Romans 1:1-17 “Bold Beginning”

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Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is one of the most significant letters in the whole of Scripture.  In it is contained the entire Gospel story as well as Paul’s explanations of what happened through the life of Jesus and what it means for us as believers.  He goes on to talk about the impact on the lives of those who follow Christ, the obedience that comes through faith.

As he opens His letter, Paul sets the stage for things he is planning to write to the church in Rome.  He lays out who he is (calling), who Jesus is (Gospel), and what it means for his readers to believe in Jesus (faith).  Each of these “churchy” words comes loaded with meaning and also the assumption that, if you go to church, you know exactly what they mean.  As we begin our journey through Romans, we are going to clarify what Paul means when he uses these words and how they can embolden us to live our faith and proclaim the Gospel unashamed.

Questions to take home:

  1. In the opening of his letter, Paul describes himself as being a servant of Jesus, called to be an Apostle, and set apart for the Gospel.  What do you think each of these terms means?  How do you relate to seeing yourself through a lens like this?
  2. Paul’s first impulse, when he thinks about the church in Rome, is to give thanks to God because of the reports of their faith.  Is this something that we do when we think about our fellow believers? Do you think others would/could do this when they think about Hopkins Community Church?
  3. Read verses 16 & 17 again.  What does Paul mean when he uses the word “Gospel”?  Where does the Gospel’s power come from? What is the impact?  How can you live in a way that shows you are unashamed of the Gospel?