First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
The average Jew learned to live by faith, leaning upon the miracles and signs God had shown them, having a history rich with accounts of what God had done for them and striving for righteousness through the laws given to them by Moses and their leaders. Their prophets told of the promise of salvation through a Christ. Paul refers back to this as a reminder, the gospel is not new, it was promised time and again by God for us. In Habakkuk it says: “the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. (…)the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.(…)the just shall live by his faith. “
We profit from this salvation. We are privileged to receive the gift Jesus gave through the cross and resurrection. And we owe no explanation other than this; the just shall live by faith.
Three key words; just, live, and faith. We are made just, that is right, through the shed blood of Jesus whom we receive as the promised Son of God, the Christ promised from the beginning of time. We live, that is are alive, even as we are redeemed from the penalty of death laid upon us through sin. We acknowledge that this is possible through faith, that is believing, in the word of God. We believe what He says, we believe what He does.
And so, with Paul, we enter into service with prayer. We are not ashamed of the gospel, we make no excuses for it; it requires none. We have the righteousness of God that is given through faith. Righteousness; right living – living – alive! And for God, and thanks to God, not of our own doing, He did it, we receive it. Now in turn we offer our lives back to him to serve. Paul found, was given his assignment and was faithful to it. We can do the same. Whatever we do, do it for His glory and purpose as an offering of our life back to Him.