16 “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. 17 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 1.16-17).
Memory Verses: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1.16).
As we study the gospel, know it is simply the good news of Jesus Christ. How He came to earth, how He lived, How He died, why He died, and rose again, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. The gospel is the news we must share with others, it has the power to save, to change lives, to move mountains, and sharp entire nations for the kingdom of God.
Paul said to the church at Rome, one of the reasons to preach the gospel is, “the righteousness of God is revealed, within the gospel” (Romans 1.17). We have looked at God’s righteousness in previous lessons, but let us take another look from the gospel’s stand point.
God’s righteousness is revealed because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Remember there was a price we had to pay, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6.23). However, God in His infinite mercy and grace demonstrated His unmeasurable love by allowing His only Son to come and die in our place (Romans 5.8).
Thereby, we are justified through Christ, and allowed to come boldly into the presence of God Almighty (Hebrews 10.19), through the blood of the Lamb of the world (John 1.29). And “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe (Romans 3.22, ESV). God’s righteousness is available to all of us through faith in Christ, but we must believe in Him.
This was not easy for Christ, He had to leave His home and come walk among people who had rejected His Father as their God. He had to become something He never knew, sin, (II Corinthians 5.22), so we could be set free from the bondage of sin and shame (John 8.32, 36; Romans 6.18, 22, 8.2). Yet He did it despising the shame of the cross so we could be “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith (Romans 3.24-25, ESV).
We needed help, there was no way we could ever get to God’s righteousness on our own, matter of fact we were destroying God’s very glory with the way we were living our lives, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23). We like to think we have come up missing, in our ability to reach God’s glory, however, we could never do anything to reach God’s glory, really the problem is we were destroying God’s glory by our sinful living.
God had created us to reflect His glory, to show the world who He was, and to work and serve Him for all eternity in a loving and mutual relationship. But because of sin, entering into the world through Adam (Genesis 3), corruptions, disease, sickness, pain, suffering, hatred, envy, strife, murder, stealing, and a host of other things have come into this world, into our lives, and drawn our attention away from our Creator.
The gospel was given to us, Jesus Christ was given to us so we would have a chance for redemption, through Christ. We must accept Him, His free gift of salvation, paid for through the cross, with His own blood, and sealed with His resurrection giving to us eternal life. But we, unfortunately, still like to think we know best, know a better way, know how to do things more efficiently than God, yet we will still fail without Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes unto the Father but by Me” (John 14.6). We can try whatever we want but Jesus Christ is the only way.
Men have been trying to reach God’s righteousness for a long time, Paul understood this and addressed this with the church at Rome, here is what he had to say:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: or that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1.18-25, ASV).
When we begin to think we know better than God, and try to do our own thing this is what happens. God will allow us to have our own thoughts and actions but do not expect God to bless what we are doing, because they will not be pleasing to Him. We must remember Who the Creator of the universe is, Who it is that Created us, and why it is that we are here.
When we think we are all that and a bag of chips, God reminds us just how small we really are. His righteousness was revealed through His Son, on the cross, in the resurrection, by the gospel so we could understand just how merciful, gracious, loving and kind God really is. See, “God’s righteousness, revealed His divine forbearance (restraint) as He passed over former sins. All of this was done to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3.25-25, ESV, emphasis added).
Our Father Who art in Heaven, You are mighty and worthy of our praise. Lord You are the Creator of all things, and without You nothing was made. Forgive me where I have failed You this day, and give me wisdom to serve You faithfully today. Lord I know my thoughts are not like Yours and my ways are not Your ways, so help me to understand what You want and then follow Your will. Help me to be bold in sharing Your gospel with others, and not to be ashamed of You or what You have done for me. All this I pray in Your Son Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 The New International Version. (2011). (Ro 1:16–17). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 3:22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Ibid., (Ro 3:24–25).
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Ro 1:18–25). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 3:25–26). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
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