Romans Introduction

February 19, 2023   /   Faith Alliance Church

Romans 1 and 2

Faith: Approaching the NT Book of Romans / Romans 1–2

 

• We will see a bold introduction by Paul who describes the world where God has revealed Himself and humanity has ignored Him.

• What we will see is that the book of Romans starts with a big picture view and then slowly works it’s way into our own lives and then offers us a solution in Christ that we can’t find anywhere else.

• So when we start this morning we see Paul making sweeping historical, theological statements about the state of humanity. And Paul is bringing valuable truth to us, showing us how we have made our decisions and what we need to do to find our way again.

everything we have been searching for has been offered to us in Christ

• We have searched and looked and investigated but stopped short.

• We will see through the book of Romans that it will take nothing less than God coming to us for us to understand faith and value.

Who you are is more valuable than what you realize

Romans 1:7 ESV

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

• But Paul is making weeping statements on creation and it’s relationship with God.

• He is going to deliver some difficult words not only to those who have settled for less than Christ but also for the church.

• He tells the church that they are loved by God and called to be saints.

• This is really the starting point of faith

• God has come to us.

• God has changed the idea of what it means to live.

What you do points to more than what you realize

Romans 1:18–23 ESV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

• The world points to something beyond itself. It points to more. Even in trying to remove the author, we still see His work.

• We are not only made for more. Everything we do points beyond itself toward Christ.

• Thomas Aquinas in his book Summa Theologica talks about the difference between potential and actual

• All of creation is potential of what it could be. Nothing in finalized form. Only God is actual. God is finalized form.

Trying life without author is potential. We can see what it’s like but the actual is found in God alone

› Our sense of satisfaction and gratitude in the church is not owed to more efficient decision making. It is only owed to the revealed Christ.

• When people reject God they begin to worship their desires. Their need for God doesn’t go away, they just try to meet that need through their own means.

• But even in the list that Paul gives of things that God gives us over to,

• God gave humanity up to lust of their hearts to impurity (v 24)

• dishonorable passions (v26)

• a debased mind to do what out not to be done. (v 28)

• What we find though is that Paul is not looking to make final judgements, he is pointing to the fact that we have exchanged what is good for less than that. We have settled.

Romans 2:21–24 ESV

you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

• When people exchange the glory of the immortal God for images, our role is not to become angry or to pass judgement but we are warned not to do this ourselves.

We can have a conversation around where you find your own righteousness based on where you are pointing. If you are pointing to the Other, saying they are not like me and I am not like them. You are self righteous, trying to make a claim for yourself based on your contract with the other. But if you are pointing to Christ then you make no claim on your own righteousness and are inviting other people to look to Him

We have tried to figure out God through creation. Doesn’t fully work

• Called to not depend on our terms of righteousness but Gods.

The Gospel is better than you realize

Romans 1:16–17 ESV

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

• We have been looking for righteousness, for our relationships to be set right. And the Gospel is the means for that.

• This is about the opportunity for life change and transformation.

• TO understand we are loved completely by God

• and that our attempts to meet our desires have not worked the way we have wanted to.

 

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