For the next few devotionals, we are going to explore the profound truths of Romans 1:16-17 and the verses surrounding it. In 16-17, Paul says “the power of God brings salvation”. We often think about salvation as a one-off, binary, heaven-and-hell issue.
But what is interesting about Romans 1 is that Paul is writing to famous believers whose “faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (he sets up 16-17 with these words in verse 8). They have already received the kind of salvation we often think of. “Salvation” simply means one thing is being delivered from something else. Like money being saved from being spent. A baseball game being saved from a loss. And there are lots of things we as humans need to be delivered from. From hell to heaven for sure, but that’s just one of many.
What does a group of people whose faith is so great that it is being spoken of throughout the entire world need to be saved from?
Paul will give the answer throughout Romans: we need to be saved from ourselves. Our flesh. Our sin nature. From hypocrisy. From deception. From the chains of slavery and sin. We have been delivered from sin in Christ, but in order to experience that deliverance, we must walk daily by faith.
The opposite of living by faith is pride. Living by self. And it is self that we need to be saved from after we are already believers. That is what the Romans who are famous for their faith need to be rescued from. Self.
Where do we get the power for such a deliverance? From the resurrected power of Jesus. The power that delivers us from hell to heaven is the same power that can deliver us from self to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We have this power. But in order to tap into that vast power, we must first “unplug” from our own.