Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Gospel as Salvation
Romans 1:1-17 Commentary
by J.R. Daniel Kirk
Open almost any commentary on Romans and you will find the suggestion that the thesis of the letter is found in 1:16-17.
But these verses raise as many questions as they answer: What is “the gospel”? What is “the power of God”? What does “the righteousness of God” mean, how does the gospel reveal it, and what does all this have to do with faith?
In ancient letter writing, it was customary to signal the main topics in the opening lines. So we are going to step back into the first seven verses of Romans 1 to see what kind of guidance they might provide for understanding Paul’s perspective on these themes that are crucial not only for Romans, but for the Christian life as a whole.
Paul’s gospel according to Romans 1:1-7
One of the first things we discover in Romans 1 is that the gospel Paul proclaims is part of a larger story. It is an act of God that God had previously promised in scripture. Before the gospel is about our faith toward God, it is about God keeping faith with us. The content of this message is Jesus Christ (v. 3).
Paul delineates two specific ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL178: Gospel as Salvation
May 03, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for May 3, 2015: Romans 1:1-17 (Accompanying text: Matthew 9:10-13.