Summary: The first on Romans - about the Good News of Jesus
Romans – God’s Glorious Gospel
“Sure Could Use Good News”
* The pop singer, Anne Murray, recorded a song which said, “Sure could use, a little good news today.” I don’t know about you, but surely is a truism for me. You see, we live in a world which is inundated with bad news. Read a paper, watch the news, listen to the radio, or worse yet, check the internet, bad news abounds. Iraq, Iran, world hunger, disease, killings, drugs, divorces, immorality, abortions, and the list goes on without end.
* It was into a world like this that Paul sat down one winter, in the house of Gaius, and wrote a letter to the church in Rome. He knew that the believer in Rome needed many things. He knew they needed a better understanding of the gospel of God. He knew some encouragement. He knew they needed a brother, a mentor, a friend to come along side of them and hold them up. He knew that they needed “stirring up” in their faith. They needed much.
* In response to their need he penned the wonderful letter that we call the “Book of Romans.” Today we begin a journey through the 16 chapters of this letters and we’ll call this series of messages, “Romans- God’s Glorious Gospel.” So turn with me to Romans 1:1-7.
* In his 3-volume study guide on Romans called “Foundations for our Faith”, Dr. Adrian Rogers entitled the first chapter, “The book that changed the world.” Think about that thought for moment. What a grandiose statement. But not so grandiose when you consider history. Many of the great Christian leaders had their faith ignited by a deep study and divine understanding of Romans. Some may ask why? Back to a modern day legend, Dr. Rogers tells us that in this letter Paul writes about sin, salvation, sanctification, sovereignty, sacrifice, and service to, of, and for, God himself.
* Consider this; this book changed the lives of men like St. Augustine, Martin Luther, the Wesley brothers, and even John Calvin. This letter to the church at Rome is a life-changing letter. My prayer is that it will change us.
* Let’s read the first 7 verses. (Prayer)
x* Do you really want some good news? Verse 7 offers you and me the best news a person can receive. First, it tells us we are loved by God and secondly, Paul asks for us to be given grace and peace from God. This is really good news because the news in this world is not so good.
* At the heart of all the bad news in this world is the 3 letter word, “SIN”. Since the sin of disobedience in the garden, sin has given nothing but heartache, headache, and chaos to mankind. At the heart of Sin is Selfishness. We wonder why selfishness seems to make its way into every Bible message we hear, it is because this attitude controls most of what we say and what we do. By the way, this is the sin which the Bible calls “pride” and it builds a gulf between us and God. In fact, God turns His face from the proud.
* Have you ever considered what sin produces? First, it produces guilt. As well will see later in Romans, the Bible says that we see enough of God in creation to discern right and wrong. Deep inside of each one of us, where only God sees, many carry hidden guilt, but that’s only one. Next, it produces meaninglessness. With sin’s guilt pulling at our conscious, we have difficulty making sense out of life. With every step, we know something is not right so we simply wander along with little purpose or direction. Now, add to guilt & meaninglessness, “hopelessness”. With sin producing these three in tow, it takes little time to feel like “what’s the use”, “why do I try”, or “Is there anything ahead?” Whether we realize it or not, this is Satan’s ploy. He wants us to give in and give up about being who God’s designed us to be. The sin he leads us into produces guilt, meaninglessness, hopeless-ness, and ultimately misery. I know that many times I say “tongue in cheek” that misery loves company, but have you thought about why that is true? It is because that for the person who is internally miserable there is no way to offer joy to anyone. Remember, “out of the overflow of the heart..” and “as a man thinks in his heart…” Sin has, can, and will beat us up. But guess what, God has good news;