The book of Acts is a picture of the birth of the church and beginning of the spread of the Gospel. God used many individuals in those early, formative years to accomplish His mission. And, He still does the same today.
Acts 28:25-31 Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah 26 when he said,Go to these people and say: You will always be listening, but never understanding; and you will always be looking, but never perceiving. 27 For the hearts of these people have grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them. 28 Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” 30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
While Acts was a picture of the Actions of the People, we now move into the New Testament books that give us further explanations of the Gospel, statements of doctrine, the importance of holiness and beauty of God’s ultimate plans. Today, let’s talk about the book of Romans.
Paul’s purpose was to proclaim the good news, the Gospel, to an unbelieving world. He wanted to take this message far and wide to obey Christ’s command to go to “the ends of the earth.” In the book of Acts, we discovered many of Paul’s journeys in taking this Gospel out to the world. But he wanted to take it further, he desired to go to Rome. Therefore, he wrote a letter to the church at Rome to introduce his work, his passion, his calling, and God’s plan. This was the letter to the Romans.
1. Paul’s purpose explained
Romans 1:1-6 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God—2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures—3 concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David, according to the flesh 4 and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead. 5 Through him we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the Gentiles, 6 including you who are also called by Jesus Christ.
Paul called himself a “servant” (doulos = slave)
Paul called himself an “apostle” (Apostolos = one who fulfills the role of being a special messenger)
Paul called himself “set apart” (aphōrismenos = separate)
Clearly, there is a connection between Paul’s purpose and what Christ told us our purpose should be
2. Paul’s passion explained
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel,, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith,, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
Paul was unafraid to tell others the good news of Jesus
He knew it revealed a clear picture of God’s righteousness and His plan
3. The world’s desperation explained
Romans 1:28-32 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die,—they not only do them, but even applaud, others who practice them.
Sin was a real and present danger to the people of that day
They committed sin, they embraced sin, they celebrated sin
4. God’s love explained
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Despite their sin and its deserved punishment, God’s love and righteousness was once again revealed
Romans 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles—27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to him be the glory forever! Amen.