The gospel was promised long ago
which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, (Romans 1:2)
The gospel of Jesus Christ excites Paul so much that he doesn’t even finish his greeting to the Romans before he launches into a short sermon about it. It’s short by sermon standards, but it’s relatively long for a greeting.
The gospel of God wasn’t Plan B (Ro 1:1). The Lord wasn’t caught off-guard when Adam sinned in the garden, leaving him to develop a new plan for his creation. He knew Adam would sin, and he knew he would send his Son to make atonement. Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest only later for the sake of those who through him are believers in God (1Pe 1:19-21).
More to Paul’s point, God unveiled and further clarified his plan of salvation all throughout Old Testament history. John the Baptist wasn’t the first to preach the gospel. Even as the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that was to be ours, spoke and wrote their prophecies, they searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories (1Pe 1:10, 11). Though they didn’t fully understand what they preached and wrote, they knew salvation in Christ was coming.
When speaking to first-century Jews, Jesus said of the Old Testament, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (Jn 5:39). Christ and his gospel is found in every book from Genesis to Malachi.
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