Romans: The Gospel Message

Romans: The Gospel Message

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 1:1-7

When I think of how we write to each other now, not that we ever do write real letters, I just don’t think we put this much thought into our opening. The Good News was the center of Paul’s life and it permeated everything he did. He loved Christ and those he was leading so much that he took every chance he had to pray, encourage, and teach others and the churches he had planted.  

Although to be honest, if someone greeted me like Paul did, I would be a little freaked out. We don’t generally take so much time to constantly remind each other of exactly what the good news is. Of course, this would require us to be concise and know how to share the gospel and have it so ingrained in us that this type of reminder and encouragement became normal.  

I find it helpful to breakdown this first section to see how Paul laid out his explanation of the Good News and learn the key parts of the story in order to practice sharing with others. 

Verse 1:2 – This message was written by God and prophesied through the Old Testament 

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 

Isaiah 42:!

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 

John 1:1-3

Verse 1:3 – Jesus fulfilled the prophesy. He became fully human and his incarnate form fulfilled all prophesies about the Messiah coming from the line of David  

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. 

Jeremiah 23:5

1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham 

Matthew 1:1

Verse 1:4 – Jesus is also fully God. His resurrection from the dead established His kingdom and Lordship 

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 

Isaiah 53:5

15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15 

Mark 1:!5

Verse 1:5 – We are saved by grace and given the mission to preach Christ to all the nations 

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:18-20

7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:7-9

Verse 1:7 – We have become a royal priesthood, here to be holy because God is holy.  

15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9 

1 Peter 2:9

That’s the good news. If I may try to re-frame Paul’s words into a description I would say: God created the world and everything in it, but humans sinned and tarnished their relationship with God. So, God chose the Israelites to be His people and live by His commands. Since we are unable to live up to the law, God sent prophets to call people back to him and foretell of the coming Messiah and His kingdom. As the Messiah, Jesus came as fully God and fully human to preach, relate to us in His humanity and show us his true divinity. He died on the cross for our sins to pay our debt and allow us to be back in relationship with God. We believe by faith and proclaim the Jesus is the way back to God and belief in this message transfers us to eternity to God instead of eternal separation. Yet, the story doesn’t end when we believe. We are to share this message with others and pursue holiness every day, out of love and obedience to our Savior.  

Every time I share this message, I change it. The point is to reach an understanding of the full story from creation to separation to redemption to restoration so you can share it easily and naturally for others. Make sure to be honest about Jesus dying for our sins to save us from hell, make sure to be honest that we are saved by grace alone. But you should always contextualize your message for your audience, use reference and pictures they can understand the core message by. That’s why we need to let the gospel saturate our lives. Then like Paul we can speak truth, but in a way that different audiences can understand. We can take any issue brought up and if a way to relate it to the Gospel narrative and point back to a core truth.

And let’s not just share the gospel with unbelievers. Like Paul, let’s encourage fellow believers with it! We need to be reminded of all these promises too. We need to let the gospel guide how we communicate and provide counseling for others. We should always point fellow believers back to our good news instead of relying on earthly wisdom. We should imitate Paul and always pray for fellow believers. His zeal and love for his brothers and sisters was evident and real. Let us be like that. Let us deeply love one another. And let’s not be afraid to put the gospel into our everyday language. Let’s not think it’s weird to openly speak about scripture and the promises of Christ outside of the church walls. So what if people think we’re overly zealous? Good! God wants all of us, he deserves all our love and affection and for us not to be ashamed of publicly sharing that love. As Paul ends his greetings “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” 

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