Summary: The impact of the "good news of the gospel" has a way of changing lives and the perspective of life, just like it did for Paul (Saul of Tarsus)
Romans – God’s Glorious Gospel
The Impact of Good News
* Good News! What comes to your mind when you hear these two words? For one couple it may be “you’re expecting a baby.” For another couple it could be, “you’re approved for your new house.” For one person it would be, “you’re accepted into law school”, while to another possibly, “your tumor was benign.” Whether these or others during your life, you have, no doubt been the recipient of some good news.
* There is one interesting thing about good news, “you HAVE to tell it.” When Deb found out that Christy was on her way, we had a “race” to be the one to “tell the story.” Were you to be cured from cancer, healed from an incurable disease, or even have your sight restored, you would TELL IT!! That is the nature of good news—if you don’t tell it you will literally explode. Sadly, bad news gets told—but truly, good news will erupt if not released.
* The best news to ever come to anyone is the news of Jesus Christ. It is news that must be told. And if told, has the power to change not just lives, but the world. Nowhere is this great more clearly told than in Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. Turn to Romans 1. Last week we began with the Good News which Paul is telling; it is the news of Jesus. His promise, provision, power, and purpose. Today Paul opens the door on his PERSONAL life, thus, he sheds light on the impact of this good news on my life as a BELIEVER. Let’s read verses 8-15.
* Did you hear that? Paul says, I am “eager.” KJV says, “Ready,” one paraphrase says, “can’t wait.” The Greek word literally means, “ready and willing.” The word “preach” means to evangelize, not the pulpit. You see, Paul knew that this was good news. He discovered this good news on the road to Damascus, became a believer and learner, thus he can now hardly wait to tell it. Please listen; THIS IS the life of a healthy believer. The Healthy Believer is taken captive by the good news of Christ and cannot wait to share this good news.
* For the next few minutes, believer, consider with me a Biblical look at how Good News Impacts us.
1. THE MAKE-UP OF THE BELIEVER. To understand how a believer is “made-up” we must take a look at His personal trek. The believer is one who can identify His life before Christ. Although he knew that God had granted forgiveness, Paul never escaped the ugliness of His past. Paul knew that it was only by God’s grace and mercy that He (Paul) could do anything good. Like Paul, a healthy believer clearly knows his past. The believer is one who can identify his own, personal “Damascus road” experience. Truly an individual who cannot pin down this experience is not likely to tell it because it is not necessarily good news. The believer is also one who understands the “good” in this “news.” The salvation in Christ is not just “one of a bunch of good stories.” It is “the” story and the one that has a life changing impact. Knowing these things as clearly as Paul knew them helps us to be like Paul in 3 ways;
a. I have a Reason to be Thankful. Look at Paul with me. He begins, “I thank MY God THROUGH Jesus Christ.” Can you sense Paul’s heart for the Father and His Son? Paul says I am grateful to God for the Blessings of Jesus as well as my Brothers in Jesus.
* Beyond a doubt Paul knew that outside of the blessings of God, He would still be fighting the very God that he desired to have faith in. It was only in his Damascus road experience that Paul came to know God in such as way as to call Him “my God”. If you can call the creator “my God” you are blessed of all men.
* Paul’s thankful heart didn’t stop with the Blessings of Jesus but extended to his Brothers in Jesus. He was truly thankful for all believers. But listen, he was thankful, overjoyed, and encouraged when he knew they were living out their faith. If we seriously consider all of Paul’s writings, we know that He could be direct, rebuke, exhort, and correct. The music to Paul’s ears was that the brothers and sisters were being faithful.
* To me a real question for us 21st century believers is this; am I truly giving thanks to God? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “it is God’s will for us to give thanks.”
b. I have a Reason to be Prayerful. Paul writes, “I constantly mention you in all my prayers.” We know that, at the writing of this letter, Paul had not been to the church at Rome. Yet we also know that he was really concerned about those believers. So he (like us) was faced with 2 choices, either worry or pray. So, like the giant in the faith he is, he chose prayer.