Summary: Why cherish the Gospel?
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 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” (Romans 1:1-4, NIV).
Have you cherished anything in your life?
Have you felt or showed great love for someone or something? Have you remembered or held an idea, experience, person, place, or whatever in a deeply felt way?
Think of the first person who attracted you. Think about the place or experience that you really enjoyed. Think about the unexpected favor that someone extended to you. Think about the book that you could not let go until you finished reading it. Think about the movie that you wanted to view again and again. Think about the adventure you were so thrilled.
But, how about the Gospel – do we really cherish it? Or, do we just regard it just a set of Christian belief that we want others also to believe?
Is it just a religious term that religious person used?
So, this time, as we explore our text, let us learn to…CHERISH THE GOSPEL (Romans 1:1-4).
Why do we need to cherish the Gospel? Are there concrete grounds where we could really point out anything why we could cherish it?
First, let’s realize that Paul wrote this letter, while he was in Corinth in AD 55. He wrote to the church at Rome composed of both Jews and Gentiles, the latter being the more numerous and possible to a great extent accepting Christianity by way of previous conversion to Judaism.
As he wrote this, he had not yet visited the church and intimated his intention to visit the believers “to impart to them as an apostle of Jesus Christ ‘some spiritual gift.’ … He has completed as far as lies within his power the evangelization of the Gentiles eastward; now he sets his face to a new missionary enterprise westward. He writes to engage their co-operation in this scheme since Rome is a real strategic centre and the Roman fellowship an influential group in that direction. All the doctrinal part of the Epistle was penned for this very purpose, that the Roman church might apprehend the greatness of divine grace and the wideness of Gods mercy, so amazing and so all-embracing that evangelization on his part (and on theirs also) was absolutely imperative."
In our text we could also have a glimpse why evangelization is a must. But, this time, let’s just contain ourselves to some points, why we need to cherish the Gospel. Again, what are the reasons why cherish the gospel?
I – First, IT’S THE GOSPEL OF GOD (verses 1-2).
We read verses 1-2, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures…”
Note the words, “…the gospel of God…”
Paul pointed out to the believers in Rome the Gospel was a Divine Message. It was not manufactured by man; the original source is God. It’s heavenly. It belongs to Him, no man can claim credit to it. Thus, the man who planted the church in their place should not be looked upon as the “owner” of it.
Further, the message was really good, because it came from the Good God. And it was perfectly right, pure, undiluted and could be trusted for it came from the Holy and Trustworthy God.
And it was promised by God – not just by man who is subject to many limitations, failures and inabilities. It was promised by the Sovereign God – All-Powerful and impossible to lie. His every promise is as good as done.
Also, Paul would like to impress on the mind of the believers then, that the message was really unique, it was a message of news “promised beforehand…” Even before the event actually happened, it was already announced or proclaimed through the prophets of God. Normally, whether it is bad or good, the news is proclaimed after the event happened. But the Good News of God was proclaimed even before it happened!
And it was proclaimed not only orally, but it was proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures – it was written down -- meaning it could easily be validated, it could be checked and reviewed again and again. We could read it as it is written in the Scripture.
The Gospel, then, should not be taken lightly. It is not of any man. It is not the Gospel of John, Matthew, Mark, or Luke. It is of God. He who created the whole universe, who created all things – both the seen and the unseen, is the One who also made this Good News – the Gospel!