First Baptist Church of Minneola
Paul: The Motivated Minister
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  • INTRO - Gaberial made a mistake and wound up in prison. I got to know him at church and on a mission trip. I came to know Gabe loved Jesus and cared for other people.
    Going to prison turned Gabe back toward being a hard-hearted person. The progress he made in the church and his love God and others seemed to disappear.
    On my heart one day, I started writing Gabe. That led to Jennifer and I visiting him and even buying things he needed to get into a work-release program.
    During that time Gabe started reading the Bible and quickly turning back to the young man I once knew.
    It’s been a few years ago now. Gabe was released from prison, got a job, and joined a church. Things were well with Gabe.
    Sadly Gabe was killed in a motorcycle accident. It broke our hearts. In some ways we felt like we adopted a son. However, because of the effort we put into Gabe, we know he’s happy today spending time with Jesus.
    Sometimes I’m like our dog Gizmo and spend my days chasing a frisbee. When I’m reminded of the power to change lives, like it did with Gabe, I think it’s time to stop chasing frisbees and get back to the important stuff.
    That drive to minister in Rome is what’s behind this book. Romans encourages us to get busy with it.
    READ 1:8-10
    Paul says he heard about the faith of the people in Rome. This leads to him making all sorts of comments about visiting the Christians living there.
    We’re going to dig in more with the rest of the verses considered today.
    vv.11-13 we will see how the idea of working together encourages.
    vv.14-15 we’ll look at how need motivates
    vv.16-17 we’ll see how trusting the power of the gospel encourages.
    Each one of us can increase our spiritual vision.
    Keep this in mind as we take in the pieces of the passage; the parts of Paul’s motivation to minister in Rome.

    Shared Encouragement

    READ vv.11-13
    Paul wants to help; to encourage others.
    He doesn’t know what he will share with them; Just that he wants to help them along spiritually.
    Paul’s not in it for himself.
    ILL - The power to encourage is a great thing.
    My first experience playing a Christian concert had me nervous. But, playing the Tony, John, and Kelly made it easier on me. I really wasn’t that good and I was sweating pretty hard. Nerves had me mess up several times.
    But, when I looked at the other fellows, all having a good time, I was encouraged.
    Paul is encouraging these new believers.
    John experienced the same thing and says it pretty well:
    1 John 1:3–4 CSB
    what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
    Someone less humble might had said, “So that your joy might me complete.”
    Paul and John know that encouraging a young believer, also, encourages the more mature in their faith.
    ILL - Kurt & Jackie taught a class to a bunch of young preachers. Along with me, several of my friends took this course.
    Kurt expressed taking this same course many years prior and how teaching it encouraged him.
    Not only did Kurt encourage us by saying he completed the course, but he was encouraged by having a room of young fellows to whom he was able to pass along something that meant so much to him.
    Kurt pass away just recently. I have to wonder if he and Gabe are comparing notes.
    TRANS - Pauls letter motivates us to find ways to build up one another. Doing so helps both the giver and the receiver.
    Is there a sense of obligation in this test. Let’s take a look in our next point.

    Sense of Enslavement

    READ vv.14-15
    Paul says he has to pay a gospel debt.
    The Greek word literally means to owe a debt, be under obligation, or liable for.
    The text reads a few ways, Greeks and others, or barbarians.
    This is simply a way of saying everyone.
    The “wise and foolish” simply means the intelligent and those not so gifted—everyone.
    As a debt, Paul will go until he’s paid that debt to every Gentile.
    Recall he’s planning to even go to Spain after Rome.
    Do you notice the debt is not to God, but to men?
    Hudson Taylor understood this. He is a famous missionary to China. Once asked about his ministry replied, “No, not because I love the Chinese, but because I loved God.”
    How might your life change if you begin to see yourself as owing a debt to your neighbors?
    Those just beyond these church walls, and to the city of Minneola?
    Would people think we’ve gone made telling others, people that are not saved, that we are praying for them?
    TRANS - Romans motives us to encourage one another and ourselves in the process.
    Paul get’s us straight and that we do have a debt, but God intends us to pay it forward to the unsaved.

    Supernatural Empowerment

    Romans 1:16-17 are two of the most powerful verses of the Bible.
    READ vv.16-17
    It’s Romans in two verses!
    Why not ashamed?
    ILL - As a youth, I really felt uncomfortable when praying before a meal in restaurant. I could just “feel” the eyes staring at me. Of course today I know that mostly juvenile global awareness. It’s a natural part of growing up; thinking everybody is looking at us.
    As a Christian, I believe Jesus saves!
    I’m not ashamed of being a Christian even if people stare.
    Matter of fact, I’ll tell you I’m far from perfect and if not for Jesus I’d be a whole lot worse.
    Paul says he’s not ashamed because the gospel is powerful to save.
    Christian Standard Bible Chapter 1

    it is the power of God for salvation

    You’ve seen the word “power” dunamis
    It’s where we get our word dynamite and dynamic
    It is the dynamic gospel! It changes lives.
    Could Paul be saying this because people are prone, like I was as a youth, to be embarrassed?
    I find more interesting that God is not ashamed of us. Seems that might be more fitting!
    How is it that believing the gospel, all are sinners needing to be saved, Jesus only can save, and confessing our sin to Him and believing He did to take our punishment for that sin… how is it the gospel brings salvation?
    Look again at this extremely important verse:
    Romans 1:17 CSB
    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
    According to this, righteousness comes from God, from heaven.
    Elsewhere we read:
    Philippians 3:9 CSB
    and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.
    Not in us nor in keeping the law.
    Nobody capable of it, nor even the most pious person able to achieve it.
    No, this righteousness is perfect, powerful, and exclusively available through Jesus.
    ILL - Take every other religion, every spiritual system, all other gods, and even those who claim no god and hold them in one hand.
    They all have one thing in common. None of them have a God who died in their place freely offering complete forgiveness.
    Nope, they all want something—all are works based.
    Get this, nobody ever has or will be good enough to go to heaven without faith in Jesus.
    Look here:
    2 Corinthians 5:21 CSB
    He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    Do you see it?
    The Bible tells us we become righteous in Him.
    The gospel is revealed in Jesus.
    Our righteousness does not come close.
    We get to see God’s righteousness in the gospel.
    We understand this righteousness by faith.
    The bit that reads
    “from faith to faith”
    This means completely, entirely, wholly, of faith.
    Notice how Paul cites from Habakkuk, “The righteous will live by faith.”
    Get this because its important to people looking for Jesus.
    For the longest time Martin Luther thought that righteousness of God condemned people.
    He saw righteousness as God’s measure to which no person could ever stand.
    And, that brought Luther to a very low place.
    “God gives us his own righteousness to make us righteous through faith.”
    But, once Luther got what the Bible is saying here, that God gives us his own righteousness to make us righteous through faith, everything changed for Luther.
    Let’s close with a story I found while studying last week.
    ILL - There is a letter displayed under glass in a German library penned by Luther’s son that reads:
    In the year 1544, my dearest father, in the presence of us all, narrated the whole story of his journey to Rome. He acknowledged with great joy that in that city, through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, he had come to the knowledge of the truth of the everlasting gospel. It happened this way. As he repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, the words of the Prophet Habakkuk came suddenly to his mind: “The just shall live by faith.” Thereupon he ceased his prayers, returned to Wittenberg, and took this as his chief foundation of all his doctrine.
    Martin Luther, like the Apostle Paul, changed the world!
    Consider how knowing this got Paul moving.
    Humankind could now stand before God sinless, have a guaranteed eternal life, and be free from trying to earn righteousness and entrance into heaven.
    Believe it or not, there are many other religions that teach you must do stuff in order to get into heaven.
    Let me tell you something. You haven’t got what it takes to get into heaven, but Jesus is willing to provide all you need to make that happen.

    Conclusion

    All this motivate Paul to get moving, to encourage and share with others.
    At one time I was like my dog Gizmo just loved chasing things that didn’t really matter.
    Some just don’t get what it is to have the righteousness of God.
    Yet, for people like my friends Gabe and Kurt, that righteousness really does matter.
    The gospel is the dynamic power of God for salvation that is available to everyone who believes.
    It’s simply a matter of faith.
    Do you have the faith to believe the gospel today?
    Do you believe?
    (end)
      • 1 John 1:3–4CSB

      • Romans 1:17CSB

      • Philippians 3:9CSB

      • 2 Corinthians 5:21CSB

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