【Bible Study】Romans 01 Part 1: The Gospel Is The Power of God
Bible Study: The Book of Romans
Romans is a very difficult book to read and understand. It seems like you would understand every word, every sentence, but when you put it together, nothing makes sense! So I will share with you what I know. The book of Romans summarizes the gospel as a powerful gospel. Paul wrote the book of Romans on his journey to Jerusalem. He was going to bring the offerings he had collected around the world to the poorer churches in Jerusalem. After he had done this, he planned on going to Rome and wrote this letter. In Paul's impression, the Roman church had great faith, but he still wanted to visit them and extend spiritual gifts to them.
The Roman church had a lot of misunderstandings about the gospel and spiritual uncleanliness. The main reason for this uncleanliness was the environment of Rome. The other reason was the influence of the Jewish leaders. The book of Romans focuses heavily on the issue of relying on our flesh. All of our problems come from our consideration of the flesh. Our lust, pride, and reliance on our physical strength. People who are considerate of the flesh are the natural enemies of God. So the book of Romans focuses on this point: The Holy Spirit fights with our flesh, not the evil spirits.
What is Paul's point? God's gospel is attained through faith, not actions! Yesterday, I received a phone call from a sister. I spent a lot of time and energy ministering to her and her daughter, as well as her elderly parents. At the time, I was dealing with my mother's struggle with dementia. I believed that it did not matter what my mother did, but that my faith would allow God to heal my mother. My mother was not a spiritual person, and she constantly thought about things like eating, drinking, and enjoying herself. I knew that consideration of the flesh would have even worse consequences on people with dementia.
So she called me, thanking me. Her father, for a long time, had already begun to forget people, became deaf, and had all the signs of dementia. But what I did was not focus on her father's health, but I put a lot of pressure on her and her daughter. I hoped that because of their faith, the parents could be healed. In the past few days, it was like her father suddenly woke up! He began to remember people, not only that, but he began to pray and study the Bible with us. How did this happen? Because we have faith in a gospel of power!
At the end of last year, I had a stubborn faith, but thank God, I was able to fight off many demons from my mother. The difference is huge, not only in faith but physical health as well. Last year, my mother constantly was confused and unable to do simple tasks like going to the bathroom. But the gospel healed my mother. The gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Because of this, I knew that the gospel was a great treasure.
We should look at things from a spiritual point of view rather than a physical one. The same sister I was talking to did not have much faith. She saw physical things as a barrier to healing. When I asked her why she couldn't pray for her father, she said that he was deaf and could not even hear. Thank God for my perseverance. When she called me to thank me, I jokingly said that she and her daughter owe me a favour. But this is quite true. I am responsible for restoring the power of the gospel to everyone.
When Paul faced the Roman church, he was also faced with the idolatry of the Roman people. We also live in a similar situation to them. But when Paul saw the church, he knew that they were not doing enough to spread the power of God. They were not doing enough in faith. How did they lose the power of God? Because they did not do things by faith, but rather by their logic. Once you start to explain this and that, you will get rid of the power of God! When people come to me, I don't try to explain things and reason with people, because I know that faith is all you need.
Some people say that faith without works is dead. But I don't see this in any of Paul's letters, only in James. The thing is, once we start to focus on works, we lose the power of the gospel. In this generation, it is even more important to read Romans, because it is a concrete foundation of faith. When we do healing, we need the gospel of truth that comes from Romans. We need to get rid of things in us that hinder the power of God.
Paul, writing the gospel of God, is trying to restore the power of God to the gospel. Today, we see many miracles and healings. But that is not enough. I am a very reasonable person, but I stopped trying to reason with the gospel and simplified my faith. I found that even a simple faith could bring out the power of God. The gospel we need to be preaching is the gospel of Paul.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God- the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, regarding his Son, who has to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the So of God in power... (Romans 1:1-4a NIV)
In power! He was appointed the Son of God in power! Other people think that since Jesus was the son of God and we aren't, he needed this power and we don't. But Paul's gospel is one with God's power. People have strayed away from the concept of being driven by faith. If people stray away from this concept, how can they show the power of God? There was this elderly lady who had severe back pain. One day, her daughter-in-law was praying for her, and the next day, she was able to get up from her bed and walk. How did this happen? Because we have a faith focused on the power of God. Did the elderly lady do anything for God? No. All we did was bring up her faith. We told her that our God is full of mercy and grace. He is full of power and strength. When she understood this, we saw God's work in her. What actions did she do? Nothing. Get rid of the ideology of "faith with actions". Restore the basis of faith, and the power of God will come back.
When we freely receive the power of God, we have to freely give it away to other people. The Romans loved to reason and form some logical opinion on what God is like. "If you are truly the son of God, why don't you come down from the cross?" But our God is not like that, he willingly died on the cross for us. It doesn't matter what generation or environment you are in, there will always be people that want to hinder the power of God.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. (Romans 1:20-23 NIV)
What did Paul think of these people? They knew God's intention, but because of their foolishness, their hearts were darkened. My mother would tell me, after praying for a while, that her heart began to see more and more light. When we lose the power of the gospel, our hearts are darkened. Why? Because we are always in a state of confusion. But once the power of the gospel comes, all our questions will have answers.
There was a brother who was a realtor but was quite bad in his abilities. But his "shepherd" told me that he sold a very large house and that he could receive a very big cut. It was not because his abilities developed suddenly, but it was because of the power of God. He walked on a path of faith and saw God's grace demonstrated in his power. Do we believe God is a merciful and graceful God? If not, our hearts with be darkened.
In Romans, Paul separates people into those who display God's mercy and those who display God's wrath. God won't try to force you to come back to him, and he will support you in whatever choice you make. Romans separated the two types of people. God won't try to save these people but will support them in their wickedness, for although they knew God's righteous decree, they still did those things. So God will judge them in the end.
The first issue is idolatry. They want to receive what their heart desires, so they worship idols. That is spiritual adultery. The second issue is physical adultery. Men committed shameful acts with other men, as well as women. In Rome, this was extremely common, as well as in this generation.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. (Romans 1:28-31 NIV)
These things all have dark spiritual powers behind them. People make their own decisions. Do you think that God will force you to change your decision? No. Paul's idea was that if God handed them over to their actions, there is no point in trying to force them to do something. It all comes down to a person's choice. But the interesting thing is that their choices directly affect how they live. Our job is to spread the gospel to those who are called by God. God will display his wrath on those who go against God. We are not here to save the world. We don't have to change everyone.
The Roman church tried to change these people and reason with them, but that is not our job. God will deal with those who know God and yet choose to disobey him.
Start to understand that the gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Come out from an action-based faith, and go into a faith that relies on God.