Sabbath, July 1st, 2006
The Epistles to the Romans
A man struggled day after day to gain the victory over his shortcomings and sins. Still, every battle there was setbacks, which greatly discouraged him. One day he received some encouraging advice, which seemed to be thesolution to his problem. It was recommended that he take a trip to Rome, where he could climb “Pilate’s staircase” and there he would find forgiveness.
With the burning desire in his heart to reach his destination, he set out on the trip; and with a heart full of hope he arrived in the famous city. As he was there something special happened. The promise from the Word of God resounded in his mind: “The just shall live by faith”. To remember and understand this wonderful message from the Letter to the Romans, was the great experience in his life. It is a message by which each of us will be enabled to maintain a constant experience with God.
The author of this letter to the Romans is the Apostle Paul. He wrote it on his third missionary journey, during his stay at Corinth. This was between the years 57 and 58 A.D. In the pages of this letter he expressed his fullness of joy in the hope-filled message of the gospel, and sent this good news to the church members in the city of Rome as well to us.It is our sincerest wish that during the second half of 2006, through the study of this letter the Lord may enable us to achieve a deeper and more intimate experience in justification by faith based on the immeasurable grace of God.
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God…” 2 Corinthians 6:4.
“Gain courage from the experience of the apostle Paul. He had many trials. He was an unwearied worker, and travelled constantly, sometimes through inhospitable regions, sometimes on the water, in storm and tempest.Far harder than ours was his lot, for travelling then had not the conveniences that it has now. But Paul allowed nothing to hinder him from his work (Letter 107, 1904).” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1106.
PAUL PLANS TO VISIT ROME
1. During his stay in Corinth, what longing filled Paul’s heart?
Romans 1:11, 15 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
“During his sojourn at Corinth, Paul found time to look forward to new and wider fields of service. His contemplated journey to Rome especially occupied his thoughts.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 373.
2. Had Paul ever visited Rome before?
Romans 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
GROUNDED ON THE SURE FOUNDATION
3. What three things did Paul want the Christians in Rome to know?
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
“Paul regarded the occasion of his formal ordination as marking the beginning of a new and important epoch in his lifework. It was from the time of this solemn ceremony, when, just before he was to depart on his first missionary journey, he was ‘separated unto the gospel of God,’ that he afterward dated the beginning of his apostleship in the Christian church. (RH, May 11, 1911)” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1067.
4. To what authority did Paul refer as the foundation of his message?
Romans 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
“The Bible is God’s great lesson book, His great educator. The foundation of all true science is contained in the Bible. Every branch of knowledge may be found by searching the word of God. And above all else it contains the science of all sciences, the science of salvation. The Bible is the mine of the unsearchable riches of Christ.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 107.
STRONG IN CHRIST
5. What prophetic fulfilment is revealed in the Scriptures?
Romans 1:3, 4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead
“Like the rejected stone, Christ in His earthly mission had borne neglect and abuse. He was ‘despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: . . . He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.’ Isa. 53:3. But the time was near when He would be glorified. By the resurrection from the dead He would be declared ‘the Son of God with power.’ Rom. 1:4. At His second coming He would be revealed as Lord of heaven and earth.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 600.
6. What is said in this letter about the church at Rome?
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
“…notwithstanding the opposition, twenty years after the crucifixion of Christ there was a live, earnest church in Rome. This church was strong and zealous, and the Lord worked for it. (RH, March 6, 1900)” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1063.
HELP AND READINESS
7. What selfless task did Paul want to settle before his visit to Rome?
Romans 15:25, 26 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
“All were to share in this work of imparting of their carnal things to those who ministered unto them in spiritual things. They were also taught that the widows and fatherless had a claim upon their charity. Pure and undefiled religion is defined, ‘To visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, and to keep unspotted from the world’.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 190.
• Is the work of God one of my heart’s desires?
• Am I only useful to God in coincidental opportunities?
• How do I use my talents in the support of church life?