Read This Week’s Passage: Romans 1

Announcing the Cure

If someone discovered the cure for cancer, they wouldn’t hesitate to let the world know. Even if they were shy, they wouldn’t let their fear of social interaction keep them from announcing the cure. Similarly, according to Paul, the gospel is nothing to be ashamed of because it is God’s power to save all people, and all people need saving (Romans 1:16, 18). Paul felt that the gospel placed him in debt—a debt that he could only discharge by preaching the gospel (Romans 1:14). Like a scientist who discovered a cure for cancer and must share the good news, Paul must preach the gospel.

What is the gospel Paul must preach? As do the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Paul summarized the gospel in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God (Romans 1:1–4). For Paul, Jesus is the gospel, and this gospel is the power of God to save (Romans 1:16).

When Paul states that the gospel is God’s power to save, he assumes the reader would ask why. To this implied question, Paul had a ready answer. The gospel is God’s power to save because it reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:17). The righteousness of God is the righteousness God possesses. Said another way, it is the beauty of His character. It is His faithfulness to His promises. Since the beginning of the great controversy between God and Satan, questions about God’s righteousness have come up, questions about His character (Genesis 3:1–5). These questions have been fully and finally answered by the revelation of God’s real character or, as Paul puts it, the revelation of the righteousness of God through the gospel.

The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection proclaims God’s beautiful character. It demonstrates that He is committed to us; that He would rather die for us in Christ than live without us. According to Paul, the message of a promise-keeping God demonstrated in the Jesus story needs to be proclaimed to all people that they might believe and be saved.