Paul’s Masterpiece on Grace
Is Romans one of your favourite books in the Bible? If not, then you do not have a revelation of the true Gospel. That’s a strong statement, but I believe I’m justified in making it. Romans is a powerful, powerful book.
When I first got really turned on to the Lord back in 1968, I was at a church meeting, and I heard a man say that if you could understand the first eight or nine chapters of Romans, it would cause you to become a mature Christian. That caught my attention.
To understand the book of Romans, the first things you need to know are who wrote the book and why. The Apostle Paul wrote this as a letter to the church in Rome. At the time he wrote it, he had never been to Rome, but Paul wrote to the Romans because their faith had been spoken of throughout the world.
However, something was beginning to happen in Rome that Paul needed to address. At this time, the church was a mixture of Jewish people and Gentiles, and some of the Jewish people had begun to influence new believers in Rome to go back under the covenant of the law. They had believed in Jesus, but they wanted the New Testament believers to go back and observe all the Old Testament law. Paul wrote this book to show them the differences between New Testament and Old Testament ideas.
I believe Romans is Paul’s masterpiece. He explains how God deals with us in a brand-new way - through mercy and grace instead of based on our performance and keeping of the law.
This is a huge difference. When we grasp the concepts of the New Covenant, it will transform our lives. Many people today who have come to the Lord have then gone to church and gotten involved in religion, developing a performance-based mentality as a result. This keeps us from receiving from God, and it causes a lot of guilt and condemnation. As a result, many people don’t walk in the freedom God intended for us.
Paul makes an important statement in Romans 1:16:
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Today, people apply the word Gospel
to many different things. I’ve even seen some preachers use the word in the
context of screaming at people, condemning them, and telling them that they’re
going to hell. It’s true that there is a heaven and a hell, and if people don’t
accept Jesus, they’re going to hell - but that is not the Gospel.
The word Gospel was seldom used in Paul’s time. It literally means Good News, but it’s more than that. The word Gospel here is referring to the nearly too-good-to-be-true news - the radically Good News that doesn’t apply to anything except what Jesus came to do for us through His death and resurrection, taking our sins away.
When Paul announced that he was not ashamed of the Gospel, he was opposing the religion of his day, which didn’t have any Good News in it. In fact, it was very oppressive. The religious leaders even counted out how many steps you could take on a sabbath day. They accused Jesus of breaking the sabbath when he healed people. Their lives were full of laws and rituals. People were constantly being told, “You’re wrong here, you’re wrong there, you can’t do enough.” Second Corinthians 3:7–9 calls the law a ministration of condemnation and death.
For Paul to say that he was not ashamed of the Good News - that Jesus paid everything, and that God’s love for him was not based on his performance - was radical. Paul went on to write in Romans 1:16:
For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
This verse has another word that needs explanation: salvation. This word has been cheapened from what it originally meant. The word salvation is translated from the Greek word sozo. As it is used in the Bible, it’s not limited to the forgiveness of sins. It includes that, but also much more. Sozo literally refers to not only the forgiveness of sins, but the healing of your body; your prosperity; and deliverance from Satan, depression, and discouragement - all these things are included. Sad to say, but the church today has broken down salvation to mean only the forgiveness of sins.
Paul explained that this awesome gift of salvation - forgiveness, healing, prosperity, joy, and deliverance - has nothing to do with our performance, but is based on our faith in what Jesus did. The burden of salvation is no longer on our back.
This contrasted with the Jewish people’s mindset, which was: If I don’t perform, God won’t move. These days, most people wouldn’t consider themselves to be like the Jewish people of Paul’s day, yet we still see these same mindsets and behaviours.
Today, the average Christian believes that God can do anything - He can perform miracles, He can heal, He can provide finances - but they don’t know for sure that He will because they believe that God’s power being demonstrated in their lives is dependent upon their goodness, whether they fasted, prayed, studied the Word, and so on. They doubt God’s willingness because they know in their own hearts they haven’t done everything correctly.
If this expresses your attitude, then you don’t understand the Gospel. The Gospel is the nearly too-good-to-be-true news that you don’t get what you deserve - you get what Jesus deserved. All you have to do is believe and receive. You have to get beyond your self-righteousness and trust God.
I’m out of space, but there’s a lot more on Romans that I have to share that would change your life. I tell you, understanding grace is so important for believers. I’ve put together a special package this month that will thoroughly disciple you on grace. You’ll understand how God sees you, be set free from all kinds of bondages, and be ready to minister grace to others!
To order, go to www.awme.net/promo-offer/romans, call our UK Helpline at +44(0)1922 473300, or fill out and return the enclosed form.
We love you,Andrew and Jamie
Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece on Grace
Let Andrew Wommack guide you through Paul’s lessons on grace and teach you how to experience freedom and walk in New Testament blessings!View all products for Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece on Grace