This is Robbie Dilmore from The Christian Car Guy and Kingdom Pursuit, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build a kingdom. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it and share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.
I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Looking at scripture will help us answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.
For more information on the ministry, please visit online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Let's listen to guest speaker, Pastor Kenny Jones, as he leads us through a prayer. Turn over to Romans chapter 1. Romans chapter 1. And tonight we are going to be looking at the first 17 verses. Romans 1 and we're going to look at the first 17 verses.
Let me just say this, men. Romans is a magnum opus of a book, to say the least. What you are doing in your small group of people, groups, and as well as even what we're doing tonight, barely does it justice to be able to really dig deep. We are digging deep in the text, but we could spend years in the book of Romans.
We really could. If you were to look at some of the great expository preachers, those men that go verse by verse, like John MacArthur, you know, like John Piper, those types of guys. You know, I was looking at MacArthur the other day and I think he spent well over like eight and a half years in the book of Romans, which is a great leap to take. I believe that's the type of study we're looking at and I would encourage you as a fellow brother in Christ to dig deeper on your own. Go through these 17 verses when you leave here tonight and unpack the cross references. See how Romans connects from the Old to the New Testament and see how it connects all through the other epistles and letters of the Apostle Paul.
I would encourage you to do that tonight. As you have studied over the last week for your small group time and as you discussed, you realize pretty quickly coming out of the gate that Paul is talking all about the power of the Gospel. Right in the very beginning, Romans 1, these 17 verses, it's all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as you have noticed, Paul does not mince words. He is very precise with his language. He's very much like a surgeon, cutting very precisely across the surgery that has to take place. And that is the Apostle Paul.
Whenever I come to Romans 1, I always think of Paul shooting right to the chase. He's like your friend. You know those guys that you know that when you wave at them, hey man, how's it going?
How's your family? And they go, great, I need to talk to you about something. That's what I think about in Romans 1 with Paul. He does give his niceties. He does long to be with the Christians in Rome. But he goes right to the Gospel. And that's what we're going to be looking at tonight. In your outline, you see that the title of tonight's message is The Power of the Gospel. And in order to understand the Book of Romans, which is nothing but Paul's explanation and the power of the Gospel, and he breaks it down into the most minute of details to see the work of Jesus. But what we're going to do tonight, before we can go any further into the Book of Romans, we need to understand what this Gospel is. We're going to do an investigation tonight like a detective. And we need to see the who, the what, the how, the work of the power of the Gospel.
And that's what we're going to do tonight. And my prayer for you, my prayer for you men, since I was asked to be here, my prayer for you tonight is two things. Number one, if you are a Christian, I pray by God's grace that your view of God will get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger tonight. I hope that you will see how big and glorious God is. Here's the second thing. There are a lot of you in here who have no idea who Jesus is.
You think you do, but you don't. And my prayer is that you will see Jesus and you will come to a saving faith tonight in Jesus as Lord and Savior. That's my prayer. And so that's the journey we're going to take together in these 17 verses. So before we get started, we need to ask the Lord for His help. So if you will bow your heads with me and let's ask the Lord for His help tonight before we jump in to these first 17 verses.
Bow your heads with me. Lord, apart from you, we are nothing. So Lord, as we open up your Word, teach us through your Spirit. God, I pray, help us to see the magnificent, glorious, and the powerful, the holy name of Christ tonight. Help us to see how the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. And Lord, help us to see the true gift that Jesus is to us. We pray these things in Christ's name.
Amen. I pray you got your outline tonight. I'm going to make you work. You're going to have to write. That's taking a pen and writing.
If you're at Capitol, we give you these beautiful outlines, and so I'm making you work tonight to make you stay awake. So you're going to have to follow along. But tonight, that's a joke, gentlemen. Listen, if you know anything about me, yeah, I want you to laugh, but most of the time not even my own wife laughs.
So I'll go home in my car and at least laugh at what I said. But look at our first point. We need to understand the who and the what about the Gospel. What is the Gospel all about? Let's look in these first seven verses. When you look at verse one, Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God.
Paul starts out in a bold way to introduce himself. He claims that he is a servant of Christ Jesus. The ESV, which I'm reading from, says servant.
And most versions, whether you have the NIV or maybe the NASB, say bondservant. But that just doesn't do justice enough. What Paul is saying is when you look at the word servant in the Greek, it's for the word doulos, where we get our word slave. Paul is a slave for Christ. This is not a hired hand.
This is not someone you would bring it off the streets to help you be able to do something and give them a form of payment. No, Paul is saying he is owned by Christ, joined to Christ. He submits everything to Jesus. And Paul, in saying these first three words, is that he is showing that his life is bound to the cause of Christ.
And why is that? Why is he bound? Why is he a slave to Christ?
That's pretty bold language if you think about it. To be able to say that your identity is in Jesus and that your identity is as a slave to Jesus. The reason why Paul is saying that is because he has been overwhelmed by the power of the gospel. He believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He says, if you want to write this verse down, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 19 through 20, he says, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
You are not your own. You are bought with the price. And what price is he talking about? He is talking about the cross. He is talking about the work of Christ.
He is also saying in his introductory statement, two more things. With this identity of being a slave, he is bound to obey Christ. If you are bound to somebody or indebted to somebody, you have an obligation to work for them. And what Paul is saying here, the obligation he has is a willful obligation. Because he has been delivered from the dominion of darkness. So it is not out of just pulling Paul along to obey Christ.
No, he wants to. And that is the type of servant, bond servant, slave that he is. He saw Christ in Acts chapter 9 and believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
And it is a done deal. And there at that moment, he is on the path of obedience. And we also see that being a servant is used throughout scripture to describe followers of God. Joshua, the son of Nun, he was a servant of the Lord. Philippians 1-1, Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ.
Servants must obey. The second thing he does, and you can write this down, is that he denounces all human authority when it comes to faith. He denounces all human authority when it comes to faith.
Where am I getting that from? From the word, the servant of Christ Jesus. By the title of our Lord.
That is what he is saying. Because when he says that he is the slave of Christ Jesus, what he is saying is that his identity lies in the Messiah. The word Christ is where we get our word Messiah, which is anointed one. Jesus is the anointed one sent by the Father. He is the prophet, priest, and king. And Paul says here he is a servant bound to the Messiah.
He is also helping us to see furthermore, look at this, that he is called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel. This idea of being set apart means being one who is chosen. Being one who is chosen. Leviticus chapter 20 verses 24-26 gives us an idea of this idea of being set apart, being chosen. The Lord says, I am the one who has separated you from the peoples. You shall be holy to me.
I the Lord, holy, have separated you from the peoples. The distinction of being set apart comes from by God setting that standard. By believing in Jesus, that is your designation. That is what Paul is saying. And he is an apostle, one who has been divinely appointed by the Lord carrying the message of Christ. And that is what an apostle is. He is delivering the good news about Jesus.
And here is something we need to see. From verse 1 alone, and Paul sets the trajectory here men. From verse 1 alone, we see that Paul's life is all about Jesus. It is all about Jesus. The word gospel, euangelion, which means good news. Paul is saying I have been charged to tell this good news as his commission as apostle states. But what we see more than anything is that his identity is not found in his old way of life.
It is now found in Christ. Men, I want to stop for a second here and ask you an honest question. Can you be identified as a life being sold out for Christ? When people say your name, do they quickly identify you as a Christian?
Serious question. I can think of men in my life, saints in my life, as I was growing up as a young man. A perfect young man. That I would look at these guys like you don't even know these guys.
Leroy, Allen, Jack, John. Men that I saw growing up that were pillars for me in my faith. And when I think about them, I think about the grace and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can that be said of you? Can you be described as a man of God?
Men who are sold out for the cause of Christ. Because that is what Paul identifies as. But then, look with me in verses 2 through 4. Paul now moves as we're digging further into our investigation here. Paul now is moving to what I'm going to call his employer history. So Paul's almost like in an investigation. You know, they all ask the questions, where do you work? Where were you this time of night and this type of day? Paul would be saying in his query here.
Let me give you a little bit where I was. This is an idea of who he works for. And verses 2 through 4, this is key for us to understand. Because what Paul is saying in verse 2, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures. Another way of what Paul is saying is Jesus has been proclaimed since the Old Testament.
That's what he's saying here. That before Paul became an apostle, the scriptures were proclaiming the message of Christ. Paul is going back to Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 through 19. And write that verse down if you've never heard it. Because that is the first proclamation of the gospel.
Where there is going to be a man who is going to crush the head of Satan. Jesus is what he's talking about. When he says this, he's even bringing the prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, the minor prophets to the forefront. And helping us to see that they were pointing to a day of when Jesus is going to come and bring the redemption that we need from our sins. Jesus actually, on the road to Emmaus in Luke chapter 24, does this. If you want to turn there in your Bible, you can, but in Luke 24 he says, Jesus there talking to those men and beginning with Moses and all the prophets. He, Jesus, interpreted to them and all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Jesus is going back to the beginning, the Old Testament. It's like Adrian Rogers, you know the great preacher Adrian Rogers? He says the Bible is a hymn book, H-I-M, I love that. It's all about him, Jesus.
W.A. Criswell talked about how all 66 books of the Bible have the scarlet thread of redemption. That there's a scarlet thread about Jesus connecting through every single book of the Bible.
And this is helping us connect the dots. This is helping us to make the case in our investigation about who Jesus is. But this should also help you to see, as Paul's laying out, helping us to see the Bible is pointing to Christ. This should also help you to see that this book that you have in your hand is the infallible word of God.
That every single word in this book is true. There is no error in the Bible. Isaiah 55-11, God's word shall never return void. Which means Jesus didn't return void. If he did, it wouldn't be the gospel. He wouldn't be the Messiah, like Paul has talked about.
Jesus did not return void. He fulfilled every single promise, every single word about himself. When I was preparing for tonight, I was reading this fascinating article about how many times Jesus is mentioned in Scripture.
And just in the summary, I want you to just listen here. And I want you to see how, again, how the Bible is pointing to Christ as our Redeemer. It says, in summary, our Lord saw that the law would be fulfilled, talking about Matthew 5-18.
And the Scriptures could not be broken. And there he's referring to John chapter 10. It has been estimated that over one-tenth of Jesus' recorded New Testament words were taken from the Old Testament.
Pretty fascinating, isn't it? In the four gospels, 180 of the 1800 verses that report his discourses are either Old Testament quotes or Old Testament allusions or prophecies about Jesus. It's a hymnbook. It's all about the Lord Jesus Christ. And since the Bible is all about Christ, look with me in verses 3-4. Paul goes deeper in his message and the who is Jesus and what is Jesus about. When you look at verses 3-4, and then I wish we could spend another 10 weeks on this. It's like a fire shut up in my bones to see what Paul describes here. He says concerning his son, the father son, who is 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. What Paul is doing in verses 3-4 is helping us to see that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is deity. He's helping us to see Jesus' humanity in deity.
That's another way for us to see. Let's look first at his humanity. When Paul says that he descended from David. It's like Paul saying he came in the flesh. He had bones.
He had skin. He came to us in the flesh. Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 5-6 says this. Behold the days are coming declares the Lord. I will raise up for David a righteous branch. And he shall reign as king and deal wisely and execute justice in the Lamb. Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia says in 4-4, But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son born of a woman. If you look in Matthew 1 and 2 and Luke chapter 1 and 2 you will see all about the nativity. The story of the birth of Christ coming through the virgin Mary.
He was born. And then he moves on to the spirit of holiness talking about his deity. Notice they are intertwined. He's not putting them in two different categories.
He's putting them together here just like a sandwich. And here when he says the spirit of holiness he's talking about Christ's divine nature is connected to the resurrection. That's what he's saying here. That when Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. There it inaugurated that Jesus is the Messiah, the sent one, the son of God.
Men write down 1 Corinthians chapter 15. And if you look at verses 12-34 it talks nothing about the power of Christ's resurrection. What Jesus is showing us is that he is truly God and truly man.
That's what he's showing here. And remember it's all throughout scripture men. All throughout the scripture. Remember Simon Peter in Matthew 16-16 said to Jesus, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. And remember in the gospel of John chapter 10 he says, I and the father are one. Referencing there of the trinity.
God the father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit. John 8-58 before Abraham was born, I am. Going back to Exodus chapter 3. It's all right there in scripture.
And then in verses 5-7. All because of Christ. We Christians receive grace in our apostles.
That's a lower case a. There are no more capital a apostles out there. It is all by grace that we have been saved. And now we can be identified as men who are called out to the cause of Christ. And there he ends in verse 7 as saints. What a way to be described saints. I've been called a saint many times in my life.
I'm proud of it. And I would appreciate that if you would do that for me and our time together. But this men we see here in verses 1-7 it is all about Christ. And this shows us in our first point who is Jesus and what is he about. Which leads us then to our second point. In verses 8-15 we now come to the work of the gospel.
Or you can run off to the side. This is the outflow of the work of the gospel. In the heart of believers. This is the outflow of the gospel. So when you come to verses 8-15 you may see in your heading there that it says the longing to go to Rome. The longing to go to Rome. And what Paul is showing us here in these verses here is that Paul wants to be with his fellow brothers and sisters in Rome.
Why? Because their faithfulness is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. And when he says the whole world he means the known world at the time. The Mediterranean region there. But what we see is that their faithfulness to the gospel is being heard all the way where Paul is.
Hundreds of miles away. And they are in other places in the surrounding region. And then Paul moves that he is longing to be with them and he is praying for them. That he is praying for them.
This shows us two points if you want to write this down. Number one it shows us the power of the church. These are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in Rome. And by the way like you studied he has never seen them before.
Never seen them. But he has heard about their faith. He loves them and he longs to be with them. There is something special about the church. Something special about the church. That's why the writer over in Hebrews says do not neglect the meeting together. Because think about the beauty of Christ's church. Total strangers come together.
Like here at Capitol. Don't know each other from Adam sometimes. But you come here all because of what? What's the surrounding point of why you come? It's all about Jesus. And there you are making friends with old to young.
Good looking people like me and ugly people like you. And there it's all connected because of Christ. That's the glue. And what a beautiful picture of the church. And it shows how he longs to be with them. As he says so he can be encouraged by them.
And he can encourage them. It shows the power of the church. And the second thing it shows you is the power of prayer. It shows you the power of prayer. I've never heard of man say that he's prayed enough in his life. Never heard that.
If you hear it, be careful. But this is just normal Pauline language. And he never stops praying for his brothers and sisters in Christ. 2 Timothy 1.3 You are constantly in my prayers day and night. Colossians 1 through 4 I thank my God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts given to the believer. And though Paul can't be with them, he's praying for them.
And men that should be a point of application for you. Because so often when the heat is on. When we see maybe a brother or sister in Christ suffering. Our immediate response and that's a good thing is you want to be with them.
Side by side locking arms. And that's the right heart motive to have. But there are times when you can't be with them. And what Paul is showing us is that prayer is the tool to use to be with them.
You get it? So never neglect the power of prayer. Paul Miller has a book called The Praying Life.
I'd write that down. It is a fantastic book about prayer. But he says prayer is bringing your helplessness to Jesus.
That's exactly what it is. Prayer is a rigged deal. It's humiliating. Because you have to bow before your maker. And ask for help for everything.
It's rigged. But that's exactly how God has put it into motion. And for us to be a people of prayer. And then like I said in verses 11-12. We see Paul show that the root of the gospel is deep in their hearts and it's blossoming.
It's blossoming. And they're just like the parable of the sower. Their faithfulness is bearing fruit and yielding 100 fold 60 and another 30.
Paul longs to be with them. But he's on a mission to tell people about Jesus. Just like he says in verses 14-15.
And now men our third point. Is we get to verses 16-17. So we now see the who and the what of Jesus. We now have seen because of Jesus we see the outflow of what happens when you are a believer. You long to care and to be with other Christians. You want to pray for them. And now here it is.
How does this all happen? The power of the gospel comes by faith. Men these are some of the most important verses in all of scripture. Not the most important but some of the most important verses in all of scripture.
And men I can tell you this. That there have been lives changed. That have changed the course of human history.
All because of verses 16 and 17. I pray that as you are going in your study you are going to hear of maybe the reformer Martin Luther. This changed everything for him. Changed everything for him. And put the bowling ball rolling down the hill into motion for the protestant church to be established. All because he said it is by faith alone that you are saved not works. He crushed the argument of the Catholic church.
He crushed the Catholic church because what he saw was not Martin Luther's main idea. But God's idea of how you are going to be saved. And it is right here in verses 16 through 17. Look with me in verse 16. He says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. To the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Paul is not ashamed of the gospel. Because here is the context. He is writing to Rome and this is a metropolitan city.
Where you have got cultures and you have got religions all coming and intersecting there in this huge city. And so you may read the first half of verse 16 in the negative. But it is not. Paul is not trying to defend something here that is being portrayed in a bad light. No, what he is saying is because the power of the gospel. The gospel is God's full power on display. He is even more. He has got more fire in his belly to preach the whole counsel of God and the power of Jesus. Let me give you context to what is happening in Paul as he is writing this to Rome. Robert Haldale says this. Here is the context. The pagans Christianity was branded as atheism.
And the Jews it was abhorred by subverting the law. And they thought it was tending to life's sensuousness. Being a Christian is not about being religious. But about having a dynamic alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You have been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net.
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