INTRO: So much has been written about the New Testament book of Romans. I approach this sermon, then, with a bit of trepidation. I recognize that many of us have read and studied this book and have some very definite ideas about it. In all honesty, however, I have been little satisfied with much of what I have read. Oh, there has been so much that is good said and written, and I do not want to take away from that. But when I read this book, I see an overarching theme or purpose which seems to get lost in the many books and studies which engage this incredible book from inspiration. Unfortunately, this one sermon cannot be a detailed study of the book in view of the theme. Let me just highlight some of the wonderful material to be found here.
I. JEWS AND GENTILES IN ONE BODY
A. This is what flavors the entire book
1. yes, there are some important topical matters here
2. but in the scope of the book of Romans they relate to the Jew/Gentile issue
3. Rom2:5-11 - ...there is no respect of persons with God
B. Is nationality important?
1. yes, if we see that as a spiritual importance
2. Rom 3:1,2 - to the Jews had been committed the oracles of God
3. but the word of God had been lost in a spiritual pride - Rom 11:25
C. Is nationality unimportant?
1. yes, if we see that in a spiritual context
2. so, Rom 2:28,29 - But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly...
3. further, Rom 3:9-11 - here was the bottom line - all need the blood of Christ - the atoning blood which offers remission not based on national origins
D. Was it easy to bring the two together into one body?
1. no, it was not!
2. true, all may have known the Lords intention and His teaching on the subject
3. but Rom 14:10-13 - it was not easy to get past longstanding ideas, beliefs!
II. SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
A. The catalog of unrighteousness of chapter 1
1. at 1:18 is this - ...the wrath of God ... against ... ungodliness and unrighteousness
2. at the bottom of unrighteousness is 1:22 - elevating human wisdom over Gods wisdom
3. the catalog some predictable and unpredictable things - but 1:32
B. Justification by faith of chapter 3
1. note especially 3:23-26
2. one of the truly significant statements relative to the theme is at 3:28 - justified by faith without the deeds of the law
3. here are found some wonderful expressions and words
C. The atonement through Jesus of chapter 5
1. here is a chapter literally filled with salvation information and facts
2. but listen especially to 5:8-11
3. an important verse to note? 3:12 - fact, Adams guilt for sin did not pass upon all men ... it is guilt for our own sins which cause our death
D. The demand for changed lives of chapter 6
1. two great, thematic questions at 6:1,2
2. thence, the profound answer and explanation
3. the summary? 6:22 - ye have your fruit unto holiness
E. Freedom from the law of chapter 7
1. here was something with which Jewish Christians apparently struggled
2. but note how the message is conveyed at 7:1-4 - vital, incidental message about marriage ... death of the husband breaks the bond
3. few Bible notations help us more to understand that the law of Moses is done
F. Living the life of chapter 12
1. for all it begins with a great sacrifice (12:1) and continues with transformation (12:2) - whether Jew or Gentile
2. neither Jew nor Gentile is more important - both receive their gifts and privileges from God (12:3)
3. and from v. 9 there is a wonderful listing of advice for living the life
G. Living with each other in Christ of chapters 14 & 15
1. the Holy Spirit did not take sides here!
2. but, oh, how He challenges the very best in all of us - 15:1,2
3. the objective? 15:6 - with one mind and one mouth glorify God
CLOSE: I particularly love and appreciate the closing words of this great letter - 16:25-27. What is the great demand of the of the gospel to all nations? The obedience of faith...
Cecil A. Hutson
28 September 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)