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Comment on Romans 1:16

March 15, 2007

Romans 1:16-17, 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.”

These verses are the theme of the Book of Romans, but I’m not going off into that long discussion right now – just some comment on verse 16 for the moment.

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation, the most important thing in the existence of humanity.

God does not throw His hat in the ring with the Gospel. The Gospel does not have to be engaged in the conflict of philosophies nor does it need to be held aloof from these controversies. The gospel is not a competing truth among other truths.

This is why it does not need to be sold. It is not a truth competing with other truths in the marketplace.

The Gospel has what men’s vain ideas do not have – the power of God.

Anxiety concerning the victory of the Gospel is meaningless because the Gospel is the power of God to overcome sin and condemnation in the lives of men. There would be a reason for apprehension and shame about the Gospel if it were just another so-called ‘truth’ in this world with a chance that it might be faulty or could fail. The gospel is impenetrable, as Paul shows in this letter, therefore there is no need of fear or shame when it is proclaimed. Paul knew this.

No divinity or message or belief that dwells in idols or temples made with hands, or is served by the hand of man – no message that needs anything like human propaganda – could ever have the power of God in it.

Men have become the masters of their souls, this sin is their guilt. By appealing to their false authority we join them in their sin as supposed judges of the Gospel.

Men must set aside their self idolatry and submit to the Gospel which judges them and their world from the outside. The gospel is an onlooker in this world, condemning and offering blessings on those whom it judges from the outside. It does not negotiate nor discuss its position, power or promises.

The Gospel demands, it does not ask, to be taken on faith.

The believer is the man who puts his trust in God, in God Himself, and in God alone. The believer abandons self. No gospel that appeals to the self, or that is just another idea from the mind of man, could demand this kind of abandonment or allegiance.

And all are to abandon their worldly identity, Jew or Greek, and are to let the Gospel become their identity.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. sprocket23 permalink
    March 15, 2007 7:01 pm

    Good thoughts. It’s like I’ve been saying a lot more lately, until people love Jesus more than themselves, the church will never be the body of Christ. We tend to look at Christianity as an affiliation: it’s not, it’s a complete change of heart. Thanks for the challenge today!
    Robert, Insipid Garbageman

  2. March 16, 2007 11:51 am

    Robert,
    This post started life as a comment on your blog, but it got too long.
    I was thinking about some of the posts on your blog (insipidgarbage dot wordprees dot com) and I agree with you.
    I wanted to address the issue from an exegetical/theological point of view, but I’m not sure everyone will really understand what I am saying here.
    I typed this out in a few minutes and this might come back in the future as an expanded post or maybe more than one post.
    Thanks for the imput and for your voice in the wilderness,
    Steve, Acts 20:32

  3. sprocket23 permalink
    March 17, 2007 7:28 pm

    Wow, thanks for the kind words. I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone. You would not believe the criticism that I’ve gotten by suggesting that winning people over to our “coolness” and “relevancy” is not the way to go, that instead we should win people over to Jesus.
    Why on earth would I, if I were a nonbeliever, want to go to a cool church that was just like me? I’d rather sleep in or go to a good coffee shop.
    At some point we have to break the news to people that while we are just like the world in some ways, in all the ways that matter we are not: we are forgiven, know the Truth, have repented of our sins, etc.

    What a shock it will be for some people when they realize that the cool concert that they go to on Sunday with the awesome coffee and tricked out toilet is really a CHURCH!

    Thanks again for the kind words!

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