The visual commentary below highlights the heart of the message and the Good News for today.
Paul writes to the church in Rome, who is divided between the Jews and the Gentiles, and says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation, first to the Jews, and also to the Gentiles.”
So, what about us today? What is the power of the Gospel in the twenty-first century?
I think the answer to that question is different for everyone.
Some of us need to be saved from bondage of some kind. Something has a grip on your mind and heart that is not allowing you to experience the love of God. If you feel like it is difficult to believe that God loves you, or if you have difficulty loving and/or forgiving someone else, or if you struggle with loving yourself, then you are in bondage and need to be saved from it.
The truth is, we all are.
What is it for you today?
Do you feel lost?
Are you deep in debt and financial bondage?
Are you gripped by an addiction?
The Good News is that God does love you. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. You don’t have to prove your worth. God sees you, right now, and says, “My beloved child.” Do you trust that to be true?
Jesus came to show us the love of God and how to live in the way of God’s love in the real world.
Jesus promised that God’s Spirit gives us the power to live the life for which we were created.
We all need that kind of salvation. Set free to love and be loved.
I think there is another kind of salvation, as well. And, perhaps, this is more what Paul was trying to communicate.
I think, many times, we need to be saved from our “isms.”
An “ism” is what happens when you believe that your way of seeing the world and understanding God is the only correct way and that everyone else must become just like you in order to be right with God.
“for I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Many people in Paul’s day thought that the only people “inside” of God’s Promise were those who followed the particular rules of the Law of Moses. Paul was trying to break open their imagination to see that God’s promise is actually for ALL people.
CLICK HERE for a deeper dive into Paul’s argument for including all people in God’s promise.
God is faithful to God’s promise. God became flesh in Jesus to show us the way of life. The Spirit brought Jesus back from the dead and that same Spirit is poured out on all people, to give us the faith to know that we can be saved.
He is risen, He is risen, indeed, Alleluia!
Join me every Monday at 4:00pm Central Time for a live Bible study on Zoom.
These sessions include:
a presentation of the visual resources for the lectionary texts for the week,
live discussion around the texts,
previews and behind-the-scenes peeks at what is happening at A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Bible
The video of the session remains available on the network to view at any time, in case you can’t make it for the live session.
This is a part of the Cartoonist’s Bible Network. I’d love to have you join us.