Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 11

Romans ~ Gratitude & Proclamation
Rom. 1:8-10
Paul was a Christian who exemplified the quality of gratitude each of us should have. As the
Roman letter begins, there is this: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you,
because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.”
We don’t have any way of knowing how many Christians were in Rome. Less than 50 or 500?
We simply don’t know. What we know is, their faith had such drive, activity and influence –
“it was spoken of throughout the whole world.” Their activity of faith was part of a powerful
movement that received attention and that attention was a factor in the spread of the message.
The impact of their faith around the world was not connected to money, numbers, political
influence, publicity (in the marketing, media sense) or anything on earth. It was the power of
God through the gospel changing lives. The message was spreading. People could see it.
God saw this and was also a witness to Paul’s unceasing prayers for these people who lived in
hostile territory. “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His
Son, that without ceasing I mention you, always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s
will, I may now at last succeed in coming to you.”
Paul was no more specific than anyone can be, when it comes to God’s providential will. There
was trust where there was not perfect knowledge of God’s control of the future. “Somehow,”
Paul knew the eventual visit would come to pass.
When you obey the gospel, you are part of a greater influence that spreads the message. There
is a ripple effect, a chain of influence that you become a part of simply by the obedience of
your faith and your life as a saint. Our faith is spread or proclaimed in all the world. I hope we
are speaking that faith, accompanied by the influence of our lives as people who belong to
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