vs. 1- Paul gives his Credentials in Christ.
- Who is Christ to you?
- What have you done with His sacrifice?
- What is your attitude towards Christ, your Master?
- What is your purpose in Christ?
vs. 2- 4 The Promised Good News.
- Jesus fulfilled prophecy.
- The good news, is that the Christ, the Son of God, came as a man for the Salvation of the world.
- How do we know He is the Son of God? He was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit.
- The lineage of David fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures.
vs. 5- Because of Christ's sacrifice, we have the authority and we have the privelege to share the gospel with the world.
- this is our responsibility as children of God.
Have you shared Christ today?
Who is God leading you to share with?
vs. 6-7- our calling
- Jew and Gentile are called alike to belong to Jesus Christ. we are all loved by God and called to be His holy people.
- We have been invited into the family to be His people. We are reborn into love and the greatest of inheritances.
- BECAUSE of all that has been done for us... all that Christ has sacrificed... then we strive to be His holy people.
Do you know you're a child of God?
Have you accepted that gift?
Is your life a reflection of that gift?
vs. 8-9 Pray for each other
Have you prayed for your church today?
Specific needs for your church?
How about the congregation's needs... is there one who needs something that you can provide in some way?
vs. 10-12- Togetherness
- Grow in each other, help each other to know God better
- Encourage one another in the faith.
-Desire growth in one another.
Are you serving your brother?
Are you encouraging your fellow believers?
Are you walking through the doors God opens for you to better reach out to those in your congregation?
vs. 13-15- the Obligation of the believer
- our obligation is to spread the gospel
- sometimes, our timing, is not God's timing... Paul tried time after time to come see the Roman church... as much as he wanted to share the gospel, he couldn't until it was God's time.
- our obligation is not just to the person next to us, not just to our family. Our obligation is to the entire world. no matter the obstacles, (culture, religion, race, social or economic status) our obligation and our goal is to spread the gospel EVERYWHERE.
- Why are we obligated? Why can't we sit back and watch somebody else in our church do it? Because WE have been saved by Christ. WE have been rescued from sin. Sure they have too, but that doesn't relieve you from your duty. Just because there's somebody keeping watch, doesn't mean you get to sleep in.
-Paul was eager to spread the gospel to Rome.
- Are you eager to spread God's word? or are you standing back afraid of what God might do with your life if you step out?
- Will you ask God to fill you with passion for the lost?
- Will you ask God to take over your life?
- Have you been sleeping? Are you on duty?
- have you accepted your obligation?
- Have you been letting obstacles get in the way?
- Will you accept the challenge to step out in faith today and let God do something with your witness?
- Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything in order to fulfill the call to spread the gospel to the world? Even to your neighbors? The people closest to you? Even those friends who you're afraid that if you push your faith on them, you'll lose them?
- Are you holding back afraid that people will think you're strange? a fanatic? weird?
- Will you step out in faith and take the challenge regardless of the consequences to your social standing?
vs. 16- 17- I am not ashamed
- We cannot be ashamed of Christ.
- some of us are not naturally bold... if you're not, you need to ask God to make you bold in Him. You might still be shy... until it comes to sharing Christ. In that, you need to have fire and passion and undying love. Don't be afraid of sharing your faith with those around you.
- The Power of God saves ALL who believe. (but belief is essential)
- God makes us right in His sight. We cannot come to Christ blameless without the shedding of blood.
- we do this through faith. Faith is key to our life in Christ. We can't work out our salvation through works. It's through our faith in Christ that we come to salvation through the blood of Christ.
- Are you right with God?
- Have you accepted the blood-bought sacrifice?
- Are you ready to walk out in faith to be unashamed in the sharing of the gospel to all the world?
vs. 18-20- No excuses
- God is angered at sin.
- Why?- because sinful people have substituted HIS truth with lies. They have stifled the natural truth about God in order to condone their sinful lifestyles.
- God makes the truth about himself obvious to us all.
- How?- through all of creation. There is no excuse for not seeing the almighty power of God.
- God wants to remove the sin from the sinner. He longs to take you in His arms to whisper forgiveness to your soul. But so many times we stubbornly reject or distort His truth in order to make ourselves feel better about where we are.
- God reveals a basic knowledge about Himself through creation. No one who looks at it can deny the hands of God.
- However, knowing that God exists is not enough. A personal relationship is still required
- No one can have an excuse for not believing in God. Every person either accepts or rejects God. No exceptions.
- Are you pursuing lies rather than the truth of God? Are you trying to find loopholes?
- Do you have a personal relationship? or are you trusting that knowing there's a God and living an okay life will be enough?
- Have you let God change your life? Or are you still living in sin hoping that you can do enough community service, or make enough people smile that God will take pity on you and not send you to a burning hell. (There is NO excuse!)
- What can we learn about the character of God by looking at His creation?
-What attributes stick out?
vs. 21-23- Those who turned away from God
- these people knew God and turned away
- They turned to other idols who even in their conceptualization are inferior to the almighty God. Even inferior to human beings. (in the garden, God gave Adam dominion over all the creatures... and here are people worshipping idols in the shape of animals.)
- they tried to make themselves wise. Tried to come up with new ideas about God. tried to understand the incomprehensible. And in doing so, they made themselves utter fools.
- Idolitry begins when people reject what they know about God and decide instead to try and rely on their own knowledge and wisdom.
- They see themselves as the center of the universe. The end all. They become their own gods.
- What have you made an idol in your life?
- Is there something that you spend too much time and energy on?
- Have you been trying to figure out a way to condone your lifesyle?
- Are you more worried about yourself than you are about the things of God?
- Have you made yourself the center of your universe?
vs. 24-32 - The downward spiral
- First- rejection of God
- Make up their own ideas of what God should be (taking away things they don't like- ex. the fact that God is a jealous God...)
- fall into all kinds of wickedness
- they finally grow to hate God and encourage others to do so also.
- God is not the cause of this progression to evil. Rather, when people reject Him, he allows them to live as they choose.
- God gives them over and allows them to experience the natural consequences of their sin.
- once in the spiral, no one can pull himself out. Sinners must trust Christ alone to deliver them from destruction
- Have you rejected God?
- Are you bitter against God? angry with Him? Have you decided to try and live your own life without the direction of God? Have you rejected His ruling in your life?
- Would you like to change that?
- Has someone you love rejected God?
- If so, have you prayed for them today? Have you prayed for them to desire truth? to desire a better life? to desire joy? Have you prayed that God would touch their hearts? bring people into their lives to awaken something in their souls?
- Will you pray for the angry? Pray for the hurting? Pray for those who have turned their backs for one reason or another on the God who loves them more deeply than human minds can fathom?
vs. 26-27- sexual sin
- when they turned their back on God, He turned them over to a reprobate mind.
- sin distorts God's plan for sexual relationships.
- sin sometimes means not only denying God, but denying how we were made... (male and female)
- When people say that sex is ok as long as nobody gets hurt... they're fooling themselves. It always causes pain. It hurts individuals, families, and to an extent... whole societies.
- Because sex is such a powerful and essential part of what it means to be human, it needs to be treated with the greatest of respect.
- One of the clearest indicators of a society or person in rebellion against God is the rejection for God's guidelines for the use of sex.
- Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in scripture (Lev. 18: 22)
- God does not say to turn people away... but He doesn't say to condone the act of sin either. Churches are to show Christ's love to the lost... people who have labeled themselves homosexual need that love just like the rest of the world... but it doesn't mean we tell them it's ok to be that way. Sin is sin no matter how nice it dresses.
- Homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. But God does not encourage us to fulfill all our desires (even normal ones). Those desires that violate his laws must be controlled.
- Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.(James4:7)
- if you find yourself struggling with sexual desires of any sort... resist them. Surrender yourself to God. Ask Him to show you the way out of sin and into the light of His freedom and His love. Prayer and support from other Christians can help you overcome even the strongest of desires.
- Do you struggle with sexual sin? Will you ask God to take over control of your life in that area? Are you prepared for an uphill battle if you ask? (sometimes this is the area that is the hardest to give up. It's almost like an addiction. Don't ever get comfortable thinking you've won the battle. Pray continually.)
- Are you struggling with temptation? In any area of life?
- Does someone come to mind that is a Godly and upright person that you can go to for help and support? for guidance? for prayer?
- Do you want to get rid of this sin? Have you asked God to cleanse your sin?
- Do you know somebody who is struggling with sexual sin? Will you pray for them?
- Will you make a conscious effort on your part to help your fellow believers who may be struggling with sexual sin to dress modestly? to guard your actions?
- when people reject God, He turns them over to their own foolish thinking.
- Their lives fill with all kinds of wickedness.
- Attributes of God or a Godly life are absent completely
- Not only do they take part in this sinful life, but they encourage others to join them in their sin.
- What things in your life are not attributes of God?
- What is God pointing out in your life to change?
- Is there an area in which you struggle that God is asking you to submit to Him?
- Are you encouraging others to live a Godly life at all times?