Sunday, November 2, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 38 – God's Will

Paul's Epistles
Part 38 – God's Will
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

This epistle from the Apostle Paul was written to the Christians in Rome in February of 58AD.

At this time Paul was staying in Corinth at the house of a wealthy Corinthian Christian by the name of Gaius.

The purpose of this epistle was Paul's answer to the age old question, How should man be just with (or before) God.

No one can be just if they are not made right with God, and Paul reveals and expounds God's was of justification.

Key versus are Romans 1:16, 17
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.”

These two verses could be considered Paul's Scripture (or text), and the rest of the epistle as the sermon.

The scripture Paul refers to is Habakkuk 2:4.

The entire epistle is broken into two parts, the first (Chapters 1-11) gives the Doctrine, and then in Chapters 12-16 he gives application of those doctrines.

We have already looked at Paul explaining;
·        Our justification by faith revealed in the gospel
·        The universal need for justification
·        How we are justified
·        how justification by faith is no new doctrine
·        blessings that follow justification
·        the struggles of the justified
·        liberty and privileges for the justified
·        justification and the unbelieving Jew
·        and the duties of the justified.

Recently we looked at how we are to treat those of weaker faith than us.

As we near the end of the Book of Romans, we will look at Paul's visit to Rome.

23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

                   I.            PAUL'S JOURNEY
a.      I have been hindered from coming to you
                                                                         i.      Paul refers to scripture once again
1.      “Those who were not told about him will see,
    and those who have not heard will understand.” - vs. 21
2.      Which is from Isaiah 52:15
                                                                      ii.      Paul's calling as he explains is to reach those who have not heard of the name Jesus
                                                                   iii.      He tells the church, because of this calling by God, he has been hindered from seeing them.
b.     But now there is no more place for me to work in these regions...
                                                                         i.      Paul explains that his calling was fulfilled in this area, and he must be moving on.
                                                                      ii.      When God gives us a calling, sometimes we fulfill it, and that's it.
                                                                   iii.      Sometimes we fulfill it, and we must move to continue.
                                                                     iv.      Sometimes, we fulfill it and our calling changes.
c.      For Paul, he fulfilled it there, and moved on to continue.
                                                                         i.      Paul speaks of travel to Spain next
                                                                      ii.      Although there is no scripture evidence, or actual historical evidence he ever got to make this trip, there are traditions in the area that he had.
d.     Paul tells us he has to go to Jerusalem
                                                                         i.      His travels were to help the Christians there who were still being persecuted by the Jewish Sanhedrin.
                                                                      ii.      Paul states that he was to deliver contributions or ALMS to them from Macedonia and Achaia.
                                                                   iii.      He explains they were happy to give, because they had received spiritual blessings, and they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
1.      This is referring to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who were being persecuted by the Jewish Sanhedrin.
2.      They refused to the Christians in Jerusalem own land, or sell goods, which forced them to be poor.

a.      Tithe - Giving to God a portion of what He has given you to honor and obey Him

                                                                         i.      Honoring what God has blessed you with
1.      Matthew 22:21 - Then he (Jesus) said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

                                                                      ii.      To fulfill obligation to God
1.      Matthew 23:23 - You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 

2.      Jesus said they were paying tithe on what they had, while ignoring justice, mercy and faithfulness. Then He says they should do both.

                                                                   iii.      To keep the church open and pay the ministers of the Gospel
1.      1 Corinthians 9:14 - the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

2.      The Word is simply stating, that those who Minister spiritual things, should be supported financially by those to whom they are ministering.

                                                                     iv.      To be a blessing when you are blessed
1.      Luke 6:38 -  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

2.      This refers to more than just money, mercy, grace, love, help...

b.     Alms - Giving to the poor
                                                                         i.      Hebrews 13:16 - And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

                                                                      ii.      Matthew 5:42 - "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

                                                                   iii.      Deuteronomy 15:7 - If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother

                                                                     iv.      Romans 12:8 - ...He who gives, do so with liberally...

                                                                        v.      2 Corinthians 9:6-9 -  Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

c.      Love Offerings - to help with expenses
                                                                         i.      This is not a tithe to God, you are not giving to the poor, and it is not pay for is simply you sharing from your abundance with someone ministering the gospel.

                                                                      ii.      i.e. supporting missionaries.

d.     Compensation - Payment to a minister
                                                                         i.      1 Timothy 5:17-28 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.

                                                                      ii.      Galatians 6:6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.

                                                                   iii.      1 Corinthians 9:9-14 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?

                                                                     iv.      1 Corinthians 9:14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

e.      So there is
                                                                         i.      Tithes - What is God's
                                                                      ii.      Alms - to the poor
                                                                   iii.      Love Offerings - to help with expenses
                                                                     iv.      Compensation - what is due to a minister

f.       Paul was taking these ALMS to the Christians in Jerusalem, because they were poor.

            III.            PAUL'S PRAYER
a.       I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 

                                                                         i.      We can join ministers and missionaries in their struggles by praying for them!

b.     Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea

                                                                         i.      Though a minister to the Lord, as Jesus says in Matthew 5:45, He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

                                                                      ii.      Bad things still happen to good people in a fallen world.

                                                                   iii.      Luke 13:1-5  “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

                                                                     iv.      Jesus makes it clear that we live in a fallen world, and bad things happen, even to good people. Just because something happens to someone that is bad, does not mean God is punishing them.

                                                                        v.      Jesus did however warn them to repent or they would parish, He was speaking spiritually.

c.      and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 


God's will

This must be our goal in life.

Paul had desires, to see those in Rome, however, he still prayed for God's will.

Jesus desired not to suffer the cross, but prayed for God's will as well.

Paul knew what God's will was for him in his life, to minister to those who have never heard the name of Jesus, wherever they may live.

We too must discover God's calling on us as well, and live it.

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