Summary: Paul opens his letter to the Romans reminding them of the Promise of God! As Paul states "the gospel . . . is the power of God unto salvation" and it is also the central theme of Romans.
The Gospel of God (Part 2)
People for two thousand years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. People make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Great Pyramids of Egypt. When a French ruler proposed the persecution of Christians in his realm an old warrior said, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” The hammers of unbelievers have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still remains. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and kings and princes, scholars and intellectuals, have all tried their hand at it; they all die and the book still lives.
I. 1:1–6 Paul tells us about the Gospel of God.
A. The gospel was promised beforehand. (vs. 2)
B. The gospel was declared with power. (vs. 3–4)
C. Through the gospel we received grace and apostleship. (vs. 5)
I. The gospel is the Power of Salvation. vs. 16
A. It is the Power of God. 1 Cor. 1:17–18 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
B. The gospel is the only way of salvation. 1 Cor. 15:1–2 “Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
II. The Gospel reveals his Righteousness. vs. 17a
A. God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel.
B. It is a righteousness from God. Phil. 3:7–11 "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
C. It is a righteousness God bestows on men of faith. Rom. 3:21–24 “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
III. We obey the gospel through faith. vs. 17b
A. We have the gospel because of God’s Grace. Acts 15:7 “After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.”
B. The gospel was written in order to produce faith. John 20:30–31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
God has always had a plan for redemption for those who love him. Paul sets out in his letter to the church at Rome to remind them of this so that they will stop arguing over who is greater and get on with more important matters, like spreading the good news. This was his way of opening the door, to remind them of The Promise that God had made with all mankind.
The Promise God made with all mankind was that we, through Christ, could be saved.
The Promise was fulfilled when Christ died on the cross and overcame death and rose from the grave.
We can receive the blessings of the Promise by obeying the commands of Christ.