Our Young Adult Pastor, Adina Olson, brought a powerful Word from Romans 1 this week about not being ashamed of the gospel. We know the world is becoming more and more lawless, but as biblical Christians we believe in one true God above all other gods and that every knee will bow to Him. This is our hope in a dark world, and we want to unashamedly share the Good News of Jesus to those around us!

J. I. Packer: “All roads in the Bible lead to Romans, and all views afforded by the Bible are seen most clearly from Romans, and when the message of Romans gets into a person’s heart there is no telling what may happen.”


Martin Luther: “This epistle [Romans] is really the chief part of the New Testament and is truly the purest gospel. It is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but also that he should occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. We can never read it or ponder over it too much; for the more we deal with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.”


The Good News is that God will forgive sins.
• Deliver from sin’s power.
• Give eternal hope (1:16; cf. 1 Cor. 15:1–4).
• Comes as a gracious offer that leads to love-based obedience (10:16).

Romans 1:2 (ESV)
2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

Jeremiah 31:31–34 (ESV)
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Romans 1:7 (ESV)
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

APOSTLE CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church (true, biblical, orthodox Christians), the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV):
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Apology Tertullian writes: “If the Tiber floods the city, or if the Nile refuses to rise, or if the sky withholds its rain, if there is an earthquake, a famine, a pandemic, at once the cry is raised: ‘Christians to the lion.”

Romans 1: 8-15 ESV
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

1. Persecutions and Trials: During times of persecution, Christians were often pressured to renounce their faith, worship the Roman gods, or acknowledge the emperor’s divinity. Those who resisted such demands and remained faithful to Christ were referred to as Confessors.

2. Ecclesiastical Recognition: The Christian community, acknowledging the courage and fidelity of these individuals, began to honor them with the title Confessor. This recognition could include special prayers, commemoration in liturgical practices, and a certain level of esteem within the Christian community.

3. Theological Significance: The term Confessor also carried theological weight, emphasizing the importance of confessing one’s faith in Christ even in the face of persecution. Confessors were seen as witnesses to the Christian faith and models of steadfastness in the midst of trials.

Romans 1: 11-12 ESV
11 -12 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

2 Peter 1: 3-4
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

TOP 5 ISSUES WE ARE FACING IN AMERICA:
Economic concerns, such as inflation, affordability of health care, and the budget deficit, to drug addiction, gun violence, and violent crime.

TOP 7 FEELINGS OR ISSUES WE FACE IN AMERICA:
Fear
: A pervasive sense of fear, whether due to economic instability, political unrest, or public health concerns, can lead to social tension and division.
Anger: Widespread anger, whether directed at institutions, social inequality, or perceived injustices, can fuel unrest and hinder constructive dialogue.
Anxiety: Societal anxiety, arising from factors like economic uncertainty, environmental concerns, or public health crises, can negatively impact mental well-being on a large scale.
Isolation: Increased social isolation, exacerbated by factors such as technology, urbanization, or societal changes, can contribute to feelings of loneliness and disconnection.
Distrust: A lack of trust in institutions, governments, or fellow citizens can erode the social fabric and hinder cooperation and progress.
Despair: Pervasive feelings of hopelessness or despair, often stemming from systemic issues like poverty, inequality, or discrimination, can lead to a sense of resignation and apathy.
Division: Societal division, whether along political, cultural, or ideological lines, can create an environment of polarization, making it challenging to find common ground and work towards shared goals.

Romans 1: 13b-15 NLT
I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. 14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world,[c] to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.

Romans 1: 16-17 ESV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[a] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[b]
o We have not been given a personal truth of the Gospel to keep to ourselves, we have been a universal truth to share with this region.

2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Augustine of Hippo: “The earth has been filled with the blood of the martyrs as with seed, and from that seed have sprung the crops of the church. They have asserted Christ’s cause more effectively when dead than when they were alive. They assert it today, they preach him today; their tongues are silent, and their deeds echo around the world. They were arrested, bound, imprisoned, brought to trial, tortured, burned at the stake, stoned to death, run through, and fed to wild beasts. In all their kinds of death they were jeered at as worthless, but ‘precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints’”

Romans 1: 17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[a] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.

1 Corinthian 3:6
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.


Discussion Questions:

  1. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. What are some of your spiritual gifts and how can you use them to move God’s kingdom forward?
  2. As lawlessness grows in our society, what are ways you can remain hopeful for what God is doing around you? Was there anything in the sermon that encouraged you in this area?
  3. Adina shared that, “we have not been given a personal truth for the Gospel to keep to ourselves, we have been given a universal truth to share with this region.” Who is in your sphere of influence that you can share Jesus with?
  4. Are there ways you are afraid to share the Gospel with others? How would living unashamed of the Gospel, change the way you live?

Application Questions:

  1. The Lord is not done working in our hearts, our lives, our region, or our country. God wants to use you! Is there any fear holding you back from sharing the Gospel or using your gifts to move God’s kingdom forward? Sit with the Lord this week and ask him to show you any fear in this area, and free you. If you need support, reach out to someone in your Life Group for prayer.


Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am