We all possess a key that unlocks the wonders of the world. What if you used your key and discovered a treasure that would change your world? A treasure that would upgrade you to first-class citizenship where your life will make a difference in the lives of others. I have good news! You have within you a fervor, a passion, for more than you can ever imagine life to be.
Welcome to the study of the book of Romans. We are going to learn from Paul how to use the key that lies within each of our hearts and ignite the passion of Christ. When He is alive in our hearts, we become world changers; unified as one.
We are going to see how Paul lives out this fervor, this passion. He shares with us God’s solution for the impasse that we face because of sin. Let’s get started, read Romans 1:1-17.
Paul describes Himself a slave or servant of Christ who has been chosen by God to go and preach the Good News. And we see from the scriptures how Paul said yes to the call that God placed on him.
Read Acts 9 to learn how God called Paul into faith and ministry. He calls each of us to believe and receive His Son, just like Paul. We are then called to share with everyone around us the love that God has revealed so others can come to believe and receive too.
QUESTION: According to verses 3-4, what is the Good News? From verses 5-6, what is our job with this Good News? What does God give us so we can accomplish what He is calling us to do?
The apostles were to share with the Gentiles. Today, we are considered Gentile unless one is Jewish. We are to share what God has done for us so others have the opportunity to come to God through His Son. This faith journey is an active one. We are to be pursuing the things of God each day in such a way that others will see and hopefully want to know the hope and joy that is now unlocked within our hearts.
Paul is sharing His faith with people in Rome. He tells them that they are “loved by God and are called to be His own special people”. Paul then shares His heart towards fellow believers and encourages them in God’s Good News.
In his letter to the Romans, he is thankful to God for everyone around him. This is a good start in walking with God. We are to be thankful. For me, this has been a struggle, especially in this past year. I seem to have allowed myself to lose my thankfulness for who God is. I get tangled up in my expectations which trips me up and I lose my focus. I look around at my circumstances instead of looking up at God. What happens when I look around is anxiety creeps in along with doubting God and disappointment.
QUESTION: According to verse 8, how does active faith help others?
We are not to keep our faith to ourselves. Notice what Paul does in verse 9 that shows that God is alive and active in passionate hearts. Day and night he prays for those around him. He serves people by spreading the Good News about Jesus. We see how purposeful Paul lives. God is calling us to this same focus and fervor.
It is like Paul had laser-focused attention to God. He left his past in the past and he moved forward in the ways of God. He mentally changed what team he played on. He didn’t straddle the fence living in both worlds. James 4:4 says, “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” Look up 1 John 2:15-17 for added truth.
QUESTION: Are you straddling both worlds? Are you playing for two teams; teams that are polar opposites?
Look at verses 10-12. God reveals the importance of community and how we are to encourage one another. This is vital to our walks with God. We need God and we need one another. We are made to walk as one in a unified manner. When we do, we will be strong and mighty! We would be united in love.
QUESTION: If we all walked in this fashion, what do you think would happen with the pandemic? How about how the government operates, the media and all the rioting? How about racism or any other injustice that perpetuates our world?
At one time, Paul despised anyone associating themselves with God. Then God called him to believe and receive His goodness and mercy. Notice how Paul reveals his changed heart in verses 13-15. His heart now beats for Christ. His mission is to spread the gospel to everyone all around the world. “I have a great sense of obligation to people.”
QUESTION: What does Paul say in verse 16? Can you say the same thing?
Paul can confidently speak these words because he understands his place with God. He knows that it is the power of God working in people’s hearts that help them to come to believe. We are made right in God’s sight when we follow the Good News.
QUESTION: How is this possible; see verse 17?
Paul was once rebellious, following the ways of the world. When He said yes to Jesus, God changed his heart. He made a 180 degree turn and pursued the ways of God. He allowed God to ignite the passion that laid dormant in his heart. He didn’t straddle the fence either. He went all in with the love that was shown to Him by the Lover of his soul.
By studying Romans, we are going to learn how to live like Paul; passionate for God with a zealous love for others. It is going to be life changing!