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The Provision, Procliamation, Privilege, and Purpose of the Good News. John MacArthur


A.      The Illustration
There's a story about an extremely wealthy man who possessed vast treasures of art.  The man had only one son who was a very ordinary boy.  The child passed away in his adolescence and had little effect on anyone.  The father greatly mourned his son's death.  Within a few months after the death of his son, the father died as well.
He stipulated in his will that all his possessions and art treasures were to be auctioned.  And, strangely enough, he added that one particular painting had to be auctioned first.  It was a painting of his son done by an artist whom no one really knew.  The auctioneer in accord with the man's wishes, directed the assembled crowd to the painting of the rather obscure son of the wealthy man.  He started the bidding there.  Since no one knew the boy or the artist, the bidding was silent.
After a long time had passed without any bid at all, an old man who had been a servant in the house of the wealthy man came forward and said he would like to place a one-dollar bid on the portrait.  He wanted to buy the painting because he had loved the son very much.  At that point in his life, however, a dollar was all he could afford to pay.  There were no other bids and the servant was able to purchase the painting of the son for one dollar.  Then the dramatic moment came as the auctioneer read the next portion of the will.  It said this: "All the rest of my treasure shall go to the one who loved my son enough to purchase his portrait. "
B.     The Inheritance
As that story suggests, there is no way to comprehend the riches
God has provided for those who love His Son.  The treasures prepared for those who love Him are infinite.  Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy of it goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field" (Matt.  13:44 ).  Paul said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor.  2:9).  The good news is if we love the Son of God, we inherit all the riches of the Father.  If we believe in Christ, we have treasure beyond imagination. 
1.       A faithfulness that will never be removed (Ps.  89:33, 138:8).
2.       A life that will never end (John 3:16 ).
3.       A spring of water that will never cease to bubble up within us (John 4:14 )
4.       A gift that will never be lost (John 6:37 -39).
5.       A hand out of which the Good Shepherd's sheep will never be snatched (John 10:28 ).
6.       A chain that will never be broken ( Rom.   8:29-30).
7.       A love from which we can never be separated ( Rom.   8:39 ).
8.       A calling that will never be revoked ( Rom.   11:29 ).
9.       A foundation that will never be destroyed (2 Tim.  2:19 ).
10. An inheritance that will never fade away (1 Pet.  1:4-5)
The message of the book of Romans is that God has good news for those who love His Son.  The first seven verses of Romans contain the seed truth that blooms to its fullest in the remaining sixteen chapters. 
I.                     THE PREACHER OF THE GOOD NEWS (v.  1)
A.      Paul--A Servant of Jesus Christ 
B.     Paul--An Apostle of Jesus Christ 
C.     Paul--Set Apart by Jesus Christ 
II.                   THE PROMISE OF THE GOOD NEWS (v.  2)
A.      The Continuity of the Gospel 
B.     The Consistency of the Gospel 
C.     The Char acter of the Gospel 
III.                 THE PERSON OF THE GOOD NEWS (vv.  3-4)
A.      His Name 
The person of the good news is Christ Himself.  It is what you do with God's Son--the Lord Jesus Christ--that determines whether you will inherit the riches of the Father.  Jesus was a real human being but He was also God.  He had to be a man to take man's place on the cross, yet He also had to be God to conquer sin, death, hell, and Satan. 
B.     His Sonship 
Jesus was made a Son in His incarnation.  He was proved to be the Son of God in His resurrection.  He has always existed as the Second Person of the Trinity but there was also a time when Christ was made a Son and dwelt among men (cf.  John 1:1, 14). 
C.     His Birth 
D.     His Resurrection 
1.       The declaration of His Sonship (v.  4a)
2.       The demonstration of the Spirit (v.  4b)
"According to the spirit of holiness" The Spirit of holiness is another way of referring to the Holy Spirit.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ was able to accomplish His public ministry.  Christ expressed His power and was raised from the dead through the agency of the Holy Spirit. 
a)      Matthew 3:16-17
Matthew said, "When he [Jesus] was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.  And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. " Within the Trinity there is equality, yet when Jesus took on human flesh, He submitted Himself as a Son to the will of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Christ's baptism was the public confirmation of His ministry by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  From that time on, Christ's ministry was controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
b)      Matthew 12:31-32
Jesus said to the religious leaders, "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him. " The Pharisees had been given full physical revelation to believe in Christ, and yet attributed His work to Satan.  When they blasphemed His works, they were blaspheming the Spirit because it was the Spirit who was working through Him. 
c)       Luke 4:1
"Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan . " After His baptism, Jesus was completely controlled and influenced by the Spirit of God. 
d)      John 3:34-35
When God the Father gave the Son the Spirit, He gave Him the Spirit in His absolute and utter fullness: "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. "
The Son took on a role requiring voluntary submission, and did only the will of the Father through the power of the Spirit.  That is an amazing act of love and humility from One who is fully God and always will be throughout eternity.  It is important to recognize the Spirit's work in the ministry and resurrection of Jesus because it indicates that the entire Trinity was involved in the redemption of mankind.  The greatest affirmation that Jesus is who He claimed to be is that the Father raised the Son through the agency of the Holy Spirit.  Marveling the Humanity and Deity of Christ
The humanity and deity of Christ is a mysterious union we can never fully understand.  But regardless of what we can or cannot understand, the Bible emphasizes both. 
3.       Matthew 17:24-27
Matthew said, "When they [the disciples] were come to Capernaum , they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes.  And when he was come into the house, Jesus spoke first to him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own sons, or of strangers? Peter saith unto Him, Of strangers.  Jesus said unto him, Then are the sons free.  Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up.  And when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee. " By paying His taxes, Jesus was showing His humanness.  But directing Peter to go down to the sea and taking money from a fish's mouth, was a display of His deity.  He paid His taxes but He had ways of providing those taxes that were absolutely supernatural. 
2.       Mark 4:35-39
Jesus said to His disciples, "The same day, when the evening was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the boat.  And there were also with him other little boats.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was now full.  And he was in the stern of the boat, asleep on a pillow; and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. " In His humanness, Jesus was tired and asleep in the storm.  But in His deity, He caused the elements to obey His voice. 
4.       Luke 23:39-43
At the cross, "one of the malefactors who were hanged railed at him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we, indeed, justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds.  But this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. " In His humanness, Jesus was a victim, mercilessly hammered to a cross after being spat upon, mocked, and humiliated.  But in His deity, He promised the thief on the cross eternal life as only God can.
IV.                THE PROVISION OF THE GOOD NEWS (v.  5a)
"By whom we have received grace and apostleship. "
A.      Grace from the King
Every believer receives the grace of God as a result of responding to the good news.  Paul could be saying he had received the grace of apostleship.  But I think he was saying much more than that.  The good news is that salvation is by grace. 
                         1. Unmerited favor
a)      Ephesians 2:8-9
Paul said, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not of works, lest any man should boast. " The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It is totally apart from anything man could ever do to receive God's favor.  It is the unmerited favor of God which includes His mercy and loving kindness that grants us salvation as a gift.  All we do is simply respond by believing in His Son. 
b)      Romans 3:24
Paul also said we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. " Paul then said in verse 27, "Where is boasting then? It is excluded.  By what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. " We enter the kingdom of God only by the grace of God.  There is no place for self-congratulations or human achievement in the kingdom of God .  We are not saved by any innate sense of our good deeds or works.
2.       Undeserved favor
Salvation does not come by confirmation, communion, baptism, church membership, church attendance, trying to keep the Ten Commandments, or living out the Sermon on the Mount.  It does not come by giving to charity or even believing that there is a God.  It does not come by simply being moral and respectable.  Salvation does not even come by claiming to be a Christian.  Salvation comes only when we receive by faith the gift of God's grace.  Hell will be full of people who try to get to heaven in any other way. 
a)      Romans 5:20-21
Paul said, "The law entered, that the offense might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ, our Lord. " The first provision of the gospel is grace that is neither earned nor deserved.  You couldn't earn it even if you wanted to. 
b)      Romans 3:20
Paul also said, "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. "
Dr.  Donald Grey Barnhouse said, "Love that gives upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace" (Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistle to the Romans as a Point of Departure, vol.  1 [ Grand Rapids : Eerdmans, 1952], p.  72).  God has stooped to give man grace, even though we don't deserve it.  The dying saint Pauson said, "Grace is the only thing that can make us like God.  I might be dragged through heaven, earth, and hell and I would still be the same sinful, polluted, wretch unless God Himself should cleanse me by His grace. " Grace is a free gift to man from God.
B.     Service to the King
Verse 5 says, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship. " Many might say Paul is referring only to the apostles, but I believe he is embracing the entire believing community in this passage.  We have received a different kind of apostleship. 
1.       The broad sense of the title
The gospel not only brings us the grace of salvation, but the task of apostleship--being sent to preach the good news to others.
a)      Hebrews 3:1
The writer of Hebrews said, "Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. " The term apostle must be seen in this wider sense because Christ Himself is called one.  He was sent from the Father.  In its broadest sense, the term refers to any gospel messenger.  Commentator William Hendriksen wrote that an apostle is "anyone who is sent on a spiritual mission, anyone who in that capacity represents His Sender and brings the message of salvation" (Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans [ Grand Rapids : Baker, 1981], p.  38).  We are called and saved to be sent to reach the world.
b)      Romans 16:7
Paul said, "Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. " What kind of apostles were Andronicus and Junias? They were certainly not official apostles with a capital "A," but were were sent to proclaim the truth of Christ in His behalf.  Paul is saying there is not only the grace of salvation but the challenge of being sent.
c)       Acts 14:14
Both Barnabas and Paul are here referred to as apostles.  Barnabas wasn't one of the Twelve apostles, nor was he the equivalent of Paul but he was one that was sent.  The term apostle is broadened in many biblical texts so it can't be confined to the Twelve.
2.       The unique sense of the term
There is no question that Paul's apostleship was very unique.  There was no other apostle like him.  He had a special call from God to be the apostle to the Gentiles, yet he was an apostle as truly as any of the others who saw Christ personally after the resurrection.  It is true that all believers are "sent ones"--a literal definition of the word apostles--but not all believers are apostles in the first-century sense.  Nevertheless, each believer is called to reach the world for Christ.
V.                  No Spectators in the Christian Life
I grew up with an athletic background.  I played on many different teams through various sports programs.  I can remember playing on several teams where a youth might try out for the team with little or no athletic ability.  Maybe his father had died, or maybe he was poor--he was the kind of youth that drew your sympathy.  Every once in a while a coach would feel sorry for such a boy, and place him on the team in spite of his performance.  He would give him a uniform to make him feel a part of the team even though he would never let him play in a game.
That analogy points to an opposite truth in our Christian life.  The Lord doesn't place you on the team just so you can sit on the bench.  He intends to send you into the game.  It is His grace that calls you to salvation, but He will also send you as an apostle into the world to witness for Him.  We are all like the youth who has no ability.  God graciously puts us on the team, not because of our own ability, but purely by His sovereign grace.  And, He gives us the ability to play the game.  We have the holy privilege of serving Jesus Christ. 
3.       The compelling sense of the task
Do you have any comprehension of what a high calling it is to serve Christ?
a)      Ephesians 2:10
Paul said, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. "
b)      Ephesians 4:1
Paul said, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation to which ye are called. "
It is said a victor at the Olympic Games in ancient times was asked, "Spartan, what will you gain by this victory?" He replied, "I, sir, shall have the honor to fight on the front line for my king. " We're called to serve even with all our limitations.

A High and Holy Calling
1. Illustrated by D.  L.  Moody
At the close of an address this famous evangelist and pastor made in Chicago , a highly educated man said to him coldly, "Excuse me, but you made eleven mistakes in your grammar tonight. " Mr.  Moody replied, "I probably did.  My early education was very faulty.  But I am using all the grammar that I know in the Master's service.  How about you?" (Cited in A.  Naismith's 1200 Notes Quotes and Anecdotes [ Chicago : Moody, 1962], p.  179). 
On another occasion, a man came up to Moody and said, "I don't like your invitation.  I don't think it's the right way to do it. " He said, "I appreciate that.  I've always been uncomfortable with it, too.  I wish I knew a better way.  What is your method of inviting people to Christ?" "Oh," the fellow said, "I don't have one. " Moody replied, "Then I like mine better. " Whatever our limitations, God has sent us to reach the world. 
2. Illustrated by Donald Grey Barnhouse
The famous commentator reflected on a very interesting time in his life when he was being ordained into the Presbyterian ministry: (MOODY: WE HAVE WRITTEN FOR PERMISSION FOR THIS) The moderator of the Presbytery asked me questions, and I answered them.  They told me to kneel down.  Men came toward me, and one man was asked to make the prayer.  I felt his hand come on my head, and then the hands of others touching my head, and pressing down on his and the other hands.  The ring of men closed in, and one man began to pray.  It was a nice little prayer and had one pat little phrase in it, `Father, guard him with Thy love, guide him with Thine eye and gird him with Thy power. '
I kept thinking about those three verbs, guard, guide and gird.  It seemed as foolish as performing a marriage ceremony upon two people who had been living together for a quarter of a century and who had a family of children together.  I knew I had been ordained long since, and that the Hands that had been on my head were Hands that had been pierced, and nailed to a cross. 

Years later the man that made the prayer that day signed a paper saying that he was opposed to the doctrine of the virgin birth, the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement, the doctrine of the miracles of Christ, the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures, as tests for ordination or a man's good standing in the ministry. 
When I read his name on that list, I put my hand on the top of my head and smiled to myself wondering how many dozen times I had had my hair cut since his unholy hands had touched me.  And I had the profound consolation of knowing that the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, wounded and torn because of my sins, had touched me and given me an apostleship which was from God and which was more important than any that man could approve by their little ceremonies (Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistle to the Romans as a Point of Departure [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952], pp.  76-77). 

I thought of my own ordination.  Good and godly men were there who asked me all kinds of questions.  They came up and they put their hands on me and prayed.  They also signed my ordination certificate.  There weren't enough lines for them to write their names so they started writing their names all over the paper.  There was one name written bigger than any other name, and it appears on the first line of my certificate. 

Not long after, he abandoned the ministry, involved himself in replete immorality, denied his faith in Christ, became an outspoken atheist, and finally a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California .  I, like Dr.  Barnhouse, thank God that my apostleship--my ministry--didn't come from men, but from Christ Himself. 
VI.                THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOOD NEWS (vv.  5b, 6)
"For obedience to the faith among all nations . . .  among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. "
Paul is saying that just as you have been called to Christ, you will go out and call others to Christ.  The good news concerning Jesus Christ leads us to proclaim the same good news to all the nations of the earth.
Man Is Designed for Obedience to Christ (v.  5b)
"Obedience to the faith. "
Paul said the same thing in Romans 16:26: "According to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. " The result of faith is obedience.  Show me someone who says he believes in Christ and lives a life of disobedience and I'll show you someone who is not redeemed.
                   1.  Dead faith
Faith, if it does not manifest itself in works of obedience, is dead.  James said, "Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead" (James 2:20 )? We are not saved by works, but we are saved unto good works.  Christianity is a call for people to be obedient to the faith.  When you put your faith in Christ, you affirm your obedience to Him. 
Paul used a definite article in describing this faith, similar to Jude: "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).  It refers to the actual content of the gospel message--Jude, who spoke of the process of "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt.  28:20).  Sadly, that isn't the message many people are hearing today.  We must call people to faith, but to a faith that obeys the Word of God.  People who say they believe and then live a life of disobedience do not possess genuine saving faith.  People who believe in Christ will obey Him.
     2.  Obedient faith
It is not that faith plus obedience equals salvation, but that obedient faith equals salvation.  True faith is verified in one's obedience to God.  Because Jesus is Lord, He demands obedience.  There is no faith without obedience.  Paul said to the Roman Christians, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world" (1:8).  And why is it their faith was spoken of throughout the world? Romans 16:19 says, "Your obedience is come abroad unto all men. " In the beginning it is your faith that is spread abroad, but in the end it is your obedience.  Why? Because one cannot exist without the other. 
Liquor Store Christianity?
I once was riding in an automobile with a man who was a professor at a theological seminary.  We drove by a liquor store, and I happened to mention that it was a very unusual-looking place.  The man I was riding with said, "Yes, there is a chain of those stores all over the city and they're all owned by one man. " He went on to say that the man came to his Sunday-school class.  I said, "He does?" He said, "Yes, he's there every Sunday. " He went on to say he was in his discipleship group and that they meet every week.  I said, "Does it bother him that he owns all those liquor stores?" The professor replied, "We've certainly talked a lot about it.  He feels people are going to buy liquor anyway, so why not buy it from him. " I asked, "Is the rest of his life in order?" The professor responded, "He did leave his wife and is living with a young girl. " The professor then said, "You know, sometimes it is so hard for me to understand how a Christian can live like that. " I said, "You want to know something? Have you ever thought about the possibility that maybe he's not a Christian at all?"
The Bible teaches that someone who lives a life of absolute disobedience cannot be a Christian because he does not recognize the lordship of Christ.  Romans 10:9-10 says, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. " Faith without obedience won't save anyone.  The delusion that it will cause many people to take the broad road that leads to destruction (Matt.  7:13 -14).  That's like building a religious super-structure on sand (Matt.  7:21 -29).  Hebrews 12:14 speaks of "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. " No holiness, no heaven!
Man Is Designated for Evangelism on Behalf of Christ (v.  6)
"Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. "
Believers have been called to faith in Christ.  We have come out of a life of disobedience into a life of obedience, from unbelief into faith.  And because we have been called ourselves, we are obliged to call others to faith in Christ. 
"To all that be in Rome , beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. "
That verse mentions three privileges believers have as a result of the good news:
A.      Beloved of God (v.  7a)
"To all that be in Rome , beloved of God. "
1.  Ephesians 2:4-5
"God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ. " God loved us even when we were dead in sin. 
2.  1 John 3:1
The apostle John said, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God. " The phrase translated "what manner" comes from the Greek word potap[ma]an, which means, "something foreign. " It has to do with something that is otherworldly.  God's love for mankind is so different from any other kind of love, it as if it's from another planet!
3.  Ephesians 1:6
We have been accepted in the Beloved One "to the praise of the glory of his grace. " God loves us in His Son.
4.  Romans 5:5
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. "
5.  Romans 8:35
Paul asked rhetorically, "What shall separate us from the love of Christ?" The answer of course, is nothing.  Those who act on the good news are beloved of God, which is to receive His infinite blessing. 
B.     Called of God (v.  7b)
"Called to be saints. "
This is the effectual call to salvation.  We are saved by the sovereign act of God. 
1.       The general call
There are passages in the Bible that speak of a general call to be saved.   

a.       Isaiah 45:22

The Lord said, "Be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. "

b.      Isaiah 55:6

Isaiah declared, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. "

c.       Ezekiel 33:11

Ezekiel said, "Turn ye, turn from your evil ways. "

d.      Matthew 11:28

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "

e.       John 7:37

Jesus also said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. "

f.         Revelation 22:17

"The Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. "

5.       Romans 10:17

Paul said, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. "
1.       The specific call
Paul is not simply giving a general call to receive the gospel in verse 7.  He has in mind the effectual call to redemption that comes by the sovereign will of God.  The word called is another word for the elect.  Ephesians 1:4 says, "He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. " Scripture is filled with references to anyone who believes as one who has been sovereignly called and predestinated by God.  From man's viewpoint, we come to Christ as an act of our will.  But from God's perspective, He called us to Himself before the world began. 
C.     Saints of God (v.  7c)
"To all that be in Rome , beloved of God, called to be saints. "
There should be a comma after the word called because the words to be do not appear in the Greek text.  If you are a Christian, you are a saint.  The Greek word for "saint" is hagios, which means "holy one. " By virtue of being beloved of God and called to salvation, believers have been set apart from the world in obedience to God. 
1.       The meaning of set apart in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, many things were said to be set apart.  The Holy of Holies was set apart (Ex.  26:33), along with the tithe (Lev.  27:30), and the priests (Lev.  21:6-7).  Exodus 19:6 says the whole nation of Israel was set apart.  That was simply a way of saying that all those things were holy--set apart unto God. 
2.  The meaning of set apart in the New      Testament
The New Testament does not describe those Old Testament concepts as holy anymore.  The Holy of Holies doesn't exist because the veil was torn when Christ died (Matt.  27:51).  The Temple has been destroyed.  The tithe does not apply anymore because Christians are not under a theocracy.  The priests aren't needed anymore because of the priesthood of believers (1 Pet.  2:9).  The nation of Israel has been temporarily set aside (Rom.  9).  Christians are holy--set apart--because the new temple of God is the church.  We're set apart from our sins unto God (Heb.  2:11 , Acts 26:18).
D.     Blessed by God (v.  7d)
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. "
The only people who could ever receive such a benediction would be those who were beloved, called, and made holy by God.  Believers are the only ones who could receive His grace and experience His peace.
VIII.            THE PURPOSE OF THE GOOD NEWS (v.  5c)
"For his name. "
A.      The Primary Purpose--God's Glory
The phrase "for his name" simply means that the purpose of the good news is that everything should focus on the glory of God.  Many people think the main reason God saves people is so He can keep them out of hell, or so they can experience His love, or lead their lives.  But all those reasons are secondary. 
People are to be saved for the glory of God because it is an affront to His holy name that someone should live in rebellion against Him.  That people experience salvation is not the main issue with God.  It is His glory that is at stake.

2.      3 John 7

John said of faithful believers, "For his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. "

3.      Philippians 2:9-11

Paul said of Jesus, "God . . .  hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father. " Salvation is for God's glory. 

4.      2 Corinthians 4:15

Paul wished that "the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many may redound to the glory of God. "
B.     The Secondary Purpose--Man's Salvation
God is glorified when someone believes His gospel.  He is glorified when men love His Son.  He is glorified when men accept His diagnosis of his greatest need, which is forgiveness of sin.  Although man benefits from God's provision of salvation, a Christian exists for the glory of God.
Madame Guyon, the seventeenth century French mystic, wrote this in her poem "Glory to God Alone" (Vol.  II, Cantique 15):
Glorious, Almighty, First, and without end! When wilt Thou melt the mountains, and descend! When wilt thou shoot abroad Thy conqu'ring rays And teach these atoms Thou hast made Thy praise?
The good news comes from God.  It was promised in the Old Testament and is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It provides grace and service, is proclaimed by those who receive eternal privileges, and is ultimately for the purpose of glorifying God. 
Focusing on the Facts
1.  What does Scripture say about the riches of God for those who love Him?
2. What is the message of the book of Romans?
3. True or False: The Spirit of holiness is another way of saying the Holy Spirit. 
4. What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Matt.  12:31-32)?
5. Explain the voluntary submission of Christ as the Son of God. 
6. What are two provisions of the good news? Explain both, using biblical examples. 
7. What is the high and holy calling of the Christian?
8. The Christian has been designed for two things.  What are they?
9. The result of faith is ___________. 
10. True or False: Christianity is a call for people to be obedient to the faith. 
11. What are the privileges of the good news? Explain from the Scripture how God loves man. 
12. Differentiate between God's general call and God's special call to salvation. 
13. Explain what it means to be a saint of God. 
14. What is the primary purpose for proclaiming the good news of God?
15. What is the secondary purpose for proclaiming the good news?
Pondering the Principles
1.  There are many things a person receives as a result of becoming a Christian, but one of the most notable is the grace of God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not of works, lest any man should boast. " If you are a Christian, read the following passages and ask God to show you His grace--His unmerited favor--which is available to you: Acts 15:11, Romans 3:23-26, and Romans 11:5-6
2. When a person becomes a Christian, not only does he receive the grace of God, but he is also called to witness about His grace.  The Christian is to live a life of obedience and call others into that same life of faith.  Do you witness to others about your faith? Is it clear to those around you that Christ is the most important thing to you? If you are not presently witnessing by what you say and what you do, ask God to make evangelism a consistent part of your life. 
3.  The primary purpose of the good news is the glory of God.  It is an affront to God that someone should live in rebellion against Him.  Study the following passages and determine in your heart that you will properly represent the name of God on earth: Malachi 1:11-14, Acts 15:14 , and Colossians 3:1-17


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