For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written:The righteous will live by faith.
I mentioned yesterday that the gospel is not only meant for the unbeliever but for the believer. As a further evidence of this, Paul tells us that God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel from faith (the beginnings of our faith in conversion) to faith (the living by faith, the walking by faith, the taking thoughts captive by faith, the slaying of sin by faith). Faith is how we become saved, how we remain saved, and how we are ultimately delivered from this world; all by faith. And as an evidence that faith is how all Christians have ever been saved, Paul quotes from Habakuk 2:4 “The righteous will live by faith.” There has never been, nor will there ever be one person who receives forgiveness of sin, and an entrance into heaven except is comes through faith.
The gospel is so important for us to understand. For in the gospel, both the righteousness of God, and the power of God are revealed.
Righteousness is a character quality of God which always does what is right, always thinks what is right, always speaks that which is right, and always feels what is right. Righteousness is not found in some space external from God. God defines righteousness by all that he does. And the gospel reveals to us the righteousness of God. It does this by showing us God’s hatred of unrighteousness; for his hatred of unrighteousness drove him to provide his beloved son as an offering and a sacrifice for sin. Righteousness alone had to die in order for unrighteousness to be forgiven. The gospel reveals to us the righteousness of God.
The gospel also shows us the power of God. It does more then just show us the power of God; it gives us the power of God for salvation. Contained in the truth of the gospel is power to believe the gospel. I tried unsuccessfully to believe the gospel many times before I became a Christian. It was not until the power of God worked through the gospel of God which ultimately produced faith in me to embrace the Son of God as my source and final righteousness.
I heard it said somewhere that when a preacher declares the gospel to a congregation of people, it is like he is flinging lit matches into wooden barrels sitting in the pews. The preacher does not know which barrels have dynamite in them and which do not. It will only become evident to those around by their explosion.
- Which words need further defining? Salvation? Righteousness?
- Explain to me how Abraham got to heaven?
- Explain how Noah got there?
- Explain how you might get there?