God’s Gospel, For All Times and All People (part 2)
God’s Gospel Concerning His Son
Truth Taught- Paul expounds God’s Gospel and he begins to explain that it is relevant for all people of all times.
At least 12 times in Romans Paul mentions the word Gospel. It is one of his themes throughout the Book. So, the Apostle moves very quickly from introducing himself to introducing the Good News, which came to him from God and not from man. His desire is to create an enthusiastic church that will embrace this Gospel of God. The reason he spends any time at all on himself is so that the Roman Church will realize that he has the authority from God to write the things he writes in this Book. So, again we can say, what the Book of Romans says, God says.
Are we enthusiastic about the true Gospel? Have we embraced it and experienced it? Or can we take it or leave it? How is our true attitude toward Christ and the true Gospel shown in our lives? Are we passionate enough about the things of God to read our Bibles? To pray? To reach out to others in our church?
Do you have confidence in the one true Gospel? I pray today we will all embrace the Good News a little tighter with even more assurance that it is the power of God for salvation…
Romans 1:16–17 (ESV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen
Romans 1:1–7 (ESV)
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God has revealed the Gospel to the Apostles and they have written of it in their books, it was revealed centuries before to the OT prophets. So, God’s Gospel is not a novel idea but a planned sovereign decree.
Due to the fact that this Gospel was first revealed to the prophets does not mean that it started with them. It really had no beginning because it’s always existed within the mind of God. It’s just been revealed to those in the OT first.
Because it was revealed to those in the OT, we also see the wonderful continuity of the Old and New Testaments, both proclaim the amazing Gospel of God found in our Lord Jesus.
All the Scriptures bear witness about Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Here’s just a few quick examples…
We understood from John’s Gospel that our Lord is the Son of Man from Daniel 7. He is the Suffering Servant from Isaiah 53.
Luke 24:25–27 (ESV)
25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Acts 17
Paul also did the same thing when he entered a city he would locate the synagogue and begin to open up the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament and show them things concerning Jesus.
Acts 17:2–3 (ESV)
2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
Are you thankful that the Gospel is first given in the OT and continued in the NT? The Good News was not God’s plan B because we sinned. It was always in the design of God. When He created mankind He already knew that He would send Jesus to be our Savior. So, the Gospel is for all times and all people.
The Old Testament is fundamentally about the promise God made to Abraham. Through the pages of the Bible we see this promise unfolding. When we get to the NT we see the promise is given a name…Jesus.
Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV)
12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 15:5–6 (ESV)
5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 17:5–8 (ESV)
5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
We have these predictions that through Abraham all the nations/families of the world will be blessed. How are they blessed? How is Abraham blessed?
He is the father of many families and many offspring, however, first and foremost he is the great ancestor of Jesus.
Notice how this promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ…
Galatians 3:16 (ESV)
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
We have one coherent promise that began with Abraham and continued through the OT until we get to Jesus and then we are told that He is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, He is the fulfillment of the Gospel of God.
3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord
The fulfillment of all God promised in the OT is found in a Person. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Gospel.
Here we are told four things about our Lord…
A. Jesus is God’s Son– Jesus is the OT fulfillment of Israel. Israel was called God’s Son and God’s Firstborn Son. Where Israel failed, the true Son of God would never fail.
Exodus 4:22–23 (ESV)
22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”
Then the descendants continue through to King David. Notice what God says about David:
2 Samuel 7:13–15 (ESV)
13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.
He was declared to be the Son of God because of the resurrection. This does not say He became the Son of God at His resurrection but in fact He already was and for all eternity has been. It was His resurrection that has declared it or proclaimed it more loudly than anything else. He is literally crowned the Son of God at His resurrection. He is the risen Lord.
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
Paul now shows us the extent of the Gospel and of his calling. The scope of the Gospel is all nations. Here is the amazing Good News for us who are not Jewish by birth. The Gospel’s scope is the fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham…
in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
So, because God has always intended to reach out to all the families and nations on earth with Salvation that was first proclaimed to Abraham we are the recipients and partakers of the Abrahamic Covenant today. God’s salvation reaches far past the Israelites to include people of all nations and families.
Revelation 7:9–10 (ESV)
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
God receives more glory as heaven becomes filled with a diversity of people from all different ethnic groups; social status, etc. praise Him for salvation that’s given to all the nations.
I pray we see together how this picture John saw in heaven is the fulfillment of the Covenant God made with Abraham.
Now I want to expound a short phrase that has a major meaning, especially for us today.
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith…
Here we see the goal of Paul’s Apostleship… to bring about the obedience of faith
The entire Book of Romans is sandwiched in between this phrase, it’s here at the beginning and then it appears again at the end of the Book.
Romans 16:25–26 (ESV)
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—
Let me define what this phrase means. The Obedience of Faith literally means that the true Gospel believed by Faith will always result in obedience. The end in which the Apostle shares the Gospel of God with others is not salvation but the obedience that salvation produces.
Romans 16:19 (ESV)
19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
Here especially, he saw his ministry as that which would bring about obedience that flows from faith in Christ.
Romans 15:18 (ESV)
18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,
I want to spend a few minutes today to make sure we get this dynamic down. What is the relationship between obedience and faith?
Now we know that we are not saved or justified through our obedience but rather justified through faith.
So, Paul’s calling and his ministry are to bring Gentiles to obedience. He preaches the Gospel of God calling everyone to repentance and faith and when coupled with the work of God on behalf of the sinner produces repentance and faith.
This is the beginning of obedience of faith as Paul calls it.
Romans 10:16 (ESV)
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
After this initial stage of obedience faith continues in the true believer. When faith continues obedience continues. It is expressed by the believer’s submission to what the Bible teaches. Ongoing obedience is the outworking of our salvation.
Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
We must see the truth of the Gospel…there is no salvation where there is no submission to God’s Word. All true Christians are marked not by what they claim to be but by what they prove to be.
All this is included in Paul’s statement, the obedience of faith.
What are the areas in your life God would have you to be more consistent in your faithfulness and obedience to His Word?
Read Genesis 6:11-22
What are things in this passage that God was determined to do?
What did Noah do (Look to verse 22)?
It is very vital to see that Noah was doing all God had commanded him to do without an argument or without hesitation even though not one thing came to pass until the ark was completed. Noah worked 120 years building the massive ark believing God and trusting God’s Word.
Also read Hebrews 11:7 to discover that all Noah did he did by faith…
Stop for a moment and think of the story of Noah. He did everything that God commanded him to do, even if it seemed bizarre to everyone else. After all, it hadn’t even rained before—but he was predicting a worldwide flood that would destroy everything! Then, he builds a massive ship and collects animals—all because God told him to. Now, if that’s not firm obedience than I don’t know what is!
Do you have that kind of faith? This is faith that believes God because God always tells us the truth. This is the type of faith that does what God says even when the rest of the world laughs at us when it looks like we are building an ark in the middle of a desert waiting for a rainstorm.
Are there areas of your life where you need to be more like Noah? What steps does God want you to take toward a fuller and more complete obedience?