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Devotional - week of February 18, 2018


FULLY PREACHING THE GOSPEL

 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul writes that the message of the gospel is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

What is significant about the word “fully” in Paul’s statement of Romans 15:19? Why didn’t Paul write something like “I have told people from Jerusalem to Illyricum that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected so they could become children of God?”

The answer to those questions is expressed Romans 1:16-17 where Paul explains the result of preaching the gospel. He writes:

 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

The words “… in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith” reveal an initial act of faith and a continuation of the same faith. The words “everyone who believes” means everyone who continues to believe. “The just shall live by faith” means that the Christian life is a life of faith.

To fully preach the gospel is to tell of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus which enables a person to enter the Kingdom of God by faith and to live a life of faith. It is possible for a believer to live by faith by experiencing his own crucifixion, burial and resurrection which became a reality when he was baptized by the Holy Spirit into Jesus at the time of the first act of faith.

According to Paul’s statement, when one understands the “full” gospel and continues to experiences his own crucifixion, burial and resurrection, he is continually filled with the righteousness of God. In the statement “The just shall live by faith,” the word “just” means the “righteous.” When a believer lives by faith in the “full” gospel, his is a continuing life of righteousness.