Paul's letter to the church in Rome explores the question - "... why do we need Jesus?" and in particular - "... why do we need Jesus as our Saviour?"
In the first 2 chapters, Paul has thought about how God is revealed to us through our nature, our consciences and to the Jews through the law. He concludes that everybody is "responsible" and everyone is "without excuse". He goes on to argue that it's not our place to judge people; that's a right that belongs only to God.
In the first part of Chapter 3, Paul sums up his previous arguments. Like a prosecuting attorney, he concludes that "... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ..." (Romans 3:23) and therefore we all need a Saviour.
John 5:39-40 records Jesus speaking to a group of Pharisees, who thought they were going, to "make it" on their own -"You diligently study the Scriptures, because you think that, by them, you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures, that testify about Me, and yet you refuse to come to Me, to have life."
When Paul was writing to the Church in Rome he frames our need for God, the God we know in Jesus, in terms of 'sin' and 'salvation'. We're all sinners (we all have a broken relationship with God) and God's purpose is salvation.
Paul argues that none of us is exempt; we all need salvation. In the second part of Chapter 2 Paul argues that, like the Pharisees Jesus spoke of, even the religious person needs forgiveness and salvation.
Jesus attacked one sin more severely and more directly than any other. It was the sin of self-righteousness. And, we can find it everywhere. It’s the sin that we’ll have to deal with more often than any other in our lives. It’s so subtle, it often catches us by surprise … this sin of judging others.
Paul, writing to the church in Rome is clear that only God has the “right” to judge - "Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others ..." (Romans 2:1)
John’s gospel reminds us that our hope always remains in Jesus - “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.”
Join us this Sunday as Brodie continues on the sermon series on the Book of Romans.
In Romans 1:18-32 Paul highlights the human condition and sin, addressing four main areas that humans often stumble in: the rejection of the truth, insincere worship, the worship of idols, and rejoicing in doing wrong.
What’s the most important letter (email, text) you’ve ever read; a proposal, a letter from the Tax Department, a job offer? Some people think of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome as being the greatest letter ever written.
Romans has certainly influenced millions of people and changed history. Martin Luther started the Reformation because of the book of Romans. John Wesley started the Wesleyan revivals (the Methodist church has its origins there).
As we explore any of the Bible’s books it’s helpful to ask – who wrote it; who was it written to; when and why was it written; and what’s the main message?
In Romans 1:16-17, Paul says - "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel, the righteousness from God is revealed, the righteousness that is by faith from first to last just as it is written `The righteous will live by faith.'"
Among the immediate followers of Jesus, no man made a greater impact on the world than the apostle Paul. He wrote much of the New Testament and he established the first churches in the Roman Empire. He was a great man of God.
At the very outset of his letter to the church in Rome, Paul says he is – “… a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God" (Romans 1:1). He describes himself as “obligated”, “eager” and “not ashamed” to share that good news with others (Romans 1:14-17).
We can be encouraged by Paul’s attitude as we commit ourselves to being ministers of that same gospel.
God’s people are reminded to … “Remember today what you have learned, about the Lord through your experiences with Him” (Deuteronomy 11:2).
Some things we only learn through experience. And some things we experience, and learn best from, with one another.
The Bible talks about it with the word koinonia. Among other things it means communion, participation and contribution.
We learn and experience God best it seems when we worship, fellowship, grow, serve and reach out together.
At the outset of the Bible’s story, God says - “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). And just as we’re not meant to walk through life on our own, we’re not meant to fulfil God’s purposes for us on our own.
We’re better together! We’re better when we fellowship, grow, reach out and worship together. And we’re better when we serve together.
God intends for us to contribute with our lives. It’s a contribution we make by serving others and we do it best together. Paul said it this way – “… agree with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose” (Philippians 2:2).
Every great achievement involves the right timing.
Great musicians know how to play in time, whether it be to a slow or fast tempo. Professional surfers know the precise moment when to catch a wave, or else risk losing the wave all together. In the Olympics a few milliseconds can be the difference between winning a gold medal or going home empty handed.
Timing is critical.
God calls us to walk in the Spirit, and part of this is knowing when to speed up and when to slow down. It’s about being in time with God.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 “For there is a right time and a right way for everything, but we know so little.”