The gospel reveals God's righteousness
Published 6:19 pm Monday, June 21, 2004
We're asking ourselves "what is the gospel?" using Romans 1:16-17 to respond. We've already discovered that the gospel is God's power and that God works His power by creating faith in men's hearts. This gospel-generated faith displays two characteristics: It realizes its need for salvation and thereby repents (a genuine sorrow for sin reflected in a desire to turn from it), and relies upon Christ and Him alone for salvation and thereby trusts in Him. This is gospel faith.
Today we will see how the gospel reveals God's righteousness. Romans 1:16-17 states, "For I'm not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith."
It reveals righteousness in two ways. First it reveals the righteousness that God requires. This is seen in Christ on the cross. Jesus' death demonstrates just how exacting and just how unwavering is God's righteousness. Nothing less that the life of the Son of God who had obeyed His Father with all His heart, mind, soul and strength and who had loved His neighbor as Himself could satisfy divine justice (righteousness). The righteous God cannot let any sin go unpunished. Judging His own Son is the ultimate proof.
The Gospel reveals God's righteousness in another way. The verse says, "It is revealed from faith to faith." The righteousness required is the righteousness fulfilled at the cross by Christ's sinless life and perfect sacrifice of Himself. Righteousness fulfilled is now transferred by faith to those whom God is calling to Himself. The perfect righteousness of Christ is ours by faith. We see in the cross not only a rigorous righteousness, but also a breathtaking mercy. This is why Paul could write, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness." Romans 4:5.
The gospel puts on display God's righteousness-awesome in holiness, amazing in mercy. It's for the ungodly by faith. Do you qualify?