So we are delving into Romans 1:16,17 yet again. If you missed our previous devotional thoughts they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.
Today I really want to begin looking at the bold faced words in these two verses.
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. 17For 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.”
These words are the launching pad for what is perhaps the major theme for Paul’s letter to the Romans. I guess you could say the theme can be summed up thusly, The way to eternal salvation AND a lifestyle of actual holiness is by faith… OR…the way to the God-approved state is through faith.
Paul develop this theme greatly throughout the book. Honestly, it was pretty radical thinking for his readers back when it was written. Even for us this thought is pretty radical.
When most people think of Heaven they usually think of it as a place of reward for good people, something to be worked towards. When asked why a person should go to Heaven most reply that a person gets to Heaven by doing good or by having his good deeds outweigh his bad deeds. But Paul’s message throughout Romans is that salvation (Heaven) is not obtained by what we do but by who we put our faith in. In fact here in verse 17 Paul even mentions that the ability to be righteous or do good works is based on who we put our trust in. The intimation is that if we do not put our faith in the right person not only will we not attain Heaven we will not even be able to do the things that are truly good.
This is a pretty serious allegation for a world that by and large does not put its faith in Jesus.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Paul’s words here.