Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 1:8-15
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 1:8
v8 (continued): The second observation we would make on Paul’s choice of words is that he gives his thanks to God “through Jesus Christ.” What he surely does not mean is that he is praying to Jesus and asking Jesus to relay his prayers to the Father, as if believers were not permitted to pray directly to the Father. Jesus Himself made it abundantly clear that all who believe in Him may personally speak to the Father in prayer (Mt 6:6-13), But He also makes it clear this privilege has been granted to us “in His name,” meaning it is only when we are united to Him by faith that the Father welcomes such boldness (Jn 16:23-27) and clearly this is the truth to which Paul is pointing when he prays “through Jesus Christ.” He doesn’t take his access to the Father for granted, but always remembers he has this wonderful privilege because of Christ’s death and resurrection (Ro 8:32-34; 1Co 1:4; 15:57).

Monday: Romans 1:9
v9: Paul earnestly wants believers in Rome to know that he regular prays for them. To prove his point he calls on God to be his witness that he is telling them the truth. Considering how reverent Paul is toward God, and thus how unlikely it would be for him to take God’s name in vain by appealing to Him in this way falsely, his readers in Rome undoubtedly saw this statement and realized Paul was not making a shallow, polite comment about praying for them. He really did so, often.

Tuesday: Romans 1:9
v9 (continued): In this verse Paul also uses a carefully chosen word to describe his basic attitude toward God. Speaking of God he says, “whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son” (literal). The word translated here as “serve” arises out of the Old Testament. The priests and people of Israel “served” God by performing the various worship rituals required by the Law of Moses. The priests served the Lord by performing the rituals of the Tabernacle, and later the Temple. The people served the Lord by paying their vows (2Sa 15:8), bringing Him their sacrifices and offerings (Jos 22:27) or celebrating the Passover (Ex 12:25) and other feasts. But even in the Old Testament times this word grew to have a meaning beyond just these rituals (Jos 24:19). It came to include any personal act of service toward God which expressed the worshipful attitudes of the heart.

Wednesday: Romans 1:9, 10
v9 (continued): Paul says he “serves” God (worships by doing) by devoting his life to the preaching of the gospel of His Son. Everything he does expresses the worship he feels in his spirt. He’s not serving God out of fear (though he admits he would be afraid to stop, 1Co 9:16, 17), nor is he trying to earn merit with God. What drives him to do what he does is worship. He loves God and worships Him by dedicating himself to the proclamation of His Son. vs9, 10: Paul tells them he prays for them “unceasingly,” meaning he doesn’t let gaps of time go by during which he forgets to pray for them. He says he “makes remembrance” (memory) of them always in his prayers, which sounds as if they have a place on his prayer list. He says each time he prays for them he feels a strong desire to come there to see them, but he also knows he must submit himself to God’s will and patiently wait for the time when God chooses to make it possible for him to travel there.

Thursday: Romans 1:11, 12
vs11, 12: Paul wants to see them because he wants to “share” (the same word is used in Lk 3:11) a certain spiritual gift with them in order to strengthen them. And the spiritual gift is this: the experience of being encouraged by one another’s faith. He will encourage their faith and they will encourage his. Paul’s humility and his respect for these believers is evident in this statement. Though he is an apostle who has been mightily used by God, and has much to teach this church, he fully expects to receive from them as well. When he arrives, ministry will flow in two directions: from him to them, and also from them to him.

Friday: Romans 1:13, 14
v13: Paul wanted them to know that the fact that he had never ministered in their city was not because he didn’t care about them. He had often made plans to come, but even up to that present moment he had always been hindered. He wanted to produce spiritual fruit there as he had in so many other Gentile cities and towns. v14: When God called Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles (Ac 9:15, 16; 22:21; 26:16-18) He didn’t limit his assignment to one particular group of them. He sent him to any and all Gentiles. Since the word translated as “Gentile” actually means “nations” (people-group), Paul’s mission field was literally everyone who was not a Jew. That’s why he writes, “I am a debtor to Greeks and barbarians, to both the wise and the foolish.”

Saturday: Romans 1:14, 15
v14 (continued): By contrasting the term “Greek” with “barbarian” he must be using the word “Greek” in a broad sense to mean those living in highly civilized, urban societies, and “barbarians” to mean rural, tribal peoples. By the word “wise” he probably means those who are biblically educated, and by “foolish” he probably means those who are biblically ignorant (Ro 2:12) rather than referring to intellectual capacity or rebelliousness. He calls himself their “debtor” pointing to the spiritual obligation God laid upon him at his conversion (1Co 9:16-19). He owed them a debt of love (Ro 13:8-10), and it is inconceivable to him that he could love them and not tell them how to be saved. v15: So, he is not just passively willing to come to Rome, he is passionately eager to do so. There is inside him a building frustration that longs to preach the good news about God’s Son (Ro 1:1, 2) to the churches there. 

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