I've heard the phrase "spread the gospel" all my life, but there seems to be a lack of consistency in exactly what people mean when they say "gospel." We have in the book of Romans the most complete statement of the gospel found in the New Testament. Paul teaches that in spite of our misguided efforts that have defeated us we can gain entry to a life that is full and free. His writings on justification by faith describe how God brings us into a relationship with Himself in which impossible things become actual. He presents Christ's life as authentic revelation of the divine; a replacement of the misunderstanding that God is a wrathful taskmaster who is out to get us. The distorted views of God vanish as Paul speaks of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Herschel Hobbs translates the Greek theme word of the book as The God-Kind-of-Righteousness. It is the new spiritual power that sweeps away the bondage and oppression of life without God.
Grace is a gift that brings about spiritual renewal.
Faith is a loving trust in and willing submission to God.
I pray that all of us who participate in this four month study of Romans will experience a new understanding of God's grace and power and a strengthening of our faith.