By Scotty Smith
I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:15-17
Dear Lord Jesus, even as Paul was eager to preach the gospel to believers in Rome, so I’m eager to preach it to my own heart today. There was a time when I thought the gospel was only for nonbelievers—simply the doorway for beginning a relationship with you. I now realize believers need the gospel just as much as non-believers. From beginning to end, our salvation is entirely dependent upon the grace, truth, and power of the gospel. Indeed, there’s nothing more than the gospel, there’s just more of the gospel.
So I praise you today, Lord Jesus, that you’ve already accomplished everything necessary to completely redeem us, and restore us to your image. You’re not primarily our model to follow; you’re our substitute to embrace—not our second chance, but the “second Adam.” You lived a life of perfect obedience on our behalf, fulfilling all the demands of God’s law for us. And when you died upon the cross, you became sin for us—completely exhausting God’s righteous judgment that stood against us. Hallelujah, many times over!
Through faith in you, I know for certain, that all of my sins have been forgiven—sins in the past, present and future; not just the 4% I’m aware of, but the other 96% as well. And I’ve also been given the gift of your perfect righteousness—as though every good thing youdid, I did. Astonishing! God has already declared me to be righteous in his sight; and he cannot love me more than he does today, and he’ll never love me less.
In fact, because of your work for me, Lord Jesus, God now loves me just as much as he loves you, for he’s hidden my life in yours. Amazing! He’s adopted me as his child and placed his Spirit in my heart. The Holy Spirit constantly reminds me I’m God’s beloved child, because I’m so prone to forget. And he’s also present in my life to make me like you, Jesus, for I can no more change myself than I could’ve ever begun a relationship with God on my own.
As our great high priest, you are ever living to pray for us—praying what I would pray if I knew what you knew. As the resurrected and reigning King, you are working in all things for our good and your glory. All of history is bound up with your commitment to redeem your Bride from the nations and make all things new. Nothing is left to chance; all things are left to you!
One Day, (hopefully soon), you will return, Lord Jesus, and usher in the new heaven and new earth—the world of perfect peace, love and joy. My heart leaps and longs for that Day, when your people, every place and all things will exist for the praise of your glorious grace. Keep pressing this gospel into my heart. So very Amen I pray, in your priceless and peerless name.