A KNOWN GOSPEL

Here’s the outline for my sermon on Romans 1:2-7 at Cross of Christ Fellowship, our church in Naperville. You can find the audio here.

Intro: Is it actually POSSIBLE to know who God is? Can we REALLY know what God is like? Could we ever actually hear a message from Him? Many around us would say, ‘No, it is not possible. No one really knows who God is. There are too many religions and perspectives, how could anyone actually know which one is right? Aren’t we better off just saying no one really knows? Isn’t that the more humble of an opinion? This is a pretty common attitude for people around us. For many people, the notion of actually knowing God is far-fetched, and impossible. And so God is a distant idea, out of reach, and irrelevant to everyday life.

-As Christians we would beg to differ
. While there are many religions out there, this doesn’t mean that one can’t be right. While it may sound arrogant to claim to know the truth about God, we believe it is actually the more humble option is to submit to God’s truth that He has revealed in Christ than to rest on our own opinions. GOD can be known. GOD has spoken to us in the Bible. GOD has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. GOD has a message for the world, and it is the message of his GOSPEL. And it is a message that is true and life-changing. It certainly changed my life, and it changed the life of the apostle Paul, who wrote Romans.

-Today, we continue our time in Paul’s letter to the Romans by looking at 1:2-7.
Last week, we saw Paul tell us not only that he was the author of this letter, but a bit about his new identity in Christ: he is a servant of Jesus and is called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel of God. Paul’s ministry was specifically concerning with the Gospel of God. Today, in our passage, we learn about this GOSPEL OF GOD. Remember, GOSPEL means good news, and it is good news about God and from God. Here learn a bit more about this GOSPEL, and we see that is a gospel that can be known.

-FLOW of the passage:
Content of the gospel (2-4), Going out of the Gospel (5-6), Changed Lives of those who receive it (7).
        -BREAKFAST TABLE WITH VITAMIN GUMMYS: content, distributing of it, the changed they hopefully receive from it.
MP: God has made known His GOSPEL, and it is a gospel that is centered on Jesus Christ, goes out into the world, and changes lives. 1. CONTENT; 2. DISTRIBUTION; 3. CHANGED LIVES

1. CONTENT OF THE GOSPEL: the CONTENT of this gospel is JESUS (2-4)
Paul explains the CONTENT of the gospel. We see that was promised in the OT and centered on Jesus Christ. 
THE GOSPEL WAS PROMISED IN THE OT (2)
        -God Made Gospel Promises in the OT: which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures
                   
PROMISES OF GOD: God promised the defeat of Satan (Gen 3:15); all the world to be blessed through Abraham’s descendant (Gen 12:1-3); a Messiah who would bear the sins of the people (Isaiah 53); a savior who would be king (Jere 33:14-16)
                    –BEFOREHAND THROUGH HIS PROPHETS: God speaks to us, and we hear his voice through his prophets.
                    -IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: We hear these words in the Bible, the Holy Scriptures.

-THE CONTENT of the GOSPEL is JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF (3-4)
        –Concerning his Son (3) Jesus is the God the Son. 
                    TWO NATURES IN ONE PERSON: HUMAN AND DIVINE—Hypostatic Union
        -HUMAN:
who was descended from David according to the flesh
                   
-Jesus came into this world and took on a human name (according to the flesh), and was a physical descendant of king David.
                                -Fulfillment of 2 Samuel 7:12-13
        -DIVINE: and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead,
                   
-DECLARED TO BE SON OF GOD IN POWER. Did not become it, but here was announced it to the world
                                -ACCORDING to the SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: The Holy Spirit raised Him and made this more evident
                                            -BY HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD: Here we His identity and power clearly
-MARVELING AT POWER—TOM BRADY: Recently Tom Brady led his football team to win the Superbowl, and people are marveling at Brady, who at 43 just won his 7th Superbowl.
                    –As Christians we marvel at Jesus Christ, the SON OF GOD IN POWER. He defeated DEATH, He defeated
                    SATAN, He defeated SIN by his death on the cross and resurrection.
        -JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD
                -Jesus receives our utter devotion and allegiance, since he is OUR LORD.

APP
: Jesus is the CONTENT of the GOSPEL. We can know God’s message of good news to the world, it is the message about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who in love went to the cross to die for sinners. He died in our place and defeated death and brought eternal life for His people. All who repent of their and believe the GOSPEL will be saved. We are not left in the dark, this is God’s message to the World. This is the message we can trust eternal souls with.

2. DISTRIBUTION of the GOSPEL: God Intends His GOSPEL TO GO OUT into the World (5-6)
The GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ has died for sinners was not meant for one small group of people in Israel. Rather, God desired to have his gospel go out into the world. We here God’s design for His gospel was to go out to the world.
-Paul has received grace and apostleship through Jesus: 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship
  
      -Office of Apostle (apostleship). Jesus gave his apostles to lead church and lay its foundation (Eph 2:19-20)
                    -The Early Church committed themselves to the Apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42)
                                -Apostles are all dead, but we have their teaching in the NT. As Christians we submit to them.
Purpose of Paul becoming an apostle:
to bring about the obedience of faith
                   
-We are saved by faith in Christ, not our works. But our faith in Christ will lead to good works. Eph 2:8-10
                                 
-Romans 1:18-11 is about the gospel we put our faith in. Romans 12-15 is about the OBEDIENCE OF FAITH.
-Paul’s MISSIONARY HEART: “for the sake of his name among all the nations”
                   
-“for the sake of his name”=that others would see and recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
BRAND AMBASSADORS: Some companies send out “brand ambassadors” to get their products out Pens, Red Bulls
        -As Christians we are “ambassadors for Christ,” urging all to repent and believe the gospel (2 Cor 5:18-21)
                    -Jesus deserves to be worshipped EVERYWHERE!
                                -This is the motive of missions and church planting: For the sake of His Name.
-The Roman Christians are included: including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
                   
-Paul is an apostle to the Roman Christians, and all the church including us. We submit to him as Christ’s apostle.
                                –CALLED: God’s effectual calling, where a person hears the gospel and God calls them to Himself.APP: The gospel is meant it to be shared.
        -We all struggle with sharing the gospel with those around us, but this passage reminds us the motive. We do it because we Jesus is supremely glorious and deserves to be worshipped. We love Jesus and we love the lost.
                    -It is like the amazing restaurant or show we just enjoyed. We want to share it with others.
                                -If we have forgotten that, we can repent and ask God to revive us and lead us in repentance.
QUESTION:  Who might you share the gospel with this month? Invite to FMSC on 3/11? Easter service? College students? Mongolians? Neighbors? Co-workers? 

3. CHANGED LIVES: The Good news of the GOSPEL changes the lives (7)
Here is the formal designation of to whom the letter was initially addressed. It was written to the Christians in Rome! We as Christians receive as God’s Word to us, since it is in the Bible. Here we are reminded that the GOSPEL changes lives. It leads us into the love of God and into holiness.
        who are loved by God:
                   
-All Christians can embrace this. You are LOVED by God!
                                -You were created in love, to experience the love of God now and into eternity.
       
called to be saints.
                   
-God has Christians to be “saints.” A “saint” =holy one, made holy by Christ.
                                -Roman Catholic Church is wrong by designating only certain Christians as saints. All true Christians are saints.
FLOWER PETALS: “He loves me, he loves me not.” At the end a person finds out if the person they desires actually does love them by the last flower petal. In the end, it is all up to chance whether a person is loved and cared for.
 –IN THE GOSPEL WE DON’T NEED TO WONDER if we are LOVED by GOD: WE ARE LOVED IN CHRIST!
        -God has loved us with an everlasting love, now we are His beloved.
IN THE GOSPEL, WE DON’T NEED TO WONDER IF WE ARE ACCEPTED BY GOD: IN CHRIST WE ARE HOLY
       
-Our sins do not have the last word on us, Jesus Christ does. He has cleansed us in the gospel.

CLOSE: Friends, we can KNOW the CONTENT of the GOSPEL, we can work in the power of the Spirit to see it DISTRIBUTED, and we can be assured that is CHANGES LIVES.
CLOSING PRAYER: 1:7. His prayer wish for the Romans as he concludes this opening portion of the letter. And we’ll make it our prayer for you this you: GRACE TO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR FATHER AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

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