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Romans Gospel of Power

The Background

  • Author: Paul
  • When was it written: approx. 57 AD during Paul's 3rd missionary journey
  • Audience: Roman Christians (at least 5 house churches); mostly Gentiles, but a good minority of Jews

Main Point

The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 1:3-4 NLT

Introduction

Romans is written not only to clearly present the Gospel, but also to show us how to present the Gospel and how to disciple people using the Gospel.
Romans is not a book of doctrine. It is a book of power.
Romans 1:16 - I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Put this in your own words.

The Structure of Romans

  • The Gospel reveals God's righteousness (Romans 1-4)
  • The Gospel creates new life in Jesus (Romans 5-8)
  • The Gospel fulfills God's promises (Romans 9-11)
  • The Gospel unifies Jesus' church (Romans 12-16)

Key Terms

Righteousness - referred to approx. 80 times in the NT; meaning - meeting the demands of God's law; or in a more general sense - the state of being acceptable to God in every way.

Faith - belief, trust in God

To Justify - nearly 40 occurences in the NT; to be made righteous, to be declared righteous (the verb form of "righteousness" in Greek)

Sacrifice of atonement - It is this sacrifice that paid the penalty for the sins of the people of God in their entirety - past, present, and future. This substitutionary atonement appeased, or "propitiated," the wrath of God once and for all.

Romans 1 - 4 - The Gospel Reveals God's Righteousness

Read Romans 1:18-25

Discuss the nature and character of God as revealed in these verses.

Discuss the foundation of sin and the progression of sin in these verses.

How will this knowledge of God and this knowledge of sin impact your evangelism / discipleship?

Questions

Is God just? Can he be blamed? Romans 2:2

How does God relate to those who are rebellious? Romans 2:4

What is the consequence of walking with stubbornness and unrepentance? Romans 2:5

Who will be declared righteous? Romans 2:13

Who is righteous? Romans 3:10-11

What is man's greatest need? Purpose, love, peace, joy, fulfillment?

To be made right with God

Romans 3:21-26 NIV - But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Righteousness comes from God. What is our part to play?

Romans 4:20-22 NIV - Yet he [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness."
Romans 4:23-24 NIV - The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Faith is...

  • not blind, but based on truth
  • death to pride and self-righteousness
  • turning to Jesus, trusting in his righteousness alone for salvation
  • manifested by the action of obedience to Jesus (James 2:21-24)
Romans 5 - 8 - The Gospel creates new life in Jesus

Summary of Chapter 5

Romans 5:1-2 NLT - Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

The Greek word for "peace" is the equivalent to the Hebrew word, "shalom", in the Old Testament. This is a full expression of peace. When we have peace with God, it impacts all of life - our mental, physical, emotional, relational and spiritual state. The foundation of peace is set, as we continue to look forward to the full expression of peace in God's everlasting glory.

But I don't always experience this peace in my life...
Romans 5:3-4 NLT - We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. (Remember James 1:2-4)

What trial can you rejoice in right now? Why rejoice?

Romans 5:5 NLT - And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

The Holy Spirit is the confirmation that you will not be disappointed in the end.

Romans 5:6-8 NIV - You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

"powerless" = sick, weak, i.e. sick with sin

Put Romans 5:8 in your own words.

It is not because of my own goodness or proved worth that God rescued me. I had nothing to offer him. In the midst of my rebellion, he died for me, making a way for an intimate relationship with my Father.

As we allow the truth of this Scripture passage to wash over us, how could this change our approach in evangelism?

Romans 5:12 NLT - When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

What is the implication?

  • Adam's sin affected everything. Death entered the scene in all aspects of creation.
  • Ever since Adam, people have also decided to sin (ALL have sinned), and thus multiplying the impact of death in our world.

Is God to blame for evil (in all its forms) in the world? What would be your answer in evangelism?

Romans 5:18-19 NLT - Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
  • "Many became sinners" - Who are the many? ALL (Romans 3:23)
  • "Many will be made righteous" - Who are the many? Those who believe and accept Jesus (John 1:12)

Learn the Roman's Road of Salvation

  • The Father - Romans 1:20 (Look at the character of God)
  • The Problem - Romans 3:23 (ALL have sinned)
  • The Consequence - Romans 6:23 (The penalty of sin is death)
  • The Solution - Romans 5:8 (Jesus paid the penalty through his death)
  • The Response - Romans 10:9-10 (Believe and confess Jesus is Lord)
  • The Assurance - Romans 10:13 (All who turn to the Lord will be saved)

Chapters 6-8 - Joined to Jesus, Follow the Spirit in the Father's House

A natural question would follow the truth of God's amazing grace
Romans 6:1 - Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

Answer: By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6:8 NIV - Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

We are joined to Jesus in his death and his resurrection.

So, in light of this, how should we live?

Romans 6:11-12 - In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Count yourselves dead to sin ("count" lit. λογίζομαι logizomai)
Remember who is King.

Another illustration from marriage (Romans 7:1-6)

You are no longer married to your sinful nature. You died. The law that bound you in marriage does not rule over you.

Romans 7:4 NLT - So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead.

What is the function of the law? Romans 7:7

Is the law to blame? Romans 7:14

Am I to blame for my sin? Romans 7:19-20; James 1:13-15

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Keep reading!!!

Romans 7:25 - Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
You live in a new house now. There is a new way of living in this house. You live by the law of the Spirit. (Romans 8:2)

You once lived in an old house, dominated by your sinful nature, full of condemnation.

You paced the hallways, trying to fix up the house, trying to follow the rules (the law). But you remained in the rut of your sins.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. He made a way for you to be joined to Jesus (in his death and resurrection) and come to your Father's house.

Your Father's house is full of freedom. The Spirit of life lives there. Jesus lives there (you are joined to him). And of course, the Father lives there.

But there are times you are drawn to the window of your new house, remembering your old life, feeling attracted by the sinful patterns.

Come away from the window (Romans 8:5). Hear the Spirit's voice. He is leading you to the Father. You live in a new house now. Be done with the ways of your old house.

Romans 8:5 NIV - Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
What is your Father's house like?
A place of hearing and following the Spirit (Romans 8:9-11)
A place of establishing new patterns of life (Romans 8:13)
A place of learning how to live as sons and daughters, not slaves to sin (Romans 8:15)
A place of intercession (Romans 8:26, 34)
A place where the Father's good plan is realized (Romans 8:28)
A place of trust in your Father (Romans 8:32)
A place of enduring, unconditional love (Romans 8:37-39)
Now why would you want to go back to the old house?
Romans 6:11 - In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 9-11 - The Gospel fulfills God's promise to Israel
What's the Point? Look again at the mercy and patience of God.

The theme of Chapters 9-11

Paul states that he has great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart. Why?

Read Romans 9:3; 10:1; 11:1

The Jews turned their backs on Jesus. They thought their Jewish race and good works were sufficient for salvation.

Paul wanted to make clear the one way of salvation for the Jew and the Gentile.

Paul does this by showing the Jews the futility of trusting in race and good works.

  • Being a "child of Abraham" doesn't help. Romans 9:7
  • Keeping the law doesn't help. Romans 9:11-12
  • For the Jews, race and law were tied together.

Is God unjust?

Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. Romans 9:13

  • Romans 1:20
  • Malachi 1:2-3
  • Romans 9:25-26 (note the context of Hosea)

When God turns his back on Esau (Edom), this is not the end of the story...

God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. Romans 9:18

  • Romans 1:28 - God gives the rebellious over to hardness of heart (depraved mind).
  • Romans 9:22-23 - notice the patience and mercy of God
  • Even in people's rebellion and the consequential hardness of heart, God still shows patience and accomplishes his purposes. (ex. Jesus' death on the cross)
  • Romans 11:20 - people are cut off from the tree due to their own unbelief.

Is God unjust? No.

Is God capricious or whimsical in his approach to us? No. This means that justice is ultimately founded in God, not in us. We are not the source of fairness, as if God should comply with our code of fairness. Notice that Paul's response to the question, "Then why does God still blame us?" is not a quick explanation of God's fairness related to our human understanding of fairness. It is only the One true God, who understands the breadth of all implications, that holds true justice in his hands. Sometimes, we understand his just ways. Other times, we do not. Yet, he still remains fair and just.
What is righteousness by faith?

It is not too difficult or complex. Romans 10:6-8

It is not based on race or works, but on active response to Jesus. Romans 10:9-10

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13
What is the necessary response of faith for salvation?

What are the implications of Romans 10:14-15 for your life?

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

What does this mean for you?

What would be the enemy's tactic in your life?

Chapter 11 - Is Israel rejected? No.

Is the hardening that Israel has experienced a permanent condition? It doesn't have to be...
For if their [the Jews] rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Romans 11:15

God's desire is that the Jews will still come back to him. But, they must choose. Romans 11:23

(The Summary) For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Romans 11:32

In light of God's great patience and mercy, we are called to worship. Romans 11:33-36

Romans 12-16 - The Gospel unifies the church

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy... (Romans 12:1)

Chapters 1-11 lead us to recognize the mercy of God. If we are not compelled by his amazing love by this point, we have treated his Word as an academic textbook.
Romans 12:1 - Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice. What does this mean?
What should our worship be characterized by?
Romans 12:2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

How does your mind get renewed? See Romans 8:6

What is the fruit of a renewed mind?

Romans 12:4-5 - For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

We are connected to one another!

Being one with Jesus means being one with his body. Independence tears away at the body of Jesus. Romans 12-16 explores all types of relationships and how the Gospel should impact them.
Sorry, you are not a superhero. You are not the whole body. Romans 12:3

What is your motivational gift? (Romans 12:6-8)

You are at a dinner and someone knocks over their coffee. Would you say:

a. “Don’t feel bad. It could happen to anyone.”

b. “That’s what happens when you’re not careful.”

c. “Oh let me help you clean it up.”

d. “The reason that spilled was because you set it too close to the edge.”

e. “Next time let’s set your coffee near the center where it won’t get knocked over.”

f. “I’ll be happy to buy you a new cup of coffee.”

g. “Mary, get a rag. Jim, go get a mop. Jane, help pour a new cup of coffee.”

KEY: a. Gift of Mercy; b. Gift of Prophecy; c. Gift of Serving; d. Gift of Teaching; e. Gift of Exhortation; f. Gift of Giving; g. Gift of Leading

You have just come into a new understanding of prayer and what it means. Would you:

a. Share with others how prayer would lead to healing and removal of distress.

b. Tell others they need to pray to get into God’s will on prayer.

c. Go buy materials on prayer and hand them out.

d. Begin to look up all the scriptures on prayer and develop an outline on them.

e. Share with others how they can find the same meaning of prayer.

f. Start to pray.

g. Organize a prayer meeting.

KEY: a. Gift of Mercy; b. Gift of Prophecy; c. Gift of Serving; d. Gift of Teaching; e. Gift of Exhortation; f. Gift of Giving; g. Gift of Leading

You are driving your car and someone cuts in front of you. Would you say:

a. “That’s OK. Hurry you’ll be late.”

b. “Hey, don’t you know it’s against the law to do that!”

c. “I’d better slow down so he won’t get hurt.”

d. “Get his license number. I’ll call him and tell him how to drive correctly.”

e. “Be careful, slow down, blow your horn, then you’ll be able to get there ok.”

f. “Let me stop and get off the road. He can take my place.

g. “That guy needs to get his head together or he’s going to have an accident. He needs to take driver’s lessons again.”

KEY: a. Gift of Mercy; b. Gift of Prophecy; c. Gift of Serving; d. Gift of Teaching; e. Gift of Exhortation; f. Gift of Giving; g. Gift of Leading

Let's look at love

Remember 1 Corinthians 13 embedded between 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 - chapters on the gifts of the Spirit?

Read through Romans 12:9-13 - In your Christian relationships, which aspect of love is God convicting you about?
Read through Romans 12:14-21 - In all your relationships (especially contentious ones), which aspect of love is God convicting you about?

Relationship with Authority (Romans 13:1-7)

Who instituted authority?

If you reject an authority figure in your life, who are you rejecting?

What happens if you rebel against God's authority figure in your life?

What if authority figures sin against you? Matthew 18:15-20)

Understand the present time (Romans 13:11)
Live like it's daytime.

Put your clothes on. Put Jesus on. Get away from the window (remember Romans 8:5). Stop thinking about your attraction to wickedness.

How do we relate together with different customs, convictions and cultures? (Romans 14:1 - 15:13)

Don't let your custom or conviction get in the way of love. (Romans 14:13)

Remember, God is the judge. You are not. (Romans 14:10)

Do not forsake your personal convictions. "Everything that does not come from faith is sin." (Romans 14:5, 23)

Romans 15 - Pursue unity with one another. How?

  • Bear with each other.
  • Look to please each other (as Jesus did for us).
  • Accept each other (in all of our differences).
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:23-33 - Give to one another

We can disciple supporters in this.

Romans 16

Paul is showing that he lives what he preaches. He has close relationship with a lot of people in Jesus' body. (Romans 16:16)

In light of Jesus' love for his body, be watchful for those who would tear his body apart. (Romans 16:17)

Romans 16:25-27 - Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

So, do not be ashamed of this Gospel. It is the power of God for all peoples (Romans 1:16).

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