July 31, 2020

His Power. Our Confidence.

Romans 1:1–17

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Greeting

Paul, a servant1 of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David2 according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Longing to Go to Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,3 that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,4 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

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 from faith for faith,5 as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”6

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:3 Or who came from the offspring of David
[3] 1:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[4] 1:14 That is, non-Greeks
[5] 1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith
[6] 1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live

His Power. Our Confidence.



Key Verse | Romans 1:16

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.

Bio | Heath Heidtke

Howdy! My name is Heath, but if you translate "Heath" back to the original Greek, you get a word with a much richer meaning (allegedly). In the Greek, you'd find that Heath brings a connotation of a man who is recently married (to Alicia), a man forgiven by the grace of God, and a man who found his life when he laid it down.

Central Truth

Let's acknowledge the power of the gospel and proclaim it in every area of our life.

Devotional | Romans 1:1–17

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel . . ." (Romans 1:16a). In a worldly city like Rome, it wouldn't be hard for Roman Christians to be embarrassed by the gospel. Rome thought of itself as a...

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel . . ." (Romans 1:16a). In a worldly city like Rome, it wouldn't be hard for Roman Christians to be embarrassed by the gospel. Rome thought of itself as a sophisticated city, full of progressive intellectuals who saw themselves as the moral, cultural, and ethical leaders of society. Insert a gospel that bucked strongly against the self-seeking norms that surrounded all aspects of culture, and you've got life for the Roman Christian in A.D. 57. But, is this not also the life for the American Christian in 2020?

Think about it, a culture that considers itself the most powerful entity in the world. A culture that, as it drives harder and harder for truth, drifts further and further from it. A culture that is increasingly difficult for a fully devoted follower of Christ to reconcile with. That was Rome then, but this is America now. Maybe Paul's message of being unashamed is more pertinent than ever. But, how can Paul say that in the face of the Roman Empire?

"[F]or it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . ." (Romans 1:16b). This is how Paul—how we—can stand firm in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13-14) because the good news of Jesus Christ has inherent power. We don't give it power. It's the power of Christ that rests on us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)!

The good news of Christ is so much more than news. New Testament scholar Leon Morris put it this way: "The gospel is not advice to people, suggesting that they lift themselves. It is power. It lifts them up. Paul does not say that the gospel brings power but that it is power, and God's power at that. When the gospel is preached, this is not simply so many words being uttered. The power of God is at work."

We aren't armed with an interesting theology or philosophy. We're armed with life-changing good news. So let's run with confidence (Hebrews 12:1-3), share our hope (1 Peter 3:15), and live unashamed.

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Discussion Questions

1. Are you embarrassed by an aspect of your faith? What area of your faith are you hesitant to put your full confidence in?

2. As Christians, we have access to life-changing power. Sometimes we don't act like we do. Why?

3. The good news of Jesus Christ WILL be spread (Luke 19:40). Is it going to be spread in spite of you or because of you?

7 Comments available

Greg Jones 3 months ago

“But, is this not also the life for the American Christian in 2020? Think about it”

As a cradle southern baptist I say amen. 1845 we formed our own convention and if you read some of our correspondences with our Northern Baptist Brothers and those Anglicans in England we felt the same way about those who opposed us. We were willing to change on anything as long as it didn’t contradict our Bible.

Q1a) sometimes I’m embarrassed by what passes for faith.

Q1b) The area of faith that is growing the fastest is the area I’ll have the least confidence in.

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

We received grace and apostleship to bring about obedience of faith of the nations. I think this carrying the gospel to the nations will be one of the themes in Romans.

The feet that carry the good news are beautiful.

The feet of the church will even crush Satan’s head (perhaps as it carries the gospel to the nations).

temitayo harriman 3 months ago

Thanks, Heath! I loved the breakdown of Romans 1:16, I will share with my community group.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed about how long it took me to come to the Lord. I didn’t hear, listen, or respond to the first 8 or what seems like 800 times I heard the gospel. I came to an altar call, but sin was still rampant in my life. I wanted to live my life for sin until right before I died. The embarrassing part is, all those constructs came crashing down at once leading me to finally choose God as Lord NOW and forever. It becomes embarrassing when my listener confuses my repentance with worldly sorrow, and they walk away in pride saying I’m just not dumb enough to get caught in the way you did.

temitayo harriman 3 months ago

Sometimes I don’t act like I know I should because the flesh in me is still relating to the world. I’m opposing God’s commands in Ephesians 5:2-4, therefore, missing out on Ephesians 5:5.

If the word of Christ spreads in spite of me it will because I’ve abandoned my love for Jesus and disregard the power of the Gospel. If it spreads because of me it will be fully the power of God working.

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

Outstanding devo, Heath!

You are so right—first-century Rome is very similar to 2020 America. The progressives vs. the orthodox. And a growing hostility to God’s truth and light.

I am intrigued by Paul saying he longed to preach the gospel to the believers in Rome. That means that preaching the gospel is more than a salvation invitation. Preaching the gospel, whether to others or to ourselves, means sharing the truth about tapping into the power of God for every moment of every day, for every task, for every calling. Preaching the gospel means destroying the illegitimate mental splits between Sunday and the rest of the week, between work and worship, between fact and value, between sacred and secular. Even between sex and gender! Preaching the gospel means reminding ourselves and others that Jesus is Lord over ALL.

Hope Harris 3 months ago

GM JTJ

Paul’s words to the believers in Rome verses 11&12 ,caused me to pause and reflect on how our faith is mutually beneficial to those we have relationship with. 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:23-24 NLT

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

GM Heath. What great etymology of your name!

I love this key verse. I can wrap it up in one word that is also an activity/ministry that we do - UNASHAMED! (P.S., if you serve you get a T shirt. But be ready because Romans 1:16 is on the shirt and it will start some great conversations.)

Rome reminds me of Dallas.

If you go around engaging, praying and proclaiming you’ll get some reactions that won’t always be welcoming.

Good news - You’ll have some conversations that will bless you and will probably bless the other person. Part of the challenge for me is embracing that I will probably never know if the seed I tried to plant bore fruit or not.

Here’s the best part – If I am truly unashamed the gospel will be proclaimed by the way I live my life and the way I love others.

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