I think Romans 1:16-17 has been my favorite part of Romans thus far in my time studying it. Paul leaves off in v. 14-15 speaking of his obligation to preach the gospel. Sure, ANYONE would be eager if his obligation was to serve a king with a message that would incur wrath to the people and to himself if not adhered to (see analogy in previous post). However, Paul gives us a second reason for his eagerness to preach, and it proves that his desire is not only out of obedience and submission to God, but also out of full assurance of the message.
“So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
“For” can be read as “because” (both the same word in greek) so Paul is saying,
“Why am I eager to preach the gospel? Because I am not ashamed of it! Why am I not ashamed of it? Because I am convinced that the gospel is God’s powerful means (and his ONLY means) to rescue mankind!”
And that rescue or salvation, is not referring to becoming a Christian, but to STAYING a Christian! The salvation that happens as we are rescued on the last Day from the sinful, decaying world to the kingdom God is preparing! This is third reason for his eagerness to preach to Christians (as well as Christians): to impart the message that the Christian life is a life of obedience of faith, from the day of your conversion until your last breath. The Gospel is the instrument God uses to pay our debts and make us right with him (justify us), and persevere us in holiness and increasing love for the King (sanctification) until the end. Check it out in v. 17:
For in it (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 shall live by faith.
God you are provoking in me a great love and eagerness for the Gospel to be proclaimed in my home, in Shelby Park, in the World. I know you are only going to reveal more and more how unworthy I am to be loved by you & someday reign with you in the Kingdom–let alone free from a drop of your wrath! I know that my own resume would never cut it, and I need your righteousness to be revealed and given to me. I’m not fully sure what your righteousness really is or why it is the power behind the gospel, but I want to know, and I want to receive it empty-handed. Help humble me Jesus! Amen.