An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1)

Last week I gave four lectures at the Southern Manitoba Prophecy Conference. My theme was the Gospel of God. My last lecture was entitled, “Good News For All People.” For this lecture I moved through Paul’s magnificent Epistle to the Romans, which is considered by many to be the “Constitution of the Christian Faith.” That is, Romans contains what is arguably the greatest exposition of the Gospel anywhere in the New Testament. Paul begins by sharing His felt obligation to preach the Gospel to all people everywhere (1:1-6, 14-16, cf Colossians 1:28). He assures us that God has revealed His existence immediately to every human heart and that men are therefore obligated to respond affirmatively to His truth. If they refuse they will be found “without excuse” on the day of judgment (1:18-20). Though even fallen men can recognize and obey God’s law written on their hearts (2:14-15), none are able to do this perfectly. In fact, all humans come into the world with two great problems: all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (3:23). In Christ we find the solution to both. First, our sin debt is purged by the redemptive work of Christ, whose saving benefits are accessible through faith (4:4-5). Is is by faith that we have access to saving grace (5:1-2). Paul explains that Christ is a new Adam, a new progenitor and representative of humanity. Paul explains that “as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (5:18). Furthermore, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (5:20). If Adam’s sin affected all of humanity, then Christ’s redemptive work must be sufficient to redeem all of humanity. His offer of salvation is legitimate, as John wrote “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17b). God has enabled unregenerate sinners, enslaved by sin, to respond affirmatively to His truth (6:17-18). Once we enter into a saving, New Covenant relationship with the Lord, we are forgiven and justified. However, sin still remains in our flesh (Romans 7), to be done away with when we are raised to glory (Romans 8). Though God may further harden willfully disobedient hearts, He does so for the purpose of greater, redemptive goods (9:15-18). God assures us that He desires the salvation of even the most disobedient and obstinate of people (10:21). Yes, God reserves the right to show mercy to whomever He will (9:15). As a matter of fact, the God Who is love (1 John 4:8) assures us that His mercy is not reserved for only a select few; His mercy extends to all (11:32). God is surprising, even shocking, in how He has determined to govern and redeem man. His wisdom, power, and love are truly unfathomable (11:33-36). Now that is a God worth worshiping!

God bless,

pastor john