To All Who are in Rome

Focus Text: Romans 1.1-4

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1.1-4).

Words are so important to understanding God’s plan for us. One word of unexcelled importance in today’s focus text is the term Gospel. Much has been written about this word, but the richness of it is yet full, awaiting its majestic revelation to each and every believer. Until a person comes to actually experience the forgiveness of sins and comes face to face with the reality of true and eternal hope, the word is just another word. The difference is the same as that experienced by someone one who hears about a person inheriting a huge fortune and that person inheriting the fortune himself. It is good news when another person receives a windfall, but it becomes GREAT AND WONDERFUL NEWS when I am the recipient!

So it is with the gospel of God and so it was when Paul became the recipient of God’s marvelous grace! The fact that he was of significant stature in the Hebrew culture meant a great deal to him before he became obedient to the gospel; afterwards, that which he had prized highly became as nothing to him. His words were: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Philippians 3.7-9).

Is it the fact that the gospel of God comes from God that makes it so great? Or, is it that the gospel of God reveals the love that God the Father has for humanity as demonstrated through Jesus the Son? Is that what makes it such good news? Or, maybe it is the fact that the gospel of God reveals how we may come to eternally abide with Him and share all the attendant blessings that come from such a blessed abode! Which is it? It is all of the above; this multiple choice question does not require choosing one over the other; it involves the eventual appropriation of all the things mentioned. It is good news because it is meant for me, and it is good news because it is the means by which the blessings of God are poured out upon needy mankind!

Jesus declared concerning those who would follow him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9.62). This is a time of new beginnings. Perhaps as a reader you put your hand to the gospel plow at one time, but have forgotten the great blessings that were yours at that time. Maybe this is the day that you will resolve to take up the gospel banner again and march unashamedly under those colors until death finds you. Come out from among them and separate yourself to the matchless gospel of God!

Questions:

1. What is the literal meaning of gospel?

2. In what ways may it be said to be the gospel of God?

3. How does the worth of the gospel seemingly change when you discover that it concerns you and not just someone you know?

4. Was Paul always right in everything he did? What did he do when he found out that his former life was not pleasing to God? How did his allegiances change?