December 2 I Thursday
1 John 1
“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” —Romans 1:5
Before Paul had even been to Rome, he planned to visit it in his fourth missionary journey on his way to Spain. Prior to his visit, he wrote a comprehensive and systematic explanation of the gospel. Paul’s letter became what we know today as the book of Romans.
The church in Rome was predominately Gentile. We are not given details on how it began, but we know there were Jewish people from Rome in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. God had so orchestrated the Day of Pentecost to coincide with a huge Jewish festival known as the “Feast of Weeks,” which happened 50 days after the “Feast of Firstfruits.” People travelled from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5) to celebrate, and at that time, there were 120 disciples gathered together in a house in Jerusalem. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house. The disciples saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them (Acts 2:2-3).
The commotion caused such a stir that crowds attending the celebration came together to see what was happening. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Many people heard the gospel in their native language, and 3,000 were converted that day. Returning to their homelands, they had the gospel in their hearts and its message on their lips. The life of God, lost in the Garden of Eden, was restored into human experience, and the church of Jesus Christ was born.
Like the Day of Pentecost, the scope of the gospel reaches across the entire world to include every man, woman and child. As the church of Jesus Christ, we are on a mission not only to reach the world with the gospel, but to bring people to obedience of it, which comes through faith. The call to obedience is part of the commission that Christ gave His church, not as something restrictive, but as something that liberates us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to live the life that God created us for.
The book of Romans is completely universal in its application, and is the most definitive statement of the gospel message in the New Testament. There are no qualifications required, only repentance and a humble awareness of our need for Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. From the tiniest isolated hovels around the globe to the vast metropolitan centres, the scope of the gospel covers the whole world, because everyone needs to hear the gospel!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the gospel message is the greatest message ever given. I pray that You will give me the boldness and courage to proclaim Your truth to others. Thank You, Lord.