Romans 1:16-17 – 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. 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.”
Why is Paul not ashamed of the Gospel? He gives us three reasons:
- The Gospel is God’s power of bringing salvation to everyone who believes.
- It is God’s power that brings us into salvation – not our works or deeds because they are powerless to make us righteous. And this is good news for us because it takes the pressure off of us to perform to be right with God. All we have to do is just believe in His finished work! The Gospel is good news because it shows us that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins – knowing we are imperfect, messy, sinful people. We were separated from God when Adam sinned in the Garden but our Greater Adam, Jesus, came to reconcile us back to God, therefore, making a way for us to be right with Him once again!
- The Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed.
- Paul gives us the theme of Romans: The Gospel is God’s righteousness being revealed to mankind. Throughout the book, Paul will show the Romans (and us) how God can declare sinners right with Him. First, Paul must show his readers how unrighteous man is (Rom 1:18-3:20). Paul’s indictment against all men is enough to make you wonder why God would want to give us His righteousness! But as Warren Wiersbe puts it, “we can never know the righteousness of God until we understand the unrighteousness of man.” When God gives a sinner His righteousness He treats the sinner as if he had not been a sinner at all (Barclay).The contrast between our unrighteousness and God offering His righteousness to us, shows how much He truly loves us! Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What an amazing God!
- The Gospel is the righteousness of God that comes through faith.
- Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is God’s power to save us and reveals how we are made right with God. How is God’s righteousness revealed? By faith. Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed by faith from first to last, or faith to faith, or from faith beginning to end. It’s not from faith to works or faith to law. This means that our salvation is accomplished only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot work for it nor earn it. It is given to us as a free gift of grace and can only be received by believing in faith. This fulfills Habakkuk 2:4 which says that the just or the righteous will live by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 confirms this when it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” The righteousness of God is given to us by grace through faith, not our works or efforts. Faith is not only by which we are saved but is the basis of the Christian life. We are saved by faith and we live by faith.
You are unrighteous. God is righteous. God cannot accept your sin and you can never be righteous with God through your efforts and works. You are hopeless. But God reveals hope to you: Jesus. You believe in Jesus by faith. God declares you righteous. You are saved by faith and you live by faith. This is why we should echo Paul’s declaration: I am not ashamed of the Gospel! Amen.