Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
This is the last Sunday of this year. The year has gone by rather quickly. We have seen many things happening in this year. Our federal government continued to lead us closer and closer to a full blown dictatorship. They are still trying to deceive people into getting the shots that have done much damage to many people.
On the world stage the war in Ukraine is grinding on. The western media is trying to tell us that Ukraine is on the verge of winning the war and Russia is hurting badly. As I look at this situation it seems to me that God is continuing to set the stage for the war of Ezekiel 38. Russia has been busy training many soldiers to add to its army. It has also ramped up its production of weapons. Yesterday they continued to hit Ukrainian targets. Russia never wanted this war. Nato interfered in that region and brought about the current situation. The west has poured large sums of money and equipment into Ukraine but it has not helped them. In fact they have sold much of that to rogue countries and some of the money has even been funnelled back to the Democrat party in the U.S. There is much corruption at every level.
In spite of all this, it is good to be reminded of the fact that born again Christians have a purpose for living. We have a Gospel that is important and needed by all. The apostle Paul was directed to write this letter to the saints in Rome. They needed encouragement from God’s Word. We need that encouragement as well.
Rome has had much influence over world affairs for many centuries. The words of the pope are still seen as very important to many people. The origins of the events that many have been holding that supposedly culminate in this day originated with Rome. We have looked at the Biblical record of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was quite different from what the world has made it into.
The hope of man is not found in government. It is not found in money. It is found in receiving the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel of Christ teaches us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. In chapter 1 Paul tells us of the dire situation that man is in when he rejects the true God. Paul witnessed that in his day and we certainly can see that today as well.
There is a great need for the bold preaching of the Gospel of Christ. It is important to note that there are many gospels out there. Paul was directed here to specify that the Gospel he preached was the Gospel of Christ. It is important to remember why Jesus Christ came. He came to provide salvation for lost sinners.
As we see in verse 16 this Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. The Gospel of Christ is true. It is the only Gospel that can provide salvation to lost sinners. However, as we see here and elsewhere, the lost person must hear the Gospel and he or she must also believe the Gospel of Christ. This is where the problem lies.
Today is another opportunity for people to go to a good church and hear the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. That is what this day is for. The nature of this day was changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. His resurrection changed the nature of this day for the disciples and for the first century true churches. God gave symbols of the importance of this day in the Old Testament and they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
As Paul continued in the book of Romans, we find that God directed him to teach much doctrine. It is truth that exposes error. It is truth that convinces sinners of the need of salvation. Lost people do not need to be made to feel good in their sin. Lost people need to see the dreadful state that they are in and they need to be offered true hope.
Paul made it clear that the Gospel of Christ is the same for the Jew and also to the Greek. Jesus Christ came to His own and His own received Him not. He was a Jew and He presented Himself to the Jews. The apostle Paul was a Jew and he began his ministry to the Jews. He was told that he would be the apostle to the Gentiles, but he began his ministry to the Jews. The Jews were a very obstinate group who did not want to hear the Gospel of Christ. In fact it was the Jews that demanded that Peter and John not speak in Jesus’ name any more. It was the lost Jews who followed Paul from place to place just to stir up trouble. Yet God, in His mercy and grace provided the Gospel of Christ to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The Greek, or the Gentile world is not left out. We are given the same opportunity to know God’s peace and forgiveness as the Jews have. There are a few born again Christians in the Gentile world. Most are just as hardened as the Jews are. However, Paul was not ashamed of preaching the good news to all he met. He knew this was their need. We need to make sure we keep our focus on this same truth today. We cannot assume that we are going to get a change in government that is going to make things better. If you listen to the politicians you know this is not the case.
The preaching of the Gospel of Christ is the need of man in any generation. When a heart is turned to God in repentance and puts its faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, a mighty change takes place. That individual will never be the same again. Their desires will be changed. They will desire to know the God who just saved them. They will want to glorify Him and tell others of the hope that is available through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 17 we are reminded that the righteousness of God is revealed through the Gospel of Christ. The Greek word translated as “righteousness” speaks of integrity, virtue, purity of life, correct thinking and acting. God is all of these and more. When a preacher preaches the Gospel of Christ faithfully he is honouring God and providing the means for lost people to be saved and saints to be encouraged to walk faithfully with the true God. Exalting the Lord Jesus Christ is important. People need a constant reminder of the blessing in knowing God’s forgiveness.
The righteousness of God exposes the sin of mankind. It also reminds us that the just shall live by faith. The just can know that God is completely trustworthy. We can trust God for His salvation. We can also trust Him to guide us and to provide us with His peace. The Gospel of Christ provides all that the child of God needs. In our time, we who are saved, need to walk by faith, trusting God to continue to work in other people’s hearts to bring them to salvation as well. We also look forward to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It won’t be long now. We do not know the day nor the hour, but we know that it is coming.