5th September 22
Read — Romans 1:1-2
Message Alan Burke
Did you hear the news? Like when will it get any better, it’s just constant! If I am honest I haven’t read the news today, I try to avoid it because I like having a smile on my face for at least some of the day. Sunday morning is different thought, it is one of the first things I do, check the news that is, incase anything important has happened that I need to mention in the prayers of intercession. The reason why I avoid it is because what we normally hear on the news, or read is just doom and gloom. Well today I have some good news, it is wonderful news and sadly we forget just how wonderful that good news is, good news that is focused not on the teaching but the person of Jesus Christ, Jesus is the good news, he is the gospel (gospel literally means good news).
Look at what Paul says about this good news of God that it was promised beforehand! Probably the place that most of us would turn to if we were to tell someone about the gospel, the good news about the person and work of Jesus Christ, would be the four gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Naturally enough that is what comes to mind when we thing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of God. The last place most people would go is the Old Testament, but all of it, all of the Old Testament acts as big arrow, that was directing God’s people and us to what God was doing in salvation history. For all scripture is God breathed, all scripture from the beginning to the end is announcing the gospel of God, it’s not something new, its origins are from God himself, our creator, that speaks of His love and mercy for His creation.
The first announcement of this gospel was in the midst of the fall, while it was the most tragic moment in history that took place, as sin entered the world and with sin, death followed. Even as the Covenant of Works lay in ruins, the Lord spoke of another covenant the Covenant of Grace. To Satan the Lord declared there in v15; “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall crush your head, and you shall strike his heel.” (v15).
In those moments after the fall of humanity, the Lord God preached the Gospel to the Devil. It’s what is called by theologians as the protoevangel, the first gospel, because it contains the heart of the gospel that is unfolded in the rest of redemption history as it plays out. This is the gospel that Paul speaks of, this is the gospel of God that was first announced in Eden. God remained true to his promise that he would send one who would crush the head of the serpent, and he has in Christ Jesus. For Jesus came to do what Adam failed to do and what we by our sinful nature could not do.
This was not new, its origins were not from man instead it was God, fulfilling what he had said beforehand, fulfilling the promises that he had made know. Paul here at the beginning of Romans was grounding this and everything he would go on to say in how this gospel, this good news, was what God has always been doing, the Holy Scriptures all pointing to His Son Jesus Christ Our Lord!
And this is a message we need to hear, because some can fall into the trap and thinking that somehow God is different in the Old Testament and the New Testament, some people even come to the conclusion that there are two God’s in the bible, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. Yet nothing could be further from the truth for throughout they affirm that God is merciful and that He is compassionate, the God who has been bringing salvation to a sinful people from the dawn of creation. The bible from beginning to end is one continual revelation of God’s covenant of Grace. As we are reminded in 2 Timothy 3: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (3:16)”, not just the New Testament, all of it!
Q44 What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us, That because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments. (Luke 1:74–75, 1 Pet. 1:15–18)