Romans 1:16-17, Personal Commentary

Within these two verses are found the main purpose of Paul’s letter to the Romans.

~ Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.

Verse 16a:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

Paul starts off with how God has changes his heart and life.

The gospel is the power of God. The living and breathing word. God’s loving plan of redemption offered to every living soul. to all who believe regardless of their stature, state they are in, even if they are in the throws of death or persecution such as the thief on the cross.

Paul knew God’s will is to ‘have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ Yet, many will perish falling victim to the wiles and schemes of ‘the rulers of the darkness of this world.’

. . . in Corinthians he brings some clarification,

For the preaching of the cross

is to them that perish foolishness;

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,

~ 1 Corinthians 1:18.

 Once again, we must turn to the Old Testament to get a fuller understanding,
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

In that day shall the Lord of hosts

be for a crown of glory,

and for a diadem of beauty,

unto the residue of his people,

and for a spirit of judgment

to him that sitteth in judgment,

and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate

~ Isaiah 28:6.


And kings shall be thy nursing fathers,

and their queens thy nursing mothers:

they shall bow down to thee

with their face toward the earth,

and lick up the dust of thy feet;

and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:

for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me

~ Isaiah 49:23.

In the end, with so many billions of people walking the face of this Earth, only a few, a residue if you will, will be found waiting patiently, longsuffering in the Lord.

Jesus explained that His children would wax strong and greater than anything imagined.

He also warned that among them would be agents of Satan bringing corruption and death (fowls lodged and resting among us).

Also, in the leaven (sin and evil) was found hidden in the meal spoiling those grains around it.

Please do not give any place for the devil, sin, or corrupt living in your life lest you find yourself unknowingly roosting in the shadow of tree or leavening the meal on the broad road to destruction.

Then said he,

Unto what is the kingdom of God like?

and whereunto shall I resemble it? 

It is like a grain of mustard seed,

which a man took,

and cast into his garden;

and it grew, and waxed a great tree;

and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

And again he said,

Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 

It is like leaven,

which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal,

till the whole was leavened

Luke 13:18-20.

Waiting on the Lord, through grace we submit and pray without ceasing fulfilling the Law of Christ.

He hath shewed thee,

O man, what is good;

and what doth the Lord require of thee,

but to do justly,

and to love mercy,

and to walk humbly with thy God

Micah 6:8.

Verse 16b:

for it is the power of God unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

 These words provide comfort and encouragement to all who have come to the knowledge of the truth. Initially, there is no differentiation.

Then Paul brings a distinction.

The main reason is because the Jews were the holders of the promise that was fulfilled in them by Jesus.

There was also a strong cultural and religious influence causing confusion and compromise as noted by the Book of John. We will discuss this further in later chapters.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers

also many believed on him;

but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,

lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 

for they loved the praise of men

more than the praise of God,

John 12:14-43.

In the last post, we saw how Paul wanted deeply to impart spiritual gifts to the Romans; and now he it begins.

We must remember that gifts from God are tempered with our obligation to change and ‘abhor that which is evil; and to ‘cleave to that which is good,’ as noted by the sore discussion of sin beginning in the next verse, 1:18, and ending 2 chapters later.

. . . For unto whomsoever much is given,

of him shall be much required . . .

~ Luke 12:48.

We must fully ‘submit ourselves therefore to God thus clothing ourselves with righteousness.

This is of utmost necessity if we are to ‘stand strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might against the wiles of the devil.’

For this world is thick with dark and wicked ways.

We must learn to always dwell with our Master so, in the end, we will stand proven, justified by our works not of the law but of works wrought in faith shining forth from the light of Christ;

For more reading on this issue, please read Hebrews chapter 11.

Here is some clarification:

 For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

that we may be blameless and harmless,

the sons of God,

without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,

among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 

holding forth the word of life;

~ Philippians 2:14-16.

Paul did not want to ‘run in vain, neither labour in vain’ but to advance everyone’s salvation.

Verse 17:

For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.


This is describing the gospel taught in all Jesus’ words, synthesized in complete harmony throughout the epistles, and finalized in John’s Revelation.

is the righteousness of God

This wondrous statement holds many revelations:

Pertaining to God it refers toward:

  • His eternal and holy nature,
  • His justice, love, and mercy toward repentant sinners,
  • His judgment and condemnation against all evil, sin,
  • To all even those who believe the word but continue to sin willfully.

It also pertains to us:

  • Our faith in Christ,
  • in submission to the calling and teachings of grace,
  • and ultimately, the rewards He brings when He comes in His kingdom.

These are some the general meanings of the righteousness of God.

revealed from faith to faith:

The veil has been lifted. The old law has passed and a new law has come. The light shines forth to all who believe.

From God’s side of the veil, the Gospel has been revealed. To our side, we are to receive it, take it in, and live it.

God’s righteousness is no longer demonstrated by works of the Jewish law or those of our own devising.

He has given us truth to believe building upon our faith. Then He gives us more faith by truth.

This is a continual process. The problem occurs when we live in sin rather than the light God has given designed to sanctify us in our faith.

His revealing of faith to faith is shines on our obedience to His word.

Our eternal state is dependent upon this genuine and saving faith.

God has provided so many examples of patience and longsuffering, (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18–20; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Peter 3:9; 2 Peter 3:15) how can we not continually serve Him with anything but a pure heart cleansed from all sin and compromise?

Through our faith (that God enables) we are justified. It is a living and active faith not a dead faith without works, being alone. Faith through obedience naturally produces righteous works.

Christ is calling all us to be His workmanship. This is what was ordained from the beginning.

For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

not of works, lest any man should boast. 

For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk in them,

~ Ephesians 2:8-10.


This is a faithful saying, and these things

I will that thou affirm constantly,

that they which have believed in God

might be careful to maintain good works.

These things are good and profitable unto men

~ Titus 3:8.

. . . and lastly:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.

Jesus! There is salvation in no other name. We cannot live a righteous and holy life without practicing consistently our faith in Him.

He brought us to salvation through faith alone.

In Him we are preserve by maintaining our walk of faith.

Jesus will ultimately justify us by our faith.

Through his unmerited favor, we are to treat others as such.

We are not to draw back in our faith but to believe unto the end to the saving of our soul.

but if any man draw back,

my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;

but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

~ Hebrews 10:38-39

I love scripture so much.

Habakuk chapter 2 is a great example how we should not live. Please read it if you like.

My favorite verse in that chapter is:

For the earth shall be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

as the waters cover the sea.

~ Habukuk 2:14

The next section beginning in Romans 1:18, will be covering God’s justice, wrath, and sin.


The just shall live by faith.

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