Focal passages: Romans 1:1-7, 13-17
“EXTRA, EXTRA, read all about it!” a familiar cry heard on the street corners of every major city in the early 20th century. Paperboys – or “newsies,” as they were often known – would shout news to pedestrians as they hawked their papers. They had stories to share, and the more vocal and engaged they were, the more interest they gained.
Paul opens his letter to the Romans declaring the most important news we will ever hear. Paul shares the truth of the gospel noting that it was promised and declared by the prophets (v.2 ), is found in Christ (v. 3), seen in the resurrection (v. 4) and offered to all (v. 5).
The gospel message that Paul declares is truth without error. The newsies shared their message with urgency and conviction. Paul yearned to share the gospel message with the Romans. He had an obligation based on his remembrance of who he used to be and an understanding of who he had become because of Jesus in his life. Paul no longer walk-ed in darkness because he had encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) and now knowing the truth, he was obligated to share it with others, that they too may know.
Much like the world we live in today, the message of the gospel was held in contempt by those who did not believe. Those who were bold enough to declare the good news faced ridicule and persecution. Sound familiar? Yet, Paul carried no shame in sharing it. (v. 16). There is power in the gospel message, and it changes lives.