SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

The Gospel of God

Text: Romans 1:1-17 – Read!

Intro: The Apostle Paul, writing from the city of Corinth , to Christians in Rome , (at a time when the cancer of Judaism was a plague to virtually every church of Christ in the known world) would set straight the complete nature of the Gospel!

The theme of the letter grows from this complete nature, “ The all sufficiency of the Gospel so the Just can live by faith ”.

This Gospel would fulfill what was lacking in both heathenism and Judaism, replacing all other religious systems as the only way to God.

As Paul wishes to be among them, he has otherwise been hindered to this point from traveling there. However, he wishes to have some fruit among them (and possibly head off potential problems between Jew and Gentile Christians that have developed everywhere else). So he is writing this theological letter to these Christians, whereby he is acting as antagonist (offering the arguments of the Jews that he has encountered in virtually all other churches) and advocate of the Gospel.

As is the case in all the scriptures, the best commentary on the difficult things to understand within the letter, comes from within the scriptures themselves. The key to understanding the book of Romans (besides an understanding of Judaism at the time of Christ and the church) is given within the opening of the book itself. This will be the context for this lesson!

Lesson:

 I. Good News.

Romans 1:1 “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

The Greek word for Gospel is, ‘ euggelion ', and means, ‘good news'. The English word Gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, ‘ godspell ', which means, ‘good tidings'.

We just don't talk like this anymore! We generically use this term from time to time without really appreciating its meaning. Good news is readily accepted in everyday life, yet in most cases we become numb to the best news that has ever been given mankind!

Paul claims to be one sent for the work of sharing the ‘good news' of God. The fact that it was the Gospel (good news) of God denotes that it was of His design and origin. This makes Him the architect, engineer, and originator of this good news.

What made it good news for the world at this time and for all time? This is what we want to look at in this lesson.

 II. Promised.

Romans 1:2 “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,”

Paul would state that God's Gospel was an intended undertaking by God, which He revealed long before it's unveiling. This promise signified a gift graciously bestowed, not a pledge secured by negotiations.

So, what was this promise given by faith that would keep man for the faith that would afterward be revealed? There were many instances within the writings of the Old Testament that would point to the coming on one who would justify and save mankind. However, for the sake of time, we want to focus on a specific prophecy concerning a specific promise.

Abraham would be called by God to leave the land of his fathers ( Ur of the Chaldeans) and go to a land that he had never seen before. God also accompanied this instruction with a promise of blessings, note:

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. "

After Abraham obeyed God and became a sojourner in the land that God would give his descendants, God tested Abraham's faith. He commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only heir (Isaac). Abraham obeyed God without hesitation and confirmed his faith before God. As the Lord stayed Abraham's hand from slaying his son, He also confirmed the promise of blessing that he had already made with Abraham, note:

Genesis 22:18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed , because you have obeyed My voice."

On the day of Pentecost, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; His chosen Apostles having been filled with the Holy Spirit (as He had promised them), preached the first Gospel (good news) sermon. At the end of that sermon, many of the Jews that heard this sermon were cut to their hearts and wanted to know what to do. Peter would tell them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. He would also denote that this was the beginning of the promise that God had spoken before to Abraham, and it was being fulfilled in these and on all who would be called by the Gospel, note:

Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

Just as the Jews on Pentecost became the unveiling of the promise of God, the Apostle Paul would denote that all men who are justified by faith in the Gospel are of the promise made to Abraham, note:

Galatians 3:8-9 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham .”

The ‘good news' of God that was spoken of hundreds of generations prior to its unveiling, spoke of a blessing God would bestow on all based on faith. In addition, God spoke of a single seed of Abraham by which He would bless all men, note:

Galatians 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.”

This will take us right into the next point of the text!

 

 III. Concerning His Son.

In any issue of faith there must be a focal point on which it is based. The ‘good news' of God has just such a focal point, “Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord , who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”

Everything within the Gospel's message revolves around the Christ of God. The Apostle Paul writing to Christians in Colossi wrote concerning the forward planning of God by which He would justify men in Christ Jesus. In addition, Paul would expand our understanding of our Lord's role in God's plan, note:

Colossians 1:13-18 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence .”

 

 IV. Seed of David.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Having faith in the ‘good news' concerning blessings that are bestowed through Christ Jesus our Lord is made easier by certain evidentiary measures that are given in the immediate text. In addition to these evidentiary measures we can also see the ‘good news' of God concerning His Son unfold in more detail.

The first is a proof text that Jesus was the Messiah of promise in the flesh as a direct descendant of David and would sit on His throne as foretold in prophecy ( II Samuel 7:12 -13 ). Nathan would reveal to David that God would set up his seed after him, and that God would establish the throne of his kingdom forever. We all know that kingdoms come and go, and that only a spiritual kingdom could last forever. The Jews knew of this prophecy of the Messiah as a descendant of David, and knew that he was to be of the lineage of Judah .

Both Joseph and Mary could trace their blood lines directly to king David, but it is in the words of the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary that would sum up this proof text, note:

Luke 1:31-33 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name J esus . 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

Frequently in the course of His earthly ministry, Jesus was addressed as ‘son of David', which is distinctly a Messianic title pointing to Him as the one who fulfilled the Davidic covenant ( Matthew 21:9 ; Luke 18:38 ).

In addition to fulfilling every prophecy concerning His coming, He would give us a glimpse of the glory of God Himself in the flesh, note:

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

He would be born of flesh and not only would we behold the glory of God in Him and His pure physical existence (without sin), but we would learn that this was necessary in order for Him to become the lamb of sacrifice, note:

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Hebrews 10:8-10 “Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

 V. Son of God.

Even with the previous evidentiary proofs of His birth, way of life, and accompanying signs and wonders; it was this very claim that He was the Son of God that was at the heart of His death. However, this second proof text makes the ‘good news' of God the greatest message ever delivered and stands as a marker for all men to have faith in.

God vindicated the claims of Jesus with power, and that power was the resurrection from the dead. What message has ever been delivered to benefit man that is accompanied by such a powerful witness? Just the ‘good news' of God.

In addition, it is this power within the resurrection from the dead that Jesus saves those who follow Him, note:

1 Peter 3:21 “There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ ,”

It was the power of the resurrection that would stand as judgment to all men. For all those who believe that He is the Son of God will be saved, and those who still reject Him, will not !

Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

Acts 17:31 “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead ."

 

 VI. Obedience to the Faith.

Paul claims that it was this very Son of God that commissioned him and the rest of the Apostles of Christ. It is within this commission that they were to proclaim the need for obedience to the faith. For all the human doctrines that claim salvation by faith alone and attempt to substantiate their claim in the letter to the Romans, this stands as the greatest detractor of this false doctrine.

The fact is; the commissioned Apostles always taught the necessity of obedience to the call of the ‘good news' of God. To those who would teach contrary, note the teachings of Paul within this letter alone:

Romans 2:8 “but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth , but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath,”

Romans 6:17-18 “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

Romans 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God .”

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel . For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

 VII. Among All Nations.

Paul would add that this commissioned ‘good news' of God; was no longer nationally specific. For the glory of His name, they were to share this message of ‘good news' to all nations. In the words of the Savior Himself to His chosen they were to make disciples of every nation, preach to every creature, bear His name to Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel ( Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 9:15 ).

Peter would best describe this commissioned charge to deliver the ‘good news' of God to all men as he preached Jesus to the first un-circumcised Gentile, note:

Acts 10:34 -40 “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him . 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all-- 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly ,”

 VIII. Power to Save.

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

Paul finishes the first chapter of this letter specifically stating the sins of the Gentiles; that their actions were worthy of spiritual death. He would start and finish the second chapter by stating that the Jews could not boast because they also have sinned and have treasured up wrath in God's eyes. Finally in the third chapter, he sums up the need of every man for the ‘good news' of God, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (the glory of God is seen in the purpose for which we are here in this life, fear God and keep His commandments Ecclesiastes 12:13 – we are separated from His glory when we fail to achieve the design of our creation).

However, the ‘good news' of God concerning His Son is the power by which those sins are removed and though we were once enemies by sin, we are now made friends again with God and joint heirs with Christ, when we obey the Gospel.

This ‘good news' addresses our minds and tells us facts that must be believed. This ‘good news' reproves our sins and convicts us of them. This ‘good news' pricks our hearts by revealing our need for salvation from our sins. This ‘good news' gives the hope of salvation from the deplorable actions of our sinful life. The ‘good news' educates man towards a new way of life ‘IN' Christ, and it is in this new life that we no longer serve sin, but glorify God and honor the Christ through obedience to the Spirit who proclaimed the ‘good news' through the Apostles and prophets.

Acts 2:38 -42 “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

So what should you do with the ‘good news' of God?

Be Saved From This Perverse Generation!