Romans 1:16 is one of the greatest verses in the Bible.
“What grand truths lie concealed in this Scripture,” writes W. H, Luckenbach, “as in a kaleidoscope! The gospel being its focal point, several easy turns bring into clearest view some of the most precious things of our Christian faith.”
A Bible commentator, W. Adamson, wrote, “ In these words we have exhibited the true spirit of this ambassador of Christ, and the nature of the message he was commissioned to make known. The gospel is no feeble utterance, no mere human speculation composed of sentiments light as air. It is charged with Divine energy, and works out the salvation of all who receive it.
The author of Romans, Paul, had formerly been a persecutor of Christians. He was known as Saul of Tarsus. However, he renounced his Judaism, surrendered his advantages, privileges, and credentials and became despised, rejected and persecuted by the enemies of Christ.
Why? Because of the essence of Romans 1:16. By revelation, Paul says, “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”
Consider these four key words that make this a great verse.
(1) Gospel. The word “gospel” is found 100 times in the New Testament. And quite simply it’s defined as “good news, or “good tidings.” The word evangelist comes from the same Greek word which means “a bearer of good news.” I am a gospel preacher! A bearer of the good news!
It’s “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). It originated in the mind of the Father. It was purposed and planned before the beginning of time.
It’s “The gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). It was brought to light by Jesus. He came and preached it. And he is the basis and foundation of it through his death, burial and resurrection.
It’s the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). We don’t deserve it! We didn’t earn it! The gospel demonstrates God’s grace and mercy
It’s “the gospel of peace” Eph. 6:15). It will provide inner peace. Peace with others. And peace with God.
“The gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 4:23). And you can’t preach the gospel without preaching about the Kingdom, the church! They go together.
(2) Power. The Bible testifies to God’s great power. His power is called glorious. Irresistible. Unsearchable. Mighty. Incomparable. Strong. Everlasting. Effectual. And sovereign.
The Gospel, God’s Word, is alive and powerful. The Hebrew writer said is it “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
God’s power through the Gospel can convert our thinking. Touch our emotions. Prick our conscience. And affect our decisions. Powerful, indeed!
(3) Salvation. The book of Romans is about salvation. It is the gospel message of God’s plan for man’s salvation. Romans 1:16 is a simple prelude to the great themes of Righteousness. Justification. And sanctification.
The human race has sinned. All of us. None is righteous. Not one. (Rom. 3:10; 23). But we don’t have to be lost! God has provided the means and method of salvation through his grace and mercy.
(4) Everyone. Who can be saved? Everyone! Jew and Gentile. Male and female. Bond-servant and free. There is no elite in God’s Family, only the elect saved by the Gospel of Christ.
Romans 1:16 proclaims that the saving message of the Gospel is for all people! However, we must do our part. We must accept it. Believe it. And obey it.
Thank God for Romans 1:16! For it’s powerful message. For it’s precious promise. And for it’s personal impact in our lives!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman