Rom. 1:8-15 WHAT EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE
Intro: In my life, I have been blessed by the Lord to have been in the
company of some great men of God. Men, who by the lives they have lived,
the message they have preached and the motives from which they served
the Lord have made an indelible impression on my life. In fact, I can
honestly say that I have learned more from great men of God than from any
class I have taken, book I have read or paper I have written. I appreciate
those who have lived Jesus in front of me and have demonstrated to me the
truth that regardless of what we do, our motives should always be pure. I
believe the Apostle was this kind of a man. Surely, a man with his great
influence and power in the early church faced temptation to do things from
an improper motive. However, I can find no record of Paul misusing his
authority or influence for personal gain, or any other impure motive.
Actually, every time I read about this great man of God, I ma reminded
again that Paul was the living example to us all of what a genuine Christian
In the first 7 verses of this chapter, Paul introduces himself to the
believers in Rome. He tells them about himself, the messenger, and about
his message, the Gospel of grace. Now, Paul turns the spotlight upon
himself in a very real way. He shares with these people, whom he has
never met, the motives behind the letter he is sending. In these 8 verses,
the Apostle Paul reveals 9 traits of genuine Christian character that tell us
in no uncertain terms What Every Christian Should Be. My duty is to share
them with you. As I do, please allow the Word of the Lord to speak to your
heart. Tonight, for these few minutes that we have together, let's place
ourselves alongside the great Apostle and see how we measure up. Notice
with me What Every Christian Should Be.
I. V. 8 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE THANKFUL
A. As Paul begins writing to the Romans about his motives, he tells them
that he is thankful for them. There is none of the envy that would mark
a lesser man. You see, Paul did not found this church. It had been
founded by another. Many men would have been jealous of the
blessings that the Romans were enjoying. Notice that these people
were the talk of the entire world. Everywhere Paul traveled, the people
were talking about those Roman believers. Instead of being jealous,
Paul was thankful! He could praise the Lord whether it was part of his
ministry or not!
B. Every one of us could learn a lesson from this. I think that God would
have His children to be a thankful people. In fact, I know that a
thankful spirit is the Lord's will for every single one of us, 1 Thes. 5:18!
Ill. We would all do well to learn to be more thankful for the Lord's
blessings in our lives!
C. Many Christians are not very thankful this evening. How does one go
about cultivating a thankful spirit? I think the real answer lies in placing
Jesus Christ at the center of all you do. If you make Him your
sufficiency, then you will always be satisfied. If, on the other hand, it
takes material and physical blessings to make you thankful, then you
are likely to be depressed and defeated. The secret lies in being
satisfied with Jesus, (Ill. Paul - Phil. 4:10-13; 1 Tim. 6:6-9; Heb. 13:5)
D. There is another application here that I would like to mention before
I move on to the next truth tonight. I believe that every Christian and
every church should have the same testimony that these Roman
Christians had. These people were known everywhere for their solid
faith and lifestyles. The same should be true of Gilead Baptist Church
and every individual as well. Whether we are at home, on the job, at
the market, or anywhere, there should be that testimony that marks
us as belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. V. 9a EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE COMMITTED
(Ill. A few I know really ought to be committed, but that is a different
A. Paul now tells the Romans that he is totally committed to the Lord.
Every word he uttered, every thing he wrote, everywhere he went,
Paul was a living witness to total surrender. (Ill. This certainly
explains the reason behind Paul's great success. When nothing else
matters in your life but what matters to the Lord, His work will get
B. I don't know where this message finds you, but I know that this is an
area where I can always find room to work. Notice the word "serve".
It is the same word that is translated "worship" in other parts of the
New Testament. It is my opinion that there is no greater form of
worship that can be rendered unto the Lord than pure, heart felt
service and devotion to the Lord.
C. Is your life committed? It should be - Rom. 12:1-2!
III. v. 9b EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE PRAYERFUL
A. The Apostle's ministry was primarily that of preaching the Gospel, v.
9a. However, he had a secondary ministry that was just as vital as
the first. Paul had a ministry of prayer. That is, he made prayer a
priority and the Roman believers were never taken off Paul's prayer
list. Now, there is no record of what he prayed for on their behalf, but
we can probably find the answer to that question in the prayers he
prayed for other believers. Notice these references, Eph. 3:14-19;
Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-11. Paul was a man of prayer. His praying
wasn't selfish, but rather it was always spiritual and it was on behalf
of others instead of himself.
B. What a lesson for the church! How much of our praying is selfish in
nature? "Lord, help me", "Lord, bless me and my family", "Lord, meet
my need", these, and other prayers like them are real examples of
how we are guilty of praying most of the time. However, I think the
Lord would have us to be engaged in a ministry on intercessory
prayer. That is, I think God wants His children to be under a prayer
burden for others, Gal. 6:2, Rom. 15:1. God would have you and me
involved in a prayer ministry touches the lives of others, Eph. 6:18.
C. How would you describe your prayer life this evening? Who is the
main topic of your prayer life, you, or others? This is an area where
we can all improve!
IV. V. 10 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE SURRENDERED
A. Paul didn't stop with prayer for others, but he also prayed that he
might be the instrument of God in answering that prayer. His desire
was to travel to Rome, but Paul was willing to surrender his will to the
will of the Lord. This was repeated at other points in the ministry of
Paul, Acts 16:6-7. It seems to me that the Apostle was willing to lay
aside his own plans so that he might know and do the will of the Lord.
B. I have already touched on the matter of surrender, but this is the
Lord's will for every Christian this evening! He wants us to be willing
to place His will ahead of our own. (Ill. I know for a fact that the Lord
will come into your life and will change your agenda.
C. A heart like Paul's is a heart that he Lord can use for His glory,
because it is a heart like the one Jesus had. A heart that knows no
higher goal than pleasing the Father at all times, John 4:34; John
8:29. God give us all a heart like that! Imagine what the Lord could
do with a church filled with people who were totally sold out to the will
of God ahead of everything!
V. 11 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE USABLE
A. As Paul continues to reveal his heart to the Roman Christians, he tells
them why he wishes to come to Rome. He wants to share with them
the gifts that God has given him. It is as if Paul is telling the Romans,
"God has blessed me with some special things. I want to come to
Rome and share them with you so that you might grow in the things of
the Lord." It tells us in no uncertain terms that Paul wanted to be
usable to the Lord in His work.
B. Paul isn't referring to the actual gifts of the Spirit, because they are
given only by the Spirit of God. Neither is he referring to the gift of
salvation that can only come by faith in Jesus. What Paul is saying
is that he is willing to come to them and be used of the Lord as the
Lord sees fit. It is as if the Apostle is willing to be used by the Lord in
any fashion if it will just help the Romans. In other words, Paul isn't
saying that he wants to go there and take over. He just wants to go
to Rome and be used of the Lord to be a blessing to someone.
C. May I say that is a lofty goal and it is one that every Christian should
try to achieve. There is a great need today for people in the church
and community who are not primarily interested in their own agenda,
but who's main goal is just to be usable to the Lord. All they want is
to be a blessing to those around them.
(Ill. Can you honestly say that you life is a vessel that God can use?
2 Tim. 2:21.)
VI. V. 12 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE HUMBLE
A. Not only does the Apostle desire to be a blessing to the Romans, but
he knows that they will be a blessing to him a well. Notice that with
this man, it isn't all about him. He is just as aware that they have
things to share with him also.
B. It is a shame when people get to the place where they think they have
"arrived", and that they cannot be helped by others who aren't as
mature in the Lord, as educated or as experienced as they
themselves are. All of us need to be reminded quiet often that we all
have plenty of growing to do. Even Paul felt this when he wrote to the
Philippian church, Phil. 3:12-14. He knew that he had not attained
perfection and that he needed those around him to get the work done.
To everyone who thinks they are standing on their own, you aren't! 1
(Ill. God pity the person who thinks they are an island. Before the
great missionary to India William Carey boarded the ship to sail, he
was asked by some close friends if this was what he really wanted to
do. His reply shows the humility of his heart. Carey said, "I will go
down into the pit itself, if you will hold the rope."
C. I would like to confess to you this evening that I need each of you to
do what God has called me to do. I need your prayers and your
support to be able to serve the Lord to the degree that He expects
from me. When you are in a position of total dependence on people,
you realize just how important they are in your life. God help us all to
remember that we need one another very desperately!
VII. V. 13 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE FRUITFUL
A. Paul reminds them that he is interested in glorifying the Lord. He has
been used of the Lord to bear fruit all over the known world. Paul says
that he would like to travel to Rome so that he can get some fruit there
also. His desire is not to build up himself, rather it is to glorify the Lord!
B. When the Scriptures speak of spiritual fruit, there are usually one of
three things in mind. First, there is the idea of Attitudes that should
be present in the life of every Christian. These attitudes are
represented by the 9-fold description of the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23. A second idea is that of
Activity. When a believer lives for the
Lord, there will be activity in that life and fruit will be borne for the glory
of the Lord. Three ways activity translates into fruit are these: 1.) Holy
living - Rom. 6:22 2.) Praise - Heb. 13:15 3.) Giving - Phil. 4:16-17.
There is a third way fruit is manifested in the life of the believer and
that is in the area of Addition. This refers to the addition of souls into
the Kingdom of Heaven, Acts 16:5. This is the fruit that Paul was after.
He wanted to go to Rome and win some to Jesus for the glory of the
Lord. Did Paul see that fruit? Well, years later when he wrote to the
Philippians from Rome, Paul was able to praise God for fruit even
among the members of "Ceasar's household", Phil. 4:22.
C. Whether the fruit you bear for the Lord is manifested in your attitudes,
your activity, or in the addition of souls to the Kingdom of Heaven, you
need to know that you fruit glorifies God like nothing else can, John
15:8. How does the Christian go about bearing fruit? John 15:1-8,
simply by abiding in the Vine.
VIII. V. 14 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE OBLIGATED
A. As Paul wrote to the Roman Christians, he that he felt a deep debt to
those who needed the hear the Gospel message. This debt Paul felt
is seen in every area of his ministry. In regard to the lost, Paul had this
to say, Rom. 10:1; Rom. 9:3. This is a man who is driven. How else
could he endure the things he had endured for the cause of Christ? 2
Cor. 11:24-28. Why did Paul do these things? Because he felt that he
was a debtor to every lost person in the world. He felt a great need to
share the Gospel message with them.
B. May I remind you this evening that you and I are indebted as well?
We aren't in debt to God, for the gift of salvation we were given was a
perfectly free gift. We are, however, indebted to those who are
perishing about us. We hold in our hands the answer to the problem
of sin for them. We hold in our hands the remedy for the disease that
is killing them. Every believer in this room tonight needs to remember
that we owe a debt to every person who lives around us, Mark 16:15.
C. How do I discharge this debt? The only way is for me to tell the world
about the Savior. Can I? Yes, if I am saved, Acts 1:8.
IX. V. 15 EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE EAGER
A. As Paul closed this section, he tells the Romans that he is "ready" to
go to Rome to preach. The word "ready" means "eager". Paul is
saying, "I can't wait until I get to Rome so that I can preach the Gospel
there also." In other words, Paul is excited about his call and his
commission. He is an excited Christian!
B. My I say this evening that every Christian should be eager about
serving the Lord. Isn't it true that we often lack that air of excitement
when it comes to the Lord's work? I mean, we really get into the tings
of the flesh that we like whether it be hunting, fishing, racing, football,
or anything else you can name. But when it comes to witnessing,
where are the people who are lining up to go into the world and share
the Gospel? Where are those who get excited when it gets close to
church time? Where are those who would rather miss out on anything
than they had to miss out on something God is doing? We need
believers in this day who are excited about the things of God. Oh that
God would cause the reality of what we are involved in to dawn on us.
Oh that we would see that this business is real and that the work
accomplished is eternal.
C. Would you describe your life as one lived in eager anticipation of doing
the Lord's will? If not, there should be some changes made tonight!
D. That word "eager" also implies a sense of urgency. Paul knows that
he only has a limited time to carry out the Lord's work in his life. He
also knows that those who need to hear the Gospel are running out of
time. Paul is saying that he must get to Rome so that he can preach
the soul saving Gospel to those held in sin's captivity.
(Ill. My friend, we too, need that same sense of urgency about our
service for the Lord. We need to realize that one day soon our lives
will end. Then, it will be too late to work for the Lord. Then it will be
too late to bear fruit for His glory. If we are to work, then we must do
it now, for this is the only time we have. Remember the words of the
Lord Jesus, John 4:35; John 9:4. Where is our urgency tonight?)
Conc: I think it is safe to say that Paul represents what every Christian
should be. I wonder tonight if you have taken the time to examine your own
life? If so, are there areas where you need to move closer to the Lord's will
for you? Are there areas that need to be surrendered? Are there motives
that need to be addressed? Is there a lack of eagerness and urgency that
needs to be confessed and dealt with? My friends, if there is a spiritual
need this evening, I invite you to come before the Lord. He, and He alone,
can and will meet you need tonight!