Romans 1:16-17, “16 For 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;…”
This is a continuation of “Power of the gospel” message. Two things I see on vs. 16&17 that are vital, 1). In vs. 16, the gospel is the power of God to salvation, and 2.). in vs. 17 the power of the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God from faith to faith. The first one is for justification, the second is for sanctification.
Sanctification involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man. Perfect sanctification will never be attained in this life for we are still at war in the flesh and we still live in a fallen world.
Paul the apostle had a miraculous conversion that changed his life completely, the more he walked with God, the more the righteousness of God through the power of the gospel revealed the true condition of his heart. Paul talks extensively about it in Romans 7, what was in his heart, his struggle with sin, the desire to do good and not do it, and the urge to do the wrong things. In Romans 7:18 he throws in the towel by saying, ” For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find”. Like Paul, the more I walk with the Lord, the more deceitfulness of my heart are revealed through the righteousness of God, and I see myself in truth. Think about it for a second, when you became born again, your walk with the Lord, did He not begin to show you things in your heart you never imagined to be sins? To some, you may have thought they were too small to be noticed or considered sins; things like little anger, thought life, wandering eyes, hatred, not honoring God like you should, what comes out of your mouth, using His name loosely and in vain, how you treat others (your wife, husband, children etc.)? I mean the list goes on. If you used to lie and not think of it as a big deal, now His righteousness paints a whole new picture. Here is analogy that brings this to light, “if I lied to a little child, it may not be a big deal; if I lied to my wife, trouble awaits me; if I lied to my boss, I could lose my job; and if I lied to the government; I could go to prison”, see the weight of the lie depends on who you do it to. This is what the righteousness of God does, shows us how so Holy God is and how His holiness exposes our ungodliness.
Think of it this way, you’ve just dusted the table clean then decided to pull back the curtains to let in the early morning light. To your surprise you see on the table DUST and in air, DUST. The thought that runs through your mind, “how can this be when you just cleaned the table?“, then you ask yourself this question, did the light create the dust? NO, it simply exposed the dust. That is what the righteousness of God does in our lives too, it draws the curtains of the light of Holy of holies and exposes things in our hearts we never thought were there and then the Grace of God becomes so AMAZING that in spite of who we are, He still saved us anyway. It is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith that reveals the condition of our hearts and shows us that there is nothing good in our flesh except Christ in us and through the power of the Holy Spirit helps us to deal with them for our sanctification. Blessings, Ev