*Some of this material is not my own*
Several Wednesday’s ago the teens in my youth group were given a blank piece of paper. The teens were asked two things. 1. What kind of activities would you like to have? 2. What book of the Bible would you be interested in studying?
Out of these two questions I was able to glean a great many things, but more importantly what the teens were interested in learning about God’s Word. As you can probably already guess several of them were interested in the book of Romans. Over the next few blog posts I will try and impart some of my gleanings from the book.
Here are some highlights to know about the book:
The book of Romans was written from Paul to the church in Rome. It was written for three different reasons:
- To enlist their help for missions to the west (Spain)
- To give clear doctrine about Jesus Christ (Salvation)
- And for personal reasons. (Prayer for himself and about His desire to come to them)
What about Rome itself? We all know Rome well. It was a huge influential city with a population upwards of four million people at the time. Nero was ruling at this time, but it was a somewhat peaceful time (Nero was not at this point persecuting). There were typical things within a big city: slaves, luxury, manufacturing, trade, multicultural (which means each person brought their own back ground with their own vices from their heritage). The church in Rome was comprised of both Jew and Gentile.
As Paul writes he is thinking about all these different factors, but most importantly Paul is debtor to all men because he knows the Gospel.
This post is not intended to be exhaustive or expository. It is meant to highlight and encourage. I would encourage you to refresh you reading on Romans 1 before reading on.
Probably the most well known verses within chapter 1 are verses 16-17. Remember that Rome was a very culturally diverse city meaning they would have most likely had some Stephen Hawking’s or Charles Darwin’s. Men that would have been well known for philosophical, mathematical, or some other great teaching. Men that would have reasoned about this world or the next. Individuals that would have been ready to smack Paul down for his belief, but despite this Paul was still ready to claim “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ”
Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel reveals to us that the salvation of believers is a means to an end. The power of God brings salvation to life with out the power of God salvation would still mean death. The most important part of the Gospel besides the power of God is that it must be taken (accepted). Jesus said that He came to heal those that are sick, but one must first realize that they are sick. “Medicine prepared will not cure a patient,” it must be taken. Jews and Gentiles a like are now upon the same miserable ground. They are both equally in need of a Savior, they are both equally in welcome to that Savior.
Two points for this post: Are you ashamed of the Gospel? To ashamed of what people might think of you that you are not concerned that another persons soul is sick and in need of a Savior.
Do you believe in the Power of the Gospel? This is truly the most important choice you can ever make. If you have the Gospel you are a debtor to all other’s to share that Good News.