The Series - To All Who are in Rome; The Article - I am not Ashamed (Part 3); Focus Text - Romans 1.16
Guaranteed 100% effective 100% of the time! Products that have 100% effectiveness would be a boon to any sales person. However, almost any product that one can imagine will not work for someone. Even a brand new automobile that costs only $1.00 is of no value (as an automobile) to someone who has no roads. A pair of eyeglasses that are guaranteed to correct any sighted person’s vision deficiency are of no value to someone who has no sight at all. Whatever the product, if man can devise it, fate has a way of making it beyond the usage of some people.
Contrary to human devices and inventions, the gospel of Jesus Christ has the capability of being 100% effective to all who embrace it; there are no exceptions! This 100% efficacy guarantee of the gospel is one reason Paul could write, “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.” (Focus Text: Romans 1.16). There was no one, and I do mean no one, who could not benefit from the gospel as it was intended if he/she applied it as it was intended. That is 100% effectiveness 100% of the time. Our devotional today will note some biblical truths that confirm the gospel’s efficacy.
The first principle involved is God’s essence of absolute truthfulness. Paul and all other believers stood “…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” (Titus 1.2). John affirms this promise by saying, “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” (1 John 2.25). Peter wrote of the same saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1.3-4). The believer has God’s personal assurance and promise that heaven awaits the faithful.
Another principle that vouchsafes our future is found in the awesome and never to be forgotten cross of Jesus Christ. Although it is impossible for us as humans to fully understand the processes that were in motion at the cross, it is not impossible for us to understand the result. It was there God the Father reconciled the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5.18-19). This action was so complete that Paul affirmed, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5.17). It was not our doing, but His that brought about the reconciliation of the cross. Paul writes, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” (Romans 5.18). Man’s plans have weakness and are subject to fail; the gospel is God’s work and as such contains no weakness or possibility of failure.
Given the nature of the gospel, the fact that it works every time and in every circumstance where it is fully embraced, we cannot but help to fall to our knees and offer praise to its author, Eternal God. Friends may fail; products may disappoint, but the gospel of Christ delivers as promised!
1. What attributes of God are involved in the 100% efficacy of the gospel?
2. Could man have provided a system of redemption? Why or why not? If he could, why was the gospel necessary?
3. If man provided it, could there be failures? What assurance do believers have as a result of the gospel being from God and not from men?
4. What was the “free gift” of Romans 5.18? From whom was it given? To whom was it given?
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