Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Faith From Beginning to End

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.” (Romans 1:16-17)
God’s way is always a way of faith, from beginning to end, and faith always comes by revelation. More specifically, it comes by a revelation of God’s righteousness — His way of doing and being right.

Since it is about faith all the way through, let’s examine this revelation a little bit closer. As we discover in this passage, the revelation of God’s rightness is embodied in the Gospel of Christ. The word “gospel” means “good news,” and “Christ” means “Messiah,” or to put it in English, “Anointed One.” This revelation, then, is the good news about Jesus the Anointed One.

Now, in the Bible, the anointing is very significant. Listen to how it is described in Isaiah, concerning those who are delivered from tyranny and oppression:
It shall come to pass in that day that his [the oppressor’s] burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. (Isaiah 10:27, the KJV simply says “the anointing”).
The anointing is the powerful manifestation of God’s goodness and might that completely removes the burden and shatters the yoke of oppression. No wonder Paul calls the Good News of the Anointed One “the power of God to salvation.” Salvation is not merely the forgiveness of sins. It is a total restoration of relationship with God that includes healing, deliverance, freedom and prosperity. Whatever you need to be made whole is found in the Gospel, and it is available “for everyone who believes.”

The good news about Jesus the Anointed One is the revelation of God’s righteousness — His way of doing and being right — brought to bear in your life. It comes, not to condemn you, but to save you and empower you for living. And it is all about faith. That is why Paul declares, “The just shall live by faith.” It is a new way of life, a way of faith and rightness from beginning to end.