This past Sunday we studied the final Core Value we hold as a church – the obligation we have to pass the gospel on to others. This obligation is both corporate – for our entire church, and personal. We must carry the obligation in our hearts to communicate the good news from God – the gospel message – to our family, our city, our neighborhood, our workplace or our school. We studied Romans 1:1-7; 14-17.
The central theme of the text is simple: The power of God is in the message.
1. Our Message: The Gospel
Paul tells us the gospel is the gospel of God. It is good news from God. Everyone needs good news and we carry the best news of all in our hearts. We summarize this message simply – the gospel is the person and work of Jesus Christ. When we communicate the good news about Jesus, it comprises his unique birth; his sinless life; his propitiatory death on the cross (he took God’s wrath for our sins); his resurrection from the dead; and his ascension to heaven where he now sits at the Father’s right hand awaiting his return.
The scope of the mission to proclaim the gospel is all nations. We carry a message that saves all kinds of people. It isn’t a white message or a black message but it is a unique message – good news from God – for all people. We pray our church will look like all kinds of people. No other message in the world can unite different races, cultures, personalities, sexes, ages, or musical preferences like the good news from God. It is not a message from man – it is from God for men.
2. Our Motivation for Proclamation
Paul said, “I’m under obligation…” We have a debt to the world – we are entrusted with something for them from God. We are in their debt until we tell the message. This must inform how we view our circumstances. God places us around people to whom we are in debt and we must look for the right opportunity to communicate this good news.
2 Cor 5.21 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Paul also says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation.” The words from God about Jesus uniquely turn people’s lives in a completely different direction because they are powerful to save and transform people!
Not only is the gospel the power of God – in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith. Often, people try to be righteous through good moral behavior or by keeping a personal standard of conduct. They may hope God will accept them because of their efforts. However, only God’s righteousness will save men.
“The righteousness of God is God’s just justification of the unjust, his righteous way of pronouncing the unrighteous righteous, in which he both demonstrates his righteousness and gives righteousness to us. He has done this through Christ the righteous one who died for the unrighteous.” John Stott
How do we apply this to our lives? Remember – The power of God is in the message.
1. Loving our Personal World: love your family and tell the news. Get to know the people in your neighborhood and those with whom you work or go to school. Be the best employee or student you can be. Care for people and watch what doors will open.
2. Loving our city: care about our area. Pray for the people who live here and for the success of gospel proclamation through the area churches. Pray for the success of gospel partnership with like-minded churches. Pray for our endeavors in Ghent and future church planting.
3. Loving the World: Consider how the Lord will have you participate in our short-term missions projects. Pray for the ministries we serve. Pray for our future investment into other nations and projects.