Free downloads for youth pastors, small group leaders, etc:
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (audio).mp3
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (handout).pdf
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (ppt).ppt
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (notes).doc
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (service order).doc
1 – The Church B2L – Romans (small groups).doc
The Study in a Nutshell:
Want to hear something creepy? Zombies are HUGE right now in our culture! Not only are there tons of zombie movies and video games, but there are all kinds of groups out there for zombies. A zombie is a body that is brought back to life but with no soul, passion, purpose, or goal. I’m afraid that our churches today are filled with zombies. People that have been brought back to life from sin, but still with no passion, purpose, or goal in life. We need to bring our churches back to life!
As we are going through the rest of the New Testament starting with Romans, I want to bring these NT churches back to life. I don’t want to just give the key verse, the main theme, or the outline of each book. I’m sorry…that can be boring! Instead, I want to take a look at each of these churches, their surroundings, their city, their culture, their people, their problems, etc. Then take a look at why the NT authors wrote what they wrote, and why the Holy Spirit inspired them to do so.
The city of Rome was the place to be! The Roman Empire was the most powerful empire in the world at that time and for about 300 years. It is said that a quarter of the entire world’s population either lived in or for the Roman Empire. Rome had all the power, politics, philosophers, entertainment, architecture, culture, technology, sports, etc. So that’s where everyone wanted to live! Rome had ginormous buildings, running water, a sewer system, police, firemen, freedom, etc.
The church at Rome wasn’t planted by Paul, Peter, or any other apostle. It was probably started by many who just got saved at Pentecost (Acts 2) in Jerusalem, and they came back to Rome, shared their faith, gathered, and started house churches. But the church at Rome was filled with Jews and Gentiles who weren’t getting along. They had very different heritages, cultures, etc. There was such a disturbance that many Jews were kicked out of the city in the 40’s AD. In the 50’s, they were allowed back into the city. So they filled the churches back up where the Gentiles were used to doing it on their own. So there was a huge fight for power in the church.
The apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Romans because he kept hearing about the spread of the gospel and churches there. He wanted to meet them, learn from them, talk through the gospel with them, and encourage them. He knew that there were some strong arguments in the churches there between the Jews and the Gentiles so he wrote his letter to prove to them that they are equal brothers in Christ. And Paul wanted to go to Spain, but he knew it would be an expensive journey. With Rome being a very wealthy city, he wanted to raise money there to finance his mission trip to Spain.
What we can learn from Romans is our churches don’t need to fight and argue. Everyone has a tendency to some type of anger because God has created us with a desire to fight sin and Satan…but not each other. Everyone has a tendency to focus on their own identity because God has created us with a desire to grow in the identity of Christ. Everyone has a tendency to be religious like the Jews or rebellious like the Gentiles. The problem is that both of these are focused on rules. The religious are focused on keep the rules and the rebellious are focused on breaking the rules. The problem is that neither of them are focused on Jesus. So in order to bring our churches back to life, we must fight sin, find our identity in Jesus, and focus on Him alone!