Getting Right with God

Key Verses: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one 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.”
—Romans 1:16, 17

Selected Scripture:
Romans 1:1-13,
16, 17

ROMANS WAS AMONG Paul’s principal epistles and in his opening salutation, he makes three points. First, he defends his apostleship. An apostle is one who is called and sent out, especially to testify of the Gospel. Paul says he was “called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.” (Rom. 1:1) He also refers to himself as Jesus’ “servant” or slave, i.e., his life was totally devoted to doing God’s will and spreading the message of the Gospel.

In his second point, Paul states that the central theme of the Gospel is Jesus Christ. He says that Jesus was the Son of God, “which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1:3) In becoming the seed of David, Jesus met one of the qualifications needed to be a ransom, or corresponding price, for father Adam— namely that he be a human being, made of flesh and blood. Otherwise, he could not be a Redeemer that would ‘correspond’ to Adam, who was also of flesh and blood. The ransom required a man’s [Jesus’] life for a man’s [Adam’s] life. As the Son of God, he met another important qualification, that of perfection on the part of the one who would redeem Adam and his race. Jesus, although a human being, born of a woman, received the spark of life from God his Father, that spark being placed miraculously by God in the womb of Mary. An understanding of how Jesus met both these qualifications shows us how he was able to be perfect, separate from sinners, and still be a true corresponding price, or ransom, for Adam.

The third point of Paul’s opening words in Romans was that Jesus’ life was part of God’s eternal purpose. The Gospel of Christ would eventually bring salvation to all, through “obedience to the faith among all nations.”—Rom. 1:5

Our Key Verses emphasize Paul’s main point in our lesson, ‘justification by faith.’ Although not stated specifically, it is alluded to, and later becomes one of the central themes of this letter. Faith was to become an all-important principle in the lives of all those who would strive to obtain salvation through the Gospel of Christ, both Jews and Greeks. Verse 17 reveals two important truths concerning faith. First, faith is progressive, “from faith to faith.” By this Paul teaches that faith has various levels of development in the lives of God’s people. There is at first a more elementary faith, one that firmly believes in God and his plans. As the child of God develops, his faith is put to the test and a faith of a higher level of maturity develops which eventually can be victorious in any experience of life, regardless of its severity or difficulty.

Paul’s second point in verse 17 follows his description of the progressive nature of faith. This faith progresses to the point that our entire life is one of faith, where every thought, word, and deed—every decision, action, and prayer— is a matter of total and complete confidence in God and his will. This is what is meant by the statement, “The just shall live by faith.”—Rom. 1:17

Dawn Bible Students Association
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