New American Standard Bible (NASB)Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
(My Comments: When one accepts the righteousness of the Savior Jesus they are given faith by God to live their lives as He wants them to live them. When Moses took the Israelites out into the wilderness they should have arrived at the promised land in a short span of time yet it took 40 years because they rejected the will of God for their own wills (Exodus 32:33-35, Deuteronomy 9:7/8 9:15/16, 22 to name a few). So God kept them in the wilderness until they had been tried and purged of those who would not follow the will of God. What happens when a person does not use the faith God gives to them? What happens when we reject the commands of God?) Read the following (continued from the previous verses:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
My Comments Continued: The result of sin is death. Yet when death is talked about here it is not about the death that comes to the body we each have been given. It is about the death that comes after the death of the body. Jesus told the women at the well if she drank of the water He would give her she would never thirst again. If we accept the righteousness of Jesus we never thirst again and we will live forever yet we also have a commitment to Jesus to follow His commands. To be God's adopted children we have an obligation to follow His will and live our lives to please Him and bring Him glory. The early followers of The Way (as it was called) knew this and knew it was hard as the world would be against them. Yet easy because they knew the Lord would be there to greet them when they were done here.
The world offers, and always has, many diversions and temptations. When we give into those temptations we become a society like Sodom and Gomorrah (and even a world like them). The only way we as a people, a society or the world can avoid the death of hell is to accept God's offer of salvation which He gives us through His Son Jesus. That is the only way we can get enough strength to say "No" to temptation is through God. The only way we can get to the Father is through the Son. And we do that by faith. The faith Abraham had when he left his homeland and all his people behind (except Lot) and went where God sent him. If we have faith as a mustard seed we will be able to do wonders for God.
This is not about fear it is about faith. We use faith every time we get into a car or take a job or fly in an airplane. Faith is a choice. And what we gain through faith in the promises of Jesus is life eternal. I remember when my children were starting to walk. It took faith to stand up and it took faith to take their first steps. If they fell down it took faith to stand up and try again. The more they used their faith the more proficient they became at walking, then running. The more we use the faith God imparts to us the farther we can go and the stronger our walk with God will become.
This is the faith the Apostles had and the early Christians had and it is the faith you can have if you say "Yes" to Jesus. Are you ready to let Him into your life. Are you ready to let Him make you clean? Are you ready to have His peace? I hope you use the faith He is giving you at this moment. The faith He bought for you with the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus. Will you be raised with Him in the last days? Will you rule with Him when He comes back? My prayer is that you will.
Abba Father, accept us as Your own. May we be filled with Your love and the righteousness of Jesus, The Lamb of God, crucified for our sin. We believe He died for our sin and rose so we too may rise and live with Him and You for eternity. We thank You Father for sending Your Son to save us. We thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross and we confess we have sinned against You and ask Your forgiveness. May we be covered by blood of the Lamb of God and be white as snow. May we be filled with Your Holy Spirit and we pray Your faith grows in our hearts as we read and understand through the knowledge and understanding of the Holy Spirit who You gave to dwell within us when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Thank You Abba for all You have done for us and keep us on Your path of righteousness. In Jesus Name in union with the Holy Spirit we pray, Amen