Purpose and Power
Read This Week: Romans 1:1-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. For in 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 will live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17 NIV
What is the point? That is a common question that we ask about so many things, including life itself. Discovering the point or purpose of something is a worthwhile endeavor, especially when we claim that thing is the foundation or our lives. Unfortunately, we seem to only think about the point when we question if there is one. The rest of the time, we mostly put our heads down to get through the day.
But this is not the desire God has for humankind. It is not His aspiration for the world; for every person, race, and culture. The Lord has revealed Himself in multiple ways and makes plain the purpose and power of following Him. No book in the Bible outlines this better than Romans, specifically the first chapter.
The Apostle Paul begins his letter by telling of his commitment to them and the preaching of the gospel. He also outlines what will be the theme of his writing: the Good News that is centered on Jesus and the purpose it holds for all those who receive it. Paul, through the Holy Spirit, reveals God’s glory, character, judgment, and salvation. He writes this about the revelation of God and the power of the Good News of Jesus:
What may be known about God is plain, because God has made it plain. It is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. For in 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 will live by faith.”
God has not kept Himself hidden. His person, purpose, and power are available to us. God has revealed Himself to human consciousness (v.19), in creation (v.20), and through Jesus Christ (vv.6-7). Because of this, Paul writes that we are without excuse to know who God is, and those who reject Him do so by willingly turning away from the truth and denying Him by their lifestyle. Those who accept His gospel and acknowledge their need for Him will be saved from judgment and counted as righteous.
We need the gospel because we are sinners in need of salvation and a restored relationship with God. We need the power of that salvation to live by faith and do what is right. Apart from God, we have the capacity for all manner of evil things (vv. 24-32) but in Christ, we have the ability to live for Him, unashamedly preach His gospel, and accomplish amazing things in the world for His glory. That’s the point.
This week, God gave me a song from Romans chapter 1 called “God’s Love”:
Loving you, loving you, we are loving you, our Lord
Your grace and spiritual blessings give us your peace
Your love for us is powerful and will never end
Always loving us and wanting us to succeed
Showing others your love through kindness, hope, and faith
Sharing our love, Lord, our love to others. Amen.
God’s love for us is never ending. He will stand beside us and show us His love. Just remember to always put God first!
I appreciate this song and reminder of the present and eternal blessing of God’s love for us, Alma. Your lyrics brought to mind the words of Ephesians 1:3-9:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ… In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.
Romans chapter 1 verse 17 taught me this week that to make our faith stronger, we must use it. Each time we depend on our faith it becomes stronger. Trials come and we must have faith to overcome each trial, and as we do, our faith grows.
What that means to me is that faith is believing in our hearts in things we cannot see with our eyes.
I love your deep insight on this verse, Jeri. You have pointed out something rarely unpacked in this passage, but so vital to our Christian walk. Our faith certainly does increase in strength and veracity each time we apply it to our lives. My favorite line from this verse is: springing from faith and leading to faith.
The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God in Christ and through our relationship with Jesus, we are declared righteous by faith. Yet, from that faith we experience greater faith as we apply it through the power of the Holy Spirit. The faith that saves is the faith that sustains that springs from faith in the gospel and launches us into an ongoing, life-giving faith in our journey with Jesus.
Romans 1:7 says, “[I am writing] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints (God’s people) and set apart for a sanctified life, [that is, set apart for God and His purpose]: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In this season I feel like God is saying, “I have set you apart for a sanctified, consecrated, and divine purpose. I called you and you accepted to be my child, a saint, a special messenger to learn and grow continually. I have special gifts for you to flow with Me, so you can be like Jesus and continue to help others if they want to be apart of the family and want to grow in our ways.”
What that means to me is as we go through Romans, I pray for all of us! Put yourself in there and tell God that you desire to draw closer Him. As we go through Romans, commit to spending more time with Him. Perhaps you can pray something like this:
Jesus, help me learn what your teaching me through God, the Bible, and those who you put in my life that love you. I’m going to seek you more than I ever have before this day. I’m asking You to help me in every situation. I need Your guidance, instructions, counsel and your love and grace as I go through them. Help me, Holy Spirit to receive Your advice. I want to hear You because that is the beginning of accepting Your wisdom. Then I can respond and do it with You.
Help me to remember everyday who I am, how much You love me, and you are working out everything for my good and for those who love you. Help me to remember that you called me to be an encourager, a special messenger, a servant just like Jesus, to make a difference in someone’s life.
Thank you, Father that I get to serve you! I love you, God.
Thank you for your challenge and prayer, Heidi! The line that stood out and that I claimed for my own life was: I’m asking You to help me in every situation. I need Your guidance, instructions, counsel and your love and grace as I go through them. Help me, Holy Spirit to receive Your advice.
We certainly need the guidance, counsel and grace of God through His Holy Spirit to not only navigate our lives daily, but to make a difference in the world especially in the times we are living in. The purpose and power of God in our lives is seated in a humble submission to His will through prayer and asking Him to do it every day.
God drew my attention to Romans 1 verse 24 and He said, Therefore God gave them up in the list of their (own) heart to sexual impurities, to the dishonoring of the bodies among themselves (abandoning them to the degrading power of sin). He was saying to me, “I allowed them to be caught up in their wicked thoughts and actions, I did this for a reason – to see who and how many would stop these evil deeds. Who would truly turn to me and rebuke the ways of the world and truly except me with love and trust in me in there heart? Who would follow Me not out of pressure from others but with only true love for Me?”
And what that means to me is our Father will let us go through times of tests of flesh and human nature not to lessen us in his eyes, but to bring us closer to Him. It is up to us to turn to him in these times of want and need in order to draw upon His knowledge and strength. In order to not fall prey to our weaknesses. It is my prayer that when we come upon these times that we turn to God first. Ask Him for guidance and wisdom in order to have a better understanding of His plan for us and not be led astray.
I agree, Sam, about the testing of our faith and God allowing things to happen to strengthen us as well as separate those who truly follow Him from those who claim faith in name only. It is such a difficult test sometimes especially those of strong temptation and trial, but as you so aptly said, Our Father will let us go through times of tests of our flesh and human nature not to lessen us in His eyes, but to bring us closer to Him. It is up to us to turn to Him in these times of want and need in order to draw upon His knowledge and strength.
May we turn to Him in these times because He is faithful to sustain and build us up through His mercy and grace once we have withstood the test. He is a good Father like that.