Romans 1:14-17 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. 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, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
Please note the three “I am”s that are in these four verses. We each need to say with Paul each of these “I am”s. Let’s look at what each one means. Romans 1:14 “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” Obligation has the sense of being indebted to someone who has done something for us. Jesus did something for us absolutely no one else could do and went through the pain of physical death to do it. Jesus died on the cross for our sins to pay the penalty for our sins, a penalty we could not pay. Jesus did this because He loved us (Romans 5:8). We are obligated by love, as Paul was, to live for Him and to take up His purpose to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Paul tells us of his love obligation in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Are you obligated by the love of Christ to seek and save the lost? Don’t go by what you think in answering this question, but go by what you do.
The second “I am” is given us in Romans 1:15, “So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” Paul’s obligation, born of love for Christ, made him eager to preach or share the gospel with all the people of Rome. His obligation did not make him grudgingly go about Christ’s desire as so many obligated people go about what they are obligated to do. Are you eager to share the gospel with all in your city, at your place of work, in your neighborhood and family? Or are you grudgingly sharing the gospel with each in your sphere of influence. Missed opportunities don’t happen with people eager to do something, but rather eager people make opportunities to do what they are eager to do. Let the frequency of “missed opportunities” verses “made opportunities” make the call on how eager you are to share the gospel.
The third “I am” is confessed by Paul in Romans 1:16, “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.” Paul knew the gospel had the power to change peoples’ lives for the better now, to save them from eternal torment when they die, and to save them for eternal life. Knowing the power of the gospel is essential for being willing to share the gospel with people who desperately need salvation from sin’s power and penalty. Have you experienced the power of the gospel in your life by living obedient to the Word of God by faith in the Son of God? People who have experienced the power of the gospel in their lives are the ones sharing the gospel with others. We experience the power of the gospel by reading in the Bible how we are to think and live and then thinking and living God’s way by attempting to obey God expecting Him to fulfill our attempt by His power. Ask the Lord Jesus to help you say with Paul as recorded in Romans 1:14-16, “I am obligated…I am eager…I am not ashamed.” We ask in faith to have God’s will done in our lives and trust He will answer our prayer (1 John 5:14-15). We act in faith trusting God to fulfill our act of faith with His power (2 Thessalonians 1:11). “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).