“In the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” (Romans 1:17).
As we began our more detailed study of Romans in our last visit we considered Paul’s mission spelled out in the introduction, chapter 1:1-17. What he says in these introductory verses will be amplified further throughout the rest of the letter. For now let’s consider his message.
His message was the gospel that God had promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son. The heart of the gospel Paul preached was Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection. This message has the power to save anyone and everyone who believes in Him and what He has done.
What happens when one believes this message? He is declared righteous by and before God. People who are concerned about where they stand before God generally try to work hard at doing what they consider to be good deeds, hoping that God will accept them on the basis of their efforts. This is what might be called meritorious salvation.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is totally different. Verse 17 says that in the gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” Notice, it is “a righteousness from God.” It is not the result of our efforts at doing what is right. It is a righteousness received and experienced “by faith.” We receive it by faith initially, that is, “from first.” And we continue to experience it by faith continuously, that is “to last.” In essence Paul’s message is, “The righteous will live by faith” period!
Have you received for yourself “a righteousness from God…that is by faith from first to last?” It’s yours for the asking!