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Are You a Saint?

17 October 2021 AM – Romans 1:1-7 – Ro2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Peter Pett speaking of the Book of Romans states, There is no letter or book in the world to equal the one that we are about to consider, for it is a detailed explanation of the Good News of God, coming from the pen of an inspired writer. The Good News is the power of God that brings salvation for all who believe (Rom 1:16). Reformatted
            Christian converts had formed a New Testament church in the capital city of Rome. Paul longed to build them up in the faith, thus, God had him write the book of Romans. He probably wrote it while he was at Corinth, in A.D. 56-57, and sent it to Rome with a godly woman Phebe (16:1-2).
In this book, God is teaching the Gospel to saints rather than preaching it to sinners. The book contains many legal and judicial terms. Paul frequently uses questions to get his readers to think. The theme of Romans is the Righteousness of God. It shows us how God can save guilty sinners, yet be righteous at the same time.
Transition: In the opening verses of this great book, Paul described three things that can help us understand this book and grow spiritually.
  1. Paul Described Himself
a.         He begins by describing his person.
1)         Paul, meaning small, is his Roman name. At birth, his parents gave him the Hebrew name Saul, after King Saul, who was very tall. Once he began ministering to the Gentiles, he chose to go by the Roman name, small Paul.
2)         He identified himself a servant of Jesus Christ. A servant or δοῦλος was a slave who was bound to his master until death. Kenneth Wuest states, “The apostle is proud of the fact that he is a slave belonging to his Lord. There were certain individuals in the Roman Empire designated “Slaves of the Emperor.” This was a position of honor. One finds a reflection of this in Paul’s act of designating himself as a slave of the King of kings.”
a)          Remember, slaves had no rights of their own.
b)         As a slave, Paul did the will of his Master. He listened carefully to his Master. He obeyed Him fully.
c)         Can you rightly call yourself a slave of Jesus Christ? “Do these characteristics describe you?”
b.         He next describes his purpose in life.
1)         Paul said that he was called to be an apostle, one whom Christ personally sent on a mission. On the road to Damascus, Paul saw Christ in a vision and God commissioned him to preach. There are no apostles today. That office ended when the Bible was completed.
a)         As Christians, we are not called to be apostles, but God does call us to the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12).
b)         We are to represent Him before the unbelieving world. We are to share His Gospel with others.
2)         Paul was also separated unto the Gospel of God. God separated Paul from his former work unto the Gospel work (Act 26:18). Perhaps God wants to separate you unto the work of a pastor or missionary. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.” (Lu 10:2)
3)         God gave Paul the grace (i.e., divine enablement) to do it (v.5). His specific ministry was for (i.e., unto) obedience to the faith among all nations (i.e., Gentiles), for Christ’s name. Scores of Gentiles were obedient to the faith and became faithful Christians through Paul’s ministry.
a)         If you are a Christian, God has a specific will for your life as well. God did not create you and save your soul just so that you could work a job and have a good time in life. He has a specific plan for your life, a special spiritual gift for you. He may have a ministry for you in our local church. It may be to teach Sunday school, lead youth activities, or just to be an active witness at your work place. He may want you to be a missionary or a preacher. He is looking for volunteers. Can He count on you?
b)         If you are not a member of this church, I urge you to join and get involved. If you are not sure what your spiritual gift is, ask God to show you, and then get busy. Life is about God, it is not about you.
2.        Paul Described the Gospel of God
a.         God had prophets predict the Gospel
1)         Many of the OT prophets predicted the Gospel.
2)         While walking with two followers on the road to Emmaus, Jesus, (Luke 24:27) “… beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
3)         We read in (Hebrews 1:1) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
b.         Christ’s mission became the Gospel.
1)         He being God came to earth and took on human flesh in the line of David (v.3). (Philippians 2:7-8) “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
2)         He declared himself the Son of God with power (v.4). During His earthly ministry, Jesus walked on water, healed lepers, gave sight to the blind and even raised the dead. He claimed to be God and accepted worship as God.
3)         He proved that he was God by resurrecting from the dead (v.4). This is the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (Romans 4:25) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
4)         Christ died for my sins and yours, both to rescue us from hell and to reconcile us to God. That is good news. Have you received that good news? Christ’s payment will do you no good until you humbly receive it.
3.        Paul Described the Believers at Rome
a.         He was writing to believers.
1)         They had heard Jesus Christ’s call to salvation (v.6).
2)         They had answered His call to salvation (v.6).
3)         The hardest thing about the Gospel is admitting to ourselves and to God that we are guilty, wicked sinners who cannot save ourselves. This is where many who make professions of salvation as a child or without a clear conviction of sin fail. Salvation is not just praying a little prayer to get a free ticket to heaven. It is yielding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction that we are doomed to hell without Christ, believing that Christ alone can cleanse our sin and reconcile us to God, then receiving that gift.
b.         Believers are special to God.
1)         They were beloved of God. God loves all people, but He does not love their sin. When a person truly trusts Christ to cleanse his sin and reconcile him to God, he or she becomes beloved of God. God has a special love for believers. He adopts them into His family (Jn 1:12).
2)         They were called saints. Every true believer is a saint. A saint is not a famous person worshipped by a church. A saint is literally a holy one. When God saves a sinner, He does such a thorough job of cleansing their sin that he calls that person a saint or holy one.
a)         If you are a genuine Christian, you too are a saint.
b)         Being a saint brings with it a responsibility. God wants us to live worthy of that calling. (2 Thessalonians 1:11) “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:” If you are a saint, but have not been living like one, you need to use 1Jn 1:9 and get right with God.
Conclusion: Review points. Where do you fit in this picture? Have you believed and received Christ’s salvation? If not, will you today? If you are a believer, you are beloved of God and a saint. Have you been living like a saint? Is God speaking to your heart about getting more involved in His work? Perhaps you need to be baptised or to joint our church. Perhaps you need to answer God’s call to serve as a preacher or missionary. If the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart, obey His voice.
Song: Is Your All on the Altar? 381