Through [Jesus] we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith.
If Jesus Christ is truly God and if He is Lord over all, then that has great implications for your life. Paul talked about that in Romans 1. He said the gospel demands obedience.
In Romans 1:5-6, Paul said, “Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” If we are going to preach the true gospel, then our message should not just be, “You can get out of Hell by trusting in Christ.” We should preach the full gospel, the gospel whose ultimate end is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, then, as Paul said in Colossians 1:18, Christ should have first place in all things in our lives. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord over your mind. You are not free to think any thoughts you want to think. You are not free to dwell on any fantasy that comes into your mind. Jesus is Lord over your desires. You are not free to do anything you want to do. Your desires are under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Jesus is Lord over your vocation. You are not free to pursue whatever career you want to. Jesus is Lord over your time. You are not free to get up in the morning and say, “I wonder how I am going to spend my time today.” Jesus is Lord over your money. That money you have is not yours; it is on loan to you from God. Jesus is Lord over the Church. We are not free as the body of Christ to do whatever we want to do. The Church belongs to Jesus Christ. And Jesus is Lord over this nation as well. We are not free as a country to do whatever we want to do under the name of separation of church and state. Jesus is Lord over all.
The gospel also demonstrates God’s love. Paul mentioned the recipients of the letter in Romans 1:7: “To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Grace is God’s undeserved favor upon us. If you are a Christian, understand this: You are not a Christian because you chose God. It is because God chose you. In Ephesians 2:4-5, Paul said, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Remember this: God chose to love you not because of your goodness; God chose to love you in spite of your badness. He did not choose you because of your goodness. He did not choose me because of my goodness. He chose us in spite of our badness. That is the grace of Jesus Christ.
God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He sent Christ to die for us (Romans 5:8). Paul experienced firsthand the grace and undeserved love of Jesus Christ, which is the very heart of the gospel–a gospel that is truly good news to those who believe.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Good News from a Distant Land” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.