The 3 “I ams” of Paul
Mikey Warren, Director of High School
October 29, 2014
Romans 1:14-15 – “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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’s first “I am” statement comes from a deep conviction that he was in debt, not just to Rome, but to the world. Paul was not in debt in the sense that he borrowed something that needed to be repaid. He was in debt in the sense that he had been entrusted with Good News and was under obligation to deliver that Good News to whom that Good News was intended for… both Greeks and barbarians, both wise and foolish, both short and tall, both 93308ers and 93312ers, both Baby Boomers and Millennials… “everyone” is what Paul is getting at here.
Paul’s second “I am” statement comes out of eagerness. Not only is he under obligation to share the Gospel, but he is eager to do so. Eager because he understands that “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and the “wages of sin is death” and that “by NO works of the law will anyone be made right with God”. The good news of the Gospel is GRACE (unmerited favor), which God has lavished upon us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul was not only under obligation to share this good news but eager to do so.
Paul’s final “I am” statement is confusing for some. “Why would anyone be “ashamed” of the gospel?” Whenever the gospel is preached faithfully and clearly, it arouses opposition. Why? Because it undermines self-righteousness and challenges self-indulgence. And this often arouses opposition, creates animosity, persecution, and ridicule. But Paul is “unashamed of the Gospel!” How can we be so confident in the gospel as Paul was? By experiencing the Gospel! Romans chapter three tells us that by grace through faith in Jesus Christ we are JUSTIFIED, REDEEMED, and ATONED for. This news was too compelling, too life changing, and too wonderful for Paul to be ashamed of.
In Christ you are justified, redeemed, and atoned for…This is what fuels our worship, our praise, our service, and our love. This is what fueled Paul’s three “I am” statements in Romans 1:14-16. My hope and prayer is that as you rest in the Gospel, Paul’s three “I ams” would be yours as well.