Romans 1:16-17 16 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. 17 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.”
Everything about us and our lives come back to the foundations we have built our lives upon. If we build our lives on weak teachings about what life is all about we will have a very weak conviction about who we are and that will affect our future direction. What is your foundation like and what is your life grounded on? If it is anything else but the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have built a weak foundation that will some day fall and fail miserably. Most people who have been building their life direction on something weak and temporal would be sadly disappointed to know that the whole thing was wrong. That is why we must be sure about our foundation for living our life. Paul reemphasizes this point in 1 Corinthians 3:11 where he says. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Of course Paul is very directional in his teachings and offers no other option but the foundation built on Jesus Christ. To some that might be a close minded approach to life, but to those who base their lives and eternity on Jesus Christ and His salvation, it is refreshingly true and a very strong and clear message. Just keep in mind, building your life on the foundation of Christ is not just stepping into a mist with nothing to guide us. God’s Word gives very specific direction to live this life of righteousness and living that life develops our faith over time. But our faith develops that righteousness too and the realization that it is Christ or nothing fine tunes our life course and takes us down a very narrow path that leads to righteousness. Isaiah said it well in 33:6 “And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” If we follow Christ our foundation is well built and the direction for our life is set in a heavenly direction. Righteousness becomes more evident in our walk and the end result is a life that impacts others, which is what Paul was wanting to get across to the church in Rome. Paul’s comment in verse 16 shows that he was “all in” no matter the cost, and no matter what others thought. This “all in” approach to the Lord through the gospel continued to help Paul establish churches that impacted their communities and still impact us today. Just think about the statement “I am not ashamed of the gospel….” In reality the gospel became all Paul had, but it was enough. In writing to the church at Rome, according to J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary on the book of Romans, Paul didn’t physically go to the Rome and establish the church there. He actually was establishing it by long distance. It may have been one of the earliest “satellite churches.” (thank you Andra) Paul didn’t appear on a screen at the message time, but his letters were probably read to the church to challenge and encourage them. Priscilla and Aquila had a home in Rome and theologians believe it was totally possible for them and other believers who Paul knew to come together to form a church in Rome. It was in Acts 18 that it tells of Paul’s relationship with Priscilla and Aquila and it says After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Fellow tent makers developed their relationship and the end result was a new church in Rome. With all of the messes Paul had to deal with in Corinth the relationship he built with Priscilla and Aquila had to be a breath of fresh air and the end result was the gospel continuing to spread to all parts of the world, including Rome. Which shows that God uses different relationships in our lives to continue His work and spread the message of hope in Christ. Even though Paul didn’t go to Rome the Lord still established a church there through other converts and a church in the epicenter of the world, like Rome, was spreading the gospel all over the world. Don’t believe me? Look at what he says in verse 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Our faith in God and the belief system that is set up by faith has an end result known as righteousness. The more we believe, the more we pursue God, and the more righteousness goes into every area of our life. On the other hand, if you don’t have much faith, then you probably won’t be a very righteous person and your witness will be compromised. Now Hebrews 11:6 makes total sense where it says 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. How do we increase our faith. Listen to what Jesus said in Luke 17:5-6 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would ]obey you. The way Jesus increased their faith was by telling them what a little bit of pure faith can do. It all comes back to your belief. Do you believe? Then believe totally and build your life foundation on that belief and you will see righteousness in your life as never before. You won’t just read scripture, you will become that person of righteousness who is ready to be used by God in an extraordinary way. What is your foundation? It must be faith in God!!
The Pilgrimage continues.’