The apostle Paul shed a lot of light on the gospel of Jesus Christ in the New Testament book of Romans. Seeing the gospel through the lens of Paul’s letter (as explained by Dr Ford) was where the light of hope finally started to shine:
The main points to take away from this talk:
- God loves the unlovely, accepts the unacceptable
- In order to receive (accept) this good news, you must also accept the bad news, to wit: the (human) heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; no thought of God in (our) minds [Jeremiah 17:9], so according to the first part of Paul’s letter to the Romans, we’re all pretty much lost, by default
- Ingratitude is the sum of all wickedness — even though Paul admonishes “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. All things? Yes, all things.
- Because: “all things work together for good to them that love God” Romans 8:28. All things,
even bad things. All things.
- The most terrible, the most devastating fact in the universe is sin. [Billy Graham] Yet, we don’t really take sin seriously.
- Sin is all pervasive, it taints every thought, every word, every choice, every expenditure of time, money, resources. We are all ruined human creatures due to sin.
- Even Christ, when he was talking about God giving good gifts, prefaced his statement with the fact: “if you, then, being evil…” Matt 7:11 “…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” The “being evil” bit isn’t a point of dispute. He said we are, and we are.
- “They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick (do): I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” If we don’t realise we’re sick, we won’t feel we need to see a doctor. Yet we all feel that, generally speaking, we’re not that bad, not realising we’re desperately evil.
We are in a terrible state, worse than we suspect. Because God is more loving than we dared hope, the Gospel is offered to us. There’s hope for our salvation because: “this man receives sinners” — “all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men” and “whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out”.
These are words to cling to!