Romans 1:8-15

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Text: Romans 1:8-15

AN INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS:

THE OCCASION

INTRODUCTION:

In A. D. 56 the Apostle Paul visited Corinth for the third time, and at that time Paul wrote a letter to the Romans. He had never been to Rome; but he knew of the believers in Rome; and he desired to go to Rome and preach the gospel there also. He viewed Rome as a stopping-off point for his proposed journey to Spain.

In this message we wish to continue our study of the introduction of Romans as we consider the occasion of Paul's writing this epistle to the Romans.

I. PAUL DESIRED TO COME TO ROME - 1:8-10

Romans 1:8-10 - 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 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; 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

First may mean in the first place in the sense of to begin with; or it may mean in the first place in the sense of above all or especially.

That your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world = because your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world

Faith may be used in the sense of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. as their salvation. It may also be used in the sense of their faithfulness, dependability, or reliability to Jesus Christ. Either way, they had a good testimony which was widespread.

Romans 1:9 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.

God is my witness. No one but God could know Paul's inner desires.

Whom I serve is the same term used in Romans 12:1 , which is your reasonable service. It implies worship or religious service.

In the gospel of his Son = in the good news about His Son

That without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers introduces the subject about which God is called upon as Paul's witness. This request extends through verse 10.

Without ceasing = unceasingly, constantly, always

I make mention of you always is I am making mention of (i.e. remembering) you always (i.e. continually or repeatedly).

In my prayers suggests that every time Paul prays, it is his habit or custom to remember the Roman believers.

Romans 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

Making request suggests asking pleadingly.

If by any means = if perhaps or if somehow.

Now at length means now at last.

I might have a prosperous journey = I might be prospered

By the will of God - Paul was concerned about being in the will of God (v. 10).

To come unto you means to come to you in Rome.

II. PAUL DESIRED TO STRENGTHEN THE BELIEVERS AT ROME - 1:11

Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.

For introduces the reason Paul wants so badly to come to Rome. It is understood in the sense of because.

I long to see you is I greatly desire to see you, I have a strong desire to see you, or I yearn to see you.

That (i.e. in order that) I may impart (i.e. give, give a part of, or share) unto you some spiritual gift

It was not to give them some spiritual gift. It was to use his spiritual gift(s) in order to strengthen them.

To the end that ye may be established = in order that you may be established (i.e. strengthened or fixed firmly).

III. PAUL DESIRED A MUTUAL ENCOURAGE-MENT BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE ROMANS - 1:12

Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

People get discouraged from time to time. So do some preachers: the ministry can be very discouraging at times. The people and the preachers could both be a blessing to each other.

Paul knew that, if he would come and use his spiritual gifts among the Romans, there would be a mutual comfort or encouragement. The people would be a blessing to Paul; and, of course, he would be a blessing to them.

Even apostles may have needed encouragement upon occasion. It is a blessing to the man of God to see fellow believers blessed through God's using him, and it encourages him to go on in his work and to be faithful on other occasions as well.

In the same way it is a blessing for believers to have a man of God serving with them. They see his life; and they see his dedication; and it is also an encouragement to them to want to live for the Lord and to be dedicated to the Lord just as he is.

By the mutual faith both of you and me means through or by means of their mutual faith. His faith would encourage them, and their faith would encourage him.

IV. PAUL DESIRED MORE FRUIT AMONG THE GENTILES - 1:13-15

Romans 1:13-15 - 13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Paul tells the Roman believers that he does not want them to be ignorant that he had frequently intended to come to them. However, at the time of the writing of Romans, God had not yet seen fit in His will to send the Apostle to Rome.

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren means I want you to know, brothers.

What Paul wants the Roman believers to know is that oftentimes (i.e. often, repeatedly, frequently, or many times) I purposed (i.e. planned or intended) to come unto you

But was let (i.e. hindered or prevented) hitherto (i.e. until now or thus far)

The reason Paul had often purposed to come to Rome is that (in order that or for the purpose that) I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Fruit may imply that Paul wanted to lead some additional people to Christ in Rome so that there would be new converts, but probably means that he wants to strengthen the Roman believers in their Christian faith as he had done elsewhere with other Gentile converts.

Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

I am debtor implies that Paul is under obligation to all Gentiles to proclaim the gospel message to them. Similarly, believers are under obligation to proclaim the gospel to those to whom we are sent.

Greeks means persons of Greek language and culture; whereas, barbarians means foreigners, people who do not speak Greek, or non-Greeks

To the wise refers to the Greeks and means wise in terms of Greek education and culture. To the unwise refers to barbarians who did not possess the Greek education and culture.

Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

So = thus

As much as in me is, I am ready = the with-reference-to-me-desire is = my desire

Paul's desire is to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. Paul had preached the gospel on many other occasions to many other Gentiles. Now it is was desire to go to Rome and to preach the gospel to the Romans also.

V. PAUL DESIRED THAT THE CHURCH AT ROME BE A STOPPING POINT ON HIS JOURNEY TO SPAIN - 15:24

Romans 15:14-33 - 14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

CONCLUSION:

Are you saved as the Roman believers were?

Have you given your life to Jesus Christ as Paul had done so that you are concerned about being in the will of God?