Bad news: Guilty! Guilty! All are guilty! Jews and Gentiles! All have fallen far short of the righteousness of God! Therefore all are under His condemnation and judgment! “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven (from God the Judge) against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom. 1:18) Why? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)
Good news: (the gospel “euaggelion – the glad tidings of salvation through Christ”) “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures (the New Covenant –Jer. 31; Ezek. 36; Isa. 53).” (Rom. 1:1-2) “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (testified to by the OT prophets; again the New Covenant is in the Old Testament), even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.” (Rom. 3:21-22) Sin is anything contrary to the character of God. No one can attain to this perfect righteousness but every religion but Christianity seeks to do so. The gospel says that Jesus’ perfect righteousness is given to us freely as we trust Him alone to save us. (2 Cor. 5:21)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation (rescued from sin, death and hell and empowered to change and grow to be like Jesus) to everyone who believes (trust Jesus’ atoning sacrifice not our good works), to the Jew first (John 4:22) and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God (not of man – man’s goodness is badness) is revealed from faith to faith (from Abel to Abraham, to Habakkuk until Jesus returns and we see Him face to face); as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16-17; also see Hab. 2:4; Heb. 10:38) By faith we receive God’s righteousness and by faith we receive God’s power to live righteously.
This is the good news that compelled Paul to preach the gospel to a lost world and we hear his passion as he writes to the believers (Gentiles but some Jews were there too) in Rome (a church he did not plant) so that they would be established in the faith and like him, become a debtor to all who need to know this good news.
“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh (100% Man), who was declared the Son of God (100% God) with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (the ultimate proof that Jesus is God is His resurrection from the dead in His glorified body), through whom we have received grace and apostleship (sent ones) to bring about the obedience of faith (obedience to the doctrines of faith; the Word of God) among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake (do all for the glory of God), among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called saints (holy ones- set apart by God and for God’s purposes): Grace to you and peace from God our Father (we must have God’s saving grace in order to have peace with God (Rom. 5:1) or we remain His enemy (Rom. 5:10) ), and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God (intimacy with God) through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.(this is a Wow! How we wish our church would be known in this way!) For God, whom I serve in my spirit (versus the flesh; there are many fleshly motives for serving God) in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request (see some of Paul’s prayers in Eph. 1:17-19; 3:14-19; Phil 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-12), if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you (to bless them with the gifts God had given him), that you may be established (through in-depth discipleship); that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine (Heb. 10:24-25). I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you (probably means spiritual growth and reproduction – salvations and equipping for ministry) also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation (we are not saved by works but we are saved for works and like Paul the great privilege of salvation should inspire us to the great responsibility of salvation, sharing the good news with others) both to Greeks (all non-Jews) and to barbarians (the non-Greeks – uneducated and uncultured), both to the wise and to the foolish. So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” (Rom. 1:1-15)
[“In the letter to the Romans we find the apostle Paul’s clearest and most detailed explanation of the gospel message. After his customary salutation, Paul explains his unabashed passion for taking the Good News of Christ to the ends of the earth: “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (1:16). The Greek word for salvation used by Paul literally means “deliverance” or “preservation.” In a spiritual context, the idea is rescue from the power and dominion of sin. Paul’s fervor for preaching the gospel was rooted in its power “to free” or “to rescue” people from the tragic consequences of their own sin. Paul and the other NT writers portray Jesus Christ, on the basis of His sacrificial death on the Cross in the place of sinners, as the Author and Provider of salvation (3:24, 25; 5:21; Acts 4:12; Heb. 12:2). This spiritual deliverance is graciously and lovingly offered by God to all people, but only those who repent and trust in Jesus will experience its blessings (John 3:16; Eph. 2:8, 9; Heb. 2:3). What exactly are those blessings? Some Bible teachers summarize them as salvation from the penalty of sin, salvation from the power of sin, and (ultimately in heaven) salvation from the presence of sin. Theologians use the terms justification, sanctification, and glorification.”] Radmacher, Earl D. ; Allen, Ronald Barclay ; House, H. Wayne: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville : T. Nelson Publishers, 1999,
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
1. What do you think sin is?
2. Do you think most people consider themselves to be sinners? Why or why not?
3. How does the Bible describe our condition before God? Notice the verbs. Romans 1:18; 3:23
Isaiah 59:1 – 2.
4. According to these verses what are the consequences of sin? Romans 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:8 –9.
5. Why can’t God simply overlook sin?
6. According to Romans 1:16-17 what is the gospel?
7. What is salvation according to the quote above from Radmacher, Allen, and House?
8. What does it mean to believe the gospel?
9. Why would any believer be ashamed of the gospel?
10. Where do you feel led to share the gospel?