Book of Romans, Sermon Starters — Week 1
Evangelistic Preaching Helps for Proper 4 (not observed in 2017)
Evangelistic Preaching Tips
Key Questions: How would you use these texts to revive and renew existing church members? What texts would you use when preaching to pre-Christians and de-churched (church dropouts, inactive church members) people?
Romans Preaching Sermon Series Notes
Reading: Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-28, (29-31) [An Evangelistic Approach]
Romans 1:17: For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith."
- Would you consider yourself righteous? Explore the futility of a "works righteousness" approach to life. How much is enough for one to be considered righteous? Compare that to the righteousness available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23-24: Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
- Not Quite Enough — Explode the fallacy of being a "good person" without God. Highlight grace as God's free gift to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.
Reading: Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-28, (29-31) [A Renewal Approach]
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
- Don't Blush -- Explore the virtues of living publicly and privately under the power of God's salvation.
- Undercover Christians? When others observe our lives, how will they know we're Christians? [Have we gone undercover because we're ashamed of the gospel?]
- Got Faith? The "Got Milk?" ads showed evidence that a person had just drunk milk. What evidence do we have that demonstrates that we have faith?
Evangelistic Preaching Points
- Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, yet many people believe that salvation can be "earned" through good deeds. Address this fallacy. Consider sharing a brief recap of Wesley's conversion experience on Aldersgate Street.
- Expound on the transformation that must occur within people who live by faith in Jesus Christ. What habits, beliefs, and behaviors change when people live by faith?
- The non-Christian population does not respond to the rhetoric of faith. They respond to the action of faith. How do individuals and your collective congregation effectively "walk your talk"?
Provide Opportunities for Faith Response
- Provide an opportunity for people to explore what it means to live by faith through a small group experience, such as a Covenant Disciple group. (Please see the Covenant Discipleship website at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/covenant-discipleship.)
- Consider starting a sermon-based small group. A sermon-based small group is a lecture/lab small-group model that takes the sermon and digs deeper into its main points and application.
- Invite people into a short-term mission ministry. Consider practical ways in which your church can put faith into action within your church constituency and community.
Provide Opportunities for Follow Up
- Encourage those who participate in the short-term mission ministry to pray about and discern future short-term mission ministries in which they would be willing to participate.
- Mobilize ongoing one-time opportunities to share faith in everyday situations. Read and try ideas suggested in resources such as Irresistible Evangelism and Becoming a Contagious Christian.
- Covenant Discipleship
- The Foundation for Evangelism
- World Methodist Evangelism
- Free download in pdf format: The Faith-Sharing Initiative Participant's Manual
Helpful Print Resources
- Accountable Discipleship by Steven W. Manskar
- Irresistible Evangelism by Steve Sjogren, et. al.
- Becoming a Contagious Christian by Mark Mittelberg
Resources for Romans
- The New Interpreter's Bible A Commentary in Twelve Volumes: Volume IX — Acts, Introduction to Epistolary Literature, Romans, 1 Corinthians. Abingdon Press.
- The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today) by John R. W. Stott
- Romans: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries by F. F. Bruce
- Romans: A Shorter Commentary [ABRIDGED] by C. E. B. Cranfield
Follow Up Resource Available in pdf
Small Groups & Accountability: The Wesleyan Way of Christian Formation, by Steven W. Manskar, Director of Accountable Discipleship, Discipleship Ministries
General Evangelism Resources
- Ancient Future Evangelism by Robert Webber
Webber explains Pentecost as the traditional time to declare one's Christian vocation.
- The Faith-Sharing Congregation by Roger Swanson and Shirley Clement
- Faith-Sharing: Dynamic Christian Witnessing by Invitation by H. Eddie Fox and George Morris
- The Faith-Sharing initiative Participants' Manual (Spanish Version) — El compromiso de compartir nuestra fe: Manual del Participante (pdf)
- The Faith Sharing New Testament
- That the World May Know Jesus Christ! by Brazilian Methodist Bishop Paulo Lockmann
- Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith by Henry H. Knight III and Douglas Powe Jr.
- Witness: Learning to Share Your Christian Faith by Ron Crandall