MEET THE ROMANS; Romans Part 3

 

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Romans 1:8-15

In this passage Paul continues with his prologue or salutation. These are his opening remarks whereby he introduces this letter to the congregation situated in Rome. While we have already gleaned some information concerning the Romans from v6-7, this section grants us a further insight into the character of this church and Paul’s relationship to the believers there.

1: The Testimony of the Roman Christians v8

  • Paul in gratitude to the Lord for them, teaches us that God is a personal friend, “my God”.

  • The relationship he enjoys with God comes as a consequence of Christ’s person and work of intercession.

  • As Rome was the most influential city in the Empire it was a particular blessing that the Church had a godly character which caused those who visited to speak of them with approval.

2: The Prayer For The Roman Christians v9-10

  • Emphasising his sincerity, Paul states that God was his witness whom he served from his heart or with “sincere devotion” (Calvin).

  • Being Christ centred he describes his service as being in the gospel of God’s Son.

  • He prayed constantly for these people, no idle boast but a sincere testimony.

  • He desired an opportunity to visit this congregation of whom he had heard so much but had never met.

3: The Fellowship With The Roman Christians v11-13

  • Paul reveals his reason for wishing to visit these believers, that he might have fellowship with them.

  • In so doing he teaches us what true fellowship is among believers. We may talk with Christians, we may do sport with believers or we may be engaged in other activities, which never rise to the heights of fellowship.

  • Paul’s idea of fellowship was a togetherness which would result in both the Roman Church and his own heart being strengthened in the faith.

  • Here we learn that all Christians have something that they can contribute to one another.

  • As as consequence of his fellowship with the Romans he was looking for fruit, for a spiritual harvest. This may be the conversion of pagans or it may be a growth in grace among the Christians themselves. Probably a combination of the two.

  • This desire for fellowship was nothing new. He had attempted to visit them in the past but circumstances had prevented him from so doing. This teaches us that God often withholds from us what we wish for and pray for.

4: The Preaching To The Roman Christians v14-15

  • To illustrate his great passion for souls Paul declares his interest in the two fold division in the Gentile world. The Greeks were those who lived within the Roman Empire. They were cultured, educated and civilised and they prided themselves as being the “wise”. When the Greeks met people from outside the empire who could not speak their language their speech was unintelligible, it sounded like Brr brr. Therefore these peoples became nicknamed as barbarians and were considered unwise, uneducated and uncivilised. Paul’s vision saw no boundaries. He had a love for the souls of all men. He would reach over every fence to win souls.

  • He was a debtor on account of his calling and because he was a persecutor who was transformed by God’s grace.

  • All classes needed the Gospel therefore Paul was ready to proclaim this message as the only hope for society.

 

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