Romans 1:2-5: The Gospel in a nutshell
When I was growing up, I remember watching various future set sci-fi movies. Movies like ‘Back to the Future,’ or cartoons like ‘The Jetsons’. I can’t remember exactly where I saw it, but I remember a scene where the family was sitting down to a meal. The meal consisted of little tablets put on a plate, and then they were put into a microwave sized, hydrating sort of machine, and in an instant you had a plate of steaming food ready to eat. A meal of roast beef and vegetables was shrunk and dehydrated to the size of a tablet, just add water and you have a full grown meal again. I wonder what would happen if you swallowed a handful of those tablets, and then drank a glass of water.
As we continue with the introduction with the letter to the Romans, verses 2-5 are a handful of tablets of summarized points that would normally make up the main sections of Paul’s preaching. This is the effect I am hoping for from this portion of God’s word. When we come to the end of this sermon I want you to feel like you have just swallowed a handful of dehydrated meals, and then drunk a glass of water. Paul has intentionally bucked the letter writing convention of his own day to squeeze all of these truths into his introduction. Some have stopped to preach a sermon on nearly every word of this portion, I am going to try and get through the lot in one sweep, while showing how much has been hinted at here. I am hoping that you will feel like you have just drunk a glass of Barker’s concentrate, and appreciate the riches and the fullness, and the wonder of what God has done for us in the Gospel.