A Pattern for Renewal: Part Two

Romans 1: 14 – 17

We, like Paul, can never repay our Lord for what He has done for us; but we, like him, should be willing to pay a little interest on the debt by faithfulness. The expression “ready” (Romans 1: 15) actually means “eager.”

“So” expresses the same intensity as the same word in John 3;16, “For God so loved…”

Paul was fervently eager to preach the Gospel and change society.

He was mocked for preaching the Gospel in Athens.

He was mobbed for preaching it in Jerusalem.

He was now ready to be martyred for preaching it in Rome.

What Paul was to preach was “the Gospel,” the good news, not man’s views.

It takes time to get ready. Paul had to spend time alone in the Arabian desert with the Lord to get “ready.” No Christian should be reluctant to be trained to share the good news. Resolve to follow him in getting ready.

He had a spirit of resolution, “I am not ashamed….”  Vss. 16.17

It took bold faith not to be ashamed of the Gospel in Imperial Rome.

Paul had previously faced the wicked city of Corinth “in fear, and in much trembling” (I Cor. 2:3). There he saw what the power of the Gospel could achieve. Now with eager boldness he was ready to face Rome, a city that worshiped power, with a greater power, the power of the Gospel.

The Greek word translated “power” is DUNAMIS meaning “God’s power.” DUNAMIS gives us our English words dynamo, dynamic, and dynamite. Note this change.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”  (1 Cor 6: 9 – 11). 

The expression “The just shall live by faith” (vs. 17) was the theme that started the Reformation. It was a revolutionary thought in that era. Man through creedal religion was trying to earn, merit, and deserve God’s favor. Despair and futility resulted.

There is all the difference in the world in man’s self-sought righteousness and God’s righteousness. The principals of destruction noted in this passage are followed in these verses.

Note the antidote. The good news is revealed “from faith to faith,” Faith comes from out of the heart and life of one believer who shares that faith and into the heart of one who by faith receives it. The word “revealed” means “to take off the veil.” That is what sharing the goods news is. It is an unveiling. Share it.