A Gospel for the World

David Bast

Read: Romans 16:25-27

. . . to bring about the obedience of faith. (v. 26)

The apostle closes Romans, fittingly, with a doxology–”Now to . . . the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ!” But in the middle of this sentence Paul inserts a lengthy parenthesis about the gospel–as if he can’t help but repeat the essence of it one last time.

So he reminds his readers first of the content of “his” gospel: “the preaching of Jesus Christ”–not the preaching Jesus did, but the preaching Paul did about Jesus. The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ and his saving work on the cross.

Next, Paul states the goal of the gospel: “so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (v. 26 NIV). The gospel is for the whole world, and every person in it. It’s not just for Jews but for Gentiles too; not just for Westerners or whites or the middle class, but for all races, all classes, all ethnic groups. If the gospel is true, then it must be true for everyone. If it isn’t for everyone, then it isn’t true.

Furthermore, the goal of the gospel won’t be reached when everyone hears it or even when everyone believes it. The goal is “the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom. 1:5). It will only be reached when the whole redeemed people of God live Christlike lives of holiness, love, and service, for his name’s sake.

That will indeed result in glory for God.

—David Bast

May it be so!