Opening personal thoughts
Consider, what is your driving force in life? Think about what you are trying to achieve, escape or prove in the following areas of your life ~ Career ambitions, Family objectives, Financial goals, Personal image, Relationships. Are there fears you carry or insecurities you harbour or prideful ambitions that show themselves in the different roles you play?
There are many good things that you can give yourself to and even honour God with. But even goods things can be corrupted and become controlling or ultimate things (“idols”) if not held in proper perspective. There is something greater than all these things that we spend so much time, energy, thought and effort on. This we call the gospel. Without it all other things lose their meaning and can become a huge burden. But with the gospel, all other good things take on significance with direction and purpose. It should motivate, inform and direct everything you do- every decision you make and endeavour you undertake.
Searching the Scriptures
Read Romans 1:14-16
- Note the three “I am” statements in the text.
- How does each reflect Paul’s understanding and attitude towards to gospel and people?
- To paraphrase the passage concerning Paul’s driving force in life- I must, I want to and I will no matter what the cost.
- Can you say you have such clarity, impulse and conviction to share the gospel?
- Who was Paul, the writer of Romans? Use a study Bible or online resources to gather as much info you can about the man, before and after he came to faith in Christ.
- Why does he have such a sense of obligation/indebtedness, eagerness and unashamed compulsion that drives him?
- The original Greek has a double meaning- obliged/indebted:
- 1st because of kindness shown to Paul by the Romans and 2nd because of the nature of Gospel itself.
- Who does he feel obliged to and why them?
- Read Romans 3:23 for clues.
- Vs14 Greeks & non-Greeks/ Barbarians
- This is not a racial or nationality distinction but indicates the kind of people that lived in Rome. Greek thinkers and non-hellenistic people as seen in the comment wise- (smart, educated, cultured, sophisticated, academics and philosophers Greeks) and the foolish(uncultured, coarse language.
- While the Greek type of person thinks they are too good and sees no need for the gospel, Barbarians think they are not good enough.
- Can you think of people you know who fit into these two profiles and how would you approach them differently with the good news?
- Have you made the mistake of thinking some people need the gospel more than others?
- Everyone needs to hear the gospel and be given an opportunity to respond to it, not because of who they are or what they have done but because of the gospel- namely who Christ is and what He has done.
- How can this understanding motivate you and affect your eagerness to share your faith with all kinds of people?
- List the physical and social pressures Paul faced off with to tell others about Jesus.
- Read: 2 Cor 11:23-30 to help you.
- Put yourself in Paul’s position and compare it with how easily you are afraid, discouraged and ashamed to share the gospel.
- Think about how you heard the gospel, through who and how it has changed you?
- When do you find it most difficult to share what you believe about Christ with others.
- Read Mt 10:32-33 and 2 Tim 1:7-8 for help.
- Could you explain the gospel to someone who knows nothing/little about it?
Vs 16b goes to the heart of what the gospel is about and the reason Paul was not ashamed or inhibited to speak to others about it. He is not ashamed of it because he understands it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. He knows that it is worth whatever disgrace, persecution and humiliation he will face for it.
- If you went on trial for doing evangelism, would the court find you guilty of the same belief as Paul from your actions?
- When last have you shared the gospel with someone? If not recently/ever, pray to the Lord to give you the opportunity to share, the boldness to speak and the right words to say. Start with your own testimony of what God has done in you through Jesus Christ.
- Do you personally know God’s power to save? If not, confess your sins to him right now and believe by faith that he will save you. See Romans 10:9-11 and 1 John 1:5-10.
Only God can save you and He will only save those who confess their sin and believe in Him to receive the free offer of salvation. Salvation is a rich and powerful word. It means the power of God that saves us from the sin we are infected with. It means God saves us from being lost people on the wrong path that leads to death so that we are found and put on the right path to eternal life. It also means we are saved from the wrath of God due to us, His righteous judgment against sin. So, we who believe are saved by the power of God from being condemned.
This salvation is received by believing faith that is a total acceptance and absolute trust in Jesus Christ and following Him loyally according to the Bible. We often call it saving faith as without such faith God’s power to save is withheld from us, this is our part in salvation and a necessary response.
Do you believe in this power of God to save you, the person of Jesus Christ who died for your sin and was raised to new life so that you can be saved and have spiritual life eternally? When you are being tested and tempted to doubt or compromise, hold onto your faith in Jesus Christ and never be ashamed. Let faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ be your anchor & driving force in life. Let it motivate, inform & direct everything you do- every decision you make and every endeavour you undertake.
- Pray for you own evangelism efforts.
- Pray for those you know who need to come to know Jesus.
- Pray for those you know who work as pastors and missionaries to reach the lost.