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Romans 1 – Not Ashamed

Chester Clark III

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Rome was a complex and progressive society – and the church there faced many of the same temptations and challenges offered us by society today.  Learn insights from Paul’s letter to the Romans about how we can live in our world today – and keep our focus where it belongs.

Presenter

Chester Clark III

Pastor, Evangelist, and Educator

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Recorded

  • July 27, 2013
    11:00 AM
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it's one of my favorite parts of the New Testament book of Romans is probably of all of all the pistols my all-time favorite not because it's brief like so many others you know you can read them in just a few minutes and and have a a blessing from them wrong little more complex and complicated but it's one of my favorites because Romans shows the at Paul's attempt to give a complete picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ Romans is a gospel in itself an epistle in itself for which all Christians can be grateful this morning were going to look at the first part of the first chapter of the book of Romans were going to be thinking about the Rome in which Paul was thinking of others always thinking of the Rome to which he was riding and we begin here in the first few verses Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle separated unto the gospel of God which he had promised up for by his prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning this is what is going to write about concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord which was made of the seed of David according to flash and declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness and by the resurrection from the dead in these two verses Paul basically summarizes the Christian pregnancy because Jesus his son godson was made flesh like our thinking in the likeness of flesh and then he was declared to be the son of God with power he was it was obviously Christ the son of God throughout his life and even more obviously when he came forth from the tomb resurrected by the power of God by whom we received grace apostleship for obedience to the faith among all relations for his name among whom are you also the call of Jesus Christ here Pollock painting about the Romans these imagining what it must be in the city of Rome that cosmopolitan capital of the world of the time you thinking that you know that there are people that are believers in Jesus Christ in the city of Rome in fact he knew that there were probably some people who were in lower Castle society who were believers in Jesus Christ he also heard that they were sung even the household of Caesar who were believers in Jesus Christ energy thinking about them he wants to write them a letter he wants to tell them of his love for them and his love for Jesus and Jesus love for them and as he begins writing I think it's it's it's obvious that he is thinking of them and his great concern for the next two verses he says to all that be in Rome beloved of God called to be saints Grace to you and peace from God our father Lord Jesus Christ's and he begins to say what I wanted to visit you and wrong but I haven't been able to get an assist take a minute to think about what wrong would've been like in the Imperial days I know of none of us have the the have had the opportunity to actually be there then but there's a lot of historical evidence is a lot of this degree that we can look at and try to remind ourselves what wrong was like wrong was a very very powerful cities we know that because of the empires of the end of chapter two that will need of Persia Greece and Rome it would be the last of those empires but it would last longer than a couple of them put together over six hundred years wrong would bear sway over that part of the year is a powerful powerful empire and also an empire that was filled with luxury and empire that was filled with art and culture a very high society might say that it is a an imperial wrong about the time that Paul is writing this and that in the city of Rome there were as many or more statues then there were inhabitants that's how cool how opulent and less it was with artwork and with the with the what what we would consider what they considered the trappings of society now I love history and was anyone here well select history and that a few of you you are quite a few new good because I love history and I probably bore some of you didn't raise your hand sometimes my sermons because I talk quite a bit about history but as it is I think back about wrong what would've been I know it was a grand feeding Austin city back still today when we see the ruins of Rome we see it as a grand and awesome city I had the privilege many times and taking groups mostly student groups on church history tours and often we would stop in Rome and see the remnants of what wrong is our used to be still today still many many items that are beautiful that are fascinating that show the artwork and the culture of the tribe without this being one of them is not only beautiful fountain but it shows us some of the culture of wrong with the with the next that they believed in and that the different things that these statues represent to their culture into their myths and mythology the Romans were also amazing engineers this is just one of the areas where we can point their engineering feat in this would've been the case involved in this was not this was not posted across all times the wrong Bill to these engineering degrees here we see a picture of one of the many many aqueducts that were built to supply wrong with water not just wrong but other cities around the Roman Empire were served by water ducts in order aqueducts in order to carry water across valleys from their sources up in pristine springs to the cities in which you would be on the opposite side of the valley the Romans would build these aqueducts now very impressive architecture not just because they're still standing today two thousand years later not just because of their size and proportions but the impressive because with the perfect form and an perfect balance we can see today they also had perfect drop some of the water flowed across learning if you engineered it wrong you understand you would get to the top and the water would be flowing the wrong direction but the water flow through these aqueducts as masterfully designed channels of water to their this for their prospective destinations I said a few pictures of Roman aqueducts that still our exhibit existing today and inspire us with their beauty and with their impressive formation with their engineering and so these are these things is also thinking of Rome he's realizing there living in this environment he's realizing Christians are living in a very sophisticated very advanced society and living in a place where nothing is impossible where we can do it we can build it we can conceive it an achievement and this is the date the culture that he is writing to here is another instance of Roman engineering and this is the Roman roads many of you know that the Roman roads covered fifty thousand miles by this time in the entire fifty thousand miles of roads networking spider webbing across Rome you heard the expression that all roads lead to Rome it's because they were built by the Romans for the purpose of sending messengers out and sending soldiers out and sending the commerce of the entire out and indeed they were leading to Rome fifty thousands of miles of road this particular picture is none other than the road that Paul would himself walk down these stones make up what we know in the Appian way of the Appian via Appia and the guys that would say in the Italian street signs longest three the old Appian Way there's a new Appian way that looks quite different this is the old Appian Way this is the road that all of the journey down the road fifty thousand miles of Roman roads were carefully leveled valleys were filled in mountains were cut down and antenna in this mini feed of foundation material and put in before the final service of stones would be laid that's why many cases they're still today in intact and the stones are still there and in some way usable noticeably what he says in Romans chapter one verse thirteen now I would not have you ignorant brethren that often times I purposed to come unto you but what led were prevented until now that I may might have some fruit among you also even as among other Gentiles Paul telling the church in Rome what I've been wanting to come and visit you I've been wanting to come and spend some time in the city of Rome I've been wanting to make my journey over to visit you because I want to preach here also he seemed all the great evangelist had spent time in different parts of the Roman Empire in Asia minor he had worked among among the Greeks even worked among the Celtic 's angulation others so he worked among several major language groups of the church and become well-established in but he had not yet had much opportunity to travel in the part of the world we would today call Italy in the Latin world where where the and the Latin language was primarily spoken in you not yet had much opportunity to go there he wanted to be wanted to have some time to visit Rome and to establish further the church that was there and he's thinking about them he's writing them because they are on his mind now if we look at a summary of the life of Paul Wesley but we see here a timeline of the live football land data we come down here to do it all conversion was an eighty thirty three is first missionary journey would've been right here right here about forty six and forty seven his second missionary journey forty nine fifty one his third missionary journey was the longest and fifty two to fifty seven about five years somewhere around the end of that third missionary journey he's probably we believe in Corinth and I'll get to that in just a minute he's writing from Corinth to the church in Rome while still on missionary journey in his plan was simple he was going to finish of his missionary journeys third trip and get back to Jerusalem for one of the feasts as people from all over the world be gathered in Jerusalem he wanted to go there and have an opportunity to share Christ for them is going to go back to prison actress Lindsay intended to go to Rome and to visit the Roman Christians in fact this would happen if we look at a map of all the last missionary journey as well as his trip to Rome we see the red here is where he was traveling on his missionary journey started in Antioch he makes his way across Asia minor becomes over here through Greece and Macedonia and on hearing against Athens and Corinth and on his writing here from Corinth is about to head back and this leaves path as he comes back back to Jerusalem when he didn't realize was that once we got back to Jerusalem he would actually be captured as they will he would be he would be caught up in a what he might say a a religious dispute between the Jews who hated him and the Roman Empire who was obligated to try him and when they went to try them they realized it was a matter of Jewish prejudice against all they would've let them loose but Paul was afraid that if he went to trial there was going to be not get a fair trial to be appealed to Caesar this congregated his life greatly appealing to Caesar for trial meant that he had carried all the way from Jerusalem Oregon captured and carried all the way to Rome where he would stand trial before Nero and then fill in the again albeit in the milling around but not in any way in the manner that he expected to be going he went not as a possible at decrease the gospel even as a prisoner in chains although he was able we've got to find book of acts is able to do a great work even as a prisoner until Paul is here in Corinth he's on his third and last missionary journey and he sees writing to the church all will reenroll worries never been saying that he wants to be there other several indications that we can look at to see that the epistle was written from Corinth he references Gaius whoever we find is in Corinth and paragraphs this who we also find Timothy who was in Corinth was with in his letter Timothy talks about Erastus and he also commends phoebe who he elsewhere describes as rendering special service to the church which at King Cray which is an eastern seaboard of Corinth and so we believe that Paul was writing from Corinth as he is riding the believers in Rome and this is the theme of this first chapter here it really sets the tone for his entire book and this is what he says for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ is the power of God and the salvation to everyone who believes in the Jew first and also to the Greek what is all trying to say he's trying to say what if I have any opportunity I would come in I'm going to visit you there in court I want to preach the gospel in court so much so as it much as it is in the eye ready to preach the gospel to you that it wrong also I'm sure that Paul is realizing that there are challenges in Rome I'm sure that Paul is realizing that there our pressure societal pressures that would discourage a person a Christian from openly confessing his faith in Christ after all Christians were despised in the Roman Empire this was the time in which really anyone connected with the Jews was despised in the Roman Empire the Jews were a problem problem some quarrelsome sex in the Roman view you understand this is only about ten years before Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Roman armies and only about six or seven years before before the first in percentages would come and surround Jerusalem an attempt to destroy it would be completed until seventy eighty by Titus but it was first surrounded and sixty six eighty and it was going to be destroyed why in the Roman emperors character destroyed Jerusalem because Jerusalem and the Jews caused so much trouble the Roman Empire these people were always claiming that they were they had some Messiah that was going to deliver them from the Roman Empire and they were going to be free from this Roman guilt of oppression and they would have these these revolts these coups and try to overthrow the Roman garrison placed in the city of Rome and over and over there were attacks against the Romans there there is a problem there were those ballots if militant zealot the zealots were a class of Roman Jews that will Jesus even invited one of his disciples from a cell of persuasion you know the results were felt sort of like the anti- conformists who known of this they were like determined to overthrow the government and the zealots they would arm themselves in order to if they ever found a Roman soldier by himself unsuspecting they would themselves attacked him and dispatch them because they didn't submit to the Roman oppression so constantly the Jewish nation more than any of the other nation as well as occupying constantly the Jewish nation was getting the attention of Rome and the Romans did not like the Jews so this is a time in which it Christians were closely associated to the Jews that makes sense you can understand why first of all they most of them came out of the Jewish background many Christians that the second reason was a very obvious reason they didn't participate like the Jews they refuse to participate in the pagan ceremonies and Emperor worship that the rest of the pagans around them what do you know when you live in a polytheistic society once worshiping one another not right it didn't matter if you if you are whether you were no whether you were followers of Zeus or or some other God in the Roman period in mind worshiping the Emperor what's one more godly authority many dots right but the Jews and the Christians were monotheists they could worship the emperor they would refuse to worship the emperor and also a right identified Christians were identified with the Jews because of their day of worship and this is very clear when we meet both an Alexandrian history as well as in Roman history the two places where Sabbath keeping was first moved away from by the Christian world in the second third centuries is very clear that it was an effort to distance themselves from the Jewish faith who were being persecuted in fact Alexander during this time this is a little bit off subject understand the Alexandria in the second century century the Jews became so despised that actually they were rounded up by the person every single last year was rounded up their possessions were confiscated and they were driven out of town you can understand what Christians wanted themselves from the Jewish faith right on this is a time in history where was always popular debate we should know today they went we live in what we would consider loosely at least formally a Christian society in the Western world where most people consider themselves Christians many people consider themselves Christians it's easy to be a Christian not so in Rome when Paul is writing this was not an easy time to be a Christian Paul is saying look I am willing I am willing to come and visit you in Rome I've heard of your good faith I pray for you regularly I wanted to come and visit you and what I want to do is I want to show even publicly that I'm one of you and I am willing to come to preach the gospel even in Rome also now I think this is not only Paul's testimony in verse sixteen I think it is also his encouragement I think if this customer yes of course these are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ are not ashamed of the gospel price as Paul writes this Paul the apostle Paul the some of them had already met in other places Paul who is famous in the Christian world and Arnie had Artie gone before him and they arty knew that he was that he was a great brilliant scholar of the Jewish greater than converted by the encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road they had heard of falling in love ball he was a legend no doubt in many any homes of the Christian world but Paul was saying I am not ashamed I am someone who is studying carefully I've been a uneducated update the greatest of the teachers of my day I've been a part of the Sanhedrin I've traveled all over the world and still I'm not ashamed of Jesus I'm not ashamed why it is the power of God to salvation the gospel of Jesus as the power of God to change people 's lives this is one option a powerful burst not only as a testimony of who Paul was and his experience with Jesus but it was also in encouragement don't you think to the people in Rome the people who felt ashamed sometimes we Christians the people who sometimes felt bashful or even afraid to speak out and say something Paul the great apostle thought of them and wrote them and told I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God and the salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Rick Green I'm not ashamed Paul says to be identified with the lowly one who died on a Roman instrument of torture I'm not ashamed of Jesus because Jesus changed my life and Jesus can change yours as well in accepting and identifying with Jesus we can find the power to have salvation now as we look at where Paul is writing this from from Corinth he must've been thinking about his experience perhaps not too long before during his earlier his first missionary journey that the story is that as Paul was in Athens he had met those philosophers on Mars Hill on this is a picture taken from the top of Morrisville actually crossed the city of of Athens today and out if we look back to that story will find it in acts chapter seventeen Allison looked here today and I want to stay just just do try to imagine what Paul is speaking as he now is reflecting and looking back he's writing this from Corinth to the Romans racks chapter sixteen we find that he's actually presented him sorry we find that he's on his missionary journey comes to the and it says in verse sixteen activism the number sixteen while all waited for them at Athens is waiting for Silas and Timothy 's spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry therefore he disputed in the synagogue with the Jews and with the devout persons and in the market daily with those that met with him to hear Polly not just talking to the religious vote the Jews who were monotheists again and happened next in the same moral and theological understandings that he has he's also disputing with those in the market or the unborn this is where people came and met every day visited in the general populace and Paul's going not just the church the seven is going to the marketplace to talk with people and to to reason with them is as inverse eighteen then certain philosophers of Epicureans and the Stoics encountered him and some say what is this bad for saying others said he seems to be a setter for the strange gods because he preaches under them Jesus and the resurrection and so they took him to the Arab propaganda some are still and they said may we know what this new doctrine where Newspeak is and and then Paul stood in verse twenty two posted in the midst of Marzullo thinking and acting notice how Paul uses a very very clever and very very on offensive approach to preaching here myself says then Paul stood he said the men of Athens I perceive that in all things were too superstitious for as I passed by and behold your devotions I found doing I found an altar with this inscription what is a journey unknown God whom therefore knee in early worship he is I'm declaring unto you as clever as it are all these people worship in many many God and he saw the red and the altar just in case they missed some blog somewhere they want to offend somebody had heard on Pennsylvania Milton alter any title it to the unknown God and Paul clawback visa while Scott Meissen the unknown God who you hardly worship that someone until you and so you wanted to make known the true God of heaven to them in fact he begins telling them how God is the creator this unknown God he is the greater of all things greater mankind and he is the one that is the source of life in verse twenty visas for in him we live and move and have our being and then he again appeals to one of their cultural sources one of your poets also said for we are also his offspring for as much of who we are the offspring of God we ought not to think that God has likened the Boulder Silverstone Raven by art and man's hand man's device notices God is not some stick or stone on the source of the sticks and stones right we should worship the creation we should worship the created for he is the source of life is the one who has given us our very being Paul here is using very very wise very clever philosophy to try to meet mine rational thinking with rational thinking philosophy with velocity very interesting what happens here and what is that whatever the outcome of this was the outcome those of me down in verse thirty two and when they heard of the resurrection of the dead some lots another said we will hear you again of this matter so Paul departed from among them howbeit certain enclave unto them believe among which was the ion dialysis they are appetite and a woman named in various and others with them so it we see at least a few people thought of what Paul was they were converted right then there was not a large fruit I guess you might say or a large harvest run his logical rational philosophical sermon he preached on you to criticize it possible I don't think that's that's that's to be found at all but is very very clear insight as to how he thought back on this sermon he preached on Martinsville and act as he moved to the next city the next place we went was core and core member this is where he's writing Romans from when he gets the court he actually makes a very playing he's going to do something a little different here I was to look here look at Corinth look at first Corinthian 's chapter one verse twenty is chapter one I want us to just see what Paul says this is he's reflecting back on his trip from over at Mars Hill in Athens now moving over to the next town on his missionary journey in Corinth I want you to see what he says it's very striking and I believe it's telling that of a change of I guess you might say a change of strategy when he gets to court verse seventeen first amended chapter one verse seventeen for Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the what but recent gospel not with what wisdom of words now that will have wisdom that would cause I know but what is trying to say here is I've been sent to preach the gospel not with wisdom of words in other words not with just saw mysteries of man's reasoning the rationale now there's nothing against using arguments of philosophy or ration rational thinking to prove the existence of God are demonstrated but that will never convert hearts the judge me what I said the wisdom of words may convince my preaching the gospel converts hearts and this is what he says not with wisdom of words less the cross of Christ should be made of what none of you see if we are trying to simply need logical and logic philosophy with philosophy we going until a eight AF point where we can see that Christianity was a troll religion age religion or the true religion all without humbling our hearts our spirits because it's our great minds and privacy of telephone saying and in so doing we actually are in danger of making the cross of Christ of what they say nothing that's what he says none effect for he says the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but I do us which are saved it is the power of salvation verse nineteen forties written I will destroy the wisdom the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent where is the wise words describe where is the dispute or the philosopher the debater of this world has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world and he goes on and he says verse twenty three but we preach Christ crucified under the Jews a stumbling block to the Greeks foolishness but unto them that are called both Jews and Greeks Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God the Paul's writing of Corinthians remember this is this is after he's visited them after responder happens and then over quite and he says in chapter two verse one he says I have five brethren when I team team team not with excellency of speech or of wisdom declaring a new testimony of God but I determined not to know anything among you say Jesus Christ him crucify all set I learned from my experience in is not just about debate is not about convincing ideologically doctrinally ideas we need the power of the cross converter hearts were hardest changed then the rationality in the philosophy philosophical underpinnings and consistency of Christianity will also convince them of the boat we need a heart that is converted and he says in verse three I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling in fact this was so this was so amazing this is amazing thing I do it blows my mind Paul is one of my favorite characters but this fact when Paul says I was with you in weakness and traveling and much feared he came to court so different than he was preaching in Athens that the people and court did not even think he was a good preacher you a greater later on when he's talking to the court system the division between them and some of them were criticizing him because he said they sent him letters are very waiting in powerful but his personal presence of speech is weak and contemptible he writes in thing I've heard those rumors of which are saying about because Paul came not to elevate himself in court he came not that people notice Paul and his sharp philosophical mind is logical his reasoning he wanted Jesus Christ to be scenes of their hearts could be converted note the scary things and hear Prime Minister pastern is a preacher because the danger is that some of the event always a chest required bypass he's a great speaker even temptation as your pastor to it I confess I want you to think immigrants the right and the human nature but all in Corinth Berlin what every minister of the gospel opportunity his goal was not that people would walk away from his sermon saying why Paul is a great preacher he wanted people to walk away not even remembering it with all the preach the same while Jesus is a wonderful see Paul anyway have to be noticed all anyone can be seen any results successful one he attended the new and quite aware that anything is a great speaker Paul because he wanted to open Jesus Christ the cross of Christ he wanted he wanted Jesus to be seen and not so so he says to the Corinthians I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified first for my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God all we need is a church we need the power of the cross of Christ as a family of faith here we need the power of the Christ and him crucified that's what we needed Paul here reflecting in Corinth is thinking of those in Rome and he's writing from that place where he first visited and first in his first missionary journey had experience the reality for cell Cross had greater power to change lives than his logical his reasoning is lots of readers preaching confusing people trusting in Jesus as their savior not in his own words not as a lodging on all arguments and so he is reflecting on that is a rice the Romans any rights to them in his first chapter of Romans listen I'm not writing a letter and if letters about the gospel and the letter is about a gospel that is powerful I see you change why I come back here to Quentin I've seen these people still living in faith of Jesus and I've seen it pagans can be converted the the of the week can become strong I see with my own eyes and he says in Romans chapter one verse sixteen for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God and the salvation to everyone the beliefs the Jew first and also to the great Alonso thanks for the power Jesus urge you I'm so thankful that in him we can have much greater power than just an idea of philosophy it created a set of beliefs and religion we can have greater power than just can be found in human ideas are enticing words of wisdom are great oratory there is a power to change our lives if we will spend time for the cross I'm so thankful for the cross of Jesus I'm so thankful there was an apostle who is willing to be hidden behind that cross as he presented the powerful good news of Jesus Christ the powerful good news of Jesus coming as our Savior living for us dying for us and being resurrected again for us as well and so now in court once again Paul is reminded of the successfulness of his preaching not of his preaching the Jesus saving is reminded that the preaching of the cross was central to his experience in court that change lives as he thinks of the Christians in Rome his heart is drawn to them the obstacle they face are so many and so challenging they are living in a materialistic hedonistic society they are surrounded by cultic pagan religions including the deification of a living emperor of luxury and prosperity abounds on all sides comfort and convenience are filling a city that is hampering its citizens they are part of a despised sect followers of a Jesus who had been crucified with an executed that an untimely death on a Roman cross friends when Paul's writing this you have to understand across was not a positive sign which Christians think of when they think of Jesus their Savior from sin when they see a debate across and Paul's day was a horrifying revolting symbol of the worst of Rome the empire that delighted and torturing those who did not meant to its power it's like the Christians in Rome were living under the shadow of the executioner and their symbol a symbol of their faith in the very electric chair of executioners living is using can you imagine not being ashamed of that being proud of that as Paul's writing to the Romans he's riding the people who were living in a society I would post is not that much different than the ones we live in today the sci-fi family live in today is also materialistic hedonistic society whether we also Christians are not the reality of the world we live in we may not have open pagan religions around this but there's plenty of idolatry is plenty of people worship even living people being worshiped in a in our society we all called worship is what it is isn't it my time through luxury and prosperity abounded every side comfort and convenience is what we what we are entitled to today and yet the followers of Jesus are still called to be I despise sect a call would ride all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution as Paul's writing the Romans he is reminding them that there's something powerful and not just knowing the gospel of Christ experiencing the gospel of Christ but not being ashamed of the gospel of Christ Jesus it said that those who confess me before men I will confess bothered and Paul is giving an example of what it means to not be ashamed of Jesus and not be ashamed of the cross of Christ polls words are part testimony impart instruction I've been to the around the world I've traveled I've seen it all I'm a Roman citizen after all I earned my PhD at the most prestigious the schools I can reason and philosophize in the best of the best on Mars Hill but there's only one thing I conclude that really matters that the contest you has to not be ashamed of him I want to be known as a Christian policy saying I want to be identified with the one who died on that Roman instrument of an execution why because in associating with ourselves with him in identifying ourselves with them we become partakers of the power of the gospel of Jesus in the story is told of a group of Roman soldiers in Armenia you probably heard of this story before but one of my favorite Zen is not that long after the time of Paul just a couple centuries later here about three twenty eight eighty Governor Agricola of Armenia was confronted with mutiny it wasn't a real mutiny that was that was the new he was used to dealing with this was a mutiny that came from a group of soldiers in his Roman detachment that was network Christians these Romans refused to do one simple thing they refused to acknowledge the Emperor as as a God Emperor let license and then they refuse to be part of the sacrifices are being offered to the Emperor forty Christians stood before Governor Kroll and that cold march day and of three hundred and twenty eight and they these saw that they were among some of his bravest soldiers they were among some of his faithful Roman soldiers but the emperors and orders have been clear those who refused to worship the emperor should die so the soldiers refusing to sacrifice were told that they would have to give their lives if they would continue in their insubordination but what about your comrade Agricola asked these men consider you alone of all sealers thousands of troops to fire him think of the disgrace you are bringing upon your region think of others the reply they came back to the governor was this to disgrace the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is more terrible still exasperated the governors threatened to flog them but the soldiers stood firm nothing you can offer us would replace what we would lose the next world as for your threats we disbar as our bodies when the welfare of our souls that state some pairs of guards grabbed sees each man and dragged them out into the cold weather script naked and tied to posts which laid open on their backs and iron hooks for their side still they refused to surrender and so finally I go commanded a Navy strip naked and driven into the middle of a small lake below some last day in Armenia March nine three hundred twenty eight they stood out in the list Lakin at the guards around the lake watched and waited for the end to come they were surprisingly began to hear these Roman Christians were singing Christian song 's Christian and a chant was heard across those frozen waters forty Roman soldiers dying for Christ forty Roman soldiers dying for Christ as the night fell and as the cold became more extreme these naked and barefoot soldiers out on the ice began to suffer immensely and one of them couldn't take it any longer he crawled back to the waiting fires on the shore renounced his faith in Jesus and his willingness announced his willingness to sacrifice their across that cold Lake on the one now we are voices continued care only now they were saying thirty nine soldiers dying for Christ thirty nine soldiers dying for Christ it was too much for one of the guards for their he stripped off his clothes told the governor I'm in and I is a Christian to any made his way across that ice where he joined those brave souls and once again the chant was her forty soldiers dying for Christ no we don't live in the world Paul Daley live in a world where we can with freedom announced send confessedly doing are we willing to say what the apostle Paul I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ what is the power of God salvation army confessing him in our daily lives let's pray father in heaven the world we live in today is much different than that of Rome but in some ways still the same you're still looking for men and women boys and girls who are willing to stand up and be counted men and women boys and girls who have seen the power of Jesus to change lot and experience to identify the insults with that cross more today I just want to pray that as we've taken just as brief look at the first few verses of this wonderfulness that we might join the apostle Paul saying we are not ashamed count us in letters acceptable in society to preach the gospel as it is in Jesus are not what is acceptable in society to call sin by its right name is he will do in the next few verses are not whether it's popular couple of Jesus instead of ourselves what we want we want to join Paul and confess Jesus today we want to be among those who are not ashamed of the gospel but you confess you I confess him before the world more today I just want to pray for our hearts I don't know the hearts those scattered here listening but you do you know the struggles each one faces another challenge is to make a full surrender to Jesus I just want to pray that you will give them a taste of that power right now they might be able to confess you and then I keep it secret Lord not try to keep their experience of your power and your grace to themselves but to tell others so that others too can be transformed by your love by your grace or least we become to you today as your family here in Dalton we want to be instruments of your gray centerpiece our world in the coming week we recognize that we need your help so I does ask that you will send us forth ambassadors in this world representatives of our wonderful Savior uplifting him in his name and his cross and others might be drawn to him throughout our to our mind this is a ingrained in this media was brought audio nurse a website dedicated to spreading God 's word through reading sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe is like the more certain in the visit www. .com universe .org

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