Published November 18, 2010
Rom. 1:14-17; 9:1-3; 10:1, 14-15; 15:17-20
Bible Studies for Life, Nov 28
I am so grateful for the new life I have in Christ. “If any man is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away and behold all things have become new.”
This new life I have in Christ is a result of grace. Am I so thankful for the work Christ has done in me that I would share it (that good news) with others?
We have the responsibility of sharing the good news of Jesus with a world in darkness because of sin. Acts 1:8 tells us “we shall” – not maybe – “shall be witnesses” beginning at home and going to the uttermost parts of the earth. Jesus gave us our orders in Matthew 28 when He said “Go to all the nations ...” (28:19). The problem among many of God’s people today is not a lack of direction but a lack of obedience to His Great Commission commandment.
As we approach a time of prayer for missions (primarily our IMB missionaries during the Christmas season of offerings for Lottie Moon) we are reminded that we live in a world in darkness. And the glorious Gospel of Jesus is the only thing that will rescue them out of the darkness (BTW – Please do not forget to promote the Lottie Moon offering for foreign missions during the month of December. We must go but we must also give). Yet I am reminded that so many of God’s people do not go and tell the story of Christ.
Are you convinced of the Gospel’s power? - Romans 1:14-17
In Christendom today many churches have “watered down” the Gospel to make it palatable to a lost world. Some churches do not extend a public invitation to those who need to respond to the call of the Gospel. I believe many no longer preach the Gospel because of a loss of confidence in the Gospel.
Paul teaches us here his thoughts on the Gospel. Paul is speaking here about his privilege to preach the Gospel. And Paul says that he is “under obligation to both Greeks and Barbarians; both to the wise and unwise” (in other words everyone). This was Paul’s burden that whether a man was cultured or crude, intellectual or not, he felt an obligation to preach the Gospel.
Paul would proclaim Christ to an Onesimus or to a King Agrippa with the same passion. Paul realized that those who had found the treasure of the Gospel must share it (Paul saw it as a debt he owed.).
In Romans 1:15 we see Paul’s boldness to preach the Gospel. Paul said, “with everything in me I am ready to preach the Gospel ...”
The NASB says, “I am eager to preach the Gospel.” Regardless of the cost Paul stood ready to preach the Gospel. He preached the Gospel in Jerusalem – the religious center – and he was mobbed. Paul preached the Gospel in Athens – the intellectual center – and he was mocked. He preached the Gospel in Rome – the legislative center – and he was martyred.
Regardless of the price he would pay Paul stood ready to preach the Gospel.
Why would Paul, or any man, give his life in preaching the Gospel? Because of the confidence he had in its saving power. Paul was not “ashamed” of the Gospel. He had absolute confidence in the power of the preached word to change lives. Therefore if everyone around him forsook the Gospel Paul would not.
Paul had confidence in the Gospel because of its supremacy. Paul knew that compared to Greek logic, Roman law, and Hebrew enlightenment that the Gospel was far superior and supreme. That is why Paul could say, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.”
Paul had confidence in the Gospel because of its sufficiency. “It (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation.” If in today’s world there is a lack of confidence in the Gospel it is because we do not believe in the sufficiency of the Gospel.
I do not need another message. The world does not need a better educational system, more social reform or new religious idolatry. The world needs the Gospel.
As one writer said: “The Gospel grips the need, stabs the conscience, warms the heart and saves the soul. It can make drunken men sober, crooked men straight and profligate women pure” (John Phillips). Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because he knew it was sufficient.
Paul had confidence in the Gospel because of its simplicity. The Gospel is “for everyone who believes.” The Gospel call is a call to simple trust in Christ and Christ alone.
Are you concerned about the lost? - Romans 9:1-3; 10:1
Paul had an overwhelming desire to see people come to faith in Christ. Romans 10:1 shows that Paul’s “prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” We are not often concerned for the lost because we do not spend time praying for them.
The “them” in that verse that Paul prays for is his own people – the Jews. Paul desired to see his people who rejected Christ come to faith in Christ. In fact, Paul had such a desire to see the lost saved that in Romans 9:2-3 he expressed it by saying he had “great sorrow and increasing grief in his heart” and that he “wished that I myself were accursed for the sake of my brethren.”
Do we carry a burden for the lost like Paul? Do we have any desire to see our family, friends, neighbors and work associates come to faith in Christ? Do we really believe that if they do not trust the Christ of the Gospel that they will spend eternity in hell? May God give us a burning desire to preach the Gospel.
What are we doing about it? - Romans 10:14-15; 15:17-20
The word of God teaches us “that whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). Then, in verses 14-15 Paul tells us how the world can hear. They cannot hear without a preacher. That is me and you. We are the ones God had called to share Christ with the lost.
They cannot believe if they do not hear. So we must tell the story. And they cannot believe on whom they have not heard. So we tell them the story of Christ and then how the Holy Spirit will speak and they will believe. Therefore we must preach.
How will we reach our world for Christ? By going.
We can also reach them by giving. Support the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Check out additional resources at www.imb.org.
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