Sermon: Paul, God, and the Gospel (Pt. 2)

“Paul, God, and the Gospel” Pt. 2
Romans 1:1-7
May 24, 2015

A few years ago I saw a book in the bookstore and was curious about the title and book, Jesus, Life Coach, so I looked it up online and found this description from the editors:

There was a time when only athletes had coaches. Now, everyone from CEOs to at-risk youth are being “coached.” The International Coaching Federation — which began with only a handful of people — now boasts membership of over 5,000, and currently more than 150,000 people call themselves “Life Coaches.” The benefits of coaching have been well documented, but having the right coach is critical.

Jesus had only three years to train the twelve disciples, yet in that time he managed to turn this ragamuffin group into “lean, clean marketing machines.” Divided into four critical sections — Focus, Balance, Productivity, and Fulfillment — Jesus, Life Coach presents a faith-based coaching program with Jesus as the model. Delving into the principles Jesus used to transform those around him, the book offers proven strategies and countless applications for modern-day coaches.

This is just one more book and resource that is so incredibly confused about who Jesus is, what He came to do and how we are to know and understand Him.  This confusion even extends to the church as James Boice noted:  “This gets very close to what is chiefly wrong with our contemporary Christianity. Our religion is one of personalities, plans, programs, buildings, books, but it is not the faith of those who love Jesus.”

It is widely acknowledged that the book of Romans is not overtly Christological — there are few sections that speak directly to His person and work, and yet because the book is about the gospel of God, the book is also inherently about Christ. And as Paul offers greetings to his readers, he immediately introduces the gospel and the main person of the gospel, Jesus Christ. In what is perhaps the most Christological section of the book, Paul tells us that —

God’s eternal gospel is about Jesus Christ and accomplished by Jesus Christ.

In a church culture (never mind the world culture) where there is so much confusion about the gospel and Christ, we must understand these truths clearly. As we think about ministry and evangelism (which we will talk about at our potluck lunch), we must believe and speak rightly about the five component truths of the gospel that Paul identifies.

  1. The Gospel of God About Jesus is Unchanging (v. 2)
  2. The Gospel of God is About the Man Jesus (v. 3)
  3. The Gospel of God is About the Divine Jesus (v. 4a)
  4. The Gospel of God is About the Resurrected Jesus (v. 4b)
  5. The Gospel of God is About the Lord Jesus (v. 4c)

Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 1:2-4.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.

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