Our Salvation and the One in Whom We Boast…Our Joy.
YOU: SO…How Do YOU Apply This Truth?
- First…Agree with God that When He Called You…He Called You to be Set Apart Unto Good Works…That Means YOU Daily Need to Make A Choice… Humbly Obey Gods Calling…OR…Miss Gods Best in Your Life.
- Second…There Are No Good Works Apart from The Enabling Power of Gods Spiritual Gifts Which We Receive though Obedience…Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- Lastly…By God’s Grace, Daily Commit Your Life to Making Christ Known through Your Love and Service to Others…Focusing on the Unique Ministry God has Called You Too.
POINT: BY GODS GRACE I WANT TO KNOW GOD AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN!