July 30, 2020

Topic Day|Romans Introduction

The Story of Humanity

Romans 1:1

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Paul, a servant1 of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,


[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

The Story of Humanity

Key Verse | Romans 8:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Bio | Bryce Nguyen

I'm Bryce Nguyen, and I am a resident here at Watermark. I'm from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and recently graduated from Oklahoma State University. I've had the privilege of serving with the Equipping Team at Watermark and am so thankful to be part of the body here in Dallas.

Central Truth

We are sinners made right with God by the blood of Christ in order that we may walk rightly with Him, bringing glory to the Lord for all of eternity.

Devotional | Romans Introduction

There is something about stories that speaks to our hearts wherever we are. Have you ever had this happen to you? Have you ever read a book, listened to someone tell a story, or watched a movie that reminded you of...

There is something about stories that speaks to our hearts wherever we are. Have you ever had this happen to you? Have you ever read a book, listened to someone tell a story, or watched a movie that reminded you of your own life in a profound way? I know I have.

Take The Lion King, for instance! You know the story: Mufasa is a great leader and king of the land where everything is in perfect order. Everyone in the kingdom has a role to play, and it's flourishing. But then there comes a huge conflict; Mufasa is no longer king, and the evil lion Scar lies and manipulates his way into power. Immediately he allows his subjects to do what is right in their own eyes, and the land quickly wastes away. Death, destruction, and suffering cover the land, leaving  no remnant of what it once was. When things could not get any worse, Simba (Mufasa's son) comes to defeat Scar, bringing peace to the chaos that had consumed the kingdom. The animals now return to the land, and life goes back to the way it was supposed to be from the beginning.

What I love about this story is that it not only relates to me, but it relates to you. This is the story of humanity! At one time, everything was in order, and peace was all we knew. However, sin entered the world, causing death, destruction, and suffering. All of humanity began to do as it pleased, and it only made things worse. And when all life had to offer was death and destruction, Christ Jesus came to our rescue, bringing peace to our chaotic world. By believing in Him and His sacrifice, we relearn what it looks like to walk in right relation with God, just the way it was supposed to be in the beginning.

This is the story of humanity written out in the book of Romans. We can see the book of Romans in four sections: sin, salvation, sovereignty, and service. When we look at Romans, we see where we have come from and where we are going.

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Discussion Questions

1. What was life like before you understood the gospel?

2. How did life change after you understood the gospel?

3. Where have you seen God's sovereignty working in your life in the past?

4. Consider Romans 12:1-2. How can we present ourselves as a living sacrifice?

7 Comments available

Sue Bohlin about 2 months ago

Thanks, Bruce.

I loved Hugh’s four words pulled from this first verse (which–making me chuckle–is only the first phrase of Paul’s salutation; verses 1-7 are ONE SENTENCE!!!).

Especially kaletos, “called.” Which will appear twice more very soon, in vv. 6 and 7. What was true of the Roman believers who heard this letter is also true of us–we are called to belong to Jesus Christ and called as saints, holy ones. The other day I saw a gang symbol graffiti spray-painted on a wall here in Plano, and I thought about how a gang meets the heart need to BELONG, especially given the social epidemic of fatherlessness. I am so very grateful that I not only belong to Jesus, but He CALLED me to belong to Him!

Greg Jones about 2 months ago

Q2 I don’t have a big life change story.

When I was five and talked myself out of a profession of faith on a walk home from an Easter egg hunt, had I stolen a car and used it to rob a liquor store on the way home, I’d have me a big life change story.

I love a big life change story, I really like Paul’s three:-)…and others I know of. But I’m thankful for the process of slow understanding and slow change also.

Understanding the gospel, an advantage we have and Paul didn’t is access to NT gospels. Paul taught traveled wrote, Jerusalem heard reports, disciples remembered words of Jesus, the gospels were written. After finishing Acts it seems God uses Paul to influence some of the memories of the apostles.

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

Paul was called and set apart as an apostle in Romans 1. We know from other passages Paul was set apart before birth which suggests before he did good or bad, by God’s sovereign choice and by Grace, this for ‘the Gospel of God’.

temitayo harriman about 2 months ago

Thanks Bryce!

Before Christ, my life was as described in Titus 3:3 where I was foolish and disobedient. A slave to many passions and pleasures. Hated by others, and hating one another. My goal in life was to experience a maximum pleasure for the longest amount of time. After Christ, I realized there was no greater calling than to fulfill Jesus’ calling and be glad in it. As I made the decision for Jesus to be my Lord, I felt an overwhelming love I could invite others into. It was no longer about me, but God’s kingdom.

temitayo harriman about 2 months ago

God’s shown me He is in control through the grace I have received through coming clean to others in Re: Generation, in a singles community group, and now with my wife and our foundation group. We can commit ourselves as a living sacrifice by intentionally pouring the truth from God’s word into our hearts. It is from Him that we can be set on the course of living sacrificially.

Kurt Miller about 2 months ago

Bryce; what a very powerful analogy comparing what is traditionally a “kids” movie (story-line) with the life of biblical Christ!

Thank-You. It echos Christ’s love of simple parables to get a point across that children could truly appreciate, and we are His children.

Hugh Stephenson about 2 months ago

Four words:

Doulus, klētos, aphorizō, apostolos.

Servant is “doulus”: “properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Ironically, 1401 /doúlos (“bond-slave”) is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers.”

Called is “klētos” divinely selected and appointed.

Set apart is “aphorizō”; set off by boundary, appoint

Apostle is “apostolos” - a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

A servant who is called & set apart then sent forth with orders.

God calls me to this same obedient response to His grace.

It seems only Paul could make that pivot, endure hardship with that focus but never be drawn off mission.

I am not mine. I am His. I have no ownership rights of my own.

I pray, that with God’s help, these four words accurately describe my life.

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