Lesson 8 – The Preacher

The Preacher

Lesson Aim:    To show the message of the Roman letter came from God to Paul.  Therefore, the preacher who proclaims this message has a message from God for the people.

Scriptures:       Romans 1:1-17; 10:12-15; 15:14-33; 16:17-27. 


For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.  For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.  Gal. 1:11, 12

The letter to the Roman church of God in Christ was written by the Apostle Paul.  It was written prior to his delivery of the collection from the churches of Asia to the poor saints in Jerusalem.  Paul did go to Rome as he had hoped but perhaps not under the same conditions (Rom. 15: 22-26).  He was arrested in Jerusalem and went to Rome as a prisoner (Acts 21:33).

There are some obvious motives for a letter like this being written to the church at Rome.  The motivation did not lie within the wisdom of Paul.  It came from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  We want to give proper recognition to the Apostle Paul, as a brother in Christ.  He was among the greatest.  He revealed a great depth of wisdom in this Roman letter; it is a priceless document.

However, God wanted to get a message to His people.  He was in the process of offering the whole world the opportunity to be born again through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He had planned this great adoption program of the mass of people before the “foundation of the world.”  Eph. 1:3-6.  Those who were born again would be His children with full rights (John 1:12, 13; Gal. 4:4-7). 

Jesus was doing the will of God in all things the Father desired (John 4:34; 5:19; 7:16; 12:44; Phil. 2:6, 7).  Jesus used the Holy Spirit to administer God’s program to develop children for His kingdom (I Pet. 1:2).  God had worked with the Israelite people for a number of years.  He was now including the Gentiles in His call by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The transition was in “full swing” at the time Jesus via the Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to write this letter (John 16:12; Rom. 9:1).  This epistle was badly needed to help the Jew and Gentile Christians understand their relationship to one another in the church.  The foregoing history was the situation and it created the need for the extensive details in this letter.  But was this the only motive for the letter?  Surely not!  God saw a need for a letter like this to be included in the Holy Scriptures?

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  II Tim. 3:16, 17

We are grateful for Christians like the Apostle Paul whom God used in such a wonderful way; however, when we consider the message revealed in the scriptures; let us not think of men.  God has a message for us, His children.  The situation in the first century demanded the letters we have from Paul and others. However, we must conclude God had us in mind also in our period of time.  Why?  We come to this conclusion because God has not sent out any other letters or new messages since the first century.  The Apostle Paul claimed to be sent from God (Rom. 1:1, 10, 11).  He was specifically sent as a minister to the Gentiles.  It should be carefully noted how he interpreted his position.

To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  Rom. 15:16

Notice he “administered the gospel as a priest.”  This would be the same idea as a priest ministering to God for us, only in reverse.  Jesus, as Christians’ high priest, goes to God on our behalf.  Paul came to us with the gospel on God’s behalf.  Paul used his own talents and energies but the content of his messages came from God.  Therefore, the wisdom and intent in the Apostle Paul’s letters came from God.  We can depend on this kind of wisdom.  See I Cor. 2:3-9. 

Paul’s Summation

Paul summed up his letter by proclaiming Jesus Christ as the minister to both Jews and Gentiles.  Jesus confirmed God’s promises to the Jews.  Paul quoted a few scriptures from the prophets that revealed a program of mercy for the Gentiles.  The Gentiles were also children of promise.  Read Rom. 9:25, 26; 15:7-12.  In fact, Jesus offered the same program to both Jews and Gentiles after He returned to heaven.

Paul did not try to tie God’s people to himself.  He let them know their strength in this world depended upon their hope for the future as God’s sons (Rom. 15:13).  The hope of future things makes it possible for Christians to have joy at the present time.  Our vision of the future must come from God by the presence of the Holy Spirit, as well as the words He gave to the writers of the Bible.  Paul gave all credit to the Holy Spirit for the things he accomplished for God (Rom. 15:17-19).  The Holy Spirit was not looked upon by Paul as simply a power.  He saw Him as a Person of the Godhead who was capable of love (Rom. 15:30).

Paul warned the church at Rome, and in turn, we are warned by God to “keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances.”  We are warned to examine them in relation to what we learn from the scriptures.  A false teacher should be marked and expelled from the fellowship.  They are slaves to their own appetites (Rom. 16:17-19).  Since the very beginning of Paul’s writings he warned the churches about false preachers and “business people” who would try to get the church members’ allegiance and money (Gal. 4:17; 6:13; I Thess. 2:5; II Cor. 2:17).  Christians are to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.  We have this capability of awareness because Adam transgressed God’s covenant (Gen. 3:22).  We must take the responsibility for all of our human endowments. 

In the last three verses of this wonderful letter, Paul praised God for His wisdom.  God’s wisdom contains good news and reveals mysteries of the past.  It was manifested in and through Jesus Christ (I Cor. 1:30, 31).  It offers hope for Christians’ future.  Paul gave glory to God because he recognized God alone is able to establish mankind on an eternal foundation (Rom. 16:25-27).  Since Christians are established on an eternal foundation; God Almighty is able to offer this kind of program for sinners.

God gave the message of His program through Christ to the Apostle Paul to preach in his days on earth.  Paul was an apostle, a preacher, and a teacher (II Tim. 1:11).  The word “apostle” is translated from the Greek word “apostolos” and it means “one sent forth.”   Preacher is translated from “kerux” and means “crier, proclaimer or herald.”   Teacher is translated from “didaskalos” and means an instructor.  The teacher is the one who “sounds down” to the level of the audience the message preached.  Paul was sent forth with a message directly from God.  He proclaimed the message and instructed the people how to use the message he brought from God.  The main thing was the message – not the man.  Paul is important as a person; however, the power for our lives is in the message he preached.

The Preacher Today

We do not have the Apostle Paul today but we have the message.  Unless there is a different message from God, we should not look for another apostle.  If someone preaches a different message than that which God gave Paul, he is a liar (Gal. 1:6-9).  If we are able to find a complete program to develop children for God in the Bible as it now stands, then we do not need and should not expect another apostle.  We now have the same message in written form Paul received by the Holy Spirit.

The need still exists for preachers and teachers.  We can preach, that is proclaim, to the people a message from God.  It will not be our wisdom but the wisdom of God if we get the message right.  God’s word is available in the Bible.  The Holy Spirit is available to help us in our spiritual growth.  Spiritual growth will help us better understand the spiritual messages in the Bible.  God promised to give wisdom to the faithful Christians who ask for wisdom (James 1:5).

A preacher today is just as important as Paul, the preacher.  A teacher today is just as important as Paul, the teacher.  We can be just as dynamic in the presentation of God’s word.   We should not expect to find anyone like Paul, the apostle, because we simply do not need them.  We have God’s message in the Bible.  We give praise to God for His message for the man “in Adam in the world” and the man “in Adam, in Christ.”

May we all be led to the “obedience of faith.”   See Rom. 1:5 and Rom. 16:26.  This is the kind of faith that will give us God’s righteousness now as a gift and cause us to prove His will to be good, acceptable and a perfect way to live in the world.  Christians live by faith (Rom. 1:17).  We are obedient to our own faith.  Pray it is strong.  This kind of faith will let us be led by the Holy Spirit on the high road leading to eternal life as a son of God.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!  Rom. 8:15

            Questions for Discussion

  1. What was Paul’s immediate and long range plan at the time he wrote the Roman letter for himself?
  2. Whose wisdom motivated the Roman letter?
  3. What was the immediate motive for this letter?
  4. What was the long range purpose for this letter?
  5. How did the Apostle Paul see himself in relation to God’s word and those to whom he preached?
  6. How did Jesus become a servant to the Jews?  To the Gentiles?
  7. To whom did Paul seek to “tie” the Christians to for strength?
  8. What are the basic character defects of those who become a hindrance contrary to the teaching of the Bible?
  9. What is the difference between the ministry of a preacher and a teacher?
  10. Why should we not look for another apostle today?
  11. Why should a preacher or teacher today be as dynamic as those of the first century?
  12. What kind of faith gives us all the blessings revealed in this great letter to the Roman church of Christ?

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