The Gospel of God

The Apostle Paul presents his most detailed explanation of the “Good News of God” in his letter to the churches of Rome. He dealt with conflicts between Gentile and Jewish believers and prepared the ground for taking the Gospel to the western regions of the Roman Empire. He addressed related topics, including redemption, the Law, wrath, resurrection, death, sin, and the New Creation.

The “Apostle to the Gentiles” begins by describing the plight of humanity that resulted from the disobedience of Adam. He then presents the solution provided by God through His son, Jesus of Nazareth.

Alone at Sunrise - Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
[Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash]

In the end, all men are in the same dilemma. Sin and disobedience have alienated them from God and condemned every member of humanity to weakness, decay, and death. No one is exempt, neither Jew nor Greek, not even the most righteous saint in the history of Israel. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses all died despite their righteous deeds.

The holy Law itself proved powerless to reverse this horrific reality. No one can be acquitted from the guilt of sin or otherwise be justified before God “from the works of the Law.”

Paul was “separated to the Gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets.” In his apostolic role, he proclaimed the Good News about the man who was “marked out as Son of God by power, according to a spirit of holiness, from a resurrection from among dead ones” - (Romans 1:1-4).

This Gospel is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Jews and Gentiles acquire right-standing before God on the same basis, namely, the “faith of Jesus Christ.”

In Jesus, God has “revealed a righteousness from faith for faith,” but the proclamation of His Good News also reveals Divine “wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”

Sinners resist what truth they already possess from the knowledge they acquired from the created order (“The invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made”).

Having rejected the God who created all things, Gentile sinners exchange the worship of Him for that of the “likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things” – namely, idolatrous worship.

Consequently, God has “delivered them up to the lusts of their hearts.” The presence of the very sins that humanity revels in demonstrates that men and women are under His “wrath” even before the coming Day of Judgment. The “wrath” of God includes handing men over to engage in the sins for which they lust. The picture in the second half of Chapter 1 of idolatry running amok has the Gentiles in view.


What about Jews? Are they not better off than the idolatrous Gentiles? Paul answers in the negative - “No, certainly not, for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin.”

He cites several passages from the Hebrew Bible to prove that all men have sinned, Jews and Gentiles alike. Everyone is in the same sinking ship, including the most Torah-observant Jews. “There is none righteous, no, not one… There is none that does good, no, not, so much as one.”

What about the Law? Does not its possession give Israel an advantage over unenlightened Gentiles? Well, yes and no. The Jews possess the Torah, and therefore, they understand what God requires. However, the Law speaks to those who are “within the Law,” that is, Israel:

  • So that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under penal sentence of God, because from the works of the law will no flesh be set right in his sight. For through law is the awareness of sin” - (Romans 3:19).

Paul declares that the Law provides men with the “awareness of sin.” It does not justify them, but it does expose sin for what it is, the transgression of the will of God.

The English term “awareness” translates the Greek noun epignôsis, a compound of the preposition epi and the noun gnosis. The latter means simply “knowledge.” Compounded with epi, it acquires a fuller sense - “full knowledge,” “understanding,” and “comprehension.”

Because the Jews are taught the Law of Moses, they comprehend what God requires of them, and what will result from violating His statutes. This means especially devout Jews are in double jeopardy since they are truly without excuse. They are at even greater risk of enduring God’s “wrath” than unenlightened Gentiles who do not live “within the Law.” Every man will be judged according to what he does with the light that he has.

In contrast to the Law, the Gospel provides a solution for Jews and Gentiles, “The righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe, for there is no distinction; all have sinned and lack the glory of God.”

Jews and Gentiles are justified before God “through the redemption in Christ Jesus.” Man is acquitted of sin and reconciled with his Creator from the faith of Jesus. Our salvation is based on his act of obedience unto death. Thus, our acquittal is achieved “apart from the works of the Torah.” It is due to the act of Jesus rather than anything we do. Thus, God demonstrates His love for us by rescuing us through an act of sheer grace:

  • While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now set right through his blood, we will be saved from the wrath through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.”

When Paul states that we are saved “through his life,” he means the resurrection life of the Son of God. Sin is not reckoned to us if we believe that God “raised Jesus our Lord from among the dead.” He was delivered to a violent death for our trespasses, but he was “raised for our justification” and salvation.

This is the plight of all men: “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; thus, death passed to all men since all have sinned.” However, God has provided the solution for all men who repent and exercise faith in what Jesus did on our behalf.


The penalty for sin is death. In the passage from Chapter 5 of Romans, Paul refers to Adam and his disobedience in the Garden of Eden. That first sin doomed all humanity to death and enslavement under sin, the just punishment for disobedience. Not that all die for the sin of which Adam was guilty, but because all men sin. Therefore, all men and women rightly deserve death. Fortunately, God did not leave humanity without hope:

  • If by the trespass of the one man, the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many… For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one, much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.”

Believers have been baptized into the death of Jesus so that:

  • Just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection… if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death no more has dominion over him. For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he lives, he lives unto God.”

Throughout the argument, the counterpart to death is resurrection - Life received by the bodily resurrection from the dead. That knowledge should reorient our lives, including our relationship to the Law.

We also must “become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that we should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead.” Despite being justified before God believers are still subject to death.

However, “If the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised Jesus from the dead will give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit.” We remain mortal in the present age. However, we will receive immortality when Jesus returns and resurrects us. The Gift of the Spirit guarantees our receipt of this future hope. The Spirit within us attests that we are “coheirs with Christ” and the “children of God.”

The created order also is in “earnest expectation” as it awaits the day when the “sons of God will be revealed.” The sin of Adam subjected the creation to decay and death. However, it will be delivered from this “bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God…at our adoption, that is, the redemption of our body” when Jesus returns - (Romans 8:10-23).

Thus, Paul links the bodily resurrection and the New Creation. The “redemption of our bodies” refers to our resurrection when Jesus appears again. Moreover, if the creation is anticipating that event, its arrival will mean the manifestation of the New Creation. Who, then, “shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Certainly NOT death!

Paul began his letter by describing how he had been separated for the “Gospel of God.” The phrase is most appropriate for what followed in the first half of Romans. Humanity was alienated from its Creator by sin. However, God did not leave men and women without hope, having sent His Son to deliver and redeem His creation, especially mankind. Because of the obedient death of Jesus for us when we were still “enemies” of God, we have been reconciled with Him and now look forward to everlasting life in His New Creation.

Therefore, the one message proclaimed by the Apostle Paul to Jews and Gentiles alike is truly the “Good News of God” for all men and women.

  • Salvation for the Nations - (The Gospel of the Kingdom announced by Jesus of Nazareth offers salvation and life to men and women of every nation and people)
  • The Foundation - (Paul reminded Timothy of the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death since false teachers were denying the resurrection of believers)
  • From Faith for Faith - (Men are not set right before God from the works of the law but from the faith of Jesus Christ)



Salvation for the Nations

His Name is Jesus