Jesus Creed

Here we go. Romans 1:16-17:

16 I
am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the
salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the
Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

One of the densest gospel passages.

What does “salvation” mean?

1. Common evangelicalism: personal forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ and very similar, then, to justification.
2. Fitzmyer: rescue in a comprehensive sense through the cross and unto the eschatological destiny. Parallel to justification.
3. NT Wright: not the simple notion of heavenly bliss; rescue from death and ultimate destruction and “from Rome” in a concrete sense.
4. Jewett: deliverance from the present evil age and restoration unto wholeness and preservation from the wrath to come and not present in Rome’s rule but in the powerless communities who believe in Jesus.

If there are front edges today in Pauline studies this is one of them: salvation is an assault on empire ideology.

First, the gospel is (1) God’s (2) power. The gospel is the work of God.
Second, God’s gospel power works toward “salvation.”
Third, God’s gospel power works toward the salvation of all people — Jew and Gentile.
Fourth, God’s gospel power brings salvation to those who believe.
Fifth, in the gospel God’s “righteousness” is made manifest: that is, God’s right-making work on earth (and in the future new heavens and new earth) becomes manifest.

So plain and simple.

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