The gospel is the power of God for salvation.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:1-4).
In the introduction to his letter to the Romans Paul laid out his mission and the authority by which he accomplished it. We often skim through his words until we get to the “I am not ashamed of the gospel” part at the end, but to understand why he was not ashamed of the gospel opens up the entire letter to us.
Yes, Paul tells us in verses 16 and 17 that the gospel is the power of God for salvation, and that there is a particular kind of righteousness contained within it. These reasons are important, but by themselves they don’t explain the authority he and we have to claim them.
Look at verses 3 and 4 – “… regarding his Son, who as to his [flesh] was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”
There were plenty of reasons to believe that Jesus the man was a descendant of David. Paul never had a reason to doubt Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah.
However, even with that understanding, Paul was the original skeptic regarding the idea of the risen Jesus.
But when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul could not deny what happened to him, and everything changed. He became history’s strongest proclaimer of Jesus’ resurrection.
Look at that second statement again – “…who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.”
When this truth hit home Paul had his meaning and purpose, his reason for being. This gives you and me meaning and purpose, as well.
Why is the gospel “the power of God for salvation?” Why is “a righteousness from God revealed” in it? There is only one possible answer to these questions. Jesus is alive!
Jesus was raised completely victorious over sin and death. Jesus is the gospel.
All of Christianity hinges on this one event – the resurrection of Christ Jesus. Because he was raised from the dead, he is able to raise you from the dead and give you new life. This new life is one lived by faith in Him.
Ask the Lord to make the resurrection of Christ Jesus real in your heart and teach you to abide in his resurrected life.