“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 for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.'” Romans 1:16,17
Paul has emphatically stated his esteem of the good news of Jesus Christ, that He came as a man, was crucified, buried and raised on the third day. He states that he is not ashamed of the gospel, and that he is desperate to bring the news of Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world to them.
Paul gives us two reasons for his eagerness and his lack of shame. He says that the gospel is powerful, and that in it, is revealed the righteousness of God.
First, Paul states, “The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
Imagine if you were notified today that you had been selected to administer the cure for cancer to everyone inflicted with this dreaded illness. There, in your possession was the answer for all those suffering and afflicted patients grasping for a life that is fleeting from them. How would you ensure you reached as many people as possible? What would you eliminate from your schedule? What would become the greatest priority of your life?
Would you care what people said about you and the cure you carried, if you were watching terminally ill cancer victims get up and leave their beds healed?
After these two verses, Paul will describe a disease much worse than cancer. He will describe an illness that every human is infected with, and worse, every case is fatal! Paul is about to describe the effects of sin on the human race. Before he is finished, all humanity will be declared guilty and facing the wrathful judgement of God Almighty!
But Paul is eager! Because he has been given the cure, and he has been sent to carry the cure to everyone else. Once again, “The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!” Paul truly understood the gravity of the situation. He believed that everyone who died without Jesus, would spend eternity attempting, but never succeeding, to pay a debt for their sin under the wrath of God?
Unlike cancer, the cure for sin is available. God’s people should be excited! Thrilled! Eager… to carry the cure to the sick. The cure is Jesus! One of my favorite hymns puts it this way…
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow!
[Part 2 of a series on Romans 1: 16, 17]