At our IBI graduation service last Saturday,
Sean Mullan, the speaker, talking about the gospel in Romans 1:8-17, rephrased JFK with …
“Ask not what you can do for God, but ask first what God has done for you”
The gospel begins with God, not us. The gospel is God’s initiative, his gift, his accomplishment.
The gospel is the ‘way in’ to the Christian life. It is the ‘way on’ in the Christian life. And it is the ‘way through’ the Christian life.
And, funny enough, I was down to preach at MCC the next morning on exactly the same text.
Coming at the text a different way, I tried to unpack the content of the Good News in 1:1-4 and how this ‘Gospel of God’ is trinitarian:
The gospel is what God himself has done in the faithfulness, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. To tell the gospel of God is to tell the story of Jesus. And yet the story of Jesus is entirely inexplicable apart from the story of God. God, Son, and Spirit all figure prominently in Rom 1:1-4. ‘God’ is everywhere in Romans – it is profoundly theocentric (the word theos occurring 153 times)
In other words the Gospel is all about a Person. It is what God has DONE, in his Son Jesus, in the power of the Spirit.
And our response is threefold:
1. Believe: faith is everywhere in these verses. It is connected to the ‘power of God for salvation’
2. Live. Believers live out the gospel by living the story of their lives within the bigger story of God’s redeeming good news
3. Share. ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel’ – like Paul, those who have received the good news are eagerly to pass it on.
Comments, as ever, welcome.
One thought on “a gospel saying”
I have been thinking about the Trinity in the last few weeks, and the emphasis on it that Celtic Christianity has. The gospel as you said, starts with God, with the triune God, a community full of love and joy, out of the overflow of those elements, the creation of humankind has taken place, and together with that, redemption, the Spirit constant presence with us, empowering us and the final full restoration that is going to take place, which takes back to what the Trinity always intended right from the beginning, companionship, fellowship with Godhead. Wonderful news.