The Message of the Gospel

The Message of the GospelText: Romans 1:1-6

Romans 1:16 is often thought of as the theme of the book of Romans – the gospel is God’s power to save. However, the first few verses of the letter introduce this central topic. We want to be prepared to talk to others about the gospel – especially those who are unfamiliar with it. These verses help explain the message of the gospel.

The Source of the Message (v. 1)

  • First, Paul said he was a servant of Christ – he was doing His work (Acts 26:15-18); the apostles’ work was to carry the message of Christ to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
  • Second, Paul said his message was “the gospel of God” – not the word of man (1 Thessalonians 2:13); Jesus spoke the things that came from above (John 12:49-50); the apostles would do the same (John 16:13-15)

Fulfillment of Prophecy (v. 2)

  • The message of the gospel was not an afterthought – it was an eternal plan (Revelation 14:6)
  • So it was previously promised through the prophets and the Scriptures – OT prophecies found their fulfillment in Christ (Luke 24:44); the Law was designed to lead them to Christ (Galatians 3:24)

The Deity and Humanity of Christ (v. 3-4)

  • Jesus was born a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:23, 31) – this was also a fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 2:29-36); we cannot deny that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 7)
  • Jesus was not just a man, He was the Son of God – made Him equal with God (John 5:17-18; 10:30); proven by the resurrection (John 10:17-18) and there is abundant evidence for this (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)

Christ Was Raised from the Dead (v. 4)

  • This is part of the foundation of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) – Jesus died for our sins (Hebrews 10:5, 10-12; 1 Peter 3:18); He did not remain in the grave, He was raised from the dead
  • Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have hope (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)

We Have Received Grace (v. 5)

  • The gospel is a message of salvation (Romans 1:16) – through the resurrection we have hope; but this is not anything we have earned (Romans 5:6, 8, 10)
  • We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) – eternal life is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23); Paul’s “apostleship” is connected to this as he preached this message of grace (Acts 20:24)

We Must Faithfully Obey (v. 5)

  • When many think of grace, they think of unconditional salvation (Calvinistic concept) – yet a gift may be given conditionally or unconditionally; we need to allow the NT to explain grace
  • The message of grace (Acts 20:24) was meant to bring about “the obedience of faith” (cf. Romans 16:26) – we must obey the Lord to be saved (Hebrews 5:9; Mark 16:16); obedience does not earn us salvation (Luke 17:10), but we are not justified without it (James 2:24; cf. Luke 6:46)

We Are the Called of Christ (v. 6)

  • We have been called by the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:14)
  • We have the privilege of being called the children of God (1 John 3:1)
  • As disciples, we can be called Christians (Acts 11:26) – this is a divine calling (cf. Romans 7:3; Isaiah 62:2)

Conclusion

  • We need to remember these facts about the gospel – for our benefit and to explain to others
  • The gospel is from God and is part of His eternal plan
  • The gospel shows us Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was raised from the dead
  • The gospel reveals the grace of God and shows us what we must do to receive it
  • This gospel is God’s power for salvation (Romans 1:16) – let us be sure we take advantage of it

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