Don’t diminish the gospel

Forgiveness of sins is a wonderful blessing to proclaim as we declare the gospel of God. It is an especially wonderful message for the person burdened by guilt and sin. But, as Bill Dumbrell has pointed out, the gospel is about more than just personal forgiveness as wonderful as that is.

In Romans 1:1-2, the apostle Paul writes: “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures…”

Bill Dumbrell comments: “Since the gospel is the common property of both Testaments (1:2) it is not primarily a message about personal forgiveness of sins and spiritual transformation. It is primarily a message to the world about God’s Lordship and its intentions. The work of applying the basic question ‘who rules the world’ to the individual by the Spirit should result in personal recognition of God’s claims and thus transformation.” (Romans, p 11).

Bill refers to some of Tom Wright’s commentary on Romans in a footnote. He adds: “An over individualisation in the presentation of the gospel will lose sight of the primary message of the Bible which is the presentation of the people of God in its submission to divine leadership as the alternative world society.” (Romans, p 15).

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