I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts. I write this letter to all the believers in Rome, God’s friends.
2-7 The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.
The Essence of the Gospel
Paul is ‘set apart for the gospel of God’. The Message, above, translates that as ‘proclaiming God’s work and acts.’ The word ‘gospel’ may have seemed to have lost its meaning to Eugene Petersen (author of The Message), and I think he may have a point. When the gospel is talked about in some circles it has been reduced to a simple formula of Accept, Believe, Confess! Accept that Jesus Christ is your Saviour. Believe in your heart that God the Father raised his Son from the dead. Confess that Jesus is Lord.
The gospel is the entirety of the good news that Jesus brings. It is a story that goes beyond our limited expectations.
May I broaden my understanding of what ‘gospel’ means.
- What does gospel mean?
- Why do you think Eugene Petersen chose to leave out that word from his translation?
- How does Paul’s introduction give a summary of the gospel?
- How do you define ‘gospel’?
- What gospel do you communicate with others?