(It was in a pile on a dining room chair…I didn’t see it since the blanket J and I used for our tent was covering the pile)
This past Sunday at church , Rick Holland, our pastor from Crossroads (our fellowship group), spoke in “big church” (we can still call it that since we’re invloved in the College/Young Adult ministry). He has become one of my favorite speakers to listen to. He has a way of communicating that is clear, relevant, gracious, humble, passionate and so Biblically accurate. Rick preached this message in February at the Resolved Conference (can you tell I figured out how to insert links?? 🙂 If I actually did it right, and you go to this link and search under “Galleries”, you’ll see some pics of Ryan and I). We had the privilege of being part of Resolved this year, so I had heard this before, but it was wonderful to hear it again, especially because Romans happens to be where I am in my journey through the New Testament! I love it when the Lord brings 2 areas of life together like that.
“What’s So Great About the Gospel?”
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10 For if we while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
I could write a lot about the message, but I tend to be too wordy anyway, so I’ll try to stick to what I have from my notes.
1.) The Gospel Satisfies the Greatest Need (v.6)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ demonstrates the foolishness of God – that He would send His Son to die for a sinful world. A world that was helpless (unable to seek God; dead in our transgressions) and ungodly (fiercely anti-God; fighting against God’s sovereign rule). While we were in this wretched state, Christ died for us! He did not die for us because He detected some sweet inclination toward Him…we were adamantly opposed to Him. Kinda takes away any pride that might have been lingering in the corners of my mind…
2.) The Gospel Demonstrates the Greatest Love (vv.7-8)
The best, highest expression of human love is for a person to give their life for another. But verse 8 says “But God demonstrates His own love” (love not based on any merit or honor in me). The explanation of the cross is a constant demonstration of God’s love.
3.) The Gospel Extinguishes the Greatest Threat (v.9)
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. The “wrath of God” refers to the judgment of an unbeliever in Hell. Hell is the righteous consequence of God’s righteous judgment. I deserve to go to Hell! Salvation, then, is not only being saved from sin, from hopelessness, from Satan, and from Hell…in salvation, we are saved from God Himself! That was a new thought for me…it is still taking me a while to wrap my mind around.
4.) The Gospel Mediates the Greatest Conflict (v.10)
Reconciliation – being made right with an an enemy; having offenses taken care of. Jesus is our Perfect Mediator. Contemplate the reality of not being God’s enemy anymore…what a thought. Rick mentioned one of his son’s comments when they were discussing this topic: “Dad, does that mean I’m not in trouble with God anymore?” I love that concept!
5.) The Gospel Provokes the Greatest Response (v.11)
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ… To exult is to be filled with overwhelming and lavish joy…the joy of the Gospel should naturally flow through a true believer. As Rick said, “The joy within you as a believer in Christ and a recipient of such overwhelming grace should come out of you as if you were trying to hold on to a gushing fire hose all by yourself…”
“We’re not in trouble with God anymore!”