Romans 1:13-15Amplified Bible
13 I do not want you to be unaware, [a]brothers and sisters, that many times I have planned to come to you, (and have been prevented so far) so that I may have some fruit [of my labors] among you, even as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I have a duty to perform and a debt to pay both to Greeks and to barbarians [the cultured and the uncultured], both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
If you were to ask or have someone, ask, “For whom is God’s Word written?” someone will usually reply, “For quite literally everyone who has a birthday.”
But when you enter into those moments of “insufficiency,” ask a few more poignant questions and specifically dig deeper into the deeper issues which make you who you are, you probably begin to see an answer is not so simple.
Is the Bible written for people who say, act: “I could or could not care less?”
Is it written for people who cannot read Hebrew or Greek or Latin or English?
Is it written for the aware and the unaware, the agnostics or the atheists?
In this techno driven age, is it written just for people with or without a Wi-Fi, an internet connection, an IP address, social media, an email, a ‘smartphone’?
Is it written for those individuals who cannot unglue themselves from their smart phone screens or hopelessly, zealously lost in “intense” video games?
if I took all the letters I wrote to my wife while we were dating, and made them into a book, and then asked for whom it was written, what would the answer be?
Paul’s letter is for Greeks and non-Greeks, wise and foolish. rich and poor, the healthy and the unhealthy, the educated and the uneducated, believer or non.
But somewhere in that mix I too am included. God’s “letter” is for me too—not based on my gender, skin color, ethnicity, nationality or amount of wisdom.
It is for me, and you because God loves us and calls us to belong to him in Jesus.
Here’s what this means:
If I lean toward the foolish end,
God’s Word is for me.
If I am already wise and seasoned,
God’s Word is for me.
Why? Because God is not interested in simply teaching me theology.
God wants me to know him and hear him and love him.
That’s the whole point of the Gospel.
And that is why God’s letter through Paul to the Romans is for you.
God’s desire, as with any letter, is that you open it and read it
—and to do so more than just once or twice or a few times in your life.
Obligated to Proclaim
Romans 1:14-17New American Standard Bible
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed [c]from faith to faith; as it is written: “[d]But the righteous one will live by faith.”
These verses in Romans are a powerful introduction to this Book.
As Paul says, I am in absolute love the Gospel of my Savior.
As Paul says, I am in absolute love with my Savior Jesus Christ!
I’m not the least bit ashamed of it, this the “absolute greatest possible” good news Jesus Christ came for me, has died on the cross and risen from the grave.
I absolutely positively, love the Gospel.
I absolutely, positively, want to proclaim it boldly in the world around me.
But then he says right before that, “Not only do I want to; I have a duty to God! I’m under covenant obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both the wise and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the unhealthy, to preach this gospel. That’s why I’m eager to preach to those of you who are in Rome.”
As a Pharisee, I’m sure Paul felt obligated to give instructions on how to live.
In fact, the Pharisees of his day were well known and thoroughly despised for preaching, teaching, heaping, a lot of extra obligations onto the Jewish Law.
So much so, the people were being “spiritually immobilized,” at a prolonged “spiritual standstill” and stood virtually little, no chance, of keeping the Law.
Even Rabbi Jesus commented on their behavior by saying, “You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down” (Mark 7:13a).
This is why I find it so amazing that after only one encounter with Jesus, Paul exclaims, “I am obligated—to people—to everyone—to preach Jesus!
What a complete turnaround! Instead of insisting on rules and making the people miserable, Paul wanted everyone to know the person of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus changed Saul from a zealous persecutor of the followers into Apostle Paul, from someone who had every reason to be confident in his righteous actions to someone who discounted it all for the sake of Christ.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote,
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:7-9).
This is the power the gospel has in our lives.
It changes us from trying and coming up short to surrendering and gaining all.
On that Damascus Road, Jesus acted, changed Saul and renamed him Paul.
Understanding the gospel also transformed his passionate nature into a force in the early Church.
In the very same way, he zealously felt obligated to uphold the law, he was then obligated to preach about Christ to everyone, especially to those at the margins.
The beautiful thing is that we, too, can zealously let the gospel change us.
No matter where we start, the gospel has the power to transform us into new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). The rest of this letter is about this wonderful discovery.
These Verses from Romans Emphasizes our Need to Share the Gospel with all.
Zealously and Without Exception or Purpose of Evasion ……
Ownership of the Gospel creates a covenant obligation with the Gospel.
Acts 8:25-35New American Standard Bible
An Ethiopian Receives Christ
25 So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Get ready and go [a]south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” ([b]This is a desert road.) 27 So he got ready and went; and [c]there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of [d]Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his [e]chariot and was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [f]chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter;
And like a lamb that is silent before its shearer,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 In humiliation His justice was taken away;
Who will [g]describe His [h]generation?
For His life is taken away from the earth.”
34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself, or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.
We cannot pretend we do not have the Gospel.
We cannot pretend we have not heard it for ourselves.
We are under a duty and covenant obligation to preach and teach the Gospel to all the nations – Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8
And then Paul gets later in the book. He says, “I’m eager to get this gospel to Spain,” but he says these words, “I am under obligation.” (Romans 15:22-25)
Apparently in Paul’s mind, ownership of the gospel creates an obligation with the gospel because he knows the gospel; because he knows the good news of God’s grace in Christ, he owes it to God to make it known to all other people.
And so, I do pray! I want to encourage each of us to ponder and meditate about making the “genuine” effort to faithfully fulfill this sacred duty and obligation in each of our lives, for the souls of the uncountable billions who haven’t heard.
Romans 10:14-15New American Standard Bible
14 How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15 But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who [a]bring good news of good things!”
Now, we have the Gospel.
We have the good news of God’s grace in Christ.
We possess the Gospel.
It creates in us a duty, a holy and a sacred obligation unto God, with the Gospel, because we have knowledge of Christ, we owe knowledge about Christ to others.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
King of Kings, Lord of Lords, thank you that you are great and abundant in power, your understanding is beyond measure. In your wisdom, you have created the church, described as Christ’s body. May we work together as members of one body, using the gifts and abilities you have given us to faithfully love and serve one another. Would we find our strength from Jesus, the head of the body. May the Lord make us increase and abound in love for each other. May you establish our hearts as blameless in holiness before you. Through Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.