The power of our activism, campaigns, movements and strategies cannot forgive sins or raise the dead. “The gospel…is the power of God for salvation,” and, with Paul we have no reason to be ashamed of it (Romans 1:16). That is why phrases like “living the gospel,” “being the gospel,” and “being partners with Jesus in his redemption of the world” are dangerous distortions of the biblical message of good news. The gospel is not about what we have done or are called to do, but the announcement of G0d’s saving work in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 4:5).
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 39
Surely God will judge the world on the basis of whether we have done our best with the light we have been given. But Paul’s whole point in these first three chapters (of Romans) is to convince us that regardless of how much light we have been given, we always do the same thing with it. We suppress the truth, whether it is the light of nature (God’s existence and moral will known to unbelieving Gentiles) or the light of grace (God’s revelation of the gospel in the Scriptures). There is enough revelation to render a guilty verdict. Regardless of our own evaluation before God’s bar no one is good and no one seeks God.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 59-60
The great church father Augustine pointed out that sin is not necessarily loving bad things, but loving good things inordinately. In other words, it is turning God’s gifts into idols. It is our “enlightening” way of fulfilling the apostles description of ungrateful living in Romans 1:22-25.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 45-46
We may have problems in our marriage, child rearing, stress at work, low self-esteem, and worries about our health or financial market. However, the ultimate crisis facing us is summarized in Romans 1:18.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 39
So we saunter through the carnival, on our way to nowhere. Like tourists, we are not really seeking the truth as much as we are spectators of new experiences, identities, images and styles that have been marketed to us in the giant mall of Western consumerism. Indeed, we have become “futile in [our] thinking, and [our] foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, [we] became fools” (Romans 1:21-22).
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 34
Paul makes it clear (Romans 1:20) that everybody sees this manifestation of God’s majesty. This revelation gets through to all people so that all people see it clearly. The force of Paul’s assertion is that every person who has ever lived knows that there is a God and is aware of His transcendent majesty and holiness. The medium God has selected to reveal Himself universally is so clear and so potent that it leaves no one with an excuse. It is a medium far more powerful and effective for its task than a television broadcast.
– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition
Historically Christianity claimed to be and was received as revealed truth, not truth discovered via human insight or ingenuity. Paul begins his Epistle to the Romans with these words:” “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1) What does the phrase “gospel of God” mean? Does the word of indicate possession or does it mean simply “about”? Is Paul saying that the gospel is something about God, or something from God? Historic Christianity would consider this question an exercise in the fallacy of the false dilemma or the either/or fallacy. Classical Christianity would say that the gospel is a message that is both about God and from God.
Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 12