Summary: A look at how the Apostle Paul's book of Romans is the Good News we need to hear today.
The Good News (Part 2)
“God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.” Romans 1:2
Intro: Last week’s sermon was on the Good News in book of Romans. We focused on three people in church history whose lives were changed by the writings of Paul in the book of Romans and how those three went on to transform the world and the church as we know it. St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and John Wesley. We talked about how the Good News of the Book of Romans changes and transforms me and you.
Today we are going to look the positive influence we can have on others because of the Good News of Romans and how that gives us the ability, the talent, the skill and the courage to obey the “Great Commission” of making disciples as we share and witness our faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s begin as we think about what prompted the Letter to the Romans to be written in the first place?
The apostle Paul spent ten years from 47 AD to 57 AD in intensive evangelism and discipleship in the territories bordering the Aegean Sea in what is today modern Greece and Turkey. During those years he systematically, with a well thought out planning concentrated his mission work on the Roman provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia. Along the main roads of these provinces and in their principal cities. Paul preached the gospel and planted churches. Paul took the last words of Jesus serious. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This is still the mission and purpose of the church today. Google United Methodist Church Mission and you find. “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” And a very similar mission statement for Southern Baptist on the Great Commission.
So Paul wrote the Book of Romans to tell us about his efforts of evangelism and encourage the churches to continue the work of sharing the Good News. New faith community were planted in Iconium, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth and Ephesus and churches in many other cities around those four provinces.
Then he left behind spiritual leaders and Elders. Of course under the direction of the Holy Spirit to do the work of discipleship, the work of teaching and training of how to be a follower of Jesus Christ and then grow in faith to become mature enough to also share the gospel of the Good News to others.
Even though the apostle Paul had completed three missionary journeys during the ten years from 47 to 57 AD, his work was by no means finished. During the winter of 56-57 AD, while on the last part of his third (and final) missionary journey, Paul spent time in Corinth at the home of his friend and new convert Gaius, he looked forward to a visit which had to be paid to Jerusalem in the immediate future.
You probably have already heard the old joke. “Why was the racehorse named Bad News?
Because “BAD NEWS” travels fast!”
Bad news spreads fast because it is a curiosity, gossip, drama. But there is power in “Good News.” Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:” The term “Judeao-Christian has been used since the 1950’s to emphasis commonality between Jews and Christians. (And in recent years even to stress a common Abrahamic heritage between Muslins and Christians) But here Paul give the term its early big push in teaching Jews and Gentiles the Gospel.
Let’s take a quick look at what Good News does.
I. Good News is a Release for the Human Heart.
The basic element of Christian faith is to worship and praise God. Every believer is therefore Christ-centered and drawn to share the Good News of Jesus during worship. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
We publish that we belong to Christ. We share that we are a new person. We discard the old life. We begin to live the new life that has begun. The Holy Spirit reforms, recreates, restores that image of God that was once broken by sin. Great joy takes place in heaven when just one person turns from sin to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. The bible teaches us that even the angels in Heaven rejoice and celebrate in Luke 15:10.