Summary: The purpose of this sermon is encourage a person to feel no need for remorse or guilt for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Text: Romans 1:16-17
Title: No Apologies – None Needed
Introduction: I have been serving as pastor of this great church for over five years! We are on the brink of celebrating 5 years next week. If I have offended anyone, I apologize. If I have hurt anyone, I apologize. If I have caused anyone to stumble, I apologize. If I have said anything that has hurt someone, I apologize. If I have done anything that has caused someone to fall, I apologize. If I have walked in a way that may have caused you to not trust God, I apologize. However, for preaching the gospel, I make no apologies. For not sugar-coating the truth, I make no apologies. For staying true to the word of God, I make no apologies. (Turn with me to Romans 1:16-17) The purpose of this sermon is to give justifiable reasons why I make no apologies, and, nor should you when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I am not ASHAMED of the Gospel of Christ…” Ashamed denotes a sense of guilt, remorse, fear of embarrassment; being afraid; in fact, the Message translations says, “Its News I’m most proud to proclaim!” (The gospel, in the NT used only of God’s message of salvation, i.e. good news, God’s message.) There are at least 4 reasons why some would have been ashamed.
1. Because of the moral condition of that day. Nero was the Emperor of Rome. He was a wicked, degenerate man. The city of Rome was a cesspool of sin and wicked living. The Gospel Paul preached was diametrically opposed to everything Rome was.
2. Because Paul was a Jew. Jews were considered by many to be a sub-human race. They were fit for nothing but to be despised, mistreated, and enslaved. Ordinary Jews would have been tempted
to shy away from non-Jews.
3. Because the Gospel Paul was preaching was almost unbelievable. Think of it, the Savior Paul was preaching was a male member of the despised Jewish race, He was said to be the Savior of man, He claimed to be the Son of God, even God Himself, yet He claimed to be a man. His death was different than other men in that He died on a Roman cross, a symbol of shame, but in dying this death, He was said to have died for all men. And, if that wasn't enough, this man was said to have risen from the dead the third day after His death. To many people, the claims of the Gospel were just too bizarre to believe. (Ill. Things haven't changed much - 1 Cor. 1:18.)
4. Because everywhere Paul went preaching the cross, he was ridiculed, cast out, imprisoned, or treated cruelly. Many would not have been able to endure the shame of the cross.
I. The Power of the Gospel (16a)
• [dunamis /doo•nam•is] (1) as able to produce a strong effect power, might, strength (AC 1.8); from which we get our words dynamo, dynamite, dynamic
• Of all the ways God could have demonstrated his power He did so thru the gospel, good news, gospel message
II. The Purpose, Plan, & Pledge of the Gospel (16b,c,d)
• Purpose – salvation - [soteria /so•tay•ree•ah/]- salvation, deliverance; as a religious technical term safety of the soul in a spiritual sense salvation
• Plan – Everyone who believes – not anything of our own doing – salvation is of God’s doing.
• Pledge – To the Jew first, then the Greek (everyone else) – No restrictions!
o Many have labored over the term "to the Jew first and also to the Greek." This shouldn't bother us! God didn't give the Gospel to the Jew first in reference to priority. He gave the Gospel to the Jew first in reference to time. He had been dealing with the Jewish people for thousands of years, and when He sent His Son into the world to be the Messiah of the Jewish people, they rejected Him, John 1:11. Now, the Lord has turned to the Gentile peoples of the world to offer them salvation as well, John 1:12. Therefore, salvation is available to every person on the face of God's earth.
o These verses make it clear that salvation is for anyone regardless of their race, their social standing, their education, their ability, their wickedness, etc. There is nothing which can prevent anyone who wants to be saved from being saved. The pledge of the Gospel is for every man, everywhere!
III. (Conclusion) The Product of the Gospel (17) - 17 God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” (The Message Translation)
• Righteousness – to be put right with – be in right relationship with; the just is translated to mean righteous.