Monday, January 10, 2011

I am not ashamed of the Good News about Christ-- the Power of God!

Rom. 1:2-7 and 16-17 NLT
   2God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 3 The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
   6 And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7  I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
   8  Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. . . .
    16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Looking into things in a new year we can begin with the letter by the Apostle Paul to the Christian believers in the heart of the Roman World. Though all the world was sinful, Paul will choose to point out the difference between sin and Godliness found in the heart of the world-- this city that influenced the rest of known civilization. Godliness is only to be found described in inspired scripture, the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)  and the Christian (New Testament). For Christians both are the Inspired Word of God. In once sense this book is a type of Gospel by Paul, just as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 'gospels." Gospel means 'the Good News.' Paul had really great news to share with people wherever he went. This good news started in the Hebrew scriptures where they introduced the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul lays out this for his unseen friends in Christ at Rome in the first five verses. If you ever want to use scripture to explain to someone confused by the cults today these verses would be a good place to begin. "He was shown to be the Son of God. .  Christ our Lord. . ." Paul points out that what was done was not simply for Hebrews but for all people everywhere.

Paul makes it personal for the believers at Rome, and for us today as well, when He says that what Christ has done was accomplished "for you."  You and I, are among those who are "who have been called to be His holy people."  Think about that. YOU were called. You were invited. A place among those made Holy by God's grace was reserved just for YOU. VV 6-7 make clear what is in store for us as God's Holy People--grace and peace because we "belong to Christ."Now that is something we all need more of-- grace and peace. 

Paul expresses personal gratitude to God because His grace has been made known to the believers at Rome. I think he would say it about us today as well in this Land that Paul never knew about. We jump over to one of the grandest confessions in Scripture that millions have often quoted.  I am not ashamed of the good news about Christ either. I pray you are equally unashamed and bold in this good news. Why? This good news is the very power of God at work, according to this passage. Notice the key in verse 17-- the work of God is accomplished by faith-- from start to finish, it is faith alone. 
I pray this good news is at work in you daily and that you share it wherever you go.

Your servant in Christ's love

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