Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 33)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

In our last study we looked at God’s Eternal Plan that Father, Son and Holy Spirit purposed together “before time began.” We’ve seen the Eternal Plan Revealed and The Plan to Rule. Now we’ll look at The Plan to Overcome.

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Christian Unity … Think About It (Part 3)

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.” Psalm 133

Psalm 133 is one of the shortest Psalms, but also one of the most poignant and powerful. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!” King David chose one of the most powerful images for the unity of God’s people – the anointing of Aaron the first High Priest of Israel.

Also Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the laver and its base, to consecrate them. And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.” Leviticus 8:10-12

God rescued His people from slavery in a foreign land and unified them as one people who would carry God’s banner to the promised land. Moses poured so much oil on his brother that the oil ran from the top of Aaron’s head to his beard and onto the edge of his garments. The anointing of God set apart every part of Aaron for the great work he had been called to accomplish.

One of my biggest personal disappointments as a Christian has been the lack of unity among Christians. I read Psalm 133, John 17, Romans 12 and 14, Ephesians 4, and Philippians 1 and 2 and wanted to experience the beauty of unity with other believers. I’ve taught and written about the importance of unity in the Church since becoming a Christian almost 45 years ago … but … I don’t want unity at the expense of truth. Unfortunately, that is what we have been witness to for far too long.

In our previous post about Ecumenical Unity, we looked at the danger of Christians shedding truth for the sake of unity. As our series about Christian Unity continues we will look at concerns about Emerging Unity.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 32)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

In our last study we looked at God’s Eternal Plan that Father, Son and Holy Spirit purposed together “before time began.” Genesis 1 is a recounting of how God revealed the Plan and how it culminated in God’s crowning achievement – man (male and female). God (elohim) made (na’a’seh – let us make) man (adam) “in Our image” (besalmenu), “according to Our likeness” (kidmutenu).

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Thinking About the Cost

The “cost” of Christianity is vital to a Christian’s spiritual health. Here’s why I say that.

Do you know any Jews who have become Christians? How about Muslims? Atheists? Mormons? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Hindus? If you do, you’ve most likely noticed they seem to be deeply in love with God and have a healthy spiritual relationship through Bible study, prayer, discipleship, service and evangelism. One thing many of them have in common is that becoming a “Christian” cost them a lot. Many are ostracized by family. Many lose friends, jobs, positions in society, etc. Many suffer severe persecution – losing homes, possessions, even their lives.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 31)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

The Apostle Paul is just 16 verses into his letter to the Romans and has already use the word “gospel” four times.

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” vs 1

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” vs 9

“So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.” vs. 15

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” vs. 16

Paul told the Romans he was “ready” to preach the Gospel to them because it is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Before we consider the “power” of the Gospel, let’s look at the “purpose” of the Gospel.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 30)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

In previous studies about Romans 1:16-17, we’ve seen that God determined His plan to rescue humanity from sin and death “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20-21) and “before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 1:2). We also saw that God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – exist together eternally in a loving relationship.

Based on the teachings of Scripture it is our contention that God designed His ‘plan’ of salvation in eternity for the purpose of sharing eternity with people He created. We will address that purpose in this article.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 29)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

Let’s quickly review what we learned in our last study. Here is the basic flow of the Apostle Paul’s thematic argument in Romans 1:16-17:

  • I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ
  • It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes
  • For the Jew first and also for the Greek
  • For in it (the Gospel of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith
  • The just shall live by faith

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 28)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

In our last study we saw that the Apostle Paul was “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” We looked at how readers might understand this statement based on their living in an ‘honor-shame’ culture. Public shame was to be shunned at all cost. However, the Gospel of Christ carried with it a strong message of public shame.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 27)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

These are two of the most-quoted verses of the Apostle Paul’s writings–and for good reason. Paul is explaining ‘why’ he spent his life preaching the Gospel of Christ. It’s not because being an apostle was a good career move; not because the job paid well and included great perks; not because being a Gospel preacher gave him a good standing in the community. In fact, being an apostle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the opposite of all that. Paul suffered greatly because of his commitment to the Gospel. The reason Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ was because “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”

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