Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 3 – Romans - I am not Ashamed

Paul's Epistles
Part 3 – Romans - I am not Ashamed
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We are going to look at the Epistles of Paul in this series of sermons.
The Epistles written by Paul are Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews.

We have already looked at who Paul was,

Last week we discussed our faith being reported around the world.

Today we will take a look at Romans 1:14-17. I am not Ashamed of the Gospel.

Romans 1:14-17  
 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Do you feel a sense of desire, or need to share the Gospel with those around you?

Are you compelled to help others with the wisdom of scripture, or need to build a bridge for them to cross from their lost lives into the hand of our Father in heaven?

Are you eager to show, or explain to others how God saved you from sin?

Or are you ashamed of the power of God which saved you, and fear speaking of Him or His plan to others?

We have an obligation to share the truth of the Gospel, and a command from Christ to do so. We need not be ashamed of the power of God which saved us, millions before us, and perhaps millions more, if we fulfill our duty to God!
I.                   I AM OBLIGATED OR IN DEBT TO
a.      Paul says he is obligated, or in debt to the Greeks.
                                                             i.      Paul considered himself to be under obligation.

                                                          ii.      He said, "I am a debtor."

b.     Paul says he is in debt to the non-Greeks.
                                                             i.      This does not mean he preached because of this debt and he did not truly care for the souls of the lost.

                                                          ii.      We can see in Romans 10:1 that he does care.

                                                       iii.      However, Paul lived according to a deep sense of obligation, and that is expressed here in this language, "I am a debtor."

c.      Paul says he is in debt to the wise as well as the foolish.
                                                             i.      As an apostle of Christ, as a Christian, and a caring human being, he considered himself under obligation to preach the gospel.

d.     In other words, Paul is in debt, or obligated to all people, whoever they may be, and wherever they might be.
                                                             i.      Paul was fully committed to this work to his full capacity. He said, "as much as is in me." To the limits of his ability and according to every opportunity afforded him, he intended to preach the gospel.

                                                          ii.      Likewise, we should pay our debt to the full extent of our ability.

a.      Do you see, or feel your obligation?
                                                             i.      There was this necessity laid upon him to preach the gospel. It should be no different with each one of us.

                                                          ii.      The same underlying attitude of obligation should characterize every child of God. Not just full-time preachers, but each one of us should live out this debt to preach the gospel.

b.     Do you discriminate between who you are willing to share the Gospel with?
                                                             i.      Paul's efforts were not limited by class.

                                                          ii.       In Roman society there were these classifications: "Greeks" and "Barbarians." Also there some considered "wise" and others "unwise." Paul considered himself obligated to all!

                                                       iii.      In our society there are also a variety of classifications according to income, education, race, age and worldly standards. In preaching the gospel we ought to ignore all of this, and consider ourselves obligated to preach to everybody the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Matthew 28:18-20 " 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

c.      Are you eager to share?
                                                             i.      This means each one must use the Word of God and prayer to assess himself and determine, what can I do? and then get up every day and work toward the payment of the debt in full, "as much as is in me."

                                                          ii.      Paul was ready to preach the gospel. You cannot wait until the world is ready!
1.      You cannot wait until someone brings up the subject, or asked to be baptized.

2.      You certainly cannot wait until after your friend or neighbor has died. 

3.      We should be ready now to preach the gospel.

2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction."

a.      "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:"
                                                             i.      If you are not sharing with all, is it because you are ashamed?

b.     If you are not eager, have you lost zeal, or is it because you are ashamed?
                                                             i.      Either way, the Lord has an answer for you!
1.      Galatians 4:18 "It is good to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you."

2.      Titus 2:11-14 " 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."

3.      Romans 10:11 "As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

c.      Do not be ashamed of the power of God which brought you to Salvation.
                                                             i.      Some may think you're mad, but that's OK, the lost often thought Paul was mad.
1.      Acts 26:24 "At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

                                                          ii.      Why do the lost think you are mad?
1.      John 3:3 "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."

2.      John 8:47 "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

d.     The Righteousness of God is revealed in your faith.
                                                             i.      Meaning, the Righteousness of God is revealed when you share the Gospel in faith with ALL people, regardless of whom or where they are.

                                                          ii.      The Righteousness of God is revealed when you show in faith your eagerness to pay the debt you owe to the lost.

                                                       iii.      Finally, the Righteousness of God is revealed when you show in faith that you are not ashamed of the power of God unto Salvation to every one who believes!

                                                         iv.      Romans 1:17b "...It is written, the just shall live by faith."

Righteousness by faith is no new idea, but found in the prophets.

Habakkuk 2:4 ~ "See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—"


We must recognize that as followers of Christ, we have been commanded by the Lord, all of us, not just preachers, to share the Gospel of Salvation with ALL people!

We must also be eager in doing so, not losing our Zeal or becoming ashamed of the power of God which saved us, and can save others.

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God, saving the lost, and freeing them from the bondage of sin.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!     

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 2 – Romans - Your Faith is Being Reported

Paul's Epistles
Part 2 – Romans - Your Faith is Being Reported
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We are going to look at the Epistles of Paul in this series of sermons.
The Epistles written by Paul are Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews.

Last week we looked at who Paul was.

Today we will take a look at Romans 1:8-13. Your faith is being reported.

Like a report card for your spiritual life.

Romans 1:8-13 Paul longs to visit Rome
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

How is your spiritual report card? Is your faith being reported all over the known world? That’s highly doubtful. Is it even being talked about all over town? Or how about in your own family? Do your family members know that you are a person of faith by your actions, your speech, your church attendance, your giving, Christian service, etc.?

What is the evidence of your faith? How would your spiritual report card read? The faith of the Christians in Rome apparently had a good report card. Their faith was reported all over the known world at that time!

Churches, as well as individuals have a reputation, whether good or bad.

What I hear from people when I talk to them about our church is that they have heard good things. However, the first question I get from people, isn't, do you support missions, teach seminary courses, ordain ministers of the gospel, teach from God's Word the Truth as written? No, I usually get asked, "How many people go?"

Of all the great things we do as a church, including everything for mentioned, and more, such as our online ministries, sermons, outlines and text available for free around the world, used by thousands of pastors around the world, and they want to know how many people come here.

I find that strange. For me, the most important thing would be whether or not the bible was preached, and if there were denominational practices.

Paul speaks of the faith of the saints in Rome as a faith that is remembered, a faith that is renewed, and a faith that is rewarded.

I.                   A FAITH THAT IS REMEMBERED
a.      Does anyone think of enough of you to remember to pray for you at all times? Every day? Many times a day.
                                                             i.      9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I REMEMBER YOU. I REMEMBER YOU IN PRAYERS AT ALL TIMES.

                                                          ii.      Ephesians 1:15-17 “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

                                                       iii.      Philippians 1:3-4 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy...”

                                                         iv.      Colossians 1:3-4 “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people...”

                                                            v.      I Thessalonians 1:2-3 “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

b.     Do you get the picture?
                                                             i.      Do you see that Paul was a man who prayed much for others? He remembered them and remembered to pray for them. Are you constantly praying for others? And is your faith remembered by others in prayer?

c.      Is the grass growing on your path? 
                                                             i.      The earliest African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in their private devotions. Each one reportedly had separate spots in the thicket where he poured out his heart to God. The several paths to these little spots became distinctly marked; and when any one began to decline in devotions, it was soon apparent to others. They would then kindly remind him, saying, “Brother, the grass grows on your path yonder.”

                                                          ii.      Is the grass growing on your path? We all need to make prayer a priority in our lives. Jesus did. And we’ll get a whole lot more accomplished in this world if we do! And praying for others is one of the best prayers we can offer, besides praise and thanks to God.

                                                       iii.      If our faith is what it should be, we will be a people of prayer, remembering others in prayer and others remembering us in prayer. I sure hope someone is praying for me because I do a lot of praying for others!

                                                         iv.      Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

a.       I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong
                                                             i.      There are many reasons people go to church, to talk, meet people, observation, but a few actually come to worship God.

                                                          ii.      When we gather, why do we gather? It is just a time of confab or just a time to get together to “shoot the breeze”? Or do we come to in order to encourage and edify others? Are we interested in seeing people grow stronger in the faith of Christ?

b.     How can we build the church and make her better?
                                                             i.      By ministering to one another and especially, by having an “outreach” mentality? Most of the time, all our ministries are geared to people in the church and not the lost who are on the outside. Both need to be done. Evangelize and edify.

                                                          ii.      Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

                                                       iii.      This is what we do for one another in the church. We do things that encourage one another in the faith. We set the best example. We lead and encourage by example. We listen, pray and serve not only for ourselves but also for the purpose of encouraging others in the faith.

c.      Breaking the ice
                                                             i.      Those who attended and graduated our Seminary Class, as part of their training, had to give sermon presentations to the church. Many of them were very nervous the first time they had to preach in front of a church. But they all did a good job, and is broke the ice for most of them to continue on.

                                                          ii.      By stepping out on faith in their preaching, they encouraged others whether they realized it or not. And this is what we all must do or should do in some form. We may not preach but we should do things that encourage others to serve: teaching, visiting, working in the church, offering to serve in any form.

d.      I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong
                                                             i.      We can’t impart spiritual gifts to others, because only God can do that, but we can’t encourage one another in the faith! We can minister to one another any way we can. Speak good words. Do good deeds.

                                                          ii.      And the Holy Spirit, through us, will encourage, lift up, strengthen and edify others.

                                                       iii.      Acts 16:40 “After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them.”

                                                         iv.      1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

a.      Where do I get this “rewarded” business? Paul spoke of having a harvest among you. 
                                                             i.      A Yale University president gave this advice to a former president of Ohio State: “Always be kind to your A and B students. Someday one of them will return to your campus as a good professor. And also be kind to your C students. Someday one of them will return and build you a two-million dollar science laboratory.”

                                                          ii.      That might be true and it might not be true but kindness does pay. It’s a principle of scripture. We reap what we sow in life. If we sow good stuff it will bless others and it will also come back and bless us as well!

b.     Whatever a man sows
                                                             i.      Galatians 6:7-10 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

                                                          ii.      Whenever you sow good in the lives of others you will eventually reap a harvest of good or be rewarded with good. We don’t do good in order to get good stuff from God but good will come our way. We sow good just because God says to do it.

                                                       iii.      We need to busy sowing good stuff in this world. Every chance we get. We must do like Jesus who went about doing good. We must use every opportunity to do good: run errands, help neighbors, do a kind deed, etc.

c.      Opportunity to be kind and do good will always present itself
                                                             i.      A woman called and wanted me to pray for her father dying of cancer.

                                                          ii.      Another asked if I would come to the hospital and pray for her granddaughter who had just died.

                                                       iii.      Another called out of the blue and asked if I would help her son get back on his feet, he was getting out of jail.

                                                         iv.      Opportunities to be kind, helpful, and good to others will always present themselves. And when you act on these, you are living your faith, and being a light to others.

                                                            v.      Remember, you never know who you are uplifting and encouraging, strengthening, and edifying when you live your faith.

Proverbs 11:17 “A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.”

A mother asked her boy, “Why aren't you doing very well in history?" He replied, “Because the teacher keeps asking about things that happened before I was born!”

Is that how you feel about many things in regard to the faith? It’s beyond you? How is your spiritual report card? What kind of grade do you have?

We all need to live in such a way that our faith will make a mark on others, and in a positive way. 

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!