Romans- Session 1- Compelled- March 1, 2020

Text: Romans 1:1-7,13-17

Resources:

  • Video Summary:

Subject:  Gospel

Central Theme: Compulsion of the Gospel

Objective Sentence:

Three factors drove Paul’s compulsion for the Gospel that should drive us as well.

Factor #1- The Description of the Gospel.  V.1-7.

Factor #2- The Debt of the Gospel.  V.13-15.

Factor #3- The Declaration of the Gospel.  V.16-17.

 

Introduction:

Connection:

  • Discussion Question: When I say the word “compelled” what does that bring to your mind?  Or put another way, what is something that you have a compulsion to do?
  • We all have compulsions about certain things.
    • Hunger
    • Thirst
    • Rest
  • One compulsion that I see a lot today is the compulsion towards checking our phones…

Tension:

  • What is a compulsion? What does it mean to be compelled?
  • It is a drive in a certain direction.
  • It’s a pull toward something.
  • And in today’s text Paul begins the book of Romans by introducing himself to the church at Rome in this incredible letter.
  • He says that he had “purposed to come to you”.
  • There was a pull, a drive, or a compulsion in Paul’s life to come to Rome to preach the Gospel.
  • The Gospel, which is the main theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans, created a compulsion in Paul that was leading him to Rome.
  • By reading this text we can see this compulsion for the Gospel in Paul and how these same truths should compel us.
  • Today I want to talk to you about this compulsion.

Three factors drove Paul’s compulsion for the Gospel that should drive us as well.

Factor #1- The Description of the Gospel.  V.1-7.

 

Rom 1:1-4  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,  (2)  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)  (3)  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;  (4)  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

 

  • The letter to the church at Rome is one of the most significant letters ever written.
  • Understanding this letter is not only pivotal to understanding the whole of scripture but is also pivotal to understanding a right theology of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • As Paul often does at the beginning of his, this letter begins with an introduction that serves as a clue to the entire theme of the book.
  • He calls himself by three descriptions.
    • First, he claims to be “a servant of Jesus Christ”. The word for servant is the word for slave.  Paul calls himself the slave to Jesus Christ.
    • Second, he says he is called to be an apostle, or sent one.
    • In his calling to be an apostle we see his third description as “separated unto the Gospel of God”.
    • The Gospel, being the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again for our sins is the hope for the world.
    • Paul was saying that He was separated by God unto the declaration of this message, the Gospel.
  • He goes on in the introduction to describe the Gospel itself.
  • He says of the gospel that it was “promised afore by his prophets”.
    • One of the ways we know the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be true is that it fulfilled prophecy.
    • Jesus fulfilled in his birth, life, death, burial and resurrection prophecies that no mere man could have fulfilled.
  • He also said that the Gospel is “concerning Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    • The Gospel is about Christ.
    • The Gospel proclaims Jesus to be both Christ and Lord.  How was His position substantiated?
  • He was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurrection from the dead.”
    • We can know that Jesus can forgive sins, defeat death, and resurrect our bodies because His very resurrection itself substantiated that claim.
    • How do I know that Jesus Christ was the Son of God?  He got up out of the grave after telling us that He was going to rise again.  He is the only begotten Son of God!

Application

  • In the course of studying this excellent letter we will be examining the Gospel.
  • If the Gospel is true, then understanding and living according to its’ truth is more important than any other pursuit.
  • By the Gospel we can know Christ.
  • By the Gospel we will be resurrected from the dead.
  • By the Gospel, we live out lives on mission, making Christ known to the nations and to those around us.
  • There is a sense in which we who know and believe in Christ are sent and separated unto the Gospel of God.

Application Questions

  • Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?  Have you believed the Gospel?
  • Who do you need to share the Gospel with today?
  • Is there any part of your life that shows that you are not living in light of the truth of the Gospel?

 

Rom 1:5-7  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:  (6)  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:  (7)  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  • Christ was the source of grace for Paul by which He was saved.
  • He also said that it was by Christ and His grace that He had been called to be an apostle or sent one.
  • Christ was the source of His salvation, and also the source of his sending.
  • Why was he sent?
  • There were two reasons for his sending mentioned here.
    • First, that there would be people among all the nations of the earth that would become obedient to the faith. 
      • They would believe the Gospel.
      • There is a body of doctrinal truth that God wants us to know, believe, and live out.
    • When that process happens the second reason for his sending is realized- that God’s name would be made known and exalted among the nations.
  • Christ’s purposes in saving and sending Paul were being realized by the Romans obedience to the faith.
  • Paul is writing to them and saying from the beginning that their existence as people who believe and obey the Gospel is evidence of what God was doing in the world.
  • He tells them that they are loved by God, called to be santified or set apart ones, and then greets them with a Gospel greeting.

 

Application:

  • Because of salvation we have both grace from God and peace with God because of Jesus.
  • God can give us what we don’t deserve (grace) and doesn’t have to give us what we do deserve (judgement) because of what Christ endured on the cross for us.
  • Thus, we have peace with God instead of condemnation.

 

Application Question:

  • Take a few moments to think through what the Gospel means for the nations.  What should a believer in Christ do when it comes to evangelizing the nations?

 

Factor #2- The Debt of the Gospel.  V.13-15.

 

Rom 1:13-15 (KJV)

13  Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Explanation:

  • I purposed to come to you…
    • Paul wanted the Romans to know how much he desired to come to Rome. Paul desired to get to them and meet them face to face.
  • But was let hitherto
    • Why was he prevented from coming?
    • Was it a move of the Holy Spirit in his life preventing him from coming?
    • Was it some circumstantial problem that kept him away?
    • Was it the demands of ministry that he had been performing that made it difficult to leave?
    • He did not want the Romans to think that His absence had anything to do with his desire to come. He had purposed and planned to come to Rome but had been prevented.
  • That I have some fruit among you
    • Why did he want to go? So that he would have some kind of fruit among them.
    • What did he mean by fruit? The Bible sometimes refers to fruit as good works, growth in character or at times evangelistic impact. Because he speaks of preaching the gospel in Rome I believe He is referring primarily to the fruit of evangelistic impact. He wants to see people in Rome trust in Christ, just as he had seen “among other gentiles”.
  • I am a debtor…
    • Paul felt obligated to the Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and the unwise.
      • The Greeks were as a society more formally educated. They were sophisticated in comparison to the barbarians.
      • The barbarians were those gentiles not part of the educated, upper class.
      • Why did he feel a debt to them? Because He had been give both grace (salvation) and apostleship. He was saved and called to them by the Lord.
    • .ready to preach…at Rome also.
      • Paul had purposed to preach to them. He had a message to preach to them. He had an obligation to preach to them. He was ready!

Application:

  • Those of us who know Christ as Savior have been given God’s grace through salvation.
  • Because we know Christ and are living on this earth we have an obligation as well.
  • A call to follow Jesus is a call to discipleship and disciplemaking.
  • Jesus called his disciples by saying follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
  • We ought to be ready to proclaim the gospel to those who don’t know.

Application Questions:

  • Are you ready to share the gospel?
  • Are you actually sharing the gospel?
  • Do you feel a debt to those who don’t know?

Factor #3- The Declaration of the Gospel.  V.16-17

Rom 1:16 (KJV)

16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

  • This is one of the classic, most well-known verses in Romans.
  • Paul proclaims his attitude towards the Gospel.
  • He was not ashamed.
  • He rooted his attitude about the Gospel to its power and its purpose.
  • The Gospel message, once received, is the message that brings God’s regenerating spiritual power to those that believe.
  • Its power is to save.
  • Its purpose is to save everyone who believes.
  • It came through the Jews, not because they were more loved, but through revelation of God it came to them first.
  • But it is not only for the Jew or even primarily for the Jew. It is for everyone.

Application:

  • What does it mean to be not ashamed of the Gospel?
    • I believe it means that there is no hinderance to identifying oneself with Christ’s message, mission, or person.
    • It is a forgetting of one’s self by focusing on the purpose, power and person of the Gospel.
      • Purpose– Eternal life for the person we are sharing the Gospel with is possible because of Christ. If they don’t know Christ they’ll spend eternity separated from all that is good in the lake of fire. It doesn’t matter who they are. Their nationality, religious history, sinful habits, nor any other human distinction can make them ineligible from salvation.
      • Power– God’s power can change them from the inside out no matter how good or bad they may seem. There is no one too far from God.
      • Person– The creator of the universe became a man and lived a perfect life in our actual history! This is incredible and worth sharing. There are evidentiary realities that make it possible for us to believe because of the evidence and not in spite of the evidence.
    • If we focus on ourselves on the potential cost to us by identifying ourselves with Christ we will be tempted to be ashamed, or even silent. When our focus is right then our attitude will be right.

Application Questions:

  • Are you ashamed of the Gospel? What is your focus?
  • What is your attitude toward the Gospel?
  • Who is someone you need to share the Gospel with this week?

 

17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Explanation:

  • It is in the Gospel that the righteousness of God revealed.
  • The word revealed has the idea of “uncovered”.
  • This is a theme in Paul’s letters.
  • Paul was the apostle called by God to proclaim the message of the Gospel and its implications that had been purposed previously in redemptive history and had been realized in the person and work of Jesus.
  • In other passages he spoke of the “mystery” of the Gospel. It speaks of that which is now made known that was previously hidden.
  • What is the “righteousness of God” here?
    • It could speak of God’s righteous works in redemptive history now being revealed by the Gospel.
    • It could mean that God is making those who believe righteous through saving them.
    • It could mean that God is righteous in saving those that believe.
  • God’s righteousness is revealed in all three ways. We may favor the interpretation that God is making those who believe righteous because of his quote:

Hab 2:4 (KJV)

4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Application:

  • It is faith in Christ that justifies the believer.
  • When we accept Christ as Savior, we are made righteous by Christ.
  • It is an “alien” righteousness in that it is a righteousness that is not our own.
  • We must believe the Gospel to be saved.
  • We are made righteous positionally in Christ through justification, and then we are made actually righteous as we trust Christ to grow us day by day through sanctification.

Application Questions:

  • Have you trusted Christ as Savior?
  • Are you growing in righteousness?
  • Take some time today to thank God for His righteousness!

 

Conclusion:

Three factors drove Paul’s compulsion for the Gospel that should drive us as well.

Factor #1- The Description of the Gospel.  V.1-7.

Factor #2- The Debt of the Gospel.  V.13-15.

Factor #3- The Declaration of the Gospel.  V.16-17.

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