Summary: A study of the book of Romans chapter 1 verses 17 to 32

Romans 1: 17 – 32

Get Right Or Be Left

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

A man that I admire for his faithfulness to our Precious Jehovah Elohim is Chuck Smith. Through all the trials, temptations, and tribulations he has remained faithful to the calling our Lord has given him. As a result our Lord has done great things through him in the Calvary Chapel movement.

Today’s title is credited to him. On one speaking tour as the principal speaker he stated this famous line. Some people know he was the one who gave this impacting statement but few know the story behind it.

Prior to coming up to his time to teach there were other Pastors who took more than their allotted time to teach. I believe that by the time for Pastor Chuck to speak over an hour had elapse into his scheduled teaching time. So, after a praiseworthy introduction to the audience he got up to the podium, gave his classical smile, and said, ‘Get right, or be left.’ - and he then walked off the stage.

So, today we want to talk about being ‘right’ in all that we do. In religious terms it is referred to as ‘righteousness’.

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

We should note immediately here the co-relation between ‘salvation’ and ‘the righteousness of God’. The Good News is ‘the power of God unto salvation in which we had learned in our last study from verse 16. Now verse 17 says ‘therein is the righteousness of God revealed.’ Salvation and God’s righteousness go hand in hand. The stress is not only on the fact that God saves, but also on the fact that He does so righteously in accordance with what He is. Paul then interprets that as signifying that if God had not brought us righteousness as a gift to be set to our account there could have been no salvation. For what is being underlined is that God Is Righteous, and that there could therefore be no salvation without righteousness. In other words, when thinking in terms of a righteous God salvation and divine righteousness, are ‘soul-mates’. If we are to be saved it must be in righteousness, and God must in some way bring to us righteousness, because God, being God, must save righteously.

So the content of the Good News is now made clear. Please look at the statement ‘from faith to faith’. It means that faith is the beginning of the salvation process and its goal as well. When a person first exercises faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, that person is saved from the penalty of sin and declared righteous. As the believer lives by faith, God continues to save him or her from the power of sin in order to live and do everything ‘right’. It reveals a righteousness of God resulting from faith (out of faith), which is offered to those who believe (unto faith).

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