So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome also. 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 1:15–17—NKJV)

Whenever something stops working, one of the first things we do is to check to see that the power is on. If several lights cease to work in one area but they are functioning in other areas of the house, we check the fuse box to see if a breaker is tripped. We know that power is available, we know what it can do in other fixtures, and we know it is somehow not being applied to the light we need at the moment. We have a problem.

The word for power in our text is the word dunamis, from which we get dynamite. It is a power to overcome inertia and to set things in motion. It is undeniable that the power of the Gospel good news has been applied to various people of note in history, and not only has the power of the Gospel changed their personal life but it has also had an impact on numerous lives around them: William Wilberforce, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, John Newton, and countless others not as widely known but transformed by no less of a force than the power of God exerted through the Gospel. If you have been born again, you also are a person of influence upon others through the power of God in the Gospel.

Paul starts this section of Scripture by uncategorically declaring that he is not ashamed of the Gospel. The Gospel is defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1–5: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen….” This is Gospel good news. The little phrase “for us” is indicative of Christ’s substitutionary death for every believer. He died, the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty, the Savior for the lost, so that all who come to Him in faith believing may have forgiveness of sins and eternal life, just as John 3:16 promises. Salvation is the rescuing of a man from the most horrible fate and loss possible while delivering him into the most fortunate prospect and gain made reality by the infinite power of God.

There is no other solution for the “sin problem” of mankind. All men are concluded in unbelief, guilty of every single sin. Our sins are an offense to the true, holy God of heaven. Just committing one sin is enough to deserve the just condemnation of every individual to the eternal fires of hell far away from the presence of the Righteous Creator. And we do not just commit one sin, one breaking of a commandment, one omission of doing right; we spend our lives falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23). Isaiah 64:6 states, “but we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags…and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Paul declares that the “Gospel is the power of God to salvation for every one who believes.” Belief is trust placed in, or rolled over upon, the object of that belief. The object of saving belief is the content of the Gospel that we reviewed in 1 Corinthians 15:1–5. It is a belief that is empowered by the gracious gift of spiritual life given by God to the penitent sinner. Ephesians 2:5 reads, “Even when we were dead in trespasses [He] made us alive together with Christ [by grace you have been saved].” Believing faith is all-encompassing when a person trusts Christ exclusively. He intellectually comprehends the Gospel and its significance for him; his mind rests on the promises of the Scriptures. He also engages the emotional side to the equation for in comprehending the Gospel he has also grasped the need of his soul for forgiveness, and the guilt of his sin appears to him as a boat anchor which is drawing him inexorably down. As he places his trust in Christ, he also senses the relief of the burden of his guilt being placed upon Christ and paid for upon His cross. His guilt gives way to joyful gratitude. He also finds his spirit is awakened by the power of God, for the Holy Spirit begins to work upon his conscience and to motivate him to choose to obey his new Heavenly Father. Romans 10:9–10 explains, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Have you experienced the awe that comes upon a person when the dynamic power of salvation moved you through the Gospel? Are you unashamed of the Gospel or are you in need of a timely reminder that the Gospel is powerful and does define your life and your purpose? Trust and obey.