Archive for June 10, 2007

Romans 1:1-15 – June 17, 2007

GREETINGS (verses 1-7) and PAUL PRAYS FOR HIS READERS (verses 8-15)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

We handed out the following pictures in class:

This is a picture of all of the provinces under Roman rule.

The above picture shows the locations of the seven hills of Rome. It is taken from Revelation 17 that states that a woman is standing on the city of seven hills.

View of Rome in the day of Paul. The mamertine prison of Paul is northwest of Subura.

Q1) Read Galatians 1:1-2 then read Romans 1:1-7. Why does Paul spend more time in the salutation in Romans?

Discussion)    Here we discussed that Galatians was one of the first epistles that Paul wrote while Romans was one of the later ones.  We need to realize that Paul had been to Galatia before he wrote Galatians, whereas he had not been to Rome before he wrote to the Romans.  Therefore he is being more descriptive on who Jesus is and what Jesus means to the Christians.  He has to lay this foundation for the rest of the book to succeed and serve its purpose.

Q2) In verse 1, Paul is spoken of as a bond-servant and an apostle of Christ. What do bond-servants and apostles do?

Discussion)    A bond servant is a servant who is a slave for life.  A bond-servant either has no chance for freedom or has willingly given up his/her right for freedom to follow their master.  An apostle is someone who is sent out to evangelize, build churches, encourage and strengthen others in the Lord Jesus.

Here we decided that we were going to take our time going verse by verse through Romans to see what is being taught.  We saw that in verse 1, the last part, that Paul states that he is separated to the gospel of God (which is Jesus Christ).  Before he became converted, Paul was separated (as a Pharisee) to uphold and know the law inside and out.  Here he is separated to know Jesus as much as possible.

2)  In verse 2 Paul states that Jesus was prophesied of the prophets and in verse 3 Paul states that Jesus was not only prophesied but that h was born of the seed of David.  We stopped here and discussed this point.  We need to realize that Paul is writing to the church at Rome that he had never seen.  This church was at the epicenter of the Roman empire, so Roman authority figures were known about.  But obviously King David, who ruled before there was a Roman empire, was known about by these Romans and that Jesus had come through the seed of David.

4)    He also states in verse 4 that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was raised from the dead.  

5)    This is a dynamic verse in that Paul states that we have received grace and apostleship through Jesus to all the nations through faith.  This means that we have the right and the responsibility that where ever we go to show the grace of God and the apostleship of the early church fathers to show others Jesus and to build them up.  This means that even though we may not have the titles of apostles, we have the responsibility that apostles have and it is all because of what Jesus did.

6)    This verse states that everyone who is a Christian is called by Jesus.

Q3) In verse 7, is it possible for us to call ourselves saints?

Discussion)    Yes it is.  This smacks in the face of the Catholic church, but here we go.  Paul stated that everyone who is a Christian is a saint.  We do not have to do years of service for the Catholic church and then after we die become cannonized to become a saint.  Here Paul, in the salutation to the letter where the Catholic church was born, states that every believer is a saint, based upon what Jesus did for us.  When God sees a Christian, He does not see us in our gross unrighteousness, but he sees us through the lenses of the blood of Jesus Christ, and through those lenses he sees saints.

We also discussed here that at the end of verse 7 that grace and peace were counted as a salutation.  In the Old Testament it was just peace to be counted but Paul here is revealing that we are in the age of grace.

Q4) In verse 9-12, what does Paul want to do for the believers in Rome?

Discussion)    Before we get into verses 9-12, we need to look at verse 8.  Paul states that he thanks God for the followers of Jesus in Rome for their faith that is spoken of throughout the whole world.  Did you just get that?  Paul had not been to Rome yet, but it has come to him that there is a church in Rome where there is so much faith in the members (whether it was healing, raising the dead, casting out demons, or other things we do not know) that it was talked about in the whole world.  

Paul then goes on to state that he has some spiritual gift that he wants to impart to the church at Rome, but notice verse 12 (which many people leave out) is that he wants to be encouraged by their faith and receive something from them that is a mutual faith.  Think about this, if Paul were on earth in today’s time, he would be more popular than Billy Graham, yet he did not tell the Romans that he wanted to impart a gift to them and leave it at that.  He realized that they had something that he needed in his spiritual walk and so he wanted an impartation from them.  Kind of flies in the face of some of the preachers today who only want their voices to be heard and do not want to hear others or have an impartation from a lay person.

Q5) Why does Paul declare himself a debtor in verse 14?

Discussion)    We left off here.  Here we have Paul teaching about Jesus Christ and then he states that he is a debtor to all men.  He doesn’t state that he is a debtor to Jesus Christ since He paid all of the sins that we commit on the cross.  Instead he states that he is a debtor to all men, so why is this?

This is a tough passage to swallow until we look at when Paul wrote the book of Romans.  It was written while he was on his second journey, namely in Acts 20:3, during the 3 month layover at Greece.  He had just gone through teaching and explaining Jesus at Athens without any works of the Spirit.  This is where one could say he felt his greatest defeat, since very few came to know Jesus as their personal savior here.  Instead of pointing blame at himself or pointing blame at the Greeks, he saw that this is an opportunity of seeing how he did things could be changed.  Paul also saw himself as being a servant to others and that part of his service, or debt, is to tell everyone he met about Jesus.  Paul did not expect fancy houses, limos, gold watches, nor lots of money.  He was not about the prosperity theology, instead he was about the Kingdom of Heaven theology that Jesus can and will deliver people of demons, sicknesses, and everything else.

Q6) Paul declares he is not ready to preach in Rome yet! He needs more time to prepare and to pray and fast. Why?

LIFE APPLICATION: How can we help someone (other believers) that are in hard situations to go forward for the Lord as Paul is doing in this lesson?


June 10, 2007 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment


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