Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

# 1 Introd. to Romans

Understanding the Book of Romans is the key to understanding all the major doctrines of the Christian Faith, especially the salvation doctrines of justification, sanctification and glorification.  I am convinced that Paul’s Epistle to the Romans  is the clearest, best organized, most logical and most complete treatise on God’s plan of salvation and Christian living of any book of the Bible.

HUMAN AUTHOR

 

Though the Holy Spirit is the divine author of the entire 66 books of the Holy Bible,   a wide variety of holy men were the human authors who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.   Thus, the sixty-six books of the Bible from Genesis through The Revelation are inspired of God and thus they are the inerrant and the perfect Word of God with the power to save sinners and edify saints.

The human author of Romans is the Apostle Paul, who before his conversion was the Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, the hater of Christ and the chief persecutor and murderer of first-century Christians.

SAUL’S CONVERSION

 

In Acts 9 Luke records the miraculous conversion of Saul.   Paul also recounts in Acts 26  his conversion in his trial before King Agrippa years later. Saul, who was an eye-witness of the stoning of Stephen (one of the first deacons in Christ’s Church),  never got over the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit as he was party to Stephen’s murder and as he watched this saintly man die.  Trying to drown out the voice of God, Saul grew even more hateful as he went everywhere killing Christians.

On the road to  Damascus,  as Saul was rounding up Christians to persecute; God in His sovereignty confronted him,  beating him over the head, so to speak,  and knocking him to the ground.  It was the only way God could get his attention.  You can read the details of that confrontation in Acts 9.

Years later Saul, whose name was changed to Paul after his conversion,  shares his testimony of conversion in his Epistle to the Philippians in chapter  3.  In the first  6 verses of that chapter, he describes his life before his conversion and in verses 7 through 14 he describes life after his conversion.  Before his conversion his confidence of pleasing God was all centered in himself.  After his conversion, his only confidence was in Christ alone.  That’s the story of everyone who is regenerated by the power of God.  Before we are saved, our confidence of attaining God’s favor and Heaven is in ourselves and our self-righteousness.  After we are saved, as we understand our hopeless, lost condition;  our confidence is in Christ alone.

BOND SLAVE OF CHRIST

Radically changed by the power of God, his name was changed from Saul to Paul.   So radical was that change that from his conversion he saw himself as a bond-slave of Jesus Christ.  Doulos is the Greek word for bond-slave.   A doulos was an involuntary forced slave.   However, Paul by his life shows us that as we are constrained by our  love for Christ, we become His loving, voluntary slaves.   That has been my status for most of my life  and it ought to be your status if you are a Christian.  As bond slaves of Christ, we have no rights. Our only rights and our only desires are to please Christ in all our attitudes and actions.

CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE

 

Though not one of the twelve Apostles with whom Jesus spent three years, living with them and teaching them spiritual truth;  Paul spent three years in the  Arabian desert  learning directly and personally from the risen Christ.  Though Paul ministered to Jews, the major emphasis of his ministry was to gentiles whom he won to Christ and to the churches he helped to establish throughout the  Roman Empire,  He is the major human instrument God used to give us His New Testament.  Paul is the human author of nearly all the New Testament  Epistles, including the Epistle to the Romans which we are presently studying. Read Acts9:15  and Ephesians 3 concerning Paul’s special calling. 

As Paul, so every preacher is called of God to spend his life ministering the Word of God to people, even though sometimes he may be called upon as Paul to make tents temporarily  to meet his needs.  Though Paul’s calling and ours is to serve Christ; that service can best be expressed by having a servant heart to serve others, rather than lording it over them, as Peter taught in I Peter 5:1-6

In the messages to follow we will learn the fullness of what it means to be saved from our sins and to be a Christian.  Paul explains it logically and fully in Romans and by the end of this series in Romans, if you are now confused about spiritual truth; you should be rejoicing in a clear and complete understanding of God’s plan of salvation

 

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May 10, 2011 - Posted by | Romans

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