Summary: Four words that are critical to understanding the gospel of Christ. 1. Power 2. Salvation 3. Believe 4. Righteousness
The Gospel of Christ
These two verses express the theme of the book. To understand and positively respond to this truth determines ones eternity. 16,17 summarize the gospel that he explains in the rest of the book.
*Paul was not ashamed of the glorious Gospel of Christ!
...Imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of Damascus and Berea, laughed at in Athens, considered a fool at Corinth, and declared a blasphemer and lawbreaker in Jerusalem. He was stoned and left for dead at Lystra...He was never intimidated...ready and eager to preach at Rome, the capital of sin and paganism, and he was not ashamed of the Gospel.
We all know the temptation of being ashamed of the gospel.
We are afraid...
We know that the gospel is repulsive to the lost man, unattractive, intimidating. It exposes his sin, wickedness, and depravity.
Many have turned to the health and wealth gospel that is not so intimidating and not so politically incorrect.
Geoffrey Wilson wrote. "The unpopularity of a crucified Christ has prompted many to present a message which is more palatable to the unbeliever, but the removal of the offense of the cross always renders the message ineffective. An inoffensive gospel is also an inoperative gospel. Thus Christianity is wounded most in the house of its friends."
Four words critical to understanding the gospel.
1. Power 2. Salvation 3. Believe 4. Righteousness
1. Power 1:16 "...for it is the power of God..."
From where we get the word dynamite.
The gospel comes from the omnipotence of God who alone has the power to save the lost from sin and give them eternal life. (news report this week, 2-18-01, surveys show that people don’t like to be called lost)
People want to change. Advertising is to make us want to change. Men want to feel better about themselves, come up with schemes to do it , but there is no real power to remove sin which is the real problem. The Bible makes it clear that man cannot be changed by any works...not even by keeping God’s law. Law was given to show man his helplessness and drive him to God’s saving grace!
Paul declares man’s impotence and God’s power.
5:6 "For when we were yet without strength, in die time, Christ died for the ungodly."
8:3 "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"
1 Corinthians 1:18,23-25
Jeremiah 13:23 It is not within man’s power to change his nature, to overcome sin, to make himself acceptable to God.
Scripture testifies to God’s power:
*Glorious power Ex. 15:6
*Irresistible power Deut. 32:39
*Unsearchable power Job 5:9
*Mighty power Job 9:4
*Great power Ps. 79:11
*Incomparable power Ps. 89:8
*Strong power Ps. 89:13
*Everlasting power Is. 26:4
*Effectual Power Is. 43:13
*Sovereign power Rom. 9:21 "HATH NOT THE POTTER POWER OFFER THE CLAY, OF THE SAME LUMP TO MAKE ONE VESSEL UNTO HONOUR, AND ANOTHER UNDO DISHONOUR?"
Jeremiah 10:12 "He hath make the earth by his power..."
The powerful God who said as recorded in Ps.33:8,9 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done he commanded, and it stood fast." Is the God who has the power to save and it is manifested in the gospel!
2. Salvation "...unto salvation..."
The greatest manifestation of God’s power is in providing for man’s salvation, transforming their nature, and giving them eternal life. See Psalm 106:8 despite their rebelliousness...
Salvation carries the idea of deliverance, or rescue. By His power, God rescues sinners from the penalty of sin death and eternity in the lake of fire. I that is not lost what is and if that’s not salvation then what is?!
Salvation through Christ is God’s powerful hand that He has let down to lift men up. "I was lost and undone without God or his son when he reached down His hand for me."
His Salvation is deliverance from...
...This perverse generation
...The wrath of God
...Evil self indulgence
...Darkness of false religion
But only for those who believe...
3. Believe "...to every one that believeth...
Believe or faith- trusting in or relying on, having faith in.
Eternal life is both gained and lived by faith. See Eph. 2:8
God does not ask us to behave and then believe. The behaving is the product of salvation not the means to it.
All who believe shall be saved.
4. Righteousness "For therein (the gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed..."
Word used over 35 times in Romans alone.
Faith activates the power of God that brings salvation and in that sovereign act, the righteousness of God is revealed.
In addition, He imparts His righteousness to those who believe.
Not only revealed but also reckoned to those who believe in Christ.
Phil. 3:8,9 Romans 3:21-24