Evangelism (2)


Romans 1: 16-17

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God for the salvation of every believer: first of the Jew, then of the Greek; for in it is revealed a righteousness which God gives by faith and which leads to faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

In his commentary on Paul's epistle to the Romans, Douglas Moo says that these two verses represent the theme of the entire epistle, as follows: “these verses full of theology contain four clauses of subordination; (1) his pride in the gospel (v. 16a) is why he wants so much to preach in Rome (v. 15); (2) this pride results from the fact that the gospel contains or mediates God's saving power for all who believe (v. 16b); (3) The gospel is saving (v. 17a) because it shows His righteousness, based on faith, and (4) it gives scriptural confirmation of the connection between righteousness and faith (v. 17b). ”[1]

Before beginning the analysis of the two verses, I consider it appropriate to briefly describe the context in which Paul served and wrote:

- Paul was always ironic and unheard,

- The Jews were waiting for the Messiah who would come to save them from the Roman yoke and establish the Kingdom, but they did not believe in Jesus,

- The Romans were the rulers, but they were subject to Caesar, they believed only in their armed force and in those who won wars, but they did not care about Jesus,

- The Greeks (generally symbolizing all nations) expected new things, they believed only in themselves and in philosophy, for them Paul was a talk: “What does this talk mean? Others, when they heard that he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection, said, "It seems that some foreign gods are preaching." (Acts 17:18),

- The preaching of the cross was madness to them, and Christ was the Man:

o Crucified for blasphemy against God and for rebellion,

o Expelled, mocked and crucified, who was not even accepted by his nation: “but we preach Christ crucified, which to the Jews is a cause of stumbling, and to the Gentiles a folly; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, the power and wisdom of God.

- What does a little preacher, the evangelist from distant Palestine, have to say to some learned men in Athens: "To this day I have become like the garbage of this world, the waste of all" (1 Cor. 4:13) and yet , Paul is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ which is the POWER OF GOD,

- Paul (in his weaknesses) has only one chance, to present the Gospel of Christ which was and is:

a Messiah of God, for the Jews,

o God's Anointing (Wisdom) for the Greeks,

o The King and Lord of Lords for the Romans and other nations,

o He, Christ is the absolute authority for all, He is: “above all dominion, all dominion, all power, all authority and every name that can be called, not only in this age, but also in the the future. ”(Ephesians 1:21),

o The power of God: He has and is dynamite (gr. dunamis, δύναμις [2]), a power of action that transforms, that makes new things and people, gives salvation to all people (who believe and receive it!), is the power of salvation (gr. Σωτήριος, Soterios [3]), "which generally in Greek refers to the deliverance from the power and authority of evil spirits of any kind, but here refers to the eschatological meaning of salvation, related to the final judgment." [4]

From the two verses mentioned we can get three important ideas:

- (1) The gospel of Christ is the power of God, manifested by the Word, and has one purpose: to save, to save the lost,

o Where the gospel is preached, a new creation of God appears, those born again, of water and of the Spirit,

o It must be preached mightily to deliver men from the bondage of sin,

o Jesus presented in the Gospel comes as Savior, as Savior, He is the only one who can forgive sins and give salvation, He is the Good News: “But God shows His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners , Christ died for us. So even more so now, when we are justified by his blood, we shall be saved through him through the wrath of God. ” (Romans 5: 8-9),

o “The saving power of the gospel is available to everyone who believes” [5], salvation cannot be forced, it is received by those who accept it, it is received through faith that comes after hearing the Word, preaching the gospel: “Thus, faith comes after hearing; and hearing comes through the Word of Christ. ”(Romans 10:17),

o The gospel is "first of the Jew, then of the Greek": "first" shows the history of salvation, for salvation comes from the Jews because Jesus, the apostles, and the first church were all in Israel: "As for the gospel, they are enemies. , and this for your own good; but as for the choice, they are loved, because of their parents. For God is not sorry for the gifts and the call made. ” (Romans 11: 28-29). "Paul insists that God's promise in the gospel is primarily for the Jews, because the promise was made to them first and it applies to them in a particular way." [6]

- (2) God's righteousness: Paul uses this expression nine times, of which eight times in Romans: "God's righteousness / dikaiosyne theou" and can have three meanings: (a) God's attribute, distributive justice, (b) a status given by Him and (c) an activity of God. ”[7]

o V.17: "Because in her is DISCOVERED": (gr. Apokalypto, is revealed, discovered) The gospel reveals, does not say things already known to men, we can not understand it with natural wisdom, it is a power that always works,

o The power of the gospel makes known the nature, will, and work of God's salvation through Jesus,

o The revelation always takes place, wherever and whenever the Gospel is preached: "a righteousness that God gives" is the central notion of the epistle to the Romans that speaks of God's righteousness,

o Righteousness we do not have and we do not do, it is given by God, first of all it is a characteristic of Him and He sets the standard not us, He is the only righteous, He is the only right and His justice makes us fear Him ,

o God still works: the Father works the same way, the Father now offers us through the Son righteousness and salvation: “My Father works until now; and I also work. ”(John 5:17).

- (3) Righteousness comes by faith: speaking of “righteousness that comes by faith and leads to faith,” Moo in his commentary says, “related to this, some see a move from: (a) faith in the law to faith in the Gospel; (b) from the faith of the preacher to the faith of the listener; (c) from the original faith to a deeper faith; (d) from the faith of the Jews to the faith of the Gentiles; or (e) from the faith of the beginning to the faith of the end ”[8]

o V.17: "righteousness comes by faith and leads to faith": righteousness is the work of God and does not come by works, it cannot be acquired or deserved but only received,

o The word preached with authority in the Spirit produces faith, strengthens and keeps in faith,

o Where the gospel is preached, men are called to the faith, and righteousness is revealed,

o Righteousness is not something new, it is written about it in the OT: "but the righteous shall live by faith ..." (Habakkuk 2: 4), only now it has been revealed and affirmed through Jesus,

o By faith let us be healed of the disease of sin and give thanks for the righteousness and salvation that has been given to us in Jesus,

o When we have faith, we remain under the healing power and authority of Jesus, who is and sustains life,

o There is no salvation by the works of the Law, nor by our works of godliness, but only by faith in Jesus, and the whole WORLD must hear and hear it, through US!

The practical application for Christians today is that we must understand that the world needs salvation even now!

Since salvation and eternal life with Jesus are no longer the concerns of the world now, we should ask ourselves a few questions: How are we, are we ashamed of ourselves and of our Lord? Who, how and when does Jesus confess? Paul did it, do we?

Whoever confesses and knows Jesus:

o Recognizes his state of loss and preaches the gospel that reveals the state of sin,

o Receive the Word that has power in itself, my power is useless, sometimes it is even harmful,

o He has a righteousness that exists only in and through Jesus, in which is life and movement,

o He who confesses Jesus also recognizes him,

a "New" righteousness is received and lived by faith,

o Those who believe in Jesus are received by the Father and given His righteousness,

The conclusions are: (i) The gospel is aware of the need for salvation by faith, after hearing the Word, (ii) God accepts us not for qualities and merits, but because of His Son, (iii) righteousness and salvation cannot be bought or paid for, because it was paid for by Jesus and is offered as a gift by faith and (iv) the message of the saving gospel must be presented to the world, for which it is unknown, for only the transforming power of the Word can renew man's heart by bringing birth again through the Holy Spirit.


[1] Douglas J. Moo, The letter to the Romans, Second edition, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2018).

[2] Strong und Kohlenberger, 1411.

[3] Strong und Kohlenberger, 4992.

[4] Moo, 70.

[5] Moo, 70.

[6] Moo, 72.

[7] Moo, 73–74.

[8] Moo, 79.