“I am under obligation, both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish, so 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.”
– Romans 1:14–16
These verses in Romans are a powerful introduction to this Book. As Paul says, I love the gospel. I’m not ashamed of it, this good news that Jesus has died on the cross and risen from the grave. I love the Gospel. I want to proclaim it boldly in the world around me. But then he says right before that, “Not only do I want to; I’m under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both the wise and the foolish, to preach this gospel. That’s why I’m eager to preach to those of you who are in Rome.”
This Verse Emphasizes Our Need to Share the Gospel
Ownership of the gospel creates an obligation with the gospel. We owe the gospel to the nations.
And then he gets later in the book. He says, “I’m eager to get this gospel to Spain,” but he says these words, “I am under obligation.”
Apparently in Paul’s mind, ownership of the gospel creates an obligation with the gospel because he knows the gospel; because he knows the good news of God’s grace in Christ, he owes it to make it known to other people.
And so, I want to encourage us to think about this in each of our lives, to think in my life, your life. Now, we have the Gospel. We have the good news of God’s grace in Christ. We possess the Gospel. That creates in us an obligation with the Gospel, like because we have knowledge of Christ, we owe that knowledge about Christ to others.
Romans 1:14–16 Reminds Christians of the Billions Who Have Not Heard the Gospel
There are people in the world right now, a couple of billion of them, who have little to no knowledge of the gospel. We don’t just go share the gospel with them among the nations because we want to. God, we do this because we must. We have an obligation to. We owe them the gospel. God, we are obligated to get the gospel to them in the church today.
What would happen if we realized this in our lives, the way we pray, the way we give, the way we use our resources, the way we use our resources together and we come together in the Church, the way we go on mission trips, the way we sinned missionaries, the way we look for opportunities that take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
I think about praying today for the Brunei Malay; the Malay people in Brunei, almost 100% Muslim, very few, if hardly any followers of Christ there. We owe the gospel to them. It’s not easy to get the gospel to Brunei, so we’ve got to get hard to get the gospel to Brunei. We’ve got to pray. God, we’ve got to give. We’ve got think through creative ways to go. This is something we must do, not like we have an option to do. We owe the gospel to the nations, to all the peoples of the earth, every tribe, tongue, language.
Romans 1:14–16 Thanks God for the Gospel
We pray. God, thank you, thank you, thank you, for the gospel. Thank you for saving us. By the blood of Christ, thank you for covering over our sins. Thank you for people who proclaim this gospel to us. If we grew up in families where we’ve heard the gospel, we praise you for families that have faithfully passed the gospel down, who have carried out their debt to us in this sense, who have made the gospel known to us. So God help us to be faithful with the debt we’ve been given. We owe. We realize here in Roman 1:14 we owe the gospel to people who have never heard it. So help us, God, to make the gospel known among people who’ve never heard it.
God, we pray for the Malay and Brunei. We pray that in this small Muslim country, God, we pray that you would bring people to faith in Jesus that you would cause your gospel to spread there, and that you would use our lives and our churches toward that end. We pray for the Malay and Brunei and all kinds of other groups of people around the world. God, we pray that you would help us to be faithful, to carry out our debt those who have never heard the gospel, and pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.