Journal Ro 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… (Ro 1:16a)
…through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name…
…including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ… (v6)
…because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. (v8b)
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual give to strengthen you–that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (v11-12)
Observation: I am reminded of the power and purpose of the Gospel once again…
Analysis: What is the Gospel for?
I have focused on “preaching the Gospel to myself” for some time. I first read this phrase in “Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges (highly recommended for a personal library) but it didn’t click until I heard it emphasized in a Men’s Conference.
Since then, it has stuck in my mind: “What does that mean? What makes it more than a trite phrase?” I concluded, even if I couldn’t define the above two questions, that the Gospel isn’t just a message to save unbelievers because, Paul wrote: “…for (the Gospel) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”
I believe; therefore, the Gospel is the power of God concerning me. It is vitally important.
Here are tidbits I am picking up (not reading over to get to the “good stuff”—beware of skimming), the Gospel:
- Directs me, in the power of the Gospel, to bring about the obedience of Faith for the sake of His Name. That not only is a subject preaching to others, but to the face in the mirror.
- The Gospel is the power of His calling me, and for me to persevere.
- The Gospel, exhibited by my Faith in obedience, is cause for publication—people talk about what they see, not what they hear.
- The Gospel is the vehicle and cause to want to impart “some spiritual gift”, so that a result is to be beneficially encouraged; both as a recipient and a contributor to encourage one another in the Faith
If I am only gearing myself to consider the Gospel as something for unbelievers, I am denying the Power of God meant for my growth, maturity, and for my brothers and sisters.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the Gospel. The Gospel illuminates your Word. It brings life to the dead; understanding to the simple; it is related to and synonymous to your Wisdom. If I think about it deeply, it gives me understanding of the fear of God, and praise erupts in my soul.
I am such a shallow man. Deepen me, O God—let the waters of your Spirit run through my soul.