Archive for June 11th, 2019

Romans 1:13-16

In Romans 1:13-16 Paul makes clear that this visit has been a long time coming.  He has intended to come for some time, but circumstances always got in the way. “I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.” His mission here is clear – he is coming to share the gospel to build up the believers but also to bring others to know Christ.  Paul is single-minded in his desire to serve God in every situation no matter where he happens to be.

Paul recognizes that he has some debt to the Romans and other people in the world. After all, the Roman Empire brought world peace and order; they brought a common cultural, and an excellent transportation system to the world. Paul used all these in spreading the Gospel; so he can best repay this debt by giving Rome the good news of Jesus Christ. “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” Paul was a tireless evangelist, working all over the world because he believed he had a debt to pay, and he owed it to the whole world. He never stopped until his death.

Paul had never been to Rome, and he did not found the Roman church. This makes the Book of Romans different because most of Paul’s letters were to churches he founded. It seems the church in Rome began somewhat spontaneously as Christians came to the great city of the Empire and settled there. “So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”  Paul makes it clear that he is eager and ready to do whatever God wants Him to do. He said it many times in scripture:

  • Paul was ready to preach and to serve (Romans 1:15).
  • Paul was ready to suffer (Acts 21:13).
  • Paul was ready to do unpleasant work (2 Corinthians 10:6).
  • Paul was ready to die (2 Timothy 4:6).

Paul was eager to march with Christ alone to the center of this world’s greatness entrenched under Satan with the message of the gospel.

And he marched with confidence and boldness. Paul reveals his heart and made clear that he was not embarrassed by a gospel centered on a crucified Jewish Savior and embraced by the lowest classes of people – Paul is not ashamed. He knows  the good news of Jesus Christ – has inherent power. We do not give it power, we only stop hindering the power of the gospel when we present it effectively. 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.” The gospel’s power of salvation comes to everyone who believes. God will not withhold salvation from the one who believes; believing is the only requirement. And it is open to all!

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