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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith,” (1:16-17).
It has been said that Paul’s epistle to the church in Rome reads more like an elaborate theological essay than a letter. And in this theological essay, a broad scope of the Christian doctrinal truths is carefully presented: “sin and death, salvation, grace, faith, righteousness, justification, sanctification, redemption, resurrection and glorification,” from the NIV Study Bible.
And immediately out of the gate, before Paul digs into the comprehensive truths of the Christian faith, Paul turns his readers’ attention to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel that reveals His Power for Salvation.
Consider His Power for Salvation
His Power. Our English word, dynamite, is derived from the same Greek word translated “power” in Romans 1:16. The primary implication in its meaning is ability and capability in achieving power.
“1411. δύναμις dúnamis; gen. dunámeōs… to be able. Power, especially achieving power. All the words derived from the stem dúna- have the meaning of being able, capable…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
And when Paul refers to His Power for Salvation, it is the same Greek word Jesus spoke in Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
“76.1 δύναμιςb, εως f: the potentiality to exert force in performing some function—‘power…’” Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament
His Power; His Supernatural ability to exert His force to perform His desired purpose:
- His Power for Salvation Promised in His Holy Scriptures
- which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, (1:2).
- His Power for Salvation Declared by the Resurrection from the Dead
- concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, (1:3-4).
- His Power for Salvation Rejected by Unrighteousness
- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (1:18).
- His Power for Salvation Replaced by Lies
- For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen, (1:25).
How do we respond to His Power for Salvation?
His Power for Salvation does not tend to fit well within the human concept and ideology of strength, might and unconstrained ability to influence or accomplish events.
And truth be told, His Power is explicitly contrary to man’s thinking… by His design.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 20 …Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 20-24).
and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God, (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
He has clearly revealed His Design. His Power for Salvation is in the Cross of Jesus Christ. And when we, by faith, believe and receive His Power for Salvation, He acquits us from all charges and redeems us from the power of sin and death.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:1-3).
Let us seek Him daily that we would be strengthened in His Power for Salvation through His Holy Scriptures.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (2 Timothy 3:16).
And as He strengthens us, let us commit to be His witnesses who will boldly declare His Power for Salvation by the Resurrection from the Dead
“because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead,” (Acts 17:31).
But sadly, we know His Power for Salvation continues to be Rejected by Unrighteousness.
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil, (John 3:18-19).
And tragically, His Power for Salvation continues to be Replaced by Lies.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths, (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Oh, that we would not be deterred by rejection or refusals to respond; for it is His Power for Salvation, His Truth, His Righteousness, His ability and His alone, believed and received by faith.
It is not within us, within our own power to move hearts towards faith. He simply calls us to surrender to His Lordship, to grow in His Truth and in our readiness and obedience to share the hope of His Gospel.
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (1 Peter 3:15).
Let us pray the Lord would strengthen us that we would fulfill His call to become His ambassadors to boldly and unashamedly declare His Power for Salvation.
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,” (1:16).
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God, (2 Corinthians 5:20).