Summary: THE GOSPEL IS A THEME THROUGHOUT PAUL'S WRITINGS AND THE BOOK OF ROMANS. HE BEGINS WITH THIS BEING THE PURPOSE OF HIS LIFE IN ROMANS 1:1. WE EXPLORE WHAT THIS MEANS AS WE BEGIN STUDYING THE BOOK OF ROMANS
Romans 1:1 – Gospel of God
1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
2. (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
• Paul introduces here a word that will become the theme of the book of Romans. Before he declares later “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, he begins by talking of his “SEPARATION” to the Gospel.
• Gospel literally means, “Good Tidings or Good news of the kingdom of God” and comes from the same Greek word we get “evangelist” from.
• “Good tidings” puts us in mind of the announcement to the shepherds on the first Christmas:
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
• The “GOSPEL” was the subject of Christ’s first synagogue message after Jesus was baptized and fasted 40 days. He came out of the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit to declare:
17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
• Jesus took His message from the prophecy of Isaiah where the prophet saw past the captivity of Israel to the coming Messiah:
1. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
• Paul mentions “GOSPEL” over a dozen times in Romans, with it being the theme of the book of Romans as he is expounding his “theological resume” to the church at Rome to form his new missions base to reach Spain.
• Paul talks of the “GOSPEL” in 1 Corinthians, similarly to Romans, emphasizing the POWER of GOD.
17. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
• One of the most critical areas where Paul talks of the Gospel is in his letter to the Galatians. This letter is so critical because it is an urgent letter written to a church is crisis. Paul sees the danger of the Galatian believers being deceived from the truth of the Gospel, and falling into false doctrine that will cause damnation.
• Hear his warning to the church at Galatia:
6. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
7. Which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
9. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
• So in addition to the “Gospel” being the good news of the kingdom, Paul understands the gospel as the core doctrines that are necessary for salvation.