BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For Sunday September 4, 2011
GOOD NEWS TO TELL
(GOD’s power to save lives comes through the gospels)
When Paul wrote his, now famous, letter to the Romans, he had not yet visited the church in Rome. He wrote Romans shortly before his visit to
, where he went to deliver a monetary gift from the Gentiles (Acts 24:17 & Rom. ). At that time, he was residing in Corinth as a guest in the home of Gaius, while visiting the church at Cenchrea. He resided there for three months according to Acts 20:2-3, and so this letter was most likely written there, probably during the early spring of A.D. 58. Jerusalem
In the biblical Greek, the word used for “Apostle” is “Apostolos” (Ap-os-tol-os), and it is “an ambassador, or commissioner of CHRIST”, or, “he that is sent”. In the New Testament, the title “Apostle” refers to the leaders of the early church, who, had witnessed the risen CHRIST, and were specially commissioned by HIM to preach the Gospel (Acts 1:21-22). JESUS originally gave the title to the twelve original disciples (Luke 6:13), however, after HIS resurrection, the term was applied to a wider circle of preachers and witnesses who also seen HIM after HIS resurrection (Acts 14:4 & 14).
Paul’s claim to be an Apostle was challenged by some at first, mostly because of his previous history of persecuting Christians in and around Rome. However, Paul staked his Apostleship claim on the basis of his direct call by JESUS when HE appeared to him, while traveling on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). In his letters, Paul refers to himself as being a “slave” of JESUS CHRIST, or, in the original Greek, a “doulos” (doo-los). “Doulos”, or “Slave”, is the proudest title of the ancient Prophets. It is a title that, they felt, separated them from all other men, the fact that they were “slaves of GOD”.
We must be careful to remember however, that, for every man, GOD has a purpose, and no man’s life is without that purpose. In fact, it is for the purpose of GOD that all Christians are called, and all creation is made. It is also by the work of HIS HOLY SPIRIT that a life is hallowed towards HIM, and, it is because of the spilling of the blood of HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS, that our past sins are forgiven us, and we, like Paul, can look forward to a future of obedience to GOD.
Through the Gospel, JESUS saved Paul that day on the road to Damascus, and Paul’s life was forever changed for the better because of it. But isn’t that what JESUS does for each of us, through HIS vicarious sacrifice? HE saves us, from permanent separation from GOD.
Paul was always ready to preach the Gospel to whoever would listen, because he knew about the saving power of the word of GOD. He placed no faith in his own abilities, because he understood that the life-changing power was contained in the Scriptures. In fact, GOD’s very being is wrapped up in HIS Word, and, because of it, HIS Word manifests to us, GOD HIMSELF. Scripture is not just a composition of GOD’s instructions, or how HE deals with man, but rather, it is the power that can redeem us from the hopelessness of our own self-imposed circumstances.
Let us remember that, by the time Paul is writing this letter to the Romans, he has already been imprisoned in
Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of , laughed at in Berea , and in Athens , his message was considered to be ludicrous to the Greeks, and a stumbling block to the Jews. Yet in Romans 1:16-17, he declares in one of his most famous statements that, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of CHRIST: for it is the power of GOD unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of GOD revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith”. Corinth
GOD intended for HIS Gospel to be for all people, Jews and Gentiles, in fact, the Church in Rome, at that time, was made up mostly of Gentile Christians who had answered the call of the Gospel of CHRIST. Through the work of the HOLY SPIRIT, all believers become Saints, and are therefore GOD’s holy people. Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel, and neither should we be. For, it unleashes the power of GOD that brings all mankind to salvation, and, in simpler terms, it saves us from ourselves.
(1). If you have not accepted the wonderful gift of Salvation, talk to someone, whom
you know to be a Christian, about how you should go about it.
(2). If you have already accepted CHRIST, sit down right now and write a thank-
you note to GOD for giving you the most precious part of HIMSELF, CHRIST
(3). As long as there is breath in your body, it is not too late to accept Salvation. The
right time to come to CHRIST, is always right now, and the right way to come
to CHRIST is always, just as you are.
Pray a prayer of thanks to GOD each day for Salvation, through CHRIST JESUS. Pray also that people everywhere will clearly hear and understand the gospel message and be able to share in the gift of Eternal Life.
KEY VERSE: Romans 1:16
DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: John 6:35, John 8:12, John 10:11
A Bible Study Lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander