|Create Date||August 21, 2019|
|Last Updated||August 21, 2019|
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Please excuse a break in the middle of this recording. It is around 16 minutes into the sermon. And it fades at the end
Have you heard the News?!
Romans 1:1-3, 14-17
Redhill. 18 August 2019. Presented by Gordon Green
Paul had been entrusted with a message. A divine message – the gospel – the gospel of God. Nothing was more important to Paul than the gospel. He was passionate about it. He said in Romans 1:16 “I’m not ashamed of the gospel”. “I take pride in it. I can hardly contain myself. There is nothing else to me as great as the gospel. And I want you to hear about this wonderful message. It is new. It is unique. It is special.”
What do you think of when you hear the word gospel? Too often our response is: “I’m a Christian and I believe the gospel.” But do we really know what it is? Many people say the gospel is all about how to get to heaven when you die.” But Dallas Willard says “the gospel isn’t about getting into heaven after you die but rather it’s about getting into heaven before you die!” Wonderful! That should tell us there is more to the gospel than we may realise. We must understand how deep and important and unique and wonderful it really is.
Gospel means good news. But is it good news to us? Do we hear it as good news? Do we understand what this good news is all about? If someone asked you to explain the gospel to them could you? Could you write a paragraph about it? How about a sentence? How about one word?
What is the gospel not? It is not about the law or commandments or rules. It is not about commands to be better people and to try harder to be Christians. The gospel is not an appeal but an announcement. It is not about doing something but it’s about that which has been done! It is about the forgiveness of sins but there so much more to the gospel.
Why is the gospel called the good news? Because it is news - it is something that has happened. Like the 6 o’clock news. It’s an announcement – of something that has happened. Paul says the gospel of God is the gospel of Jesus Christ (but the Gospel is the glorious work of the Trinity). The Gospel is about who God is, what he’s done for you and how he really feels about you. What has happened to you because of what God has done? This is the greatest news that has ever been announced.
Paul is excited about the gospel and shouts out “I am not ashamed of the gospel” Why? “Because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” The gospel has the power to transform lives. When you see “power” don’t think of dynamite that blows things up, destroys. But this is the power that raised Jesus from the dead and operates in us. You could say this is love power and its goal is our salvation. Salvation is a rescue operation. Paul is asking: “Have you heard the news? Have you heard the news that Jesus died for our sins, forgiven you, reconciled you to God, has adopted you, given you the Holy Spirit, accepted you, redeemed you? God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - has taken the initiative and done it all. And he continues working in your life now to transform, shape you into the image of Jesus Christ, healing your pain, hurts. God has done it all. Respond in repentance in faith. In trust. Surrender.
17 “for in the gospel the righteousness of god is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘the righteous will live by faith.’” Verses 16-17 is the heart of the letter of Romans. The key to it all. The key statement in Romans is “The righteous shall live by faith” and the key word in Romans is “righteousness” or “justification”.
God gives his righteousness to us (he gives us himself). Righteousness means a right relationship to God. How do we do that? Paul says by faith from first to last. It's completely faith. It's not what we work for or earn it. It's faith from first to last. We cannot somehow work up our own. We cannot earn it. Righteousness is not about keeping rules and laws. Your goodness can’t win God’s love. Nor can your badness lose it. But you can resist it. It’s important to understand that from start to finish our salvation is God’s work of grace – one that is complete in Christ. Jesus is our whole salvation – our righteousness, our transformation (1 Corinthians 1:30) Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.
Why did God do all this?
Why did God create humans? Love. Love explains why he came and did what he did - for a loving fellowship, relationship. Salvation is a relationship. Righteousness is a relationship (Romans 5:6-11). Salvation is about the continuing, enduring, saving relationship of God with humanity in and through our saviour Jesus Christ. The reason we were created, and the purpose of our existence, is that we would have a love relationship with God. We are loved, and he who is love is always reaching out to us, always moving toward us, and we are created to respond to that love. We discover that we are loved and then we respond by saying, “thank you!”
This is a love relationship.
What is the gospel? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Thank you, heavenly Father, for loving me. Thank you for making me your child. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to be my Savior and to take away all my guilt and shame. Thank you for the love and forgiveness you have shown to me in Jesus. Thank you dear God for sending the Holy Spirit to live in my heart. Come Holy Spirit—guide me into all truth. Teach me to love God and others and strengthen me to follow the way of Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
The Message of Jesus: Here’s Good News for Everyone!