February 05, 2021 – Friday
Romans 1:16-17 NIV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
We are now in Paul’s letter to the Romans where in verse seven he says, To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly Paul is writing to the Christians who are part of the church in Rome. The church consisted of both Gentiles and Jews with much division between them. This was likely the result of Emperor Claudius expelling all Jews from Rome and then five years later permitting them to return. Upon the return of the Christian Jews, they found a church that had become very non-Jewish in character. Thus, the primary purpose of Paul’s letter was to help unify the church. This book has often been described as the meat and potatoes of the faith. Other descriptions may be found at the beginning of Guzik’s commentary on chapter one here where its impact on Augustine, Luther, and John Wesley is described.
While we are focused on the word believe or belief in Romans, it occurs 17 times, but the word God occurs 153 times. This is because it is a book about God or as Paul says in verse one, he was set apart for the gospel of God. With this in mind, let us take a look at our verses for today. In our first verse we learn God brings salvation to everyone who believes or For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Paul is not ashamed of the gospel (NIV), Good News (CJB), or gospel of Christ (AKJV). In fact, he makes sure we are to understand the purpose of the gospel is salvation for all of mankind, all who believe. It is first to the Jew, but then certainly to the Gentile as well. No one is to be left out from God’s offer of salvation.
Then Paul states, For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Ellicott’s Commentary tells us, The gospel attains its end, the salvation of the believer, by revealing the righteousness of God, i.e., the plan or process designed by Him for men to become just or righteous in His sight. The essential part on man’s side, the beginning and end of that plan, is Faith. For which there was authority in the Old Testament, where it is said, “The just shall live by faith.” The purpose of the gospel is the salvation of those who believe. We can do nothing to earn our salvation. Our only role is to understand God’s plan through His Son Jesus and have faith by believing He died on the cross for our sins and rose on the third day. Our faith is the only thing we can bring to our salvation. As we are told in Hebrews 5:7, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
We need not be ashamed of the gospel and the salvation it offers for those who believe. Like Paul, we can speak of the gospel without shame, knowing we are sharing God’s most incredible gift possible to any who will listen. Let us walk in faith, believing the gospel and all that it represents about God’s love for all of mankind.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Let our belief in what You did through Your Son Jesus guide us in sharing the wonderful Good News of salvation through Jesus with those around us. – In Jesus name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton