March 30 I Saturday
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son…” —Romans 1:1-3
It may surprise us to learn that the Gospel of Jesus Christ did not begin with His coming to earth and making His dwelling among humankind. Paul teaches that the Gospel has its roots in history and prophecy long before Jesus Christ was born. Jesus did not arrive on the scene out of the blue. He is not the founder of Christianity, but the fulfiller of it.
The important factor we need to consider about any message is whether or not it is credible. Does it carry authority and is it true? In this regard, the prophets of the Old Testament are as important as the apostles of the New Testament. In Ephesians 2:20, Paul tells us the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and we need to understand how they connect in revealing the one continuous story of the Bible.
Old Testament Scripture was the only document the apostles and even Jesus had to teach and preach from. One of its remarkable features is that it contains prophecies written up to 2,000 years in advance of the birth of Christ, and every single one came to fruition in the right place, on time, exactly as foretold. Our reason for believing in the historicity of Jesus and the validity of His death and resurrection is not just because the New Testament tells us, but because the Old Testament tells us long before it happened with incredible detail.
The message of the Gospel did not simply evolve but is deeply rooted in prophecies God had given His prophets. These prophecies not only preceded Christ in time, but they go back beyond time. Their origins predate the history of Israel as well as the history of the human race. Paul writes that God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4 ESV). God was not taken by surprise when the human race fell. He knew in advance, He prepared in advance and He revealed His solution in advance.
Paul, an apostle called by God, sent by God and under the authority of God, confirms the Gospel of Jesus Christ as standing above every human philosophy and reasoning. The Gospel is not personal opinion, speculation or theory. It is truth that has its roots deeply entrenched in centuries of prophecy. Had they not been true, they would have been exposed as such, but every one has proven to be authentic and trustworthy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for the redemption, salvation and reconciliation of humanity to Himself.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, without the Gospel of Jesus Christ, humanity would be lost in a world that does not make sense. Thank You for the stability, richness and grace the Gospel has given me.