Text: Romans 2:1-11
I. The word “gospel” translates a Greek word that means “good news”
A. The gospel is a message that is to be heralded to all the world - Mark 16:15
B. It is a message that brings hope to those who hear it - Colossians 1:23
C. It is a message that saves people - Romans 1:16
1. It is a message from God that tells people how to be saved
D. It is a critical message that if not heeded will lead people to perish - II Thessalonians 1:7-8
1. It doesn’t matter if it is rejected or if it is not known at all
2. Without this message people will die
II. Saved from what?
A. We all sin - Romans 3:23
B. Sin is the breaking of God’s laws - I John 3:4
C. The gospel is the message of how that universal problem of sin is solved and how each individual can be rescued from sin
III. It is “the gospel,” there is only one gospel
A. Paul found it amazing that the Galatians, saved by this gospel, were already following a different gospel - Galatians 1:6-10
1. There is only one gospel to be followed
2. Even if an angel or an apostle brought something different, they would stand accursed
B. Perhaps it isn’t polite to mention this, but there are different gospels today.
1. There are different groups teaching people different ways to be saved
a. Salvation by faith only
b. Salvation by grace only
c. Salvation that requires a baptism of the Holy Spirit
d. Salvation by joining a certain denomination
2. These variations are not evidence that the gospel is too difficult to understand or that Christianity has failed. It is evidence that people have failed to maintain the standard of the one gospel
C. Good, sincere people can teach and follow a different gospel, but such doesn’t make what they are following the one gospel
D. Teachers of different gospels can have significant credentials and still be wrong.
E. Sincere belief doesn’t make what is believed right - Matthew 7:21-23
1. It is doing what God said, not what men want.
2. Otherwise, why claim Jesus as Lord? - Luke 6:46
F. We are each responsible to distinguish between the one true gospel and all others - Ephesians 5:17
G. The gospel is God’s message; therefore, no man may tamper with it.
IV. The Bible is the record of God’s progressive revelation of His message
A. Like any book, if you start in the middle, you would have a hard time understanding what is going on
B. The New Testament is built on the foundation of the events recorded in the Old Testament - Galatians 3:24
C. The Old Testament is for our learning - Romans 15:4
D. It is able to make us wise to salvation - II Timothy 3:15
E. It is to warn us - I Corinthians 10:6,11
F. In other words, the period of the Old Testament prepared mankind for the coming of Jesus, the Christ, in his role in saving us from our sins.
V. God’s Plan
A. God pre-existed the universe that He created - Genesis 1:1
B. God had an eternal purpose or plan - Ephesians 3:10-11
1. He decided before the world began that we should follow Him - Ephesians 1:4
2. This plan was necessary because He created men to be free agents. People are given the ability to choose to do right or wrong - Joshua 24:14-15
3. Thus, He laid out a plan in advance how to react to people’s choices. The plan is how to handle people’s choice to break God’s laws (sin).
C. Why bother?
1. We don’t know all the mind of God. Only what He chooses to tell us - Job 26:12-14
2. What we do know is that God created spiritual beings (angels) in heaven to serve Him. These beings had free choice and some sinned - II Peter 2:4
3. God also created physical beings with spirits with them (humans) - Genesis 1:27
a. We two were created to serve God - Ecclesiastes 12:13
b. Unlike angels, our actions are restricted to the physical realm
c. God desires to see if we will choose to love and serve Him - Ecclesiastes 12:14
d. We are being tested - Deuteronomy 8:2; 13:3
4. Eventually we die and our spirits return to God - Ecclesiastes 12:7
a. There we will be judged according to our deeds - Revelation 20:13
b. We will either join God in heaven or be cast from His presence into Hell - Romans 2:5-11
c. God is an impartial judge I Peter 1:17
D. God wants to love us because we freely choose to follow Him - I John 3:1
1. It is not because we are forced - Psalms 110:3