BURDENED FOR A LOST PEOPLE
Intro: We have arrived, in our study of the book of
Romans, to a passage that is ignored and
misunderstood by many great commentators and
preachers of the Gospel. The next three chapters form
something of a parenthesis between chapters 8 and
13. Many Bible scholars feel that this passage had no
relevance to the church at all. However, as we shall
see from going through these verses, there are truths
that must be understood. Up until this point, Paul has
been about the task of proving that salvation is a
sovereign work of God brought about through grace by
faith. He has been telling his readers that men are
saved by trusting the finished work of Christ on Calvary,
apart from any rituals or works. Any Jew reading
Romans, up to this point, might get the idea that
salvation by faith was for Gentiles only. He might come
to the conclusion that there was no hope for those who
were the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, Paul
pauses in his teaching to let all of his readers know that
God wasn't finished with the Jew! They still figured
prominently in God's plan for the future. As we move
through the next three chapters, we will see that they
have a lot to say to the Jews. But, there is also some
meat for the church as well.
In these opening verses of chapter 9, Paul reveals
his heart for his people the Jews. In doing so, he
teaches us a lesson about the kind of heart we should
have for the lost around us tonight. I would like to
preach for a while this evening on this thought:
Burdened For A Lost People.
I. V. 1-3 A MANIFEST OBLIGATION
(Ill. These first three verses really expose Paul's
heart for those who are lost in Israel. For eight
chapters, Paul has been revealing truth that is
thrilling to anyone who is saved by grace, but truth
which is devastating to the unbeliever, especially to
the unbelieving Jew. Because he had been the
recipient of such great amounts of truth, he felt an
obligation to reach out to those who did not know
the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Notice the
burden on Paul's heart as he lays it bear in these
A. V. 1 Paul's Honesty - All lost people, but
especially the Jew, have looked with distrust and
doubt at the message of the cross. Paul has
shared a lot of truth. Truth that if taken literally
proved that outside of a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ there was no hope of salvation.
Some people, hearing the message of Paul, may
have been tempted to think that Paul was lying.
After such a scalding condemnation of Judaism,
some Jews may have felt that they were utter
outcast, hopelessly written off by God forever.
Yet, Paul wants these people to know that he
has a heart for them. He wants them too see
that he is sincere about what he is saying and
that he really does care. That is why he calls the
Lord, the Holy Spirit and his own heart to testify
to his honesty. Paul wants them to know that his
message is absolutely true!
(Ill. It is vital that believers operate from an
honest heart! This world must know that we love
them and that we are concerned about them.
John warned us about a false love. He told us
that true love manifests itself in action on behalf
of others, 1 John 3:18. We must give them no
reason to mistrust us or the Gospel massage we
preach. We must never be guilty of saying
anything that is untrue or hypocritical to those
outside of the family of God. We may be the
only hope they will ever have of coming to
B. V. 2 Paul's Heaviness - Paul now tells his
readers that his life is paralyzed by constant
grief. The words used here refer to those who
are overcome by mourning. If you have ever
seen people from the Middle East mourn, you
know that they are very vocal about their grief.
To listen to them wail it almost makes you feel
as though they think they are being ripped apart.
Paul wants his readers to know that he is
operating under a heavy burden for the lost!
Like a mother who has lost a child, Paul's heart
is broken over the condition of the lost sinner.
He lives under the constant burden of the reality
that they are headed to Hell. The fact that they
are perishing lies on his shoulders like a weigh
that is nearly impossible to carry.
(Ill. Did you know that this is the kind of burden
that we should all be under for the sinner
tonight? We are surrounded by millions of
people who are headed to Hell and often the
church acts like she does not care. We live our
lives and attend our worship services and never
give them a second thought! When is the last
time you were burdened to pray for a lost sinner?
When was the last time God woke you up in the
middle of the night so that you could seek His
face for a person who was lost in sin? When
was the last time that it moved you to think that
men were going to Hell?
Sadly, most of us simply aren't affected by
the condition of the lost sinner. We are sorry
that he is lost, but not sorry enough to pray for
him and tell him about Jesus! Before we leave
here tonight, everyone of us ought to confess
our cold, callous attitude to the Lord and ask Him
to kindle a fire in us that will burn for the
perishing! Are you willing to do that? If so, God
will surely bless it!)
C. V. 3 Paul's Hunger - Here in this verse, Paul
makes a statement that is astounding! He says
that if it were possible, he would allow himself to
be separated from God and sentenced to Hell if
it would save the lost Jews! That is an amazing
statement! Friend, Paul isn't joking! He meant
that thing! He knew it was an impossibility. He
knew that he was eternally secure in the Lord
Jesus, but he was willing in his heart to go to hell
that others might be saved. What a burden must
have gripped this man's heart!
(Ill. I wonder if we have ever been to the place
where we would be willing to pray a similar
prayer? I wonder if we are burdened enough for
the lost sinner that we would pray for the Lord to
save them regardless of what it took to do it.
Could we say, "Father, if it means that I must
be stricken, or even if I must die, save them
from Hell!"? When our burden grows to the
place that it consumes us with its weight, we will
pray that kind of prayer. When we get that
serious, we will see the Lord speak to hearts!)
(Ill. I remember reading of a woman who became
burdened for her drunken, abusive husband.
She loved God, but he would not listen to the
Gospel! He was a vile man and had no use for
the church or for God. One time, there was a
revival in the church where his wife attended and
she invited the evangelist for dinner. When she
set the table for the meal, she only set two
plates, one for her husband and the other for
their visitor. She did not set a plate for herself.
When her husband brought this to her attention,
she replied, "I am too burdened to eat. How can
I eat when I know that any breath might be your
last and that if you die you will go to Hell." She
said, "I shall not eat any more food until the day
you come to Christ as your Savior, but I shall
pray for you and for your soul." He responded by
laughing at here and telling her that he would
never be saved! It wasn't many days until the
husband became broken over his sins and came
to know Jesus as His personal Savior.)
(Ill. By the way, we are under the same
obligation that occupied the mind of the Apostle!
There is a lost world all around us and we must
get under a burden for their lost souls!)
I. A Manifest Obligation
II. V. 4-5b A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
A. V. 4-5a God's Gifts To Israel - Israel had been
the partakers of many gifts from God. That had
been given truth and revelation. They were in a
special covenant relationship with Him and were
considered to be His people. All of the Old
Testament prophets and prophesies were given
to them. All of the promises concerning the
Messiah and the coming kingdom were given to
them. The people of Israel had been given more
light than any people group in their world. Yet,
they became so bogged down in the letter of the
Law and the religious rituals that they missed
their Messiah when He came!
B. V. 5b God's Grace To Israel - When Messiah
did come, He was born from among them as one
of their own. No other people had ever had such
a privilege! God became a man and was born
among the Jewish people, yet when He
manifested Himself to them, they refused to
have Him rule over them, John 1:11, Luke
19:14; John 19:15. To come to that place, they
had to ignore every prophecy concerning Him.
They had to disregard every miracle and every
proof that Jesus was the Messiah. How did they
do away with Lazarus? What did they do with
Zacchaeus? How did they keep Bartimaeus or
the Gadarene Demoniac quiet? How did they
silence the 5,000 who were fed by Him? What
did they do to the 500 who saw Him after He had
risen from the dead? Do you see that they had
to climb over many high hurdles to get passed
Jesus? What they did was sin away their
season of grace!
(Ill. I have always said this , and I still believe it
today, I would rather go to Hell from anywhere
on this planet than to do so from the pew of a
Bible believing, fundamental Baptist church! To
sin against such light will surely require a great
(Ill. My friends, what have you done with the light
you have been given? Have you responded to
it by embracing Jesus and His salvation? Or,
have you turned a deaf ear to the pleading of the
Holy Spirit? Don't let your life be one that is
summed up as a missed opportunity!)
I. A Manifest Obligation
II. A Missed Opportunity
III. V. 5c A MAGNIFICENT OBSERVATION
(Ill. Paul ends this section with a doxology of sorts.
He reminds his readers that this Jesus he is
preaching is no ordinary man. He is no poor fool
who didn't know when to keep His mouth shut and
got Himself nailed to a cross. He closes this section
by reminding us Who Jesus is! May we never forget
this great Lord we serve and love! Note Paul's
A. Concerning The Person Of Jesus - Paul calls
Him "Christ". This is a word that means
"Anointed". Paul is simply reminding us that
Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament
prophecies concerning the Messiah. He is the
One God the Father promised to send. He is the
One Who came to take away the sins of the
world, John 1:29. He is worthy of our faith, our
love and our worship. He is the Christ! He is
Lord and He is Saviour! May we never forget to
love Him and honor Him as such!
B. Concerning The Power Of Jesus - Paul says
that He is "over all". We must remember that
Jesus is the agent of creation, John 1:3. We
must remember that He possesses "all power in
heaven and in earth.", Matt. 28:18. We must
remember that He is "King of Kings and Lord
of Lords.", Rev. 19:16. We must remember that
Jesus is the One Who holds all things together,
Heb. 1:3. Since He has that kind of awesome
power, we can trust Him to be able to everything
He has promised us He can and will do. He is
able, Eph. 3:20! Friends, He is not the God
Who was, He is still the Great I AM, Ex. 3:14.
Simply stated, He is all you need!
C. Concerning The Position Of Jesus - Paul
doesn't stop there. He goes on to remind us that
Jesus is also God. Notice the phrase "Christ
came, who is over all, God blessed, for ever"
in verse 5. This is a strange way to construct a
doxology. Without exception, in both the Old
and New Testaments, the world "blessed"
always comes before the name of "God". Notice
a few of these instances, Gen. 14:20; Gen.
24:27; 48; 1 Kings 1:48; 8:15; 10:9; Psa.
41:13; 66:20; Dan. 3:28; Luke 1:68; 2 Cor. 1:3;
Eph. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:11; 1 Pet. 1:3. There are
dozens more, but these are sufficient to prove
my point. So then, what is my point? Just this,
with that simple statement, Paul is very clearly
trying to show his readers that Jesus is God.
How? The pronoun "who" has as it's antecedent
the word "Christ", and "who" is the antecedent
of "God." Can you see how the Apostle tied
them all together? It was no accident, it was the
inspiration of the Holy ghost. Paul is merely
giving the saints of God another reason to
rejoice! He is reminding us that Jesus is God!
Since that is true, He is worthy of all the love,
worship and devotion we can give Him. Are you
exalting Him like you should?
Conc: Paul's theme in these five verses has been the
salvation of the lost sheep of Israel. Paul does not want
them to go to Hell! He wants to share with them the
truth that his heart is broken for their condition and that
he would do anything to see them saved by grace. I
wonder if that is your heart tonight? Not just for the lost
Jew, but for your lost neighbors or your lost family
members. Are you burdened for them? How long has
it been since you brought their names up before the
throne of grace? How long has it been since you wept
for those who are separated from God by a gulf of sin?
There is no better time to come before the God of glory
and seek His face for them than right now.