Romans 1:16-17 What is the Gospel? To Everyone Who Believes [Part 3]
Last updated: 18 May 2020 16:52
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.
To everyone who believes
Anybody remotely familiar with Christianity (from the casual observer to the longtime preacher) would be a bit shocked at this Biblically, and ultimately, the absolute truth:
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not for the believers and unbelievers. The gospel is only for those who believe.
Let’s put it another way: the gospel is powerless to those who do not believe.
“But, wait a second, how can anybody then be saved?”, you might be asking yourself. “Doesn’t a person have to believe the gospel to be saved?”
Didn’t the Disciples already ask that question? What was Jesus’ response?
Luke 18:26–27 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Whereas, the common atheist argument would coincide: “So the power is in the belief. If your belief it to be real, it would be real.”
You see, the power is not in our belief. I don’t care how many movies or books tell you otherwise.
What did we get through reading? The gospel is the power of God in salvation. Correct? Nowhere in the Bible says that the power of our belief saves us. It has always been God.
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Deuteronomy 7:7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
Isaiah 48:9–13 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.
Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The power is not in the person believing but in God who has made the one way for our salvation.
Consider this. We know that Romans 1:16 does not say, “… for it is the power of God in salvation for those who believe and do not believe.”
In a semi-hard press against this truth, Christians will then quote the most famous verse of all time and then want to scream, “Whosoever!” But that is not what the text says:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes and does not believe in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God does not save the unbeliever. I don’t care how good you might think your neighbor is or how much you give to charity or how much you don’t cuss or how little porn you watch. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you will not be saved.
And to what happens to the unbeliever? You don’t have to leave John 3 to find your answer;
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
So the gospel would save the unbeliever all the while the unbeliever has the wrath of God upon them?
That’s not even logical. And we know this because you have to ask the fundamental question: Who is God saving his people from? Sin, Satan, demons, hell, and death? Sure, but add on to that: the wrath of the Almighty God.
Ultimately, his people are being saved from his just and holy wrath of God, who does not tolerate evil, sin, wickedness, and treason. He is perfect. He is innocent. He is pure love and grace. If God were exposed and allowed sin into his presence, then his very nature would be tainted.
God does not allow sin. Therefore, unless we are perfectly clean and innocent, we cannot come into his presence. Communion with God is impossible. Eternal life is but a fantasy.
Yet, God sends his only begotten Son into our sin-filled and broken existence to redeem the lost and broken-hearted, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we choose to believe and trust in him, how do we know if we believe in God? When you take him at his word and go and do likewise.
Repent, for the kingdom of God is here.