The essence and the purpose of the gospel are given in Romans Chapter 1. The righteous shall live by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pauls shared his desires and purpose of his visit to the Romans believer community and in the process explained the sin and the salvation of man through Jesus Christ.The Essence of the Gospel
Looking at the mind-map above, we can ask and answer many questions that relate to us:
- Who is Paul, the author of this letter?
Paul said he was the servant of Jesus Christ, an Apostle, essentially the sent one, with a very specific message, which is the gospel of God. Paul is very clear about his mission in life. Knowing one's mission enables him to prioritize, the important from the unnecessary. His life has focus and meaning. What about your life? Do you know your calling from God? The general ones for all believers and the particular ones unique to you.
- What is the Gospel?
It is about Jesus Christ and us. It is promised by God all the way from the time God decided to create men. It is not an afterthought but a part of the original design. God knows men will fail Him and hence He already provided the Way to save men and bring men back to Him. The gospel is the good news that men can become saints again. Going down to v16 & 17, it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The righteous shall live by faith in the gospel of God.
- Who is Jesus Christ?
He was a descendant of King David, a man in the flesh just like anyone of us. But He is actually the Son of God. The uniqueness of Jesus is that He died and was resurrected by the Holy Spirit. He is the One that conquers death.
- Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the One that resurrected Jesus Christ the man from death. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all play a part in the gospel.
- Who is God?
God is the One who loves us and call us to be saints. His plan was not spoiled neither by the sin of men nor the evil of Satan. He sent His son to die for us that we may be saved. John 3:16. God gives us grace and peace.
Paul shows us how we could relate to other believers. Here are some key points:
- To bless them with Grace and Peace from God.
- To keep track of their work and be thankful to God.
- To pray for them unceasingly.
- To pray for the opportunity to meet face to face so that
- impart spiritual gifts to strengthen them
- to be mutually encouraged
- to reap some harvest of souls in reaching out to others in their community
- to be impartial in our sharing of the gospel, regardless of races, and social classes.
- to be confident in the power of the gospel and share boldly. Salvation is by faith and not by work. So we may feel inadequate but let us not be fearful and leave the result to God.
The Sin of Man and the Judgement from God
We learn the following points:
- There will be a judgment against all unrighteousness of men.
- Men unrighteousness is suppression of the truth.
- The truth, within the context, is the existence of God.
- The existence of the invisible God is clearly seen in the things created by Him. So men have no excuse for not knowing God.
- Instead, men foolishly make the created thing their god! In the past, we found men worshipping trees, animals, the sun, the moon, etc. Some even make idols from woods and metals resulting in men worshipping their own created idols!
- At present time, any thing that replaces God in heart, such as wealth, reputation, children or spouse, could become our idols. We should not put anything higher than God.
- The worst is that men make their own desires above God. They corrupt the original purposes of bodies and dishonor their bodies in their lusts and committing all kinds of evil acts.
- The sins of men include covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, gossips, slanderers, haters of God, etc.
- Internally though men know such acts are wrong, they nevertheless do them and even encourage others to them. Men think they can make immoral acts moral by either legalizing them or getting more people to do. Their justification will simply be, "All others are doing them and so it must be OK."
- God allows them to do whatever they like but will judgment one day for their sins.
- There is only one way out, which is to acknowledge our sins, and believe in the gospel by faith. We are so enslaved by sins that only Jesus Christ can free us through his death and resurrection.