Sunday, March 15, 2015

Paul Desires to Visit Rome (Part 2)

SERMON:             GM15-050

SERIES:              Renewal Through Romans: The Gospel Defined, Explained &           Applied

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (March 15, 2015)

SECTION:          The Prologue to Righteousness (Romans 1:1-17)

SUBTITLE:        Paul Desires to Visit Rome (Part 2)

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 1:14-15

SUBJECT:          Paul is desires to visit Rome

SUMMARY:       The gospel obligates you to proclaim it.

SCHEME:           that each member of NKBC shares the gospel

Our theme is: Paul desires to visit Rome          

This is a good reminder for us all to examine the intensity of Paul’s desire to visit Rome in order to be a blessing to the believers in this church.

 Proposition:  You must share Paul’s intensity to be an encouragement to others       

Interrogatory Sentence:  What does the text reveal to us about Paul’s desire to visit Rome?

Transitional Sentence: From our passage we learn two very important truths about Paul’s to visit Rome. We learn…

·        Paul’s Aim in visiting Rome (8-13)
·        Paul’s Argument for visiting Rome (14-17) 

Paul Desires to Visit Rome
 Romans 1:14-17
(Part 2)

2A    The Desire to Visit Rome

Objective:  That each member of NKBC maintain an intense desire to extend mutual blessings to fellow believers by discharging their debt towards them.


I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, according to me (my eagerness), I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, to all who are believing, Jew first and Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed of faith unto faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:14-17, GDM)


C.S. Lewis said, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next." 

Once Paul became aware of this church in Rome he planned or purposed several times to visit it. Not only did he plan on visiting it, he often prayed that God would provide the opportunity to visit the church at Rome.

Paul eager, anxious, he yearned to visit this church in order to share the gospel with them. He was eager to minister to them in order to establish them and to be a blessing or encouragement to them.

Our theme this morning continues to be: Paul desires to visit Rome

This is a good reminder for us all to examine the eagerness of Paul’s desire to visit Rome in order to be a blessing to the believers in this church.

 Proposition:  You must share Paul’s desire to be an encouragement to other believers  

Interrogatory Sentence:  What does the text reveal to us about Paul’s desire to visit Rome?

Transitional Sentence: From our passage we learn two very important truths about Paul’s desire to visit Rome. We learn…

·        Paul’s Aim in visiting Rome (8-13)
·        Paul’s Argument for visiting Rome (14-17)

The first and a natural question that should come to us all right now, is why did Paul write to this church? What was his reasons for writing this letter? Why was he so eager to visit them?

[Before we answer these questions, let’s take a minute and…]


[Last week we took a good look at…]

Paul’s Aim in Visiting Rome (8-13)         

Paul seems to be perfectly clear in what his aim or his reason was for visiting this church. Remember he did not start or plant this church and neither has he ever visited this church.

So, it is natural for us to wonder just what his purpose or aim was. Well, I think we can clearly see Paul’s aim in wanting to visit this church in three different ways.

[The first way that we see Paul’s aim is by seeing…]

His Infatuation for the Romans (8)

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

Paul has been informed about the existence of this church and these believers located in the capital city of the Roman Empire. He has been at some point and in some manner informed about their response to the gospel. Since hearing about these believers and their faith, he has become infatuated with them.

[Secondly, we see Paul’s aim in writing to and wanting to visit this church in…]

His Intercession for the Romans (9-10)

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers…”
Paul has a pattern of following up his expressions of thankfulness with specific details about his consistency and his concern for his readers. He tells them quite emphatically that I pray for you regularly.

[Last, we see Paul’s aim in writing to and wanting to visit this church in…]                  

His Interest in the Romans (11-13)

We have to ask ourselves, why did Paul write to this church? What are his reasons for having such a keen or deep interest in this church? We see Paul’s interest in this church in verses 11-13.

“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established, that is that I might be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith of both you and me. Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered unto now) that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other gentiles.”                        

Paul explains why he wants to come to Rome. He gives a statement and then he develops that statement with three (3) purpose statements. Paul wants…

To share some spiritual gift with them
To have a harvest amongst them
To preach the gospel to them

So, we see Paul’s Aim in visiting this church. It is to minister to them so that they benefit by Paul’s apostolic commission.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the second clue or truth revealed in this passage about Paul’s desire to visit Rome and that second clue is…

Paul’s Argument for Visiting Rome (VSS. 14-17) His argument is found in verses 14-17. This clue begins to tell us what the teaching of this letter really is.

What does his argument say to us? In these verses we see two aspects of Paul’s argument that he wants to make to this church. These two aspects are:

·        The Gospel Produces Saving Faith for Sinners (14-16)
·        The Gospel Produces Sanctifying Faith for Saints (17)       

[So then, let’s take a careful look at the first aspect of Paul’s argument, and that is…]

The Gospel Produces Saving Faith for Sinners (14-16)
Paul is confident about the gospel. He knows exactly what the gospel and what the gospel can do. Paul has very convincingly shared a number of aspects of his service to both Christ Jesus and the gospel.

·        He stated that he was called, named, summoned, appointed,  by God and not man

·        He stated that God had separated him, or marked him out, had established very definite boundaries for the life of Paul

·        He said that he received from God his apostleship which gave him both equality to the other apostles and authority of an apostle

·        He stated that he wanted to come to Rome in order how much more fruit there than he already had.

Now, Paul is going to make his argument that the gospel he has been called to proclaim produces saving faith for sinners is actually an obligation and it makes him a debtor.

When we examine this section of scripture we can Paul reveal at least three (3) ways that the gospel produces saving faith for sinners. 

[The first way that the gospel produces saving faith for sinners is seen its…]

Demand to be preached

“I am a debtor…” (14a)

Our word is really a simple word. It means a person who owes a debt. Someone who is under an obligation, someone is bound to perform an obligation or debt. It was used of someone who had a legal obligation to satisfy an injury that had been done.

It was used primarily to designate a man who owed someone else some money. That man is in debt to the man he owes the money.

It also was used to designate someone who is under an obligation. It meant ‘to be bound by duty or necessity to something.’

It was typically used in relationship to ‘a necessity that had been imposed either by law or duty, or by reason, or by the very nature of a matter that was under discussion or debate.

For example if it was discovered that on your street there was a huge hole in the road, a hole that could truly injure someone. It was so dark no one could see the hole. While you and a couple of neighbors or passer-byers were discussion the problem, it was determined you had a flashlight, not just a flashlight, but the only flashlight. The very nature of the danger would obligate you to either lend your flashlight to shine light on the hole until it could be fixed or you would have to shine your flashlight on the hole.

No court telling you to do it, you didn’t have a bill issued to you to do it. The nature dictated you would be under obligation.

Paul says I am a debtor. I am under a necessity. I am under an obligation. It was like Paul was in court, charged with an infraction, found guilty and was ordered by the court to make restitution.

This obligation on Paul fell on Paul when he was converted by God and commissioned to be an ambassador of God to the Gentiles.

Go, for he is a chosen vessel of mine to bear my name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15, NKJV)

When you spend some time meditating on this phrase, “I am a debtor” at least five things become evident. Let me share these five things with you. I think they apply to us also!

First – Paul is stating, or really asserting, that he is the possessor of something that he can give.

That is a no brainer, right? In vs. 11 Paul, had already said, “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you’- he wants to give them something, some spiritual gift so that they would be established.

He has something that he can give to others. Paul has the gospel. He has firsthand knowledge of the gospel. Paul has the gospel to give. So do you.

Second – Paul states, or asserts that he is able to give this give to everybody or anyone.

Look again at what he says, “…both to Greeks and to barbarians…”

The word Paul used typically referred to the people who lived in Greece. The Greek people at this time were considered the most “polished” or “upper-crust” of people, so the word was used synonymously with the refined, cultured, educated and wealthy people of any country as opposite of the unrefined, uncultured, uneducated, poor people, or barbarians.

By the way the word “barbarian” in our text is a word that came about by the repetition of a sound. The very cultured Greeks heard a sound like gibberish from these “foreigners” and they mimicked and made fun of them by repeating the word bar, bar, bar, bar. The word barbarian developed from that repetition and then was used to describe anyone uneducated, uncultured, etc.

So Paul means the whole world. The whole world of mankind was divided at this time by the Greek people into two categories – Greeks and barbarians. To the Greek people you were one or the other. Paul’s point is that he can give this gift, this gospel to anyone of any nationality or station in life.

For example:  He shared the gospel with Philemon’s slave Onesimus and he shared the gospel with King Agrippa. Rich or poor, King or slave it did not matter to Paul. 

Paul also says, “…both to wise, and to unwise.”

For some reason Paul felt compelled to break down the recipients of salvation into two more groups to show no one was to be left out. He is ready to preach to professors and to students, to great intellects to uneducated people. The word unwise is really the word for fool.

Paul will make it clear that all kinds and types of people have sinned, all types and kinds of people need to repent, and the gospel is for all types and kinds of people. So the gospel is to be preached to everybody, upper class, middle class, and lower class.

The gospel is to be preached to Brits, Germans, Swedes, Italians, Jews, Africans, Americans, - to all peoples groups. The educated and learned and philosophers to the uneducated simpletons are in need of the gospel.

Paul wants to add to the work of teaching and discipleship that has been building on the initial evangelization of these believers.

A. P. Bowers wrote, “The gospel includes not simply an initial preaching mission but the full sequence of activities resulting in settled churches.” [1]

Third – Paul states or asserts that he has something he is able to give.

Everybody needs the gospel. And Paul says I can give it to everybody. This seems similar but it is different. What I mean by this is think about Paul for a minute.

  • ·        He comes from a wealthy family
  • ·        He is educated in the finest Jewish schools and traditions
  • ·        He is more than likely a member of the Sanhedrin
  • ·        He is a Pharisee
  • ·        He is extremely intelligent. 

o   His capacity for logic is almost beyond limits
o   He is schooled on the philosophic issues of the day
o   He is a braniac

You wouldn’t have any problem sending Paul to the educated, philosophers, and upper crust of his day. He be a good preacher for them.
Would you send a man like Paul to the very uneducated, uncouth, street-people, or anyone with limited intellectual capacity? We might not. But God does. Paul can preach to the wise and to the fools.

Here is Paul, where on one occasion he preached on Mar’s Hill to the upper crust and philosophers. He debated stoics, Epicureans, philosophers. But on another occasion Paul plants churches in Galatia where they are known for being primitive, lacking knowledge, less educated. Yet he planted several churches in Galatia.

Paul could preach in the palace, the university but also in the slums, the jails, and streets. It didn’t matter to him, he had a message and he was ready and able to impart it.

Fourth – Paul states or asserts that he has something to give and that all people need it.

You cannot read the scriptures, particularly Romans chapter 3 and not come to the same conclusion that Paul did; everybody needs the gospel.

“So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”

In the church, out of the church, in the community, educated, the uneducated, the Greek or a barbarian, people need the Lord.

Steve Green said it this way in his song:

Every day they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?

On they go through private pain,
living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

Don’t be thrown by Paul’s desire to preach the gospel to the Roman Church. For Paul preaching the gospel involves more than the initial conversion experience. His goal was to bring about the obedience of faith amongst the Roman believers. The obedience of faith cannot be limited to just the moment of conversion.

Paul frequently preaches that salvation includes perseverance to the end of our natural life. (Ro 8:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 15:1-2; Gal 6:8-9; Col 1:221-23)

Paul did not believe that his job or duty as an apostle was completed or finished unless the churches he dealt with were established and that that they persevered in the Christian faith as obedient believers.

For example:

After he planted the church in Thessalonica he sent Timothy back to that church to determine if his work stood up or had been done in vain.

Paul determined that salvation included the fact that believers once converted were to live a life worthy of or in keeping with the grace of God in salvation.

So, Paul’s intention in Rome then, was not just to win converts, but his intention was to strengthen and edify those who were already converted.

Fifth – Paul states or asserts that he must give it.

“I am a debtor…”

Paul feels compelled to preach this gospel. Remember what he told the Corinthians? “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel?” (1 Cor 9:16b)

Why did Paul feel that he had a debt or was under obligation to give or preach this gospel?

·        He was commissioned to preach the gospel. He was commissioned on the Damascus Road when he was converted. He has to be obedient and he will give an account.

·        Paul was well aware of the tremendous need of sinners. This realization should produce an urgency in all of us. He knew the condition of men and women w/o Christ.
·        The gospel itself placed an obligation of Paul. When you eat a good restaurant, or buy a set of dependable tires you want to tell someone. Good things, good people, good places, good foods cause us to want to tell someone else. Gospel is the good news, its contents, ramifications, and benefits compel us to tell others about it.

·        Paul had been a persecutor of those who had become believers. He had many believers arrested. They lost their possessions, their lively hood, their reputations, and like Stephen, their lives. Now Paul has been rescued by the Lord.

Someone once told Hudson Taylor that he had given his life to China because he must have loved the Chinese people so much. Apparently, the story goes, that Hudson Taylor shook his head and said, “No, because not because I loved the Chinese, but because I loved God.”

Why do we gather each Sunday morning? Why do we sing songs? Why do we teach or listen to the word being preached? Why do we feel compelled to share the gospel?

The reason should be that we love God and like Paul we feel it is our inescapable duty.

It stands to reason that these things made Paul feel it was his inescapable duty. This is why we felt himself to be a debtor, deeply in debt to all men.

Life had but one purpose for Paul; it was to do God’s will, which meant preaching, sharing, and teaching the gospel to all men. Paul was consumed by this.

[And so, we have seen that the first way that the gospel produces saving faith for sinners is seen its…]

Demand to be preached

The second way that the gospel produces saving faith for sinners is seen in its

Demonstration of God’s Power. But we will begin that portion found in vss. 16-17 in three weeks, Lord willing. 

Our theme this morning continues to be: Paul desires to visit Rome

This is a good reminder for us all to examine the eagerness of Paul’s desire to visit Rome in order to be a blessing to the believers in this church.

 Proposition:  You must share Paul’s desire to be an encouragement to other believers

[But for now, let’s wrap this up, shall we?]

Let me conclude this point with a narrative from 2 Kings 7:9. This is one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. It appeals to me on several levels. But I think it is a fitting conclusion because it illustrates the point that Paul is a debtor because the gospel demands preaching, because it is the means by which God saves sinners.

A group of Lepers were starving just like the people of Israel because God had sent the Syrians against the Israelites. The Syrians had set up a siege against Samaria. This siege had caused a great famine to occur. No food could get inside the city and they were starving to death.

These four lepers decided to surrender to the Syrians in hopes of getting something to eat. They figured if the Syrians killed them, they were going to die of starvation anyways. So they went to the Syrian camped and found it had been deserted. God had caused a great noise, like approaching chariots to scare the Syrians away.

So the lepers sat down and started to gorge themselves on the food they found in the camp. Then one of them said to the others, “We do not well. Today is a day of good news and we remain silent…let us go and tell the king’s household.”  So they did.

After the people determined that it was not a trick to get them to leave the city, they went to the camp and plundered the camp. They were saved by the food left behind by the Syrians.

We have the gospel. If we gorge on its benefits and remain silent, we are not doing right. Today is a day of good news. Let’s tell the king’s household; the Greeks and the Barbarians. Let us recognize that we are debtors.


  And So, I exhort you as genuine believers that as those who are debtors to be ready to share the gospel with those who are in Kelso/Lexington.

Remember the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:8…

“For is I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.”  (1 Corinthians 9:17, NKJV)

Let’s pray! J

Benediction Blessing:

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Philippians 4:23, NKJV)

[1] P. Bowers, Fulfilling the Gospel: The Scope of the Pauline Mission.” JETS 30 (1987), p. 198

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