For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18
Where the Acts of the Apostles is an account by Luke of the Holy Spirit partnering with the first Christians for the initial spread of Christianity, the books that follow in the Bible are letters to people and churches, many that were part of that account in Acts. First up, Paul’s letter to Rome.
Paul begins with a bold thesis to the Gospel message which he lays out so beautifully in his letter to the Romans: “For I am NOT ASHAMED of the GOSPEL, for it is the POWER of God for SALVATION to EVERYONE who BELIEVES, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
The righteousness of God is given to the sinner – to us – who put our FAITH in Jesus. The wrath of God we deserved was taken by Jesus on the cross. It’s a hard and humbling thing to admit we need a savior. However, as Bible commentator Leon Morris says, “Unless there is something to be saved from, there is no point in talking about salvation.”
If we don’t think we are sinners in need of a Savior – if we think we can fix ourselves or we are “good enough” – we will never fully embrace or appreciate what Jesus did for us. We can love Bible study and Jesus, but often not quite grasp our desperate NEED for Him outside of making our daily trials a little easier to endure and hopefully getting a golden ticket into heaven. But it is so much more than that. We need His cleansing. We need His righteousness.
Jesus came to die for our sins. He came to take a wrath we deserved and could not bear. And not only that, He gave us His righteousness, making us pure and able to approach God. As believers who put our faith in Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus.
This is the Gospel.
Questions: Do you believe you are a sinner in need of a Savior? Are you ever ashamed of the Gospel? In unfavorable circles, have you ever shied away from it?