Monday, January 26, 2015
How to Kill & Be Killed 101: Systematic Boldness - The Gospel v. The World
Up and against much of the spurious and aberrant teaching of his day, Paul makes a clear distinction from the outset of what the "Gospel of God" truly is...
Romans 1:14 - The Intended Audience.
Paul is making it clear, (as he states in Rom. 1:8) that the Gospel is UNIVERSAL. It is meant to be proclaimed and heard among everyone, everywhere. Complete and total "everyday apocalypse" -- regardless of status, education, race, finances, etc.
Romans 1:16, 17 - A Declaration of Boldness.
Paul's affirmation and unwavering confidence in the Gospel is the hinge point of this chapter. Everyone is familiar with what the message entails. And in such a culture as Rome, it would most likely be deemed as foolish by the majority. This could be his way of encouraging others to follow his example of bold proclamation even under the threat of ridicule or even death. Also to be noted is that he lets the reader and listeners know that this gospel is only wrought by faith and faith alone from beginning to end -- from dust to glory.
Romans 1:18-32 - The Current State of Affairs (or Why It's Necessary)
Paul's weightiness of his unashamed proclamation (Rom. 1:16) is emphasized here by an awareness of the wrath of God that looms over the creation due to man's hardened and ungrateful heart, and willingness to believe lies instead of the truth. The long list of sinful behaviors starts off with sexual sin (including homosexuality), but he is not trying to put emphasis on this as more of a sin than others. What Paul is trying to show here could be seen as a two-fold consequence:
1. As a result of man not acknowledging God, he now acts like the things he worships -- an unreasoning beast, driven by base and lustful desires.
2. Being driven by said desires, he often engages in acts (both sexual and non-sexual) that have natural consequences that lead to ultimate demise (inability to reproduce or replicate themselves, and/or leading into war, murder, strife, etc.). Therefore, not only unable to have communion with the Creator, but with each other as well; this will sever any chance of truly being fruitful and multiplying. Sin causes the image of man to be seriously broken on all levels; thus the need for a bold, unashamed proclamation of the Gospel in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,