Sermon: Paul, God, and the Gospel (Pt. 4)

“Paul, God, and the Gospel” Pt. 4
Romans 1:1-7
June 14, 2015

A couple of years ago, Business Insider reported the following story:

In 1962, a man named George Walton wanted to find out what his 1913 Liberty Head nickel coin was worth. But on his way to the coin show, his car crashed and burst into flames, killing him – while the coin emerged unscathed. Appraisers gave it to his sister, Melva Givens, but told her it was fake.

For some reason, though, Givens kept it, passing it down to her heirs in a padded envelop with the words “It’s not real” scrawled on it after she died in 1992.

In 2003, her heirs wanted to validate Givens’ claim and had it reappraised.

As it turns out, the coin is authentic – and one of only five 1913 Liberty Head nickels ever made. The U.S. officially stopped making Liberty Head nickels in 1912, but one rebellious worker at the U.S. Mint made five more in 1913 to create collectors’ items and sold them for $500 each.

At an auction in Schaumburg, Illinois, last week, the heirs were shocked when their coin sold for $3,172,500. They couldn’t believe Givens had kept it in a closet for 40 years, thinking the whole time it was a fake. “She died … never knowing she had the real thing,” one of the four heirs, Cheryl Myers, told the Chicago Tribune.

Myers and her brother, Ryan Givens, celebrated their new fortune with dinner and told the AP they plan to invest the money. “We started with a nickel yesterday morning and now we have $2.7 million.”

This family possessed something of great value that they thought was of insignificant value. And too many believers are like that when they consider the value of the gospel and their salvation.

Many years ago when I was in seminary I was leading an evangelism training team and a good friend of mine was on that team. One evening after we had finished our evening and were driving back to the church, he said something like, “I know and believe the importance of the gospel to forgive us of our sins, but is that all we are telling people? What good is the gospel now? What is the benefit of the gospel today?” It was a good question and one that has biblical answers (answers that are found in our verse this morning), but unfortunately I didn’t have a clear answer for him that evening. But I’ve thought often about that question since then and have some definite answers now.

Because of the gospel the believer receives great blessings from God.

Last week I said the question undergirding verses 5-6 was “why the gospel?” That is, why should we be committed to the gospel? If “why” was the question last week, then the question in verse 7 is “what” — “what good is the gospel?” That is, what does the gospel do in and for believers?

Paul will expand each of these truths in some way in the rest of the book, but here is his initial, brief answer to the question, “what are the benefits of the gospel in the life of the believer?”

  1. Because of the Gospel the Believer is Loved by God
  2. Because of the Gospel the Believer is Called a Saint
  3. Because of the Gospel the Believer Receives Grace and Peace
  4. Because of the Gospel the Believer has Fellowship with God

Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 1:7.

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

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