Encouragement

Romans was written “to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.” (Rom 1:5b ESV) This is as good as it gets when it comes to mission statements. This sermon will focus on Romans 1:8-15. We will be filled with encouragement and strength so we can thrive in our obedience of faith

Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 2
Encouragement – Romans 1:8-15
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Sept. 3rd, 2017

 

Intro:

  • Today we continue our theological journey with our guide being the very word of God: written thought by the apostle Paul to the church in Rome and the rest of the world.
  • As we saw last week, this letter was written “to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom 1:5b ESV). This is the best mission statement!
  • Paul, after introducing himself and giving his mission and his calling based in his bond-service to Christ Jesus (the one who was promised beforehand and who had risen from the dead), greeted the believers with these words: “grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • In Part 2 of The Glory of the Gospel, we will look at how Paul encourages, exhorts and educates the Roman people in God’s work in the world and the glory of the gospel.

 

Rom 1:8-11a ESV

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 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. For I long to see you,

 

Be encouraged

  • First, I want you also to be encouraged by these things, and use them to encourage others, that they may result in thankfulness to God. So in the end, God gets the glory and praise for His work in the world through us.
  • Be encouraged – because of the scope of your impact – “your faith is proclaimed in all the world”
    • What you do here is bigger than you know, and reaches farther than you can go.
    • There are more people “in the room” than are literally in the room: Generations inside of us and people all around us.
  • Be encouraged – because of the persistence of prayer – “without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers”
    • That people remember you: in response to you being present in their thoughts and heart, join with you in prayer. This is a very meaningful and powerful partnership tapping into the greatest resource in the universe, with the greatest reach in the universe to provide you with grace to represent him well in your obedience of faith.
    • The more that we know about the situation, the stronger we are connected and the better we can pray. Be encouraged that people are remembering you in their prayers.  It does truly mean the world to me, and it should to you as well.
  • Be encouraged – because of the longing of relationship – “asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you”
    • This is shown in the ministry of presence. The cost, commitment and choice to be physically present with someone is powerful encouragement
      • of our move, and celebrations, etc. – presence is powerful

 

Rom 1:11b-12 ESV

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.

 

Be strengthened

  • Be strengthened by sharing spiritual gifts. Everyone has them and we are to use them to strengthen one another. They are for you, but they are not about you. We have the privilege to use them, but we also have a responsibility for them in which we will give an account. You are desired, and you are needed.
  • You can worship God on your own and you should (however it is not quite the same as the power and unity that is present when are together), but you can’t use your gifts on your own. You can’t help others, receive help from others, or be sharpened by others all by yourself. We were made for community – it is not good for us to be alone – we were made in the image of God (which is community), and we will be living in community in eternity
  • Therefore, Paul says in Romans 12:6–8, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Spiritual gifts are differing forms of grace given to the church for the “building up of the body for the obedience of faith, for the sake of the Name.” You can’t do any of these things in isolation from others.
  • Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The grace of God comes to the church in manifold forms and ways — as many forms as there are people. The use of that grace brings about the obedience of faith. Ultimately, this is what spiritual gifts are for: either by helping people come to faith, or strengthening those who are in the faith. http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-gospel-in-the-church-for-the-obedience-of-faith-through-spiritual-gifts

 

Rom 1:13-15 ESV

I want you to know, brothers, 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, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

 

Be thriving

  • Among you
    • We want to be thriving. We want you to be fully alive in your obedience of faith so there can be an abundant harvest that meets the needs of ministries and missionaries.
      • Rom 15:24-25 ESV

I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.

  • The reason why he has been delayed because of his ambition to preach the gospel to places that have not heard before (Rom. 15:19-22)
  • Spiritual harvest of faith among them – people will come into relationship with Jesus by grace to obedient faith for the sake of his name
  • Beyond you
    • Be thriving that it reaches beyond you. We have an obligation to the rest of the region and the world, regardless of race, or education, or economics or location, to share the bread of life, and light of the world to a starving and lost people.

 

  • Rom 10:13-15 ESV

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

  • Matt 9:37-38 ESV

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

 

Conclusion

  • I want you to be encouraged today – your impact is bigger than you think (there are more “in the room” than are in the room). Your partners from afar are joining you in prayer (like air force), and your partners on the ground will be with you in the trenches
  • I want you to be strengthened today by using and receiving spiritual gifts from each other
  • I want you to be thriving today, for the help you give to others and for the message of the Gospel to be spread every corner of creation.

 

Questions for the week ahead

  1. What from the service today encouraged and strengthened you?
  2. In what ways can you use the gifts that God had given to you? Make a plan and move it forward.
  3. How can you be thriving and more intentional about helping ministries and missionaries?