Good News is Coming (By Shane Prewitt)

If you have been joining us for our new series Optimism in a Pessimistic World, you may be at the point where you are beginning to wonder, “So where is the optimism of this series?”
And that would be a reasonable question to ask if you are new to the book of Romans. The book of Romans can be divided into five major sections, the first being a heavy concentration on condemnation.
Paul goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the entire world – both the non-religious and religious world – stands in great spiritual need before Holy God. Whether a person grew up in a moral, religious, strict home or an anything goes, non-spiritual household, everybody is ultimately playing on the same field.
There is none righteous, no, not one; (Romans 3:10)
Over the first six weeks of this series, this has been the consistent, pessimistic message that we have been looking at. But sprinkled into the first three chapters of pessimism is a message of hope that can only be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Romans 1:16-17, Paul boldly proclaimed his desire to go to Rome to preach the message of hope that was found in Jesus.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17, emphasis added).
The optimism of the book of Romans cuts through the pessimism of our sin nature, for God’s righteousness is available to all who will trust in Him. While we as humans are not capable of living a righteous life on our own, the righteousness of Jesus is available to all who will believe in Him. Whenever a person places their faith and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, His perfection is credited to their account and their sins are no longer held against them.
This is the ultimate message of optimism. Because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not only can we have optimism about our eternity but we can also have optimism regarding our lives today. The same gospel that saves us is the same gospel that transforms us. Now, the righteousness of Christ can work through us and allow us to live in obedience to His will and align us with His plan and purposes. And when we are in alignment with our God and Savior, all the other pieces of our lives are able to fall into place.
So hold on. We have one more week left in the condemnation section in Romans where Paul is going to make it crystal clear that the entire world stands guilty before God because of their sins. But good news is coming. In spite of our many sins, God deeply loves us and has provided a way for us to not only be forgiven of ours sins but to have an intimate relationship with Him.
But for that truth to be truly optimistic, we first have to own the pessimism of our sins.