Good New for Sinners

MEMORY VERSE: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” —Romans 1:16

ROMANS 1:16-25

OUR memory verse is a key text for understanding the Book of Romans. The Gospel of Christ is in reality the plan of God for providing salvation for the sin-cursed human race. What is the Gospel of Christ? The word “gospel” means good news, or glad tidings. The angel who announced the birth of Jesus declared it to be “good tidings of great joy” because the promised Christ, or Messiah, had at last been born. This great One was also to be a “Savior.”—Luke 2:10,11

Romans 1:1-4 reads, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”

Here the Gospel of Christ is referred to by Paul as the Gospel of God—that Gospel which he had promised “by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures”—the Old Testament Scriptures. One of God’s Gospel promises recorded in the Old Testament is the one in which he told Abraham that through his seed all families of the earth would be blessed. (Gen. 12:3) Paul refers to this promise and describes it as the Gospel which was preached before unto Abraham.—Gal. 3:8

Paul also write concerning the promised “Seed,” saying, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16) Thus Christ is seen to be at the very center of God’s Gospel promise to Abraham concerning the blessings which would reach the people through his seed.

But in verses 27-29 of this same chapter Paul elaborates. We quote: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Thus it is clear that when God made promise to Abraham concerning his seed, or progeny, he was speaking of Jesus, and those—both Jews and Gentiles—who through faith become Christ’s. It is what we might call a “faith” seed. This is a very fundamental part of the “Gospel of Christ,” for it is through Christ and those who become his through faith and obedience that the remainder of the world of mankind will receive the promised blessings.

When God made his promise to Abraham, emphasis was placed on the fact that “all” families of the earth would be blessed. This was an essential feature of the Gospel as it was proclaimed to that faithful patriarch. And when, later, the Gospel was again communicated to the shepherds by an angel, the scope of these good tidings had not narrowed—it still was to “all people.”

We could say that the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, is of two essential parts. (1) It contains the promise of the instruments of blessing—Christ and the church, and (2) it gives assurance of blessings for all mankind; that is, for all who, when given full knowledge and opportunity, believe on Christ, and obey the righteous laws of God. This blessing is, basically, life.

The followers of Jesus during the present age, who prove faithful to their Lord even unto death, will be exalted to heavenly life with him, even as he was exalted to the divine nature in his resurrection. Jesus said to his disciples just before his crucifixion, “I go to prepare a place for you. And … I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”—John 14:3

Mankind in general, when they have proved their worthiness, will receive perfect human life on earth, this provision having been made for them through the blood of Christ. One of the Gospel promises concerning this is found in Isaiah 35:10, which reads, “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion [the glorified church] with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.”


What is the Gospel, and when was it first preached?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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