Exodus 36

Exodus to Romans: From How to Get Out to How to Get In!

Chapter 40 of Exodus begins with the setting up of the Tabernacle with everything done according to God’s pattern. This is almost like a checklist for a pilot about to take off. Moses carefully repeats everything the Lord tells him to do- almost like the co-pilot does with the pilot.

So let us go through this check list remembering what each component of this earthly tent in the wilderness represents in our lives. Let us go through our check list from the gate to the bronze altar, by the bronze laver filled with water, into the Holy Place where the light of the Lampstand reveals the table of showbread and fellowship and the golden altar where the incense of our prayers come up to heaven to behind the veil to the very throne room of

First: did you enter through the gate? John 10 , Jesus says: ‘I am the gate, anyone who enters through me will be saved.’ In John 14, He reminds us: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by me.’ Have you entered through the Gate? Check.

Second: Did you place your sins on the Lamb of God who was slain at the altar of Golgotha? For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. “..when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Exodus 12. Are you covered by the blood of the Lamb? Check.

Third: Have you confessed and forsaken your sin? “ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ( I John 1) “ Unless I wash you, you have no part of me.: ( Jesus speaking, John 13) Have you stopped at the bronze laver to cleanse yourself? Check.

Fourth: Are you walking in the light? “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son purifies us from all sin.”(I John 1) Check.

Fifth: Are you enjoying the bread of fellowship? “ And our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. ( I John 1) Check.

Sixth: Are you faithful to watch and pray? Check.

Seventh: Then now you can enter the throne room of heaven with confidence ( boldness) where you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4) Are you experiencing God? Do you believe He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do? Do you believe you are who He says you are and can do what He says you can do? Is His Word alive and active in your life? Check.

Then Glory will come down and fill the tabernacle, this earthly tent known as your body. Jesus said He and His Father would come and abide with us. ( John 15)

And surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Check.

Exodus shows us how to get out of captivity. Romans shows us how to get into to the Promised
Land. It shows us how to live life in the power of the Holy Spirit. To be victorious, to be

Are you tired of all the wrong things in – your life, the lives of loved ones, this country, our
government, our society, our churches and our world in general?

Do you feel like you are trapped in Wal-Mart and forever trying to navigate Vann Drive?

Do you feel like the Israelites in the wilderness who having been delivered from what held you
captive, you are now beginning to wonder is there not more to life than this wandering around
in the wilderness?

Romans is the most systematic presentation of doctrine in the Bible. It is not only the key to
understanding the Bible, it is the key to understanding the secret of the successful Christian life.
A life, by the way, that Watchman Nee referred to as ‘ the normal Christian life.’

Paul will show us in Romans 1-3- all have sinned. In Romans 4 we discover the truth of
justification by faith. In Romans 5, we explore the benefit of justification by faith which is peace
with God. In Romans 6, Paul emphasizes we have freedom from sin’s rule. In Romans 7, we will
learn we have freedom from the law. And in Romans 8, we find what we are all looking for- life
in the power of the Holy Spirit. And much, much more for we will have only reached the half-
way point.

So buckle your seat belt. Stow away your carry-ons. Put your chair in an upright, locked
position, we are ready for take off. Today my goal is to get us to Romans 1: 17 in this part of
our flight. For there we will find the theme of this remarkable letter.

The letter is written by Paul in the year 56 A.D. to the church in Rome. The letter was carried to
the church in Rome by one of the ‘deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, Sister Phebe.( Romans
16) Paul’s desire is to visit the Christians in Rome. As the apostle to the Gentiles, he knows
Rome is the center of the Gentile world and all roads lead to Rome.
My prayer for all of us as we study this remarkable letter, is that it will transform us like nothing
we have ever studied before. It transformed Martin Luther to lead the reformation. It changed
the lives of John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards and many, many saints through the ages. It has the
power to revive us as individuals and as church bodies. It can transform our homes our places
of work and our city and our country. With this message, Paul and a handful of men turned the
world upside down 2000 years ago. This view was stated by the enemies of Paul.

Since that time, I fear the world has returned to its natural state and needs to be turned upside
down again, which in God’s view is right side up.

One thing you will notice about Paul’s writing style- he likes long sentences. His first
introductory sentence in this letter covers the first four verses.

He introduces himself: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. The term he used there was the word
used for slave. In the Roman Empire at Paul’s time there was an estimated six million slaves.
Paul then continues to further identify himself as one called to be an apostle. An apostle is
one sent by authority with a commission. A representative of a higher authority. In the New
Testament, an apostle was one who had seen the risen Christ and was called out by Him. This
occurred in Paul’s life on the road to Damascus.(Acts 9)

Still identifying himself, Paul states he was set aside or separated for the Gospel of God.
Gospel literally means- good news. Why does Paul refer to it as the Gospel of God? Because it
originated with God and was not invented by man. The Good News is the message that Christ
died for our sins, was buried, and rose again and now is able to save all who trust Him. ( I Cor.

Paul makes a side statement to describe the Gospel as not a new message, but one that was
promised in the Old Testament , beginning in Genesis 3:15 and through the Prophets. Paul
then emphasizes the Gospel and all Holy Scriptures are about God’s son, the Lord Jesus, a
descendant in his human nature from the house of David.

Then Paul describes himself in terms of what his chief ministry is: to call people from among all
the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. Paul was the missionary to the Gentiles.

So in this way, Paul opens the letter with an introduction of himself and presents his
credentials. Now Paul will begin the purpose of his letter. Starting with thanks to God for all
of them for their faith in Christ is being reported in all of the world. Rome was a city of over a
million people. It was a wicked city referred to by others as a ‘cesspool.’ Nero was the emperor
at this time and was ingratiating himself to the people with grand festivals and gladiator
spectacles. Homosexuality and sexual immorality was rampant. Sound familiar. Millions of
people every Sunday watch NFL football games in person in packed stadiums, and on television
with the ability to watch multiple games.

A historical word about the Roman Empire at this time in history: the first two centuries of
Roman rule are referred to as the ‘ Pax Romana’- meaning the peace of Rome. The Roman
Empire maintained peace throughout its empire by sheer, brutal force. Large armies could
mobilize quickly to quell any uprising or rebellion. The rebels who dared to challenge Roman
authority were crucified and left for days on crosses along roadsides leading into a region
as a warning to those who would question Roman authority. Thus the Roman Empire had
constructed and maintained a highway system paved with stone to reach any point in its
empire. It was these very roads that would enable the Gospel to be spread so quickly in the
early days of Christendom. Paul would travel an estimated 20,000 miles on these government
roads and shipping lanes.

Now watch how Paul links himself to the Roman Christians and we will see how we can forge a
link with other Christians and become a force in the world and our culture around us.

First Paul forged a link with these Christians by being thankful for them. Are you thankful for
other Christians? Especially those who are in places of danger or great darkness?

Second Paul forges the connection with prayer for them. Praying for one another is a powerful
connector. Praying for one another leads to another powerful connection –loving one another.
Paul’s love for these Roman Christians is evident in verse 11, where he states; “ I long to see
you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to make you strong – that is that you and
I might be mutually encouraged.” Paul wanted to come to teach the Word of God. Paul loved
to teach the Word of God. Paul says he wants to strengthen their faith, but Paul also knows
he will be encouraged also. When one studies to teach, it is different from just studying for
knowledge and insight. And what the teacher wants to do is cause the learner to learn. When
they get it- and when they respond, the teacher is encouraged as is the student. In this way-
teacher and student minister to each other.

Paul also was linked to these people because he was indebted to them. What does Paul mean?
What does he owe them? Paul had an obligation, an IOU to minister to the Gentiles in Rome.
Since he was called by the Lord Jesus to be the missionary to the Gentiles, Rome was the center
of the Gentile World. He was eager to get there. Are you eager to hear the Word of God? Are
you eager to tell anyone about God and His Son the Lord Jesus? Are you eager to carry out the
Great Commission?

Now let us consider this next statement by Paul: “ I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because
it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then the
Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith,
from first to last, just as it is written: the just shall live by faith.” ( Romans 1: 16,17)

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel- socially, morally and intellectually.

Socially, Paul was not ashamed to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any social setting. Can
you say the same? Have you ever been in a social setting where someone says something that
you know is not true, based on Scripture and kept your mouth shut, because you did not want
to be ridiculed or viewed as a fanatic?

Paul was not ashamed of it morally. In the culture of if it feels good, do it- which was just as
present in Paul’s day as it is today, Paul was not ashamed to shed the light of the Gospel into
places of darkness. He was not afraid to call sin-sin.

Paul was not ashamed of it intellectually. If Paul was here today, he would not be ashamed
to debate with the intellectual agnostic who claims the Biblical creation account of the world
is scientifically impossible. Nor would he feel intimidated that he was a backwards person
who believed in a supernatural, all powerful God who created the heavens and the earth and
everything on it, in it and above it. And Paul knew without any doubt, that Christ had risen from
the grave, despite what the world of science and medicine would say.

Paul would not alter his convictions to adapt to social whims. He would not change the Gospel
and the truth contained within, for the Cross of Jesus still remains the price for sin that sets us

Paul tells us why he is not ashamed of the Gospel and why we should not be also. “ For it is the
power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.” The Word of God is alive and powerful.
It is life giving, life changing and life sustaining. The Gospel is a specific truth by which all men
who believe are saved. This Gospel was ‘not something man made up. I did not receive it from
any man, ( Paul writes in Galatians 1), nor was I taught it, rather, I received it by revelation from
Jesus Christ.”

Paul gives us the specifics in I Corinthians 15: “ By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly
to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received,
I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins, according to the
Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that He appeared to Peter and then to the twelve. After that, He appeared to more than
five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of who are still living. Then He appeared to
James then to all the apostles and last of all He appeared to me, as to one abnormally born.”

This specific truth is the instrument used by God to save lives. Notice it is an ‘ equal opportunity
plan of salvation to all – everyone who believes.

This is why satan is so against the Word of God. Why he does not want it in the market place,
the school house, the home or the culture. Satan understands the power of the Word of God.
The Gospel is the Power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. He wants to snatch
the word before it germinates, he wants to crowd it out of the heart before it takes root. In his
boldness, the enemy of God ‘s word has called God’s word a lie and in effect called God a liar.

It is the power to save the lost.

Salvation is the theme of this letter; it is in fact the theme of the Bible.

Salvation I is the greatest need of mankind.

This next verse is the key verse of Romans. “ For in the Gospel, a righteousness from God is
revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last as it is written: the just shall live by

Copyright © 2010 Linda Benthal
Last modified: 08/12/14