Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
April 6, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<022> Thesis: Getting "spiritually" involved in God's program means making specific decisions about where the priority on serving God will be set. Introduction: In our study last week we looked into Paul's "first" effort beyond his introduction of himself to the Roman believers. This effort was to explain to the Roman believers how he viewed God and how he viewed the Roman believers themselves. He viewed God as One Whose grace towards him included His use of the Roman church to fulfill what He required of Paul. And he viewed the Roman church as co-laborers together with him. He expressed these attitudes in order to facilitate a willingness on the Roman believers' part to give him a hearing as he wrote to them his "Gospel of God". This evening we are going to move further into this effort by Paul to acquire a willing hearing from them. As an apostle, he knew that his message was absolute Truth and that any level of scepticism toward it would be deadly for those who became sceptical. But, as a realist in the world of the first century, he also knew that the Roman believers were not strangers to the reality that anyone can claim that their message is absolute truth. The claim does not create the reality. So, on the one hand, he had an absolutely truthful, life-giving message, and, on the other hand, he had an audience that needed to be able to believe that message. Thus, he approached the issue by two methods: he thanked God for grace already given; and, he called upon God to be his witness as a truth-teller. This evening we are going to look into this business of God's "witness" to the apostle's validity.