The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Romans 1:16-17 ESV
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’.”
What is the gospel? It is the “Good News.” And what is the good news? It is that Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave his life up for us on a cross so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and so that we could now become slaves of God and of his righteousness, living holy lives, pleasing to God, not in our own strength, but in the power and strength of our Savior God.
It is that, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we can be born again of the Spirit of God to live new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, not like our old lives of living for sin and for self. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
It is that Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives. For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live godly, upright, and self-controlled lives while we wait for him to return.
And it is that we are now, by faith in him, in relationship and communion with Almighty God, and that we can live our lives on this earth in his strength and power, and that we can be ministers of his love and grace to others, and that we can know the love of God in our lives and be led by him and empowered by him and have eternal life with him, too.
The Wrath of God
Romans 1:18-23 ESV
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
Okay, so what is this saying in relation to the two preceding verses about the gospel of our salvation? It is showing us that living by faith excludes living by the flesh, doing whatever it is we choose to do. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Now, in context, this is not speaking about a status of righteousness as something that we wear as a badge, but this is about whether or not we are living righteously. This is about our deeds, in other words. If we suppress the truth of the Scriptures by our unrighteous and ungodly deeds, then the wrath of God is against us.
For, it is not what we profess with our lips which matters for eternity, but it is how we live, whether for the flesh or for God and for his righteousness. We are either walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, or we are walking according to the flesh. If according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God.
For, all people have had God’s divine nature revealed to them through his created works, so all are without excuse. Therefore, those who have had the word taught to them, and some who have even taught the Scriptures to others, are definitely without excuse if they continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God.
For, it isn’t that they are ignorant of God or of the truth, but that they choose to reject the Lord and his truth and to go their own way instead, many of them making up their own god and their own jesus in their own minds to suit their own will and purposes, and because they refuse to bow the knee to Jesus and to honor him as Lord (owner-master) of their lives.
The Lusts of Their Hearts
Romans 1:24-25 ESV
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
God doesn’t force his will upon us. We are not marionettes being controlled by strings which God has in his hands. He gave us free wills to choose him or to reject him. It is our choice, but there are serious consequences if we choose wrongly. And one of those is that he will give us over to our own devices to do what ought not to be done.
And when God gives us up to the lusts of our own hearts to dishonoring our bodies and to doing all sorts of evil, we may also pay the natural consequences of such actions. It could be loss of health, or loss of family and friends, although these can happen to those living righteously, too. Or it could be being caught in sin and having to go to jail, too.
But the worst of it all is the consequences they will have to pay in the end because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and they worshiped the creature rather than the creator. And this is what is happening in today’s church.
They are buying into the lie (the cheap grace), thinking they can continue living in sin without consequence while they profess faith in Jesus Christ with their lips. But it doesn’t work that way. For, if we live by the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if we live by the Spirit, we will have eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”