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The Gospel of God

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Encounter Radio Outline #0202
Air date: 1/13/02
The Gospel of God
Romans 1:1-17
by Dr. Stephen F. Olford


Introduction: When Paul dictated this letter to the Romans he did so out of
mature thinking and rich experience.  His academic training, his wide
travel, his great suffering, his extensive knowledge of everyday life, and,
above all, his faith in a living Christ had all combined and convinced him
to declare his gospel. In order for righteousness to reign, the gospel must
be preached, even to the uttermost part of the earth.

We find the apostle, first of all, crystallizing the gospel of Christ into
one short statement of his prologue (1:16-17) and then enlarging his theme
in more detail in the chapters that follow. While the thrust of this epistle
is the reign of righteousness (5:12-21), the theme of the epistle is the
gospel of Christ (1:16-17) or the gospel of God. In a sense, this is Paul's
message in miniature. To appreciate all that follows we need to consider
three aspects of this gospel in which the apostle gloried:

I.  The Supremacy of the Gospel of Christ  (v. 16)

The apostle deliberately uses a negative form to express a positive truth.
He wants to convey to his readers that he is unashamedly proud of the gospel
of Christ because he believed it to be the supreme answer to world chaos.
The world of his day was made up of Jewish religion, Grecian wisdom, and
Roman power. The great words on everyone's lips were righteousness, wisdom,
and power. These words corresponded to the three strategic centers in
Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. He was not ashamed because he knew the gospel
was:

A.  Superior to Human Righteousness 

No human righteousness can ever answer to the need of men and women. The
crisis of spirit needs an answer of the Spirit

B.  Superior to Human Wisdom 

Human thought and philosophy cannot supply the answer to the problem of
man's sin and need.  If men and women are to be saved, their one hope of
salvation is in the glorious gospel of Christ.

C.  Superior to Human Power

Despite all our modern advancements, human power is not capable of redeeming
a human soul from the slave market of sin. Man remains as sinful as ever and
has perverted God's gifts for selfish and destructive ends.

II.  The Sufficiency of the Gospel of Christ  (v. 6)

The characteristics that stand out in the sufficiency of the gospel of
Christ are threefold:

A.  The Gospel is Sufficiently Dynamic to Convince the Human Mind

It is the only power in the world that can break down the resistance of
evil, explode the false philosophies of infidelity and rationalism, and
empower a Christian to live a life of victory.  God's omnipotence is wrapped
up in the gospel.  At the very heart of this supreme message is the risen,
triumphant Lord.

B.  The Gospel is Sufficiently Delivering to Change the Human Heart

That New Testament word "salvation" includes every act and process of God in
His work of reconciliation, redemption and deliverance. Only the saving
message of the gospel can change the heart of man.

C.  The Gospel Is Sufficiently Decisive to Claim the Human Will

Only as the will is totally yielded to the claims of the gospel can an
individual prove the saving sufficiency of God, as revealed in the Lord
Jesus.

III.  The Simplicity of the Gospel of Christ  (v.17)

For Paul, the simplicity of the gospel meant application rather than
implication. For this right way of living to be ours, it must be:

A. Received by Faith

We can stand before a holy God only after we have appropriated Christ's
imputed righteousness by inviting Him into our lives in faith.

B.  Realized by Faith

It begins with faith and leads to faith, involving a moment-by-moment
attitude of trust whereby Christ, the righteousness of God, is made
increasingly real in the believing heart. 

C.  Relived by Faith

Living a righteous life in everyday experience is simply allowing the
indwelling Christ to relive His life in us. The secret is a simple reliance
of faith in the indwelling, risen Christ - allowing Him to express and
relive Himself in us, day by day.

Conclusion: This is the gospel. Remember the supremacy of it and preach it
without apology. Recall the sufficiency of it to meet human need at every
point. Recognize the simplicity of it through an act of simple faith. Right
now receive Christ, realize His indwelling, and then go out to relive Him,
trusting Him to do in and through you what you could never achieve of
yourself. Encounter Radio Outline #0202
Air date: 1/13/02
The Gospel of God
Romans 1:1-17
by Dr. Stephen F. Olford


Introduction: When Paul dictated this letter to the Romans he did so out of
mature thinking and rich experience.  His academic training, his wide
travel, his great suffering, his extensive knowledge of everyday life, and,
above all, his faith in a living Christ had all combined and convinced him
to declare his gospel. In order for righteousness to reign, the gospel must
be preached, even to the uttermost part of the earth.

We find the apostle, first of all, crystallizing the gospel of Christ into
one short statement of his prologue (1:16-17) and then enlarging his theme
in more detail in the chapters that follow. While the thrust of this epistle
is the reign of righteousness (5:12-21), the theme of the epistle is the
gospel of Christ (1:16-17) or the gospel of God. In a sense, this is Paul's
message in miniature. To appreciate all that follows we need to consider
three aspects of this gospel in which the apostle gloried:

I.  The Supremacy of the Gospel of Christ  (v. 16)

The apostle deliberately uses a negative form to express a positive truth.
He wants to convey to his readers that he is unashamedly proud of the gospel
of Christ because he believed it to be the supreme answer to world chaos.
The world of his day was made up of Jewish religion, Grecian wisdom, and
Roman power. The great words on everyone's lips were righteousness, wisdom,
and power. These words corresponded to the three strategic centers in
Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. He was not ashamed because he knew the gospel
was:

A.  Superior to Human Righteousness 

No human righteousness can ever answer to the need of men and women. The
crisis of spirit needs an answer of the Spirit

B.  Superior to Human Wisdom 

Human thought and philosophy cannot supply the answer to the problem of
man's sin and need.  If men and women are to be saved, their one hope of
salvation is in the glorious gospel of Christ.

C.  Superior to Human Power

Despite all our modern advancements, human power is not capable of redeeming
a human soul from the slave market of sin. Man remains as sinful as ever and
has perverted God's gifts for selfish and destructive ends.

II.  The Sufficiency of the Gospel of Christ  (v. 6)

The characteristics that stand out in the sufficiency of the gospel of
Christ are threefold:

A.  The Gospel is Sufficiently Dynamic to Convince the Human Mind

It is the only power in the world that can break down the resistance of
evil, explode the false philosophies of infidelity and rationalism, and
empower a Christian to live a life of victory.  God's omnipotence is wrapped
up in the gospel.  At the very heart of this supreme message is the risen,
triumphant Lord.

B.  The Gospel is Sufficiently Delivering to Change the Human Heart

That New Testament word "salvation" includes every act and process of God in
His work of reconciliation, redemption and deliverance. Only the saving
message of the gospel can change the heart of man.

C.  The Gospel Is Sufficiently Decisive to Claim the Human Will

Only as the will is totally yielded to the claims of the gospel can an
individual prove the saving sufficiency of God, as revealed in the Lord
Jesus.

III.  The Simplicity of the Gospel of Christ  (v.17)

For Paul, the simplicity of the gospel meant application rather than
implication. For this right way of living to be ours, it must be:

A. Received by Faith

We can stand before a holy God only after we have appropriated Christ's
imputed righteousness by inviting Him into our lives in faith.

B.  Realized by Faith

It begins with faith and leads to faith, involving a moment-by-moment
attitude of trust whereby Christ, the righteousness of God, is made
increasingly real in the believing heart. 

C.  Relived by Faith

Living a righteous life in everyday experience is simply allowing the
indwelling Christ to relive His life in us. The secret is a simple reliance
of faith in the indwelling, risen Christ - allowing Him to express and
relive Himself in us, day by day.

Conclusion: This is the gospel. Remember the supremacy of it and preach it
without apology. Recall the sufficiency of it to meet human need at every
point. Recognize the simplicity of it through an act of simple faith. Right
now receive Christ, realize His indwelling, and then go out to relive Him,
trusting Him to do in and through you what you could never achieve of
yourself.

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