In this introduction to the book of Romans, Pastor Mark talks about Paul, prophecies, and the fact that it’s always all about Jesus.
Lost and Found: Finding God’s Peace (Romans 1:1–7)
· For every effect= cause. Bigger effect = bigger cause.
· July 9, 1958 10:15pm 7.8 earthquake rockslide 40 million cubic yards into Gilbert Inlet Alaska – megatsunami, & biggest wave ever recorded 1,720 ft high!
· Spiritual equivalent = Paul’s letter to the Romans
Theologian Quotes from the free study guide @ realfaith.com
-Romans is “probably the greatest book in the Bible.”
– “Romans stands among the most important pieces of literature in the intellectual history of Western man”
– “It is safe to say that Romans is probably the most powerful human document ever written,”
– “Romans is one of the most influential writings in the past 1500 years of Western culture
– “More than any other book, Romans has been the forge of the Western psyche.”
– “arguably the most influential book in Christian history, perhaps in the history of Western civilization”
– “every great spiritual revival in the church will be connected…w/a deeper understanding of this book”
-English poet [Samuel Taylor Coleridge], Romans is ‘the profoundest book in existence”
-John Chrysostom had Romans read to him multiple times a week (upto 4)
-Martin Luther [Romans] “is the true masterpiece of the NT, and the very purest Gospel…a Christian…should not only learn it by heart, word for word, but also that he should daily deal with it as the daily bread of men’s souls. For it can never be too much or too well read or studied…”
-John Calvin “if we have gained a true understanding of this Epistle, we have an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.”
-Tyndale [Romans] “is the principal & most excellent part of the NT…most pure…gospel, and also a light and way in unto the whole Scripture.”
=Fads & trends come and go. The word of the Lord endures forever. (Read 1 hr)
We Serve the God Who Serves Us
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Servant – Kingdom down honor
- Servant & God = purpose is to do God’s will
- Servant & Others = replaces burdens with blessings
=Jesus – came to serve, told us how to be great
Jesus served Saul/Paul first
· Acts 7 appears killing Stephen
· Acts 8:1-3 “execution”, “persecution”, “scattered”, “ravaging the church”, “dragged men & women to prison”
· Acts 9:1 “Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”
=Jesus came down, showed up, served & saved Paul
Paul A Servant in Deed
- Roughly decade walked avg 20 mi day, single, poor, side jobs, riots, prison
2 Cor. 6:4-10… afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots..sleepless nights, hunger..slander..treated as impostors..dying..punished..sorrowful…poor…having nothing
2 Cor. 11:23-39 stripes above measure, in prisons. …5X 40 stripes minus 1. 3X beaten with rods; 1X stoned; 3X shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep, perils of waters…robbers…perils of my own countrymen & Gentiles…perils in the city…perils in the wilderness…perils in the sea…perils among false brethren…weariness…toil…sleeplessness often…hunger and thirst…cold and nakedness…my deep concern for all the churches.
-WHY? Driven to reach Gentiles (entire life, purpose letter, including reaching us!)
Paul A Servant in Word
- Studied under renowned rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)
- Fluent 1. Hebrew, 2. Aramaic, 3. Greek, & possibly 4. Latin.
- Letters – over 100 OT quotations, + echoes & themes, on foot & in jail
- Wrote 13 or 14 letters NT, over 15 yrs, to 7 churches, & 2 individuals
- 2 Peter 3:15-17 “beloved brother Paul” “wrote letters” Scripture”
- -Pastor to Luke, Acts 13-18 Paul central
– John Chrysostom “Put the whole world on one side of the scale and you will see that the soul of Paul outweighs it.”
– Augustine – “[I wish to have] Christ in the flesh and Paul in the pulpit.””
-Luther, “the wisest man after Christ.”
-“1st theologian in the early church, & arguably the greatest in the history of Christianity”
= Paul wiser than you. We will study Paul for 1 year (masks gone, election over)
- Complicated – Paul “hard to understand” 2 Ptr. 3:16
- Don’t skip it
- Don’t edit it
- Do dig deep
- Offensive – repentance starts in the mind, “I am wrong. I will change.” – worship
Living as a Servant in Deed & Word
=You need a purpose for your life bigger than the pains and problems in your life
=Servant – role unchanging, responsibilities changing (rich & poor, free & prison)
= Vision Retreat w/Grace – how has God served us? how He’s calling us to serve?
3 Kinds of Relationships
- Selfish + Selfish = a brutal relationship
- Selfish + Servant = abusive relationship
- Servant + Servant = a beautiful relationship
It’s All About Jesus!
Romans 1:2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 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, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
- Jesus = Joshua (God is salvation)
- Christ = anointed Messiah
- 2000 yrs ago, mom, dad, brothers, 30 years, 3 yrs ministry, simple resume
- Largest longest lasting most global movement in world history
- Calendar BC/AD, Christmas (birth) & Easter (resurrection Sunday)
- (Religion) holy place as headquarters vs (Relationship) Holy Person Head
- Roughly 25% Bible prophetic when written
- Estimates from 61-300+ Messianic Prophecies
Prophecies About Jesus
700 B.C. Isaiah 7:14 the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
700 B.C. Micah 5:2 Bethlehem…though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times [eternity].
400 B.C. Malachi 3:1 I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me…the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple…
1000 B.C. Psalm 22:16 a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
1000 B.C. Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
1000 B.C. Psalm 16:10 …you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
No other religion, philosophy or movement has prophecy
Despite all our advances, the future is a mystery
You Are Called to Belong to Jesus Christ
Romans 1:6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Grace & Bible Spring 1989
· Fall 1989 I sat on my bed in the college dorm read Romans 1:6
· I did not have a crisis or urgent need “happy pagan”
· Men’s retreat 1. Marry Grace 2. Preach Bible 3. Train Men 4. Plant Churches
· Why? “I have called you out from among many to lead men.”
1992 married Grace – 1993 pastor – 1995 Sr. Pastor -1998 started Romans & stopped
· 2016 TTC w/5 kids
· Waiting 30+ years
A 4-Fold Relationship with God
- Paul had religion, needed relationship
- “Called to belong” – into relationship e.g. meal
1. God’s love = actively pursue
2. Saint = sees you as you will be
3. Grace = blessings you don’t have to earn
4. Peace = past (regret) & future (fear)
2 Kinds People
1. Sinners who know they need Jesus
2. Sinners who don’t know need Jesus (Paul & me)
- Acts 22 testimony
- It was a normal day until Jesus showed up
- Jesus became his Lord
- Jesus washed away his sin
- Paul was baptized