“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." (Romans 1:17)
For the past few weeks, I have been teaching through the book of Romans. Many books have been written that have influenced our world, but no book has ever influenced and transformed people like the book of Romans in the New Testament. It has been called “The Constitution of Christianity.” is the fullest and most comprehensive Christian doctrine in all the Scriptures. It is a systematic theological text, practical helps and a missionary appeal. The teaching of Romans can be broken into the following outline:
Chapters 1-3 deal with the sin problem.
Chapters 4-5 tell us about salvation.
Chapters 6-8 deal with sanctification.
Chapters 9-11 teach of God’s sovereignty.
Chapters 12-16 deal with Christian service.
Paul began by discussing that which is most dangerous and destructive in the world—is the “MAN'S REBELLION TOWARD GOD” or Man’s Sin - Man is ungodly by nature and by choice. This means that he has no relationship with God. Because He has no relationship with God, his relationship with his fellow man is also corrupted. Man is in open rebellion against the Lord and this is by his own choice. (Rom. 3:10; 12) Another sign of man's rebellion is the fact that he knows the truth about God. Even though he knows the truth, he “suppresses" the truth. Beyond that, man stubbornly holds to his sins while he seeks to undermine the truth of God.
All people have been condemned due to our sin against God. However, God in His grace offers us justification by faith in His Son, Jesus.
Justification delivers from the penalty of sin
Sanctification delivers from the power of sin
Glorification delivers from the presence of sin
When we are justified by God, we receive redemption, or salvation, because Christ’s blood covers our sin. But Paul made it clear that the believer’s pursuit of God doesn’t stop with salvation; it continues as each of us is sanctified—made holy—as we persist in following Him. Paul’s treatment of these issues offers a logical and complete presentation of how a person can be saved from the penalty, power and ultimately from the presence of his or her sin. The primary theme running through Paul’s letter to the Romans is the revelation of God’s righteousness in His plan for salvation, what the Bible calls the gospel: The Gospel did not originate with the church; the Gospel is of God’s Son.
The Gospel is not the invention of man. “I want you to know, brothers and sisters that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12). The Gospel is direct and divine revelation.
The word gospel means “good news”. The source of the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-3) First Corinthians 15:1-4 clearly tells us “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”It is Jesus and Him alone who is the subject of the Gospel. He is the beginning, the end, and the forever of the Gospel.
The power of the Gospel is the saving and sanctifying and stabilizing power (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2) There is no other way to be saved apart from the gospel. The Gospel is authenticated by its message of salvation. You cannot beg, buy, borrow, or steal the salvation that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You cannot even earn it (see Ephesians 2:8-9). It was bought by the supernatural work of God through Christ on the cross.
Therefore, the supply of the Gospel is Grace. We are saved by God’s grace. (Romans 1:5)- Grace can be articulate as “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” Jesus died on the cross, in agony and blood, for our sins in order to provide for us all of the riches of God.
The saving operation of the gospel: Grace wrought it (Romans 3:10-11, Galatians 1:6)
The Course of the gospel is that it extends to every person. (Romans 10:13), It flows to every place and It covers every problem. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 10)
Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The gospel has the power to …
—Forgive sins (past)
—Impart new life (present)
—Admit into heaven (future)
No other power on earth can do that! No science, no education, no religion, no moral reformation, no fame and fortune can save man from their sinful nature. The gospels, and only the gospel, have the Power to save sinners those who believe. The word “believe” means to make a personal commitment, to trust by an act of the will. That means that the gospel always demands a personal response. It is never enough simply to hear the gospel; eventually you have to respond to it one-way or the other. Faith means, “Forsaking All, I Trust Him.” Faith receives what grace provides. Without faith, there is no way to acquire the grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins; but we must believe and receive the Lord Jesus. Grace is God’s ability; faith is man’s responsibility. It is our responsibility to respond to God’s grace.
Faith is the medium of exchange in the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 9:29) The object of our faith is God Himself. Jesus said, "Have faith in God," (Mark 11:22) since the object of our faith is God, our ambition should be to know Him intimately. The more we know God, the more our faith in Him will grow. A lack of faith is not weakness; it is wickedness. Unbelief is slander against God. Do you want to be saved? - "Have faith in God," (Romans 5:1) Do you want to be sanctified? "Have faith in God," (Acts 15:9) Do you want your prayers answered? "Have faith in God," (Mark 11:24) Do you want to overcome the world? "Have faith in God," (1 John 5:4) Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ” We must learn to listen to God if we would have faith. () We cannot generate faith; faith comes by hearing God’s word. We cannot pray outside the will of God and have our prayers answered; and in order to pray in the will of God, we have to hear the Word of God. Faith is not man’s way of getting man’s will done in Heaven; faith is God’s way of getting God’s will done on Earth. In order to have faith, we must submit to His will. If we say we believe God but do not obey Him, then we really do not believe Him.
Again, notice what Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)The last phrase introduces the universal dimension of the gospel. The Jews were God’s chosen people. Although most of the Jews said No to Jesus, the gospel still has the power to save them if they will only believe. The “Greeks” were the Gentiles, that is, all non-Jews. No wonder Paul was not ashamed- The gospel has the power to save people without regard to the distinctions that divide us. It has the power to save without regard to Race, Education, Age, Income, Skin Color, caste, Family Background, Religious Preference, Moral Degradation and he Power to save without regard to human distinctions. Why is the gospel so powerful? Because it reveals righteousness from God, which comes only by faith- This is the verse that changed Martin Luther’s life. “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, ’The righteous will live by faith.’”