Praise God that the gospel of Jesus Christ is still the answer.
You can see this testimony throughout the Bible. Just look at Romans 1–2. The Apostle Paul sets up the problem to which the gospel is the answer by listing vices that demonstrate mankind’s descent into wickedness. Sexual perversion, gossip, slander, pride, unfaithfulness—no sin is left unexcused.
If he were ministering in our day, Paul could write these same words, couldn’t he? Almost every sin he points out we see celebrated on television, on social media, in corporate boardrooms, at universities, in government offices—and even in some churches. Human nature hasn’t changed in the past two thousand years. Apart from intervening grace, sin corrupts us to the core.
Dr. Sproul taught that we need to know the bad news before we can understand the good news. And what good news it is! The gospel is the answer. The book of Romans explains it. Though we are unrighteous sinners, the liberating truth is that the perfect righteousness we need is God’s gift to us that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21–22).
The gospel is not a social program, a self-improvement seminar, or anything of that nature. The gospel is not merely about how to have your best life now. The gospel does not guarantee health or financial success in this life.
Here’s how R.C. said it:
“The gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith—and by faith alone.”
You can join with Ligonier Ministries this month as we proclaim, teach, and defend this message: God is holy, and we’re not. Trust Jesus Christ and His inerrant Word. Know God’s sovereign grace and rely on His powerful preservation of His people among all peoples.
One thing that always concerned R.C. was that so many Christians and churches seem to have lost their confidence in the gospel. In my discussions with the Ligonier Teaching Fellows and other faithful pastors and laypeople, I find that this concern continues to echo. It’s tragic because it’s through the gospel, and only through the gospel, that awakening to the truth of God and lasting reformation comes.
History proves this. For instance, how was the approved sexual ethic in the Roman Empire changed from God-dishonoring licentiousness to the godly commitment of one man to one woman for life? Through the faithful preaching of the gospel and the efforts of ordinary men and women to live out the gospel’s implications. The Christian faith transformed an entire worldview concerning the dignity of men and women, the importance of children, the sanctity of marriage, and many other issues—not by force, but by the gospel.
What this means is that right living is driven by right theology. What we believe about God changes everything. In his letter to Christians in Rome, Paul presents the gospel as the answer to sin and then explains what this means for Christian living. Dr. Sproul stressed that godliness begins with a right view of God, His holiness, and His grace. R.C. didn’t make that up. He got it straight from Paul and the rest of Scripture.
We’re at a critical moment in history. I think we all feel it. Everything seems to be up for grabs in the culture, even the most basic truths about gender and order that make it possible for a society to function. If believers aren’t equipped with the truth of the gospel and its application to all of life, they won’t be ready to stand firm in this hostile world, and they’ll be unable to extend hope to the millions of image bearers—men and women, boys and girls—who are being ravaged by the cultural confusion.
Ligonier Ministries stands firm on the truth of God’s Word, and that’s why we’re seeking to aggressively expand our global outreach and take the gospel to people of every age and walk of life. Online, in print, and over the airwaves, we’re proclaiming what truly matters and supporting the church in training others to do the same.
But we can’t do this without your support. To thank you for your gift to our worldwide Bible-teaching outreach this month, we’ll send you a special USB drive featuring R.C.’s sermon series on Romans preached at his home church. These audio messages explain why the gospel is still the answer, and we believe they’ll help you bring the gospel to bear on the problems you and those around you face.
What’s the answer to sin today? It’s the same as the answer in the first-century Roman Empire, namely, the gospel. We pray that Christians will cling to this beautiful truth and embrace it wholeheartedly so as to create thriving churches, families, and communities that grow in holiness, extend mercy to others, and point people to Jesus Christ. Your gift is vital for making this happen.
Thank you for supporting Ligonier this month.
P.S. God brought revival and reformation in the past as people grasped the gospel in the book of Romans. We believe He will do so again as people know and believe what Romans teaches. We’ll send you R.C.’s entire sermon series in Romans when you give a donation to help send trusted gospel teaching around the world. Thank you.