God’s Great Gospel
May 19, 2019
Today we close the book on Romans 8. That means we are halfway through this great letter. It means that we are transitioning to the fourth major section in the book — the sovereignty of God (chs. 9-11). It means that we are leaving one of the most beloved chapters in all Scripture.
As we prepare to leave chapter eight and begin chapter nine, I want to take one last look at where we have been. Some of you have been here for most of these sermons, but I doubt you remember them all (I preached them, and I don’t remember them all!). Many of you became members after we started this book. So, I believe it will be helpful to look backwards at chapters 1-8 and see what God has been teaching us about Himself and His gospel through Paul’s pen.
It is significant to remember the purpose for this letter. Paul is wanting to take the gospel further west — he intends on going to Spain, and he needs two things: 1) he needs a base from which he can launch that ministry that will serve as the platform from which he and others will operate, and 2) he needs financial resources to enable him to go. So, he writes this letter to ask the Romans to help him (15:22-24).
One problem in making this request is that he has never been to Rome (1:10; 15:22) and the church there knows about Paul only by reputation (there were some members of the church that had been discipled by him; cf. ch. 16). So, the natural question would be, “why should we support you? How do we know you will faithfully represent our church and our doctrine?” This letter is written in anticipation of that question; Paul is explaining the doctrine he believes and teaches to demonstrate that his missionary venture is worthy of their support. So, this theological treatise is also a gospel declaration and an evangelistic letter. It is 16 chapters of delight in the gospel and 16 chapters of delight in the God of the gospel.
What has Paul taught us in these chapters?
The gospel is the power of God for salvation (and sanctification) to all (Jew and Gentile) who believe.
We need the gospel because it intersects with every part of our lives:
- The Gospel and the Unbeliever (1:18 – 3:20)
- The Gospel and Justification (3:21 – 4:25)
- The Gospel and Sanctification (5:1 – 8:39)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 1–8.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.