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Introduction to the Book of Romans, Part 2

Romans: Introduction, Part 2  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:06
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Intro: [video-"Me Church"] Why do you come to Church?
Church has become like so many other businesses in our society today. You have the corner market churches that cater to those locals around it. You have the Savemart churches that draw a wider crowed but usually within 5 miles. Then you have the Walmart Churches that attract people from all over. All of these churches are focused on being what those they seek to draw are looking for.
We live in an age that I like to call the "tyranny of the individual". Our Society is determined to raise up the one even if it means stepping on the many. It is a time of minority rule, safe zones, sanctuary cities and states, and the rights of the one outweighing the rights of the many. This has come to roost in the church...
{In the light of this time we read the opening remarks of Paul to the church at Rome. These remarks give needed insight into the Apostles perspective of Church and the Individual within the Church.}
Romans 1:8-15
Romans 1:8–15 NASB95
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Church was ment to be seen!

"proclaimed throughout the whole world" - The church was ment to be seen, and indeed is seen. (vs. 8)
Romans 1:8 NASB95
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Matthew 5:14 NASB95
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
The question isn’t really, “Is the Church seen?”, but “WHAT is seen when people look at the Church?”

The Church is not about gaining, it is about giving!

"impart some spiritual gift"..."encouraged together with you" - Church is not about gaining but about giving then gaining. (vs. 9-12)
Romans 1:9–12 NASB95
9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.
“in my spirit” = with my whole self
“encouraged together” = The church is for the individual when you look at it from a distance. But when you look at it from the viewpoint of the individual it is a place to serve. In everyone serving, everyone is served. It is giving to gain not gaining to give.

Serving God in the Church is not about choice, it is about duty!

"under obligation" - Paul's preaching of the Gospel was not a choice made from the comfort of prime circumstance, but an unyielding sense of duty to the calling of God on him. (vs. 13-14)
Romans 1:13–14 NASB95
13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
“fruit” = not just new believers and not just fruit of the spirit, but the total package. Paul is talking to believers, so he is concerned with their growth as well as bringing new believers into the church.
“obligation” = Some one who owes a debt (debtor); to be under a moral obligation - Obviously his debt was to Christ, but since Christ assigned him to the Greeks and the non-Greeks, Paul now owes it to those people to bring them the gospel.
The Gospel of God: Romans Why Paul Wanted to Visit the Church in Rome (1:8–17)

Paul understood that he was an apostle simply by the grace of God and that it was an unspeakable privilege for him to have that office. He realised that once Christ had commissioned him to carry the gospel throughout the world, to the Greeks, to the non-Greeks, to the wise, to the foolish, to the lettered and the unlettered, to the great and the small, he was under obligation to fulfil his calling. Love of Christ constrained him to carry out his commission.

Do you have a sense of obligation to be salt and light?

The Gospel is at the heart of Church growth!

"preach the gospel" - The Gospel is at the heart of church growth. Paul is here not just looking at new converts but the ongoing discipleship that builds on the initial evangelization. (vs. 15)
Romans 1:15 NASB95
15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
“gospel” = good news…but what is that news? Is it just that Jesus died for our sin so we can now go to heaven?
We tend to compartmentalize complicated or big ideas.
Jeremiah 31:31–33 NASB95
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
The Gospel is the saving of the unsaved, the discipleship/growth of the believer, and the ultimate glorification of that believer for eternity. That is the Good News.
It is this “Gospel” that is at the heart of Paul’s letter to the Romans. This makes a study of Romans so crucial.
Conclusion:
Having been raised in a loving adoptive family as a newborn, Harris has always been curious about her biological family, but that curiosity turned into necessity when she and her husband were expecting their first child. According to CBS News, Harris put in a request to unseal her adoption records in order to ascertain her family medical history.
"That had all my health history, it had a letter from my birth mother. … It also disclosed that my birth father Wayne had passed away in 2010," Harris said. "And then it had two half-sisters, Renee and Dawn … and then right here it says Dawn Johnson of Greenwood."
The following year, Harris and her husband Lance noticed they had new neighbors, and Lance went out to meet them.
"[Lance] comes in and is like, 'Yeah, I met the neighbor. Her name's Dawn.' … 'Dawn from Greenwood?' … Lance is like, 'Yeah.' I'm like, 'You don't get it?' He's like, 'What are you talking about?'" Harris recalled. "And I pulled out all my adoption paperwork. And I said, 'Dawn. Greenwood. Sister, you know?' And he's like, 'Oh my gosh.'"
Though 19 years apart, the two sisters have been busily catching up on lost time, ecstatic to have made such an unlikely connection. "That moment when I first embraced her in the driveway … I mean, it was amazing. It was a miracle," Harris said.
The church is a lot like that—we think we're living next to total strangers when in reality we are living next to our brothers and sisters. When we see church from Paul’s perspective.
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