Who is the Lord? Not us, but Christ!
Our primary call is not to be perfect "church goers," being good and holy, but to be models of His character and to proclaim His Word. We do this because of our gratitude for redemption without hesitation or embarrassment!
The greatest most incredible news in the history of the universe is revealed to us! Our salvation is purchased and secured by Christ! God's promise from the Old Testament is fulfilled by Christ. He came to us as a man, one of us to live a perfect life on our behalf and as God to take God's wrath for our sin. He takes our place, the punishment we deserved. He does this by love and by grace. Then He offers His grace to all of us who are willing to accept it by trusting in Him. Paul is overjoyed by this to the point he considers himself the lowest of the lowest salves unworthy to receive Christ, yet he has Christ's grace anyway. Paul fully realizes that this grace is totally undeserved and he cannot wait to tell the world about it no matter what may happen to him!
· A reminder of who we are in sin, our heritage through David.Paul sets up his letter with a statement of honest, humble credibility as a representative of God (Acts 9:2). Paul connects with his Jewish readers by referring to the prophets.
· Our purpose and reality is what Christ did for me, my redemption, thus what is my response?
· Our growth and maturity will mean the removal of our aspirations with His purpose replacing them.
· Our faith cannot be from our good nature because we do not have one.
· Our ability to be good and holy is only because of the "effect" of redemption not the "cause," never confuse the two or you will have pride and arrogance.
· Beware not to hear the call of our Lord because of the noise of our will. Being set apart for the Gospel is to be totally at the disposal of our Lord and master.Paul goes out of his way to make sure Jesus is not confused as just another god or an emperor.
· Paul calls himself a "bondservant" (Rom. 9:3) the lowest form of a slave in Greek times totally at the master's disposal and even expendable; they rowed the boats of war with a whip at their back. This means total surrendered devotion that the slave/disciple of the Lord has a will that has been sacrificed to God's will and thus is totally at the disposal of our Lord! Paul's slavery is his freedom (Gal. 1:15; 2:20)!
· Apostle means one who is sent with authority, in Paul's case, by the Holy Spirit.Paul's apostleship was unique; thus he needed to give an explanation of who he was.There are NO apostles today in the Biblical since!
· Paul's driving force was not his character, but being separated to be in Christ's service. If we focus only upon ourselves we will fail badly. Apostle and disciple are not synonyms!
· Disciple means one who learns and applies what they learn.
· The promise is that Christ was announced at the fall and then throughout the Old Testament. In the OT, the nation's salvation looked forward to the cross; ours by the NT looks back to what has been completed on the cross. (16:25-27)This calls for our trust and obedience through faith.The name Jesus in Hebrew means, "Jehovah is Salvation, the Anointed One;" this is His distinction and title. "Lord" refers to how our relationship to Him should be.
· Spirit of Holiness was a common Jewish name referring to the Holy Spirit. It was also a prayer referring to the promise of the resurrection of the soul and the restoration of Israel.
· Christ has two natures, fully God and fully man (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 13:4).If Christ was not God, or of the seed of David, He could not have paid our debt of sin.
· The seed of David refers to His being fully a person, as well as in the linage of David to be the righteous and proper King (II Sam. 7:14; Psalm 2:7; 89:27). If Christ had not risen He could have not been God.Through Christ we have grace.A requirement of obedience and faith.Grace is for all nations.
· The promise has arrived. Isaiah prophesizes that remnant from among the nations would return to God (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 52:15). Rome being the great metropolitan city with people from all over the world, the Roman church contained both Jews and gentiles!
· Saints, Paul does not state that gentiles are inferior as most Jews would.
· Grace to you refers that Paul sends his blessings.
Paul realized the reality of the Gospel. Even though he was a highly educated and influential leader with a high position politically as a Roman citizen and in his Jewish sect of a Pharisee, he knew he was lost. He knew he did not deserve God's grace. We are never to take His grace for granted. We are not to see it as cheap, but realize its cost to our Lord, its power and impact upon our lives so we have a response that is real and valid to what Christ has done for us! Do you hear the call of God? Has the reality of Christ impacted you? If so how have you responded? Have you responded with passion and conviction? Do you proclaim His name with impact and clarity no mater what you do or where you are at?
1. How far back have you tracked your family tree?
2. What is your purpose in life?
3. How did the Holy Spirit call you to Christ?
4. When you came to Christ, did your new life also change your goals in the 'earthly' (daily) life?
5. Whether you grew up in the church or received the Lord later in life, there is a point where you take 'ownership' of your faith so that it is yours and it is real, not your parents, and not for social reasons. Did you do this, if so when and why?
6. Have you struggled with surrendering your priorities in life so you are centered upon the Lord and not yourself?
7. Most people have a 'me first' identity, does this match up with the rest of Scripture and this passage?
8. What does trust and obedience mean to you? How are they different, does one precede the other?
9. Do you think there are different levels of commitment in Christianity? Such is there a difference between a person who just goes to church on Sunday compared to the person who also has daily devotions, prayer and Bible reading? If so, why do most Christian's neglect their 'work' at the faith?
10. Have you experienced maturity in the Christian faith?
11. How do you define maturity?
12. "Our growth and maturity will mean the removal of our aspirations with His purpose replacing them." Do you agree with this statement?
13. Do you believe that our faith cannot be from our good nature? Most Protestant theologians believe that humanity does not have a good nature, do you agree?
14. Do you believe that the only good in humanity is what Christ did? If so what about non-Christians good acts?
15. We may not hear our Lord like a parent or friend, nevertheless He does communicate with us. How do you think He does this with you?
16. What gets in the way of you hearing from God?
17. Why does Paul call himself a "bondservant" (1:1; 9:3)? (A bondservant is the lowest form of a slave in Greek times; they rowed the boats of war with a whip at their back.)
18. This bondservant means total surrendered devotion; Paul gave up his career, status, family and all of his material positions to serve Christ. How does this make you feel? Appreciation, jealously, he was an idiot, or who cares?
19. Is there something that needs to be removed from your life so you can grow closer in your relationship with Christ? (Sin is anything that gets in the way with our relationship and growth in Christ. The word sin literally means missing the mark/target; it is an ancient archery term.)
20. A real committed disciple of the Lord has a will that has been sacrificed to God's will and thus is totally at the disposal of our Lord! Paul's slavery was his freedom. Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?
21. Read Gal. 1:15; 2:20 How does this relate to the Roman's passage?
22. How can you 'redirect' your life to be more like Paul? (You do not need to leave your family, and in most case he calls you to stay in your career to make a difference there, there is nothing wrong with material positions as long as it does not get in the way of our Lord.)
23. What commitments can you make with your new 'redirections'?
© 1998, 2003, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org