Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' God's Wrath Against Mankind The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1:16-23
Remember the good news, bad news jokes?
Doctor: I have some good news and I have some bad news.
Patient: What's the good news?
Doctor: The good news is that the tests you took showed that you have 24 hours to live.
Patient: That's the good news? What's the bad news?
Doctor: The bad news is that I forgot to call you yesterday!

Doctor: I have some good news and some bad news.
Patient: What's the good news?
Doctor: The good news is they are naming a disease after you!
In Romans Chapter 1, Paul tells you about some Good News and some bad news. I suggest you pay close attention.

Before I pursue that thought let me call your attention to the fact that their is no such thing as "Neutral" news. There is "Good News" or "Bad News" and you are involved in one or the other.
The good news is that the "Good News" IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Gospel" means "good news". Jesus came to bring good news from God for mankind. Jesus came to be the Redeemer that would take away the sins of the world.

Paul says that the Gospel is "the power of God for salvation". Salvation from what? Salvation from the bad news.
How does that work? What is that power?
The "Gospel" is the good news that there is a righteousness that can deliver you from the bad news. That righteousness is found in a Person, Jesus Christ. The "Gospel" is good news exposes the bad news and points to the way out. When you place our faith in that good news of God's righteousness, you enter into a relationship with Jesus that gives you His righteousness.

Part of having faith in His good news requires you to confront and confess the bad news in your life. As you cling to His righteousness and repent of your "rottenness", you enter into a personal relationship with God through Christ that gains you access to all His power and holiness! "Rottenness" is rooted in your refusal to believe the goodness and avail yourself of His righteousness. Bad news loves being rotten and revels in it.
The first chapter of Romans lays it out simply. There is good news about God's righteousness and bad news about our rottenness. It also clearly details the choices, the motives and the ultimate outcomes of each way. And it issues an ultimatum:

Live in righteousness or die in rottenness. Have the joy of knowing you are right with God or suffer the shame of rejecting Him.