Last week we began another Bible study by the Daily Grace Co. – Romans: The Gospel of Grace. I have an expectancy and anticipation for all God has for us in His Word.
Perhaps the quote from the study best describes my anticipation:
“As we pour our hearts into the study of the book of Romans, we will be transformed by God’s grace and be overwhelmed by His abundant mercy to us.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 2)
“Overwhelmed” is the feeling and dictionary.com brings this insight: “completely overcome in mind or feeling.”
And that is my prayer … May the Lord completely overcome us!
As we read about the Gospel, and the work which was accomplished at the Cross, may our hearts be overwhelmed, overcome, and in awe of the grace and mercy of God upon our lives.
The first day we were asked to read all 16 chapters of Romans as an overview of the book. Then we were to paraphrase Romans 1:16-17, as they are the key verses of Romans.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “ But the righteous one will live by faith.” (NASB)
My paraphrase: The Gospel – it’s the power which brings salvation to me and all people. Righteousness and faith spring from the gospel, enabling us to live rightly and by faith.
The one verse brought to mind the song “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave.
Mid week we concentrated on Romans 1:1-6. Right out of the gate, Paul had my attention (and my heart) in the way he identifies himself:
- “a bond-servant of Christ”
- “an apostle”
- “set apart”
Reading those words caused me to stop and ponder a bit … Our identity truly does make a difference. In knowing he was a bond-servant and an apostle, Paul was able to live set apart.
Plain and simple >>> The Gospel = The Good News = Jesus.
Without Jesus, there is no gospel, no forgiveness of sin, no redemption, no forgiveness, and no restoration.
The gospel will strike right at the core of WHO we are, moving us to action. Why?
“The gospel is active.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 10)
It works within us to make us more than we were, and able to do more through the strength Jesus gives. The gospel is forever at work in our lives to change us.
The study asks: How do you find comfort in the fact that we are called to belong to Jesus? Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? How does that give deeper meaning to what it means to belong to Jesus?
There have been times, and places, I have surely felt like I didn’t belong. It’s an awkward feeling. I do find comfort in the fact that I belong to Jesus as it means in Him, I am always welcomed.
“If this message of the gospel is true (and it is), then it is going to change everything …”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 11)
If this message of the gospel is true (and it is), then it is not only going to change everything – it is going to change each one of us!
And that is good news!
The week closed with our focus on Romans 1:8-15. Paul wants to be certain first off that the people knew he was thankful for them. More so, he wanted them to know why he was thankful for them …
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” (verse 8, NASB)
When we let others know how they encourage us and affirm their deeds, their faith, and their testimony, we also help them to be encouraged. And we surely are in need of mutual encouragement!
Paul wanted to go to them and yet, the doors were closed to his going. Rather than get discouraged, Paul wrote a letter and encouraged them in this way.
“We are not meant to journey through this life alone but instead to encourage one another to pursue Jesus.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 19)
We do not need to do something big. It can be a gesture as small as a phone call, a text message, a meme, or a card. But to the recipient, it may be the biggest act and mean all the world to them!
Think back to a time when another believer encouraged you in your faith. How can you encourage other believers? Perhaps take the time this week to encourage one!
The Gospel –
it’s good news
and brings salvation and encouraging community.