Our scripture this morning is Romans 1:16-17.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 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.”

Paul writes to Jews and Gentiles in Rome with the hope they will work together for the Gospel, which is given for everyone. Paul was known as “the apostle to the Gentiles” for the missionary work he did in predominately non-Jewish areas. In this passage he teaches that salvation only comes through our belief in Jesus Christ and not through anything we can do ourselves.

He describes this as “a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” Only our acceptance of God’s gift of His son can reconcile us to Him, and only Jesus can wash us clean of our sin. Through sharing the Good News, all may come to faith and receive this gift.

He quotes an Old Testament prophet who wrote “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The old hymn says “Faith of our fathers, holy faith! We shall be true to thee til death!” By living in faith here, we can be assured of God’s mercy, being ready when Christ returns.

Loving Lord, when we fell into sin You made a way for us to be redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice. Help us to live in true faith and tell the world of Your coming kingdom. Amen.

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