Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: Romans 1:16-17

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Paul was extremely dedicated in the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ (15). The reason for this is stated clearly in our text. God chose to save mankind through the preaching of the gospel message! (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21-25).

The power of the gospel is found in the fact that it is true! The gospel is the message of Christ’s life, death and resurrection from the dead. The fact that His life was sinless, His death was vicarious, and His resurrection is certain means that belief in Him brings salvation to mankind. The reference to both Jew and Greek indicates that salvation is available to all men, no matter their nationality!

The phrase “from faith to faith” is difficult. Consider the fact that our faith emanates from the revelation of God’s will, referred to as “faith” in scripture (see Acts 6:7; Romans 10:17). The righteous man lives by the dictates of God’s will for him.

Mining the Scriptures: Romans 1:13-15

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The apostle here expresses his desire to overcome any obstacles, and visit the Romans, that he might, “have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles” (13). Remember, Paul was appointed by God to be an apostle to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 9:15).

His admission of indebteness to them is an interesting one. Why did he owe them? He owed them because of what God had done for him! Paul recognized that both the gift of salvation (cf. Romans 7:24-25) and the ministry to which he had been appointed (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10) were not his because of any merit on his part. If such a gift had been given to him, it seemed to him that he was obligated to do his very best, for the remainder of his time on earth, to avail others of that same gift.

Emphasis will be placed upon preaching as a means of servicing that debt in our comments on verses 16 and 17. For now, note his complete dedication to the task. “For as much as is in me, I am ready…” (15). These words give us some understanding of the value of our gift from God. Grace brings salvation. Rather than thinking of grace as freedom from sin’s consequences (cf. Romans 6:1-2), we should see it as obligating us to righteous living! (cf. Titus 2:11-14).

Mining the Scriptures: Romans 1:8-12

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Paul was quick to express his appreciation for the faith of God’s saints in Rome. He commended them, saying, “your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (vs. 8). How commendable, to have such faith as to be known by brethren everywhere as accepted by God!

It is because of this faith that Paul prayed for them daily, and desired to come and minister to them, by imparting some spiritual gift (vs. 11). Paul wrote this letter near the end of his third missionary journey while in Corinth. Though he desired to come to Rome, it was a while before his wishes were met (cf. 15:22).

What Paul and the Romans enjoyed, though separated, was the “mutual faith both of you and me” (vs. 12). This is the greatest reason for Christians throughout the world to be encouraged. No matter where you go, there are those of like precious faith that, by that faith, may rightly be regarded as a spiritual family. The Christian is never without encouragement and support where another Christian is to be found. Cultures, races and languages all may be different, but for all disciples of Jesus, our mutual faith remains.

Mining the Scriptures: Romans 1:1-7

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Paul’s introductory comments in Romans are typical. In them he identifies himself as a bondservant of the Lord, engaged in the task of preaching His gospel.

He affirms his apostleship, and that the gospel had its inception in the prophets. (Remember, Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian using the text of Isaiah 53).

He affirms Jesus to be the Son of Man “born of the seed of David according to the flesh”, and to be the Son of God, attested “by the resurrection from the dead.”

It is amazing how often the apostle repeats those two facts throughout his writings: 1) I am an apostle by God’s choosing; 2) I am bound by God to preach the gospel of the Lord.

Paul also revealed something about the Roman Christians. He wrote, “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” This calling is the process of sanctification. We are called out of the world, called to holiness. All of Paul’s instructions come from this fact concerning his brethren. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (6:2-3).

Mining The Scriptures: Romans 12:1-2

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Romans 12:1-2

The earnest exhortation of the apostle was for his readers to give themselves as sacrifices to God. Rather than the presentation of slain animals, the Christian is enjoined to present his body as a “living sacrifice.”

Paul means for us to live holy lives, in service to God. He indicates that such is a reasonable response. In other words, because of what God has done for us in the giving of His Son, it is reasonable for Him to expect a life of dedicated service in return.

He further explains in both the positive and negative. “Do not be conformed to this world.” The world is at war with God. To love the world is to show allegiance to the wrong master (cf. 1 John 2:15). “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The new birth is not just an initial obedience to certain commands. It puts to death the old man, and brings to life a new one. Such a new birth must be seen in our daily lives.

Mining The Scriptures: Romans 13:1-2

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Romans 13:1-2

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Governments and nations have their place at God’s pleasure. They remain in power as long as God permits, and their rise and fall is determined by His will. This is clearly affirmed by Paul in his address to the Athenians (cf. Acts 17:26-28).

While a government is in power, Christians are required to submit to its laws. Contrary to common perception, Jesus did not advocate disobedience to civil authorities. This is true regardless of a governments corruptness, or antagonism toward God and His people. This is clearly established by Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to pay taxes to the Roman government (cf. Matt. 22:21).

The exception to this is the secular government’s compelling a Christian to disobey God. In such cases, we must “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The question, “Must we obey the government?”, is not determined by whether it is corrupt, but whether its laws corrupt us!