Romans: The Power of the Gospel of Christ revealed to The Apostle Paul:Volume 5, Number 30
Created Date: July 26, 2021
Posted Date: July 26, 2021
Since Adam, “… all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God,”; “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” , quoted from Old Testament (OT) passages, including: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” , . And it’s been impossible for anyone to be righteous before God by doing works of the flesh required by religion. Romans teaches how those living prior to and after the Apostle Paul was commissioned to minister could and can be righteous. Two verses set the tone: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” . (The Greek word translated “just” means “righteous”)
These two verses were covered in Vol 5, No 3, but now having completed study through Romans chapter 11, they must be revisited considering what we’ve learned about righteousness, justification, and faith since then. The “Gospel of His Son,” is also called “the Gospel of Christ,” which was first revealed to the Apostle Paul, , , . Consider the following recap or summary of Romans 1:16 - 17; the Gospel of Christ saved/saves those who believe; it is the power of God that saves from eternal damnation; it reveals the righteousness of God; it was to the Jew first and also to the Greek. The Lord informed Saul (later Paul) when he was saved that he was “a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my (Jesus Christ’s) name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” and Paul wrote that he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, . So, what does Paul mean “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” in Romans 1:16?
God promised Abraham his progeny would be a great nation. About 430 years later, Israel had grown to become a great nation in Egypt when Moses led them out. Then, God gave them His Law, describing what was required to be righteous. From that time in history, until God revealed The Gospel of Christ to the Apostle Paul, the only way a Gentile could be saved was to join Israel as a proselyte, submitting to circumcision and obedience to the Law. This remained true when Jesus Christ walked this earth; He said He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel,and He told His disciples not to go to the Gentiles but rather to the lost sheep of Israel, . But how could the “Gospel of Christ” revealed to Paul apply to so many people who lived before Paul when they knew nothing of him, or the Gospel of Christ revealed to him? The answer begins to unfold: “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision (Jews & Proselytes) by faith, and uncircumcision (the Gentiles) through faith.” . (Words in italics are not in the original, they were added by the translators.) Note the circumcision were justified “by faith;” the uncircumcision “through faith.” The preposition translated “by” (faith) reference the circumcision is from the Greek “ek,” which governs only the genitive case and denotes motion from the interior. It is used of time, place and origin and means “out from; the immediate origin.” * Thus, God, shall justify the circumcision (Jews and proselytes) “by” or “out from faith.”
Israel proved the fact that “there is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10. Throughout the time recorded in the OT, as well as during Christ’s earthly ministry, most Jews followed the Law self-righteously. Like the Pharisees, they exalted themselves in the works of the law and were not saved. Only those who followed the law by faith were saved. Paul demonstrated this truth in a sermon given in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia,where he addressed Men of Israel, and those that fear God, ; , proclaiming: “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus Christ) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” . Those Paul addressed had to believe the Gospel of Christ to be justified (rendered righteous); they could not be justified (rendered righteous) by the law of Moses. So, how were the circumcised (Jews & propylites) who lived prior to the time Paul preached the Gospel of Christ justified (made righteous) from all things? To understand, I’ll use King David and Abraham as examples.
King David lived under the Law, but he violated at least 3 of the 10 commandments. He coveted Uriah the Hittite’s wife Bathsheba (10th commandment); committed adultery with Bathsheba (7th commandment) and caused Uriah’s death, which could be classified as murder (6th commandment). David knew nothing about Jesus Christ dying for his sins, i.e., the Gospel of Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul, but he knew the righteousness of God. He truly repented of his sin/s,, which he expressed in . (Recommend you read this Psalm.) David had faith in God’s Word and “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrew 11:1. David’s hope (earnest expectation) was to be righteous, and faith was the ground on which he stood. Although he could not see it, faith was all the evidence he needed. He had no idea the Jehovah God he worshiped and to Whom he prayed would come as a Man and die for his sin/s; nor could he know The Lord Jesus Christ would subsequently reveal to the Apostle Paul the “Gospel of Christ,” which revealed how righteousness would be imputed to him.
God knew David’s heart and how He could count him righteous, as He later revealed to the Apostle Paul: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”. The “forbearance” of God refers to God’s “toleration” of David’s sin until the time He came and paid the price for the “remission” of his sin/s on the cross. Simply put, prior to when the Gospel of Christ was revealed to the Apostle Paul, Jews and proselytes were saved by faith in God’s Word by doing the works for the law. They recognized their sin and truly believed God’s Word about following the Law.
As to Abraham, he lived before God gave the Law, but the Gospel of Christ also saved him. Paul writes how God imputed righteousness to Abraham even though he didn’t know about the Gospel of Christ: “He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore, it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”.
Now back toand the preposition “through,” in the phrase indicating God shall justify the uncircumcision “through” faith. Through is the Greek “dia,” which with the genitive has the general sense of “through, as though dividing a surface into two by an intersecting line.” It includes the idea of proceeding from and passing out. * Whereas David and Abraham looked forward to their redemption being accomplished, believers over the past almost 2000 years have looked back at its accomplishment as revealed to the Apostle Paul; “Even the righteousness of God which is “by” (the Greek is “dia,” so it should be translated “through”) faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” . Today, all that is required is for us to believe (have faith in) the Gospel, and the righteousness of God is imputed to us through faith of Jesus Christ.
* Appendix 104 of the Companion Bible.