"The Gospel is good enough."
Scripture: Romans 1:16
What apostle Paul means by saying, “I am not ashamed of the gospel”, is that he sees nothing in it to be shameful of. Shame, as we understand it, is a feeling of “you’re not good enough”. Shame comes to us when we don’t meet a certain expectation or shame follows the feeling of embarrassment. So for Paul to state that he is not ashamed of the gospel, we understand that he means the Gospel is good enough. And by the Gospel, we understand that Jesus, God’s one and only son, was sent to Earth so that through his life, death and resurrection, we may be restored, through salvation, by faith, to the glory of God. Jesus is the good news.
Paul also states that this gospel/good news, is the power of God. Power of God for salvation. Many Jews understood the power of God in two senses: Deliverance and Judgment. But Paul demands that the power of God that we see in the Gospel is not a physical deliverance and judgment as we have seen in the Old Testament. But rather, the Gospel of Jesus is bringing to us a spiritual deliverance. From death and separation from God to a new life and reconciliation with God. And this Gospel ultimately requires from us a response of Faith.
If we respond to this good news in faith and belief, we can enjoy this salvation promise and enjoy God’s glory. Paul’s statement in this verse can be reworded as the following: I have full confidence in the Gospel because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who responds in faith and believes in it. This is a clear declaration of the work of Jesus on the cross. So we ask ourselves these questions:
1) Is the Gospel good enough in our lives?
2) Do we believe in this Gospel?
We pray and hope that we may live a life that speaks “I am not ashamed of the Gospel”, “I have full confidence in the Gospel”.
[Title] Walk This Way II
Last time, we were talking about specific ways to walk as children of God. The one of the ways to walk was walking in Love. But first, we established that we walk in specific ways because we need to imitate God as beloved children of God.
This week, we will talk about the walk in the light. According to verses 7 and 8, we used to belong to the darkness and it is telling us not to be partners with things of darkness. And now, we are in the light of Christ and we must walk as children of light.
So what is the light? The light is the Gospel and the gospel is Jesus.. John chapter 1 said, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. And Jesus was with God in the beginning. All things are made through Jesus; and Jesus was the life and was the light. And John 1:5 says the light (Jesus) shines the darkness.
So what do we do with this light? You can ask in a specific way. What do we do when you have Jesus in your heart? It is the fundamental question for Christians… What we tend to do is to store Jesus in a very special box in your hearts and access him whenever you want, whenever you need. Especially when you are in trouble or when you are lonely or in pain.. But that is not what it says here; what you do with the light (Jesus and the gospel), you shine darkness with it.
The problem is we think we know everything; and we say everything is good and well. We tell ourselves that we are not sinful and it is okay to permit some area of darkness because we live in a sinful world. We tell ourselves that we cannot help making things better or become an imitator of God because we are born to be a sinner; which is true in a sense.
But the problem is we stop there. We do not try any harder to imitate God, we just give up.
Here in Ephesians 5:13 says, EXPOSE your life with the light so that it becomes visible.
What is that mean? It means expose every aspect of your life with the light of Jesus Christ. It means expose every area of your life with light of gospel.
Do not just say you are a sinner and there is nothing for you or God can do to get out of the sinful life. It says expose your life by the light.
Life of human being is like the walking in a complete dark room. If I were to walk out of this room in a complete darkness, I would bump on people in this room and thing in this room. Next thing you know, I would crush my toes and hit my knees with thing and bump my head and fall down on the floor. So what I would do is to “FEEL” my surroundings with my hands and feet. Just like we would feel our ways to get out of the room, we live life by our feelings.
We live what “FEELS RIGHT” for us and we do not recognize that these feelings will make you crush your feet and falling flat on your nose.
So are we living in the darkness? What are you talking about, it is bright here? Well, the verse 8 says you were in darkness. Bible tells us in verse 7 that it is easy to become partners of darkness; and gives us a few examples.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you …
4 Let there be no foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place…
6 Let no one deceives you with empty words…
Those versus describe things we do and not considering as sins in this day and age:
Impurity and covetousness (idolater in verse 5)
Foolish talk and crude jokes:
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:3-6)
Thankfully there are benefits of walking in light:
In your small group, I would like you to talk about how you can imitate God by walking in the light.
Let’s close our eyes. Let us think about what it means to walk in the light.
It really means to have Jesus in every aspect of your life.
Let him shine the areas of darkness in your life.
And ask him to be the Lord and the king of your life. Do not say you believe in Jesus and put him in a cage. And access him only whenever you need him.
I am not judging you; I am speaking as one of you.
We only look for Jesus, when we are in trouble or when we need him.
That is not walking in light. We must illuminate entire areas of our lives with gospel so that we may not walk in the darkness. Let us have time to pray to confess our sin of not making Jesus king of our lives. And ask him to be the center of our lives.