I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I see it as the very power of God . . . —Romans 1:16
Who would be ashamed of the power of YHWH? It is the greatest force possible in the universe that is at work in the gospel. It can change lives; it can lay hold of a drifting, purposeless, lost person who doesn’t care where they are going and does not know what they are living for and suddenly change their life and give them purpose, drive, and meaning. That is the power of God at work. That is the Gospel. The Word of God can bring healing to our bodies; it can provide wisdom for business endeavors; it can lead you in a place of employment. The Word of God can shape and support every area of life! What is to be ashamed of?
. . . the very power of God working for the salvation of everyone who believes it. . .—Romans 1:16
God’s power and authority is in His Word!
. . . I see in it God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men, a process begun and continued by their faith. For, as the scripture says: ‘The just shall live by faith” —Romans 1:17
Hmm, “’The just shall live by faith . . .” This quote is from Habakkuk and is the verse that burned itself into Martin Luther’s heart. That is Paul’s theme—the righteousness of God which is revealed in the gospel. This work is accomplished from start to finish by faith, or more literally, “This righteousness is revealed from faith and faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 says, “The man who finds life will find it through trusting Yehoveh.” He is not just a god, or higher being or something. No! He is a very specific God, a God with a very specific name: Yehoveh.
Turn the pages of your Bible back to Exodus and begin reading that story again. Exodus is the book of beginnings for a people chosen, and then separated from all other people on planet Earth: the Israelites. Yehoveh established this set-apart nation on political, civil, and religious levels. In other words, although the earth, and stars, and animals, and plants, and mankind were all created in the earliest part of the Creation story, YHWH didn’t finish developing His work with these infants of Creation; He didn’t simply create them and then let everything evolve on its own without further molding and shaping.
Exodus is entirely YHWH centered; and Exodus establishes several important understandings about the nature of the Lord, most of which we, as disciples of Yeshua are expected to already have digested before as we begin to study the New Testament. In Exodus, you learn that there is one God, and His name is Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh. That He is the same God that appeared to the Patriarchs as El Shaddai. He is the Creator of all things, but He is also above and not organically part of the things He created. He is present, and He is near, but His being is not the same substance of any created thing—except, in small part, for Mankind. This God of Abraham is different from any of the pagan gods. His area of dominion is infinite, his powers are infinite, and yet, He constantly interacts with mere men. In other Words, the God of Israel is deeply involved in human affairs, and in fact, uses human affairs to achieve a much grander purpose. His grand plan involves the establishment of a people He will rescue, redeem, teach, nurture, and discipline.
So, although Israel (as created in Genesis) was a separate and identifiable group of people, it was, at the time of the last words written in the book of Genesis, still in a fairly primitive form. God had not, yet, created that peculiar order of society that would make Israel separate and distinct from all others. Exodus is the place in the Bible where you can see Israel advance from infancy to adolescence; it is where you can see the beginning of Israel as a nation of people, maturing from just a group of people. A nation with its own culture, and laws, well defined morals and ethics—its own history, its own land, and its own God who establishes the unchangeable morals and ethics and justice system that Israel is to live their lives by.
Most importantly, it is from this nation that the redemption, salvation and restoration with the Creator is made possible. We will see this established more clearly as our study continues.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome