Having laid the basis, Paul now moves into the heart of his letter to the Romans. I would encourage you to read my previous messages which deals with verses 1 to 14 in detail. This will help you understand how Paul laid the basis for what he is about to say. In verses 15 to 18 which we will be dealing with in this message, Paul lays a basis for the whole letter. We will see him telling us why he is eager to preach the gospel to the Romans and by this, he begins a theme that will last until chapter 3 verse 20.
Paul is Eager to Preach the Gospel
Romans 1:15 (ESV Strong’s)
15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
The word “eager” means ready and willing. What Paul is saying here is that he is ready and willing to preach the gospel to those who are in Rome. This comes after having stated in verses 8-14, that he longs to see them to impart some spiritual gifts to strengthen them, and to reap some harvest among them as well as among the rest of the gentiles. He also said that being under obligation to do his ministry to all people, he is now ready and willing to preach to the Romans as well.
Why is Paul Eager to Preach the Gospel?
Paul now gives us a string of four “for” words in verses 16-18, and with those he is explaining why he is eager to preach the gospel. All these “for” words, which means because, follow one another from the first one. Each one gives a reason for the previous one. We find two of these “for” words in verse 16, one in verse 17 and last one in verse 18.
Ok, why is Paul eager to preach the gospel?
(ESV Strong’s) 16(a) For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
The first part of verse 16, which I call 16(a), Paul gives us the first reason why he is eager to preach the gospel. He says it is because he is not ashamed of the gospel. In other words, the gospel does not lower his status. It does not embarrass him. So, the first reason why he is eager to preach the gospel, it is simply that he is not embarrassed by it.
Why is Paul not ashamed of the gospel?
(ESV Strong’s) 16(b) for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The reason why Paul is not ashamed or embarrassed by the gospel is because the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, starting with the Jews and moving over to the Gentiles. Paul is saying that the gospel brings with it, the power of God that brings people who believe to salvation. It started with the Jews and now it is spreading to all people. Therefore, Paul is not ashamed or embarrassed by the gospel because, in the gospel, that is where the power of God to save is found.
Why does the Gospel contain the Power of God to Salvation?
Romans 1:17 (ESV Strong’s)
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Paul tells us that the gospel contains the power of God to save those who believe because in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. In other words, Paul says the gospel contains the power of God to save because in the gospel, God has revealed His standard of righteousness that He requires all of us to conform to and comply with, and it starts and ends with faith. In other words, it is only through the gospel that we can know how to become righteous before God and according to God. The gospel tells us what is the required standard of righteousness and how to become righteous before God according to God. Paul says this standard of righteousness starts and ends with faith. In other words, it is only through faith that we can become righteous before God.
At this point, right from the beginning. Notice how Paul separates true and false Christians. Those Christians or churches that say to you that, you need faith plus anything else to be righteous before God, according to Paul, those are false or deceived Christians or churches.
Paul supports this statement of righteousness by faith alone by quoting the Old Testament. This is to ensure that those who are opposing him, don’t think that he has dreamed up this faith only based righteousness but, that this faith only based righteousness is rooted in the Old Testament and has always been how God has declared people righteous before Himself. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4. This is where God told Habakkuk that the righteous shall live by faith. In other words, this means that those who because of their faith are righteous, shall live.
Why is this faith only based righteousness that God has revealed in the gospel so important?
Romans 1:18 (ESV Strong’s)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
One can ask, ok Paul, I hear you about how God has revealed His standard of righteousness which is by faith only in the gospel but, why must I care? Why should I conform to or comply with this standard of righteousness? Paul being a master debater, anticipates this kind of question and answers it very clearly.
Paul says we should take note of the standard of righteousness of God that He has revealed in the gospel, which is by faith only because, the wrath of God or the holy anger of God, is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness, suppress the truth. Let’s define a couple of words to get a better understanding. Ungodliness means lack of piety or reverence for God. In simple terms, lack of fear of and respect for God. It also means to be wicked. Unrighteousness means a violation of God’s justice. The word suppress means to hold down. It is an active and a continuous action. It is more like holding down a ball in the water. As soon as you let go of the ball, the ball springs out of the water. Therefore you have to continuously hold it down for it not to come out. To reveal simply means to make known. Take note that this word revealed is in a present continuous tense.
Therefore, Paul is saying that the holy anger of God is currently being made known continuously against those who have no fear of God, who have no respect for Him and who violate His justice. These are the people who also by their lack of respect for God, lack of fear of God and by the violation of His justice, actively and continuously hold down the truth about God and the truth of God.
God’s wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth and, that is why we need to care about the standard of righteousness that God has revealed in the gospel, so that His wrath, does not fall upon us. To avoid God’s wrath, we need to stop suppressing the truth about and of God, and believe what the gospel says.
Paul is eager to preach the gospel because he is not ashamed of it, and that is because in it, there is the power of God to save those who believe,and that is because in it, the righteousness of God which is by faith only is revealed, and that is because the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
- It is great injustice to preach anything other than the true gospel of Jesus Christ because, those who remain under the wrath of God, will continue to remain that way, since you are depriving them of the power that is contained in the gospel that comes from God, and that can save them.
- We must preach the gospel and only the gospel because God can use its power to save those who believe.
- We should not be ashamed of the gospel, it is the Power of God to save those who believe
- If anyone doesn’t preach the gospel to you, but preaches anything else, that person doesn’t love you, doesn’t care about.
Check this message Do you think The Bible Contradicts itself? Read about why you think that way