Lesson 4 – The Gospel

 The Gospel

Lesson Aim: To show how the gospel is God’s power to produce faith.

Scripture: 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 to faith; as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith.  Romans 1:16, 17.


These two verses should be read and studied phrase by phrase.  Every line must be understood.  They should be kept alive in our minds as we study the Roman letter.  To appreciate this great letter we need to accept the theme: “The righteous man shall live by faith.”   Just think about it.  I can be this saved person.  I can be alive to God.  I can be righteous.  But how can all these things happen to me, a sinner?

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and exult in the hope of the glory of God.  Romans 5:1, 2


It is by Christians’ faith that God makes us alive and counts us as righteous. How and why all of this happens is what the Roman letter is all about.  It is God’s plan and God’s power from start to finish.  We might argue “It is our faith that gained us access into God’s grace.”  True, however, Paul said “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes.”  The power is in the gospel, not in us.  The gospel means the good news.  The good news was promised beforehand through the prophets concerning Jesus Christ, our Lord.  He was declared to be the Son of God with power in that He was resurrected from the dead.  Romans 1:1-4.

We have been born “in Adam.”  If we have a mature mind, heart and conscience, we have sinned and our present abode is summed in Romans 5:21;  “Sin reigned in death.”  We are spiritually dead and in great fear of physical death (Heb. 2:14, 15).  We are separated from God.  We are trying to make it in life but our failure to choose good every time, which is sin, dominates our lives and renders us powerless.  We may try to be righteous but we are dead to righteousness (Romans 6:20).  Even faith is absent from the mature person’s life “in Adam” in the world realm.  Life, was that really life?  Does not “death” best describe that age? In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he said “and you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” 2:1.

Remember in our first lesson “From Eternity to Eternity” there was just one word for the man “in Adam.”  That word was “called.”  Romans 8:30.  All mature people “in Adam” are dead, and sin is their master.  “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  3:23.  But this does not mean God’s plan for man has failed or has even been detoured. 

God’s evangelism program is specifically for the man “in Adam” who is dead and ruled by sin.  Jesus, the Son of God is the source of the gospel (good news).  God calls the man “in Adam” with the gospel.  See II Thess. 2:14.  The gospel is God’s power to save the man “in Adam” in the world from all problems therein, namely sin, death, Law, and God’s wrath. 

This does not give mankind a pass to go to heaven.  It does give Christians peace with God (Rom. 5:1).  It does let us have hope to share in God’s glory (Rom. 5:2).  It does get us to a place in life where “in doing good (we) seek glory, honor and immortality (Rom. 2:7; 5:3-5).  It does give us fellowship with Deity by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (II Cor. 13:14).

The gospel is God’s power to produce faith in the man “in Adam.”  The man “in Adam” is like a dead engine with many problems and no power to start itself.  He has no power within himself to move.  He needs help and power from an external source.  The man “in Adam” gets his external help from God through the gospel.  It lights the fire of faith within the dead and moves them to life (John 5:24).  It moves them to join Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection in baptism.

This is the “good news” for the man “in Adam.”  Read I Cor. 15:1-4.  There is no other good news and there is no other way out of death except through the cross.  Jesus Christ came into this world “in Adam.”  He died for our sins as a sinner but God raised Him from the dead by the glory of His power (Romans 6:4; II Cor. 5:21).

The man “in Adam” must have faith in the death, burial, and resurrection and that it can happen to his inner-man by baptism in water.  He must believe God will raise him to a “newness of life.”  This gospel is all God has for the man “in Adam.”  If it does not produce faith, then there is no other power.   God calls by the gospel to save mankind.

Man has no righteousness of his own to present before God.  He has ordained that man can please Him only by his faith in Jesus.   This is why it is so important for the man “in Adam” to have faith.  It is God’s gospel that produces faith.   There is no other power God will use to save him.

The gospel also has power to continue to produce faith in Christians after we have moved through the new birth into Christ.  In Romans 1:17 the writer says, “In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.” How is it revealed?   It is revealed “from faith to faith.”  The just shall live by faith.  The way out of the world realm is just the beginning of the story for the true believer.  “In Christ” the path is on to glory as a son of God.

“The righteousness of God” is a great revelation about God.  It is revealed in the gospel, but only to the one who has faith.  It is revealed from faith to faith, that is to say, God will continue to reveal more of His holiness and righteousness to us as our faith increases.  This faith is not an inherent quality of man.  It is produced by the gospel.  We must be a student of the gospel if more faith will be produced within us.  As more faith is produced, more of God, Himself, will be revealed unto us (Matt. 5:48).

What is Gods righteousness? It is the way God does things in every given situation.  It is the right way to think, act, and feel about others.  We can see the nature of God in the person of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3).  Our faith gives us a view of this glorious Person.  Jesus’ behavior is a revelation of God’s righteousness.  It is revealed in the gospel.  We can see our fulfilment in this type of person with this kind of behavior.  Our faith leads us to change from glory to glory, or we can say, from faith to faith; if we are obedient to our faith (Rom. 1:5).

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  II Cor. 3:17, 18

All of this is in the gospel,   It is offered as grace for those who have faith.  It will move us out of the world and into Christ. It does not move us out of the nature of Adam.  It is “in Christ” where God’s righteousness is revealed.  Although we are sinners, not by choice but by the nature of Adam, God allows us to participate in His righteousness because of our faith.  The faith that comes by hearing the gospel, Rom. 10:17. 

We can summarize by saying God’s righteousness revealed in the gospel produces faith within us so we can be pleasing to God and participate in His fellowship by the Spirit.  We, even though prone to sin, are allowed to share in God’s righteousness so that we can change our unrighteousness into His righteousness.

This is God’s program as it is revealed by the Apostle Paul in the Roman letter.  This program had its start in eternity before time.  We join the program by faith produced by the gospel in time; however, the program will be consummated in eternity.  Praise the Lord!

Questions for Discussion

1.      What is the theme of the Roman letter?

2.      The power of God is a reality in the world.  How is this power brought to bear upon mankind?

3.      What must develop within the heart and mind of mankind for God’s power to be used in his or her life?

4.      How was Jesus declared to be the Son of God with power?

5.      Explain the phrase “sin reigned in death.”

6.      What does the gospel cause the man “in Adam” in the world to realize about Christ?

7.      What does faith in the gospel cause him or her to do about Jesus?

8.      How does the power of the gospel continue to work for Christians “in Christ?”

9.      When a Christian develops more faith, he has a better view of God.  Describe God from our study?

10.    Give your understanding of the phrase “The just shall live by faith.”

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