The Gospel - As Seen Along the Roman Road
Imagine a world where you enjoy everything you do. Where you enjoy serving more than being served. Where you enjoy giving more than receiving. Where everyone loves each other. This is the world God is creating.
This story began the moment God decided to create His family. The creative process requires planning, and God first imagined the world He would create. A world where everything fits together perfectly, and everyone is happy and joyful. Apparently, this is impossible for humans. However, with God, all things are possible, Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
How is this possible? It starts when we stop thinking about ourselves first, Philippians 2:4-7, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" So, God created everything to work together for good when we are selfless, Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Love is at the heart of it, since God is love, 1 John 4:8, " He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." And God summarized all of the law in one word, love, Galatians 5:14, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Everything God creates begins with Him loving us, Malachi 1:2a, "I have loved you, saith the Lord." He does this before He even tells us what love looks like. He came with love in His heart, not condemning us, but providing a way for us, John 3:17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
God shows us the way to Him. We call it the Roman Road, as presented in the book of Romans.
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" None of us can do it ourselves. Jesus would not have had to die on that cross if we could.
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." So, Jesus came to die for us to show us how much God loves us.
Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The reason the wages of sin is death is explained in JC Ryle's definition of sin; "Sin consists in doing, saying, thinking, or imagining anything that is not in perfect conformity with the mind and law of God." We cannot live with a perfect God when living in opposition to His love.
Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Jesus calls this abiding in Him, John 15:4-6, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." Remember, He came to save, not condemn, John 3:17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." This verse is the whole Gospel, the good news. We cannot add to it, for then we would be trying to earn our own salvation. Instead, we must believe it with our whole hearts. For that leads to abiding and, ultimately, to our bearing the fruit, which indeed follows: Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." We thus live by faith alone.
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