Monday, September 11, 2017

Rome is the world capital of paganism.  The same thing was happening there in this world capital, but spreading throughout lands that Rome occupied.  Heavy influence was coming from Athens, Corinth and Ephesus.  Hmm.  Paul, do you have word for start up churches in these areas to encourage believers?  So, Commitment to pagan religions were not as deep as a follower of Christ.  For example, an idea coming from Rome – Christianity was cannibalistic due to misunderstanding of the Lords Supper in eating the Body of Christ.   Paul is eager to get there and to share the gospel knowing already there would be opposition and criticism.  Verse 1 -15 talks his commitment to the gospel.  He shares a bold statement of “I am not ashamed” of the gospel.

The gospel exposes man’s sin.  The gospel breaks down every inch of our pride.  The gospel shows that we are lost and in need of a Savior.  The gospel shows our need for forgiveness.  The gospel is based on two historical facts:  Christ’s death and resurrection.  Salvation.  A way for us to be freed from our penalty of sin.  And it’s GOOD NEWS – the meaning of the word gospel.     

READ ROMANS 1:16-17:  “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.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Dunamis – dynamite – God’s power alone is sufficient enough to save men from sin and give them eternal life.  A changed life from sinfulness to righteousness. 
A CHANGED LIFE - We are always looking for an outside change.  It's too hard to change the inside on our own.  We cannot be spiritually changed by our works, by a religion or ritual or by anything else.  We can’t be changed from following God’s law to the letter.  The law wasn’t given to save men, by the way.  1 Cor. 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Soteria – salvation – 19 times in Romans – deliverance and rescue – the power of God in salvation rescues people from the penalty of sin which is spiritual death that leads to eternal separation from God.  It’s God reaching out to mankind through His Son, Jesus to rescue us.  There is no greater picture.  Aren’t people always looking for salvation of some sorts?  Bills – making more money will solve all our problems, Socially – relationships we desire to get out of, even some we feel that are mistakes.  The desire of the heart away from Christ is all about self-improvement with “be who you want to be” as our cultural slogan. 

His salvation brings deliverance from the spiritual infection of “this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40) from lostness (Matt. 18:11), from sin, (Matt. 1:21) and from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9).  He saves us from our spiritual ignorance and from our desires to sin and the darkness that we live in.  The deliverance comes to those who believe.   

Pisteuo – believes – trusting in, relying on and having faith in.  Continuous form “is believing”.  In other words, daily living is filled with acts of faith.  It’s not an ordinary faith, it’s a supernatural faith produced by God!  Eph. 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”  Salvation is believing in Christ.  Salvation is giving up being good for our own sake, the works we do that we think will get us to heaven, the smarts or wisdom we have and trusting in the amazing and perfect work of Christ. 
Paul inserts who salvation is for:  “to the Jew first and also the Greek.”  There is no racial lines or ethnic lines drawn.  It is for everyone who believes.   The Jews can’t hog God because they are the chosen nation.  The Greek was so pagan, the Jews would say there is no way that God is interested in them!  All who believe may be saved. 

Faith activates the power of salvation, and in that the righteousness of God is revealed.  Once we believe in Him, His righteousness is given to us. 
Phil. 3:8-9:  "
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,"

God’s plan is by salvation by His grace through faith.  Habakkuk 2:4 God works through our faith “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”  Abraham didn’t work for God’s righteousness.  It was reckoned to him through his faith in God.  Faith is a way of life and God’s righteousness made in us will help us to persevere to the end of our lives on earth waiting on the day when we are called to eternal life. 

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