Posted by donna on September 7, 2016

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“I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes … For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” Romans 1:16-17

In our current culture the word ‘Gospel’ is used for anything that denotes truthfulness or meaning. Often, it is used “tongue in cheek” to give a sense of religious fervor, which is not necessarily appreciated.

The Bible never uses the word Gospel in the way that our culture does. The word Gospel in Scripture is used as a noun that conveys the GOOD NEWS about who God is and what God has done on our behalf.

In the book of Romans, ‘Gospel’ is a single word to proclaim ALL that God has done for us in Christ’s death and resurrection. Paul calls it the ‘power of God’ and the ‘righteousness of God.’

  • “The Power of God” refers primarily to the omnipotent energy that God contains in Himself, which we see in creation, in judgment, and in miracles.  We read about this in Ephesians 1:4-14; 18-21, where the power of the Gospel is displayed in the resurrection of Christ. This power, contained in the reality behind the message of the Gospel, is made available to us, in and through Christ. The Gospel is the plan of salvation, from before the beginning of time and carries within it the promise and sure hope of our own resurrection … our present and future glory with Jesus. It is indeed a great power. It is a life-giving transforming power which God gives to us.
  • “Righteousness of God” refers to the promises and hope for the people of Israel in the Old Testament. Paul refers to it in Romans 3:20 “no one will be declared righteous in His (God’s) sight by observing the law.” Paul states there is only one standard of holiness, justice and righteousness, found in God Himself. The Old Testament law was to teach (Galatians 3:24) and lead us to Christ’s work, which imparts the righteousness of God. The spiritual teachers of the Jews declared themselves righteous by keeping the law of Moses and the teachings of the Rabbis. Jesus confronted that myth and the Apostle Paul reinforces the fact that no one can be righteous by human effort, regardless of the sincerity of their motives or efforts. In Romans 1:17, Paul refers back to the Old Testament passage of Habakkuk 2:4 “the righteous (just) will live by his faith.”  Righteousness then, refers to God’s requirement of holiness and justice; a standard, which God puts upon man, to live by. Impossible as that may seem, it is what God requires. The goodness of the Gospel is that God provides a way for man to attain that righteousness, thus fulfilling both the eternal requirement of God and the law of God. That righteousness, “a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (Jews and Gentiles) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

Finally, we see that all men can enter into that righteousness by believing the Gospel message found in Christ. The Gospel is embodied in Jesus, procured by Jesus, and given freely to us by Jesus when we believe in Him. Yet, there is a cost. We are to live our life by our faith. The living by faith affects every part of our life and it is the only real way in which we can declare that we have believed and received the Gospel.


Willem Fietje

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