WHAT mATTERS? THE GOSPEL IN ROMANS
How often do we use something other than John 3:16 to share the Gospel? Could it be because that is the only verse we can quote? It is the most quoted, most well-known, most seen at sporting events, and probably the most effective singular verse in the Bible that draws people to Christ. In it is the seed of the Gospel and I use it all the time. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But as we grow in faith, we find that there is more than one verse that God uses to evangelize. The whole Bible, especially the New Testament, and most explicitly the book of Romans, explain both the basics and the complexities of God’s salvation plan for humanity. As I’ve been studying the book of Romans again, I am amazed at both the simplicity and the depths of the Gospel that is defined there, that we as Christians should both know and use in evangelizing and teaching the unbelieving world about Jesus.
Although a thorough study of the whole book of Romans is preferred, the following verses will be useful to study, understand, memorize, and use in our preaching of the Gospel (note the emphasis of each verse.) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.” Romans 1:16 “Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3 “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing.” Romans 7:18 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
Romans also teaches us how to live the truth of the Gospel in our daily lives, which will authenticate our Gospel preaching words. What matters? Know what the Gospel is. Know how to present it and your personal testimony together. Know why all mankind is condemned (and it is not because of our sins.) Know how someone can be saved and be made righteous. These truths are covered extensively in the book of Romans. Memorize key verses and their addresses (as suggested above,) that highlight and summarize those truths. Finally, recognize that there are no super evangelists, no magic formulas, no singular verses, no doctrinal persuasions that can save anybody. We can only point people to Jesus. It takes the Word of God, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the power of God the Father, who is the one who saves and gives eternal life, not us.