All throughout the New Testament, Christians are commanded to share the good news of Jesus with those around them. This is called evangelism. This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to preach on this topic. Instead of looking at some of the more commonly used passages that talk about evangelism such as the Great Commission, I decided that I would go through a full book of the Bible that itself is all about evangelism and taking the gospel to those who have never heard it before: Romans.
I knew going into it that this would be a daunting task since many pastors who have preached through this book have taken years to get through it; one great example is John Piper who spent almost 9 years and 250 sermons preaching through the book of Romans. I knew I couldn’t take this long since I only had about 45 minutes, so I decided that I would just cover the main points and themes of the book. I came away with 13 main points, 11 main points and 2 more in closing, that show us how Romans is all about sharing the gospel and all of its implications. Each of the main points is divided into short phrases which combine into one big summary sentence for the whole book.
Below is a brief summary of the full sermon, and the audio is attached below.
All know God – Romans 1:19-20
Although there are some things about God that cannot be known simply by nature (doctrine of the trinity, knowledge of God in Christ as the mediator between God and man), all people are born with a knowledge of God deep down in their hearts so that all are without excuse for not knowing God (Psalm 19:1).
Yet all have turned away from God – Romans 1:21, 3:9b-12
Everyone, without exception, is cursed because of sin and has chosen to worship things that they saw as more fitting than God.
And because of this, all deserve eternal death/separation from God – Romans 5:12, 6:23a
This is the result of the first two points; death. Not a physical death since everyone dies, but this is an eternal spiritual death and separation from God (Revelation 21:8, 14:11).
And there is nothing we can do to save ourselves – Romans 3:19-20, 9:14-16, 18
Not only are all guilty before God and deserving of eternal punishment, but there is nothing we can do to remove our guilt and punishment.
But God chose to make a way of salvation to himself and loved us – Romans 3:21-26; 5:8
When we could not be saved through the law that God gave, he still made a way to himself through Jesus (Romans 3:26, 8:32), giving us the opportunity to experience his glory in full someday (Revelation 21:3-7).
Making us no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:17-18
God has broken the bondage between us and sin so that sin is no longer our master. Of course, we will never be completely free from sin in this life, but we now have the ability to worship and glorify God.
If our confession is Christ – Romans 10:9-11, 12:2
Our confession is not saying a specific prayer, responding to an altar call, or raising our hand when asked if we want to believe in Jesus. Our confession is Christ alone.
Who is our hope – Romans 5:2-5, 15:13
This confession of Christ does not put us to shame because godly “hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Nothing else compares to the infinite glory of Christ (Romans 11:33).
So that once we have confessed, we are then called to tell others about the gospel – Romans 1:1-6, 10:14-15
Once we have received this good news for ourselves, it is then our responsibility to share it with those who have not received Christ as their Savior (Romans 15:20, 23). If we don’t do this, people will go to hell. There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 26:16-18, 4:12).
With the help of the body of Christ – Romans 15:24, 30-33, 16:1-16
We are not called to do this alone. We are to support one another in our work for Christ through prayer, financial giving, physically going with one another, and through our company. If we are not supporting the work of the gospel, do we really understand the gospel?
Because it is our joy – Romans 15:17-20
Though the message of the gospel is heavy and carries great responsibility, it should be our joy to share it because it is life-giving (John 4:10, 34, 6:35).
Nothing separates those who are in Christ from the love of God – Romans 8:31-39
God’s love is greater than any other power because any power that is has been given by God (Romans 13:1). But what separates those who are not in Christ from the love of God? Our telling them. God has chosen to use us as a means to carry his gospel to the ends of the earth, and if we don’t fulfill that, people will never hear about Jesus apart from a miracle from God.
We should all be giving our lives for the sake of the gospel – Romans 14:8; Galatians 6:14; Philippians 1:21-24
This does not mean that every single one of us must go overseas to dangerous parts of the world to share the gospel with people who have never heard it. However, maybe it does mean that for some. But what I mean by this is that wherever we go, whatever we say and do, we should do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).