Beloved, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in 1:16 saying, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
When Paul says that the gospel is the power of God, he is referring to the dunamis (power) of God to transform people’s lives. Unfortunately, this dunamis also has the opposite effect on those who reject the Gospel. In other words, when the Gospel is preached there can be a positive effect or a negative effect.
Concerning the Gospel Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in- law—36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
Therefore, when we preach the Gospel, we must remember that it is divisive and that there are those who will reject it. However, any rejection of the Gospel should only spur us on to share it with others because some will receive the Gospel and enter into a life shaving relationship with Jesus Christ!
Beloved, it is because Jesus Christ has been resurrected that you and I can experience the forgiveness of our sins and the justification of our souls as Acts 13:38-39 says, “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”
It is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead that you and I can now experience eternal life. In fact Christ’s death and resurrection is the guarantee that God will bring us up and out of the ground: A thinking, feeling, remembering, recognizable person who will live forever. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 says, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
Christ’s resurrection also means that we will meet up again with believing loved ones lost through separating death. It means living in a world without sorrow, and pain and separation. Beloved, Jesus Christ has been raised! He is the resurrection and the Life!
Beloved, in today’s study we will begin focusing on The Apostle’s Paul’s first recorded sermon. This is the first and longest recorded sermon from which some consider the greatest preacher of all (besides Jesus Christ). I have entitled this: Operation Proclamation. Paul has said that he is not ashamed of the Gospel and hence he is a proclaimer of God’s Word!
Unfortunately, what we learn from the beginning of Paul’s sermon is that many Israelites had missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Have you also missed that opportunity? My prayer is that you would take full advantage of the opportunity presented to you in Christ Jesus!