The Good News that is the Gospel
After the excitement of lunchtime service and staff meeting (where there wasn’t anyone balancing a broom on his nose this time, but a bunch of people trying to explain, unsuccessfully, the Chinese mooncake festival), needed a flat white to calm down for our first study on Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Near the drycleaners was Curators Coffee Studio (9 Cullum St, London, EC3M 7JJ) who were hosting a Caravan-roasted Guatemalan guest espresso from Coop Rio Azul in the hopper. A double shot in a large milk yielded faint fruity flavours. The kind baristas then sent over a single shot in small milk but the taste was similarly delicate. Might try a double in small milk next go. Regardless, it was good to have caffeine around for Romans 1:1-17. There were two surprises in the text:
- that the gospel isn’t simply Two Ways To Live (although it encompasses that) – the gospel (“good news”) is that Jesus Christ is the Son of David and Son of God promised by God through the prophets through ages past (as set out in the Old Testament);
- that because (i) Son of David and Son of God promised by God is to be given authority over all of creation, and (ii) by the fact of his resurrection from the dead, Jesus has been proved to be this king, then:
- the gospel is for all nations because Jesus rules over the whole world; and
- the gospel isn’t just to convert people to Christianity – it continues to be good news for those who are already saved because it isn’t primarily about the salvation of humans but about the kingship of Christ and the glory of God. This is why Paul is eager to preach the gospel to the Romans, who were already known for their faith. He wasn’t planning on a Billy Graham crusade. Rather, he looked for the mutual encouragement that proclaiming the gospel would have for their obedience of faith in Jesus.