“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, Conditionality, and Universality (see last five posts), its Revelation also makes its powerful.
At no point did the gospel originate from any human mind. What Peter and the rest of the apostles bound on earth had already been bound in heaven and what they loosed on earth had already been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19; 18:18). The gospel which Paul delivered to his fellow man had been received from God by revelation (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). It was not according to man; he did not receive it from man nor was he taught it by humans; it came through revelation from Jesus Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11-12).
In the gospel is the unmistakable revelation of God’s righteousness—His holy, uncompromisable, and life-giving righteousness.
The revelation of God’s righteousness to man began at the inception of human ungodliness and unrighteousness. God’s wrath decreed that with Adam’s transgression physical death would spread to all men, even to those who had not sinned according to the likeness of Adam’s transgression (Romans 5:12-14). Worldly consequences like sorrow, pain, sweat, and tears were implemented (Genesis 3:16-19). Spiritual consequences like the loss of direct fellowship with God also came immediately.
The revelation of God’s righteousness to man thundered and reverberated in the Law He gave through Moses. Its holiness, justice, and goodness (Romans 7:12) exposed humanity’s utter inability to be holy, just, and good. Because of the nature of sin, this pristine law of God created an internal spiritual civil war which left all men as wretched prisoners of the law of sin (Romans 7:23-24).
The revelation of God’s righteousness reached its zenith at Calvary where the righteous Lamb of God demonstrated God’s righteousness by satisfying His wrath for every iniquity of Adam and all his children. Not a single act of ungodliness or unrighteousness was ignored or excused, redemption by His atoning blood paid the price in full so that in Christ, God can be both just and the justifier of everyone who has faith in Jesus.
Oh, what a revelation of God and His righteousness is found in the unique and powerful gospel of Christ!