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 L. Ann Jervis
Paul introduces himself in dramatic fashion to the Roman Christians.
His self-introduction takes into account that these believers in Jesus Christ already know a lot about the gospel, though they know it from someone else.
At Romans 1:16-17 Paul presents his conception of the gospel. Using a figure of speech (‘litote’) to say a positive thing in a negative way, Paul declares his absolute commitment to the gospel -- “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” He then declares that the gospel is not a set of doctrines, or a static list of propositions, or simply a story of what God has done in Jesus Christ.
The gospel is a living entity -- a power. It is God’s power -- a ‘dunamis’. Another way to speak of the gospel, then, is “God’s power.” This is how Paul defines the gospel: “it is God’s power.” The gospel is alive and active. Later in the letter Paul describes what happens when he proclaims the gospel, that is, God’s power. When Paul proclaims the gospel the Holy Spirit’s ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 364: Gospel as Salvation
May 19, 2019
Podcast on Romans 1:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary readings for May 19, 2019 (Gospel as Salvation) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.