"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
  • For I am not ashamed of the gospel This might sound like a silly or obvious thing to say, but I wonder how well we realy understand what it means to not be ashamed of the Gospel. Because it is not the same thing as being ashamed that we go to church. In fact, it might just mean the opposite. Sometimes church is all about our works and righteousness and what we do. The Gospel is all about what God has already done. It is a state of humility rather than a state of pride. It is me saying that I want Jesus, not saying Jesus wants me. It is falling at God's feet and worshipping rather than worshipping and expecting him to take notice.
  • because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes This is just a continuation of the previous thought. To really get the Gospel we must understand that God brings salvation, he rescues us from the depths of sin and destruction. This gift is offered to all who will believe it.
  • first to the Jew, then to the Gentile I admit, I struggle with this. Does it mean that the Jews are His first choice, or is this simple stating the chronologically, salvation was first offered to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles? I like this understanding, because it shows that God is a God of providence and a God of order, and it makes it less about me and more about Him.
  • For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed It is not my righteousness, but Christ's righteousness that is imparted to me.
  • a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith So what does it mean that it is by faith? Another word for this is fidelity, so I immediately think of marriage and what it means to be "faithful." Again, I see it as a result of falling in love and making a pledge to another that no matter what, you will be true. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. My fidelity is not based on circumstance, but it is the foundation of the relationship.
Praise God for the Gospel, the good news. So now my life begins to revolve around this truth. This is the basis for how I respond in all circumstance. It is why I go the extra mile, turn the other cheek, why I carry my cross. It is because I will live by faith, I will maintain my fidelity no matter what.


Brenton Balvin said...

Hi. I was looking back on some old comments on my blog and saw that u left a couple. Thanks for stopping by. I'm curious..how did u come across my blog? Thanks for reading.

Spherical said...

@ Brent: I look at a lot of blogs at times, so I am not sure exactly how I got to yours. Most likely I followed a link on another blog, or you had made a comment on another blog I read and I found you that way.

speculator said...

Taken in context, Paul (who was Jewish himself) was instructing disciples to bring the gospel (in word and genuine and active generosity) to the Jewish people- even as a priority, yet not exclusively. That's what the words say and mean.

Everyone needs the good news, and it is not meant to be kept to one's own small circle. Further, Christians (who are obviously mostly Gentiles) should not squirm away from extending the message of the Messiah to the Jewish people. The message is really about indiscriminate generosity- and to never forget the ancient people of God, though whom the good news has transmitted.

Spherical said...

Thanks. That makes sense and is in keeping with Paul's actions, where he would first teach in a synagogue before moving out to other arenas.

Kansas Bob said...

I think that "brings salvation to everyone who believes" is the context for Jew first statement. Salvation is not about ethnicity - never has been.

Spherical said...

I agree that salvation is not about ethnicity. Yet God chose the bring salvation thru the Jews.

Being a Jew is of no advantage, as John the Baptist pointed out when he said that God could turn the rocks into sons of Abraham.

speculator said...

Being a Jewish believer in Jesus does permit for a very unfettered view of the New Testament. I'm thankful for the context my background gives me, though yes I am aware we are all in the same boat!

Jewish evangelism has rarely been done well- or tactfully- over the centuries. We all need the Good News, no matter who we are.

Kansas Bob said...

Salvation came through the Jews but not in a pure sense. Always love to think about the lineage of the Messiah and how outsiders like Rahab and Ruth are included.