Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of March 9, 2008


PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE SAVED

 

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes … For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  Romans 1:16-17

 

Preaching the gospel is telling the lost how they can become Christians. However, Romans 1:16-17 reveals that we also need to preach the gospel to the saved.

 

Salvation is in three tenses—past, when we received Jesus as Lord and Savior; present, as we grow in the Christian life; future, when we leave this life and enter heaven. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul has in mind the past and present aspects of our salvation.

 

The word “believes” in Romans 1:16 means “continues to believe.” This takes faith beyond the moment when one receives Jesus to become a Christian. “From faith to faith” indicates both an initial and continuing acts of faith. The word “just” in the statement “The just shall live by faith” can, and in this passage should, be translated “righteous”—indicating that he writes of believers.

 

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for the unsaved and for the saved. Paul describes the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

 

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures … was buried, and … rose again the third day …

 

In Romans 1:17, Paul wrote “in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed.” The message of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus results in righteousness for the unsaved and saved.

 

The New Testament speaks of two types of righteousness—a declared righteousness called “justification” for the unsaved and a realized righteousness for the saved. The message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the power of God for the saved when a believer understands that Jesus is "The Last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45). By understanding this, the believer can understand and experience his own crucifixion, burial and resurrection. When this experience becomes reality, God begins to do His works of righteousness in and through the believer. A believer’s righteousness is never self-generated. It is always God being righteous in and through him.

 

Let’s preach the gospel to the unsaved—and the saved.