1% LIFE: Your Gospel Story

posted by Bethel Communications | Oct 20, 2021


Thanks for tuning in as we continue our 1% Life study. This is Drew Walsh, and today we are taking a closer look at our gospel story through the lens of Romans 10:5-13. Hopefully, as we unpack this passage it will provide you with a helpful framework for how to tell your own story and some elements you may want to consider as you share that story with others.

So as I was preparing for this podcast I had a realization. I’ve done a handful of these podcasts now, and I haven’t yet talked about music. I’m not sure how the music guy got this far without that being a thing, so today we are going to break that streak.

Let’s talk about cover songs for a second. Love them or hate them, a good cover song is supposed to bring new life to an old tune. It’s a personalized, creative take of a familiar song. One of my favorite covers songs is “The Middle” – originally sung by Jimmy Eat World but covered by Audrey Assad in one of the most unexpected reinterpretations. I remember hearing the original nearly 20 years ago and rocking out in my college dorm room. But Assad’s new version is intimate and feels like a fresh, original story of her own design.

Essentially, that’s exactly what Paul is doing here in Romans 10:5-13. He is bringing fresh meaning to old words. He is bringing new life to a text Jews would have been very familiar with. As you and I read this passage, though, it’s kind of confusing. There’s lots of Old Testament quotes that seem to be randomly thrown together, and the context is lost by us. But believe it or not, as confusing as this passage may be, there is some really great stuff here that will help us frame out the wording of our own gospel stories.

Let me break it down for us…

The original “song” Paul is covering here comes from Deuteronomy 30. Hot on the heels of two previous chapters that give warnings and shout out the curses that will fall on Israel if they disobey God, Deuteronomy 30 is a passage full of promise and future life for the Jewish people if they follow after Him. It’s a hopeful word bursting with covenant language. Specifically, God promises to transform Israel and change their hearts so that they can keep His law the way He always intended.

The people Paul was writing to would have been very familiar with this well-studied passage. They were still waiting for the fullness of this covenant renewal to come to pass. They were on the lookout for a Messiah would end all oppression and bring a close to the curses of Deuteronomy 29 they believed they were still experiencing.
So now here enters Paul, guitar in hand, singing a familiar tune that Jesus Himself rewrote. A song of salvation not just for the Jew but for any and every person who would put his faith in Him – the Messiah to all. The Jews failed to see it, but Deuteronomy 30 had come to completion. The promises God made – going all the way back to Abraham when God said Abraham would be a blessing to all nations – those promises now rung true for all people.

They were completed in 4 ways according to this passage. And this can serve as a powerful gospel framework for you and I today as contemplate our own gospel stories.
First, Israel indeed was still suffering from the curses spelled out in Deuteronomy 29 – curses caused by sin and selfishness. You and I may not be Jewish, but we suffered from a similar sickness, didn’t we? This was our condition before Christ – cursed by the weight and effects of sin. This is the start of our gospel story.

But, secondly, God saw our brokenness and provided the way for return, transformation, and salvation. Israel was still waiting for their imagined version of the Messiah. We know, though, that it was Jesus. And He has provided the means of salvation for all, including you and me. Jesus has provided us a way to the Father.

Third, the way to receive this fresh gift of grace was faith and trust in the work of Christ. And for those of us who have laid claim to this grace, we know that it’s not just by words we declare our faith, but also through the affections of our hearts and the realignment of our will and priorities.

Fourth, and finally, once we have given God full reign of our lives we notice that He marks us out as His own. He produces in us His righteousness. Our character begins to change as we take our place as a part of God’s renewed covenant family. It’s an exciting and ongoing process of looking more like Christ.

Does this sound like your story, and do you ever make an effort to share it? This would have rocked the world of the 1st century Jew and Gentile. But it still has the power to rock the world of those around you, too. It’s timeless in its relevancy, and God’s grace is limitless in its power.

I know your story of redemption may seem like an old, played out song to you, but it’s still a story the world needs to hear. After all, it was a masterpiece written by God Himself. As you engage in today’s 1% study, I want to encourage you to think through who needs to hear your story. Like Abraham, your story was meant to be a blessing to others…so share it generously!

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