We continue our study of Paul’s letter to the Roman Church. Picking up at verse 8 of Chapter One, Paul writes:
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the World. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times, and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among other Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1: 8-17)
Paul was introducing himself to the Romans. As he did, he was teaching. Here he said, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ.” This was to emphasize the point that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God, and mankind. He wanted to keep this primary point, primary. It is through Christ that God sends His love and forgiveness to us. It is through Christ that we send our love to our Father of Love. As the Word says in (1 Timothy 2:5), “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” It is through the Love, and Life of Christ that we are children of God. It is what He has done for us, not what we have done, or can do for him that brings the relationship of Love. He has done the work at the cross, and resurrection. He does the work needed to protect us, and provide for us each day. Our only part in this amazing act of Love is to Believe it, and walk by Faith in it. “The Righteous will live by faith.” When we believe, we become righteous in His sight. We walk in ‘Fellowship’ with Him in Spirit, and as we walk with Him, we move toward wanting to be like Him. We desire more and more to live in, and exhibit the Gospel – the Good News.
As Paul said, “In the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” This is what Paul wanted for each of the ones he was writing to. This is what the Lord wants for each of us. A righteousness that brings Fellowship, and Oneness, and unconditional Love. He has provided it. Let us live in it with joy, and gladness, and faith each day. Let us tell the Good News at every opportunity. Let us show it in the Love that we live by.