For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 ESV)
Talk about a thesis statement!
I encourage everyone to read Romans with verses 1:16-17 in mind. Believe the gospel and you will be saved for eternal life. The gospel is the very power of God. Believe and be saved.
Faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, makes one righteous through the power of God. Jesus is God. He lived and taught. He paid the ultimate price for every single one of our sins. Then he was raised form the dead and then ascended into heaven so that we may have eternal life and be empowered by His Spirit even in this life…if we believe.
Of course, first we each must believe that we are in trouble and that he is our only hope to get out of that trouble. Because, Jesus is not only our savior, but He is also our Lord.
Many, many people grab on to one or the other: Lord or Savior. Most do not even realize that they are doing so. The ones who recognize His Lordship are the legalists who wish to be under the Law. They want to follow certain precepts and believe these will bring them closer to God. The believe that clinging to to the exact words of their favorite translation of the Bible makes them holy. They throw around terms like “infallible”, “inerrant”, and “literal” creating an idol of Scripture and then blaspheme their idol they created by making it say what they think it ought to say.
I’m not saying that the Bible is not infallible, inerrant or that it should not be taken literally. I’m saying that the Bible reveals God. It is not God. The Bible is a living document and the faith-filled reader will continue to learn from it until the day he or she returns home to God. The people I’m speaking about tend to believe they have the Bible all figured out. But the Bible will not be controlled by humans because it is God’s revelation of God’s self to the world. Do you see how concentrating on Jesus’ “Lordship” leads on astray?
On the other extreme there are those who over emphasize Jesus’ Saviorhood. These people make a mockery of evangelism. These are those people that believe that saying a prayer in which one confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior gives one some sort of free ride and one’s life is then secure. They might say something like, “I know I’m saved because I went to the alter on October 14, 1994,” or some such thing. Maybe. ….Maybe not.
If you and your life do not change after you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I can almost guarantee that you didn’t. It’s not for me to judge whether you are saved or not. That’s the sole propriety of God. That’s between you and Jesus. That being said, however, if Jesus is your Lord, you will be changed. All the “ Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots” start becoming “You dos and “You do nots.” And you begin placing others before yourself. If you are saved, the present becomes a means to eternity for you and others.
I wish I could apologize for stepping on some proverbial toes in this article, but in the beginning, I encouraged readers to read Romans and it is essential that everyone who does so to realize that the rest of this letter is Paul’s “fleshing out” the initial quote. Life in Christ is all about faith. Faith in the Gospel of Christ, which is the very power of God, saves and faith in Christ’s Lordship breathes power into one’s life on earth. In fact, at one point, Paul claims that unless faith comes first, nothing else matters (14:23).
Stay posted. There’s more to come.