Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 13

Romans ~ Paul Paying His Debts
Rom. 1:12-15
In our age, debt requires no explanation. The nation is in debt. Many families struggle under
debt they have amassed. The illustrative element of Paul’s refence to debt requires no
He wrote to the Romans, “I am a debtor,” or “I am under obligation.” This was not a monetary
debt paid by money. Rather, this was a spiritual/moral obligation Paul had, toward God, to
take the gospel to people.
Paul’s intention to come to Rome involved this debt. Not only did he want to see his brothers
and sisters in Christ, he wanted to pay this debt – to preach the gospel in Rome. And, he
wanted to do this without any discrimination: “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to
barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also
who are in Rome.”
At this point in the Roman letter, this comes as no surprise. He had already described himself
as a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle. This rich sense of duty to God, to take the
gospel to the lost, Paul took with him to his death.
While we are not apostles, this is an attitude we should have (every Christian). Are you ready
to speak to your friends about the gospel? Are you prepared to open up to a stranger about
what the Lord can mean to them?
Can we say we are indebted in this sense?
Our debt to a lost world (Romans 1:14–17). Paul argued persuasively in the first three
chapters of Romans that everyone is a lost sinner. This included the pagan Gentile (1:18–32)
and the religious Jew (2:1–3:8)—in fact, the whole world (3:9–20).
God, of course, has provided salvation for all men in sin. This great news should motivate
and encourage Christians to get the word out. Christ’s love constrained Paul (2 Corinthians
5:14) to take the message of hope throughout the Roman Empire. It ought to compel us to
do likewise.
We cannot pay this debt simply by giving money for others to go to foreign lands and
praying for those who go, but we must present ourselves to others as living sacrifices (Romans
12:1–2), starting at home. All men without Christ are lost. What am I doing about it? – Brent
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