“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17).
Paul’s evangelistic fervor was fueled by his sense of obligation (Romans 1:14), his preparation for the work of preaching (Romans 1:15; Galatians 1:15), and his fearlessness which was spawned by the gospel’s incredible power.
In these verses Paul identifies six characteristics which contribute to the gospel’s unique, incredible power. In addition to its Exclusiveness, Divine Origin, Purpose, and Conditionality (see last four posts), its Universality makes its powerful.
Unlike the Law of Moses, the scope of the gospel is not a specific clan of people. Jesus directed His Jewish apostles to make disciples in all nations (Matthew 28:18) by going into all the world and preaching the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
The gospel’s universal condition—faith—is doable for Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free, male and female. The Jews had numerous spiritual advantages over the Gentiles—the Scriptures (Romans 3:2); the adoption of father Abram as the one whom all families of the earth were to be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3); the glory of God’s presence at Mount Sinai, the inauguration of the tabernacle, and the dedication of the temple Solomon built; the covenants made to Abraham in his flesh and through Moses; the service of God where essential truths about sin, holiness, and atonement were incarnated daily; the promises made to Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David; the flesh and blood genealogy of Jesus the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1) from Joseph to Adam (Luke 3:23-38).
These advantages, however, did not eliminate the possibility of Gentiles being fellow heirs of God, of the same body of the redeemed, and partakers of all spiritual blessings in Christ, because “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27-29).
The gospel of the kingdom of heaven is unique and powerful because there are no second-class citizens; there is no favored class or caste; there are no untouchables; all respect of persons is forbidden.
The ground of salvation at the cross is level for all.