Sunday, January 6, 2019, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at Romans 1.1-17:

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 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.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

16 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

From those verses, we looked at this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question: What is the link between faith and the end of shame?

And we found these three points from that question:

Grace and Someone to Proclaim It
Mutual Encouragement
The Power of the Gospel

Grace and Someone to Proclaim It

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 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.

Paul introduces us to four people in this passage, and each is set apart for a specific purpose.

Paul is specifically set apart for the mission of proclaiming Jesus.
Jesus is specifically set apart as the one that would fulfill all the scriptures.
We have been specifically set apart by grace and the obedience of faith.
The church of Rome has been specifically set apart and called to be saints.

Paul intends to emphasize that God orchestrates and sets apart His intentions and work in the world. God is doing all this work on His own. He is setting apart an apostle, a Savior, a church in that day, and the church in this day. Having made his introductions, Paul says,

Mutual Encouragement

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

I read this passage, and I get so jealous. Paul is thanking the people of the church of Rome because their faith in Jesus is so great that people are talking about it all over the world. I would love a letter that said, “Evident Grace’s faith is proclaimed in all of Fredericksburg.”

The church in Rome was living out their faith which such boldness that it their Godly reputation was traveling across the world. And remember, there was not texting, no Facebook, no newspaper. These folks are getting it done for the kingdom to such an extent that by mere word of mouth alone, the world is hearing about it. How do they do it? Simple. Simple words of encouragement.

The Power of the Gospel

16 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 

The Gospel of Jesus is our one hope, our one power. It is the power of change and the power for us to walk out of shame. How do we tap into that power? Only by believing and having faith in what Jesus has done.

Big Picture Question: What is the link between faith and the end of shame?

Grace and Someone to Proclaim It
Mutual Encouragement
The Power of the Gospel

Truth: The power of the gospel of grace conquers sin and shame as the church mutually encourages each other.

Application: Live knowing that you are equipped with everything that is needed to conquer your shame.

Action: Impart a spiritual gift of encouragement to someone new this week.

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