Over lattes, a friend and I found ourselves chatting about our beliefs. Her jaw dropped when I told her I believe the Bible is God’s authoritative truth and revelation to us. She could hardly believe I didn’t rely on any other religious writings/teachings. But at the time, I struggled to give her a reasonable explanation why I thought this. I’ve since found the following verses in Romans helpful. These two verses clearly state why the gospel is so important while stating a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” – Vs. 16-17
What is the Gospel Power?
God’s effective power, through His Holy Spirit, initiates and leads one to salvation. His inspired words contained in the Bible give us enough information to know Him—His character, purposes, love, and expectations—and also teach us how to have a personal relationship with Him. When we read and heed God’s words, God grows our faith, which is a gift from Him. He also transforms us into His likeness.
Shepherd’s Notes suggest that the salvation Paul describes is more than forgiveness of sins. It includes the big picture of being delivered from the results of our sin:
- Justification – Being set right with God; deliverance from the penalty of sin
- Sanctification – Growth in holiness; deliverance from the power of sin
- Glorification – Ultimate transformation into the likeness of Christ; deliverance from the presence of sin
Three Power Points of the Gospel
Paul wasn’t ashamed of the gospel’s Good News because he experienced God’s saving grace and life changing power in a BIG way. He also knew God’s salvation was available to everyone.
Shepherd’s Notes also observes the following gospel points in Romans 1:
- It’s the fulfillment of God’s promises (v. 2)
- It centers in the person of Jesus Christ (v. 3-4)
- It is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (v. 16)
When we discipline ourselves to study the Bible and pray, God will lovingly meet us right where we are. God will help us through trials and grow us in Him. He longs to bless us with life both now and forever.
How is your Bible reading going?