In the Old Testament we meet a brave prophet named Habakkuk (great name – imagine naming your child Habakkuk!). His role was to bring God’s people back to obedience to the covenantal promises which God has made with Israel at Mt Sinai. By the promises and under the law (10 Commandments and Covenant Code) Israel would know how to live as righteous ones. If the covenantal obligations were neglected, ignored, abandoned, then punishment would come. God’s gift had been the prophet Habakkuk, who spoke what was often thought to be an offensive message, for the sake of saving Israel and calling them to repent of their unrighteous attitudes or behaviours. In other words, to call God’s people back to the righteousness of faith.
Habakkuk admonished Israel by saying ‘the righteous person will live by his faith’ (Hab 2:4)
Fast forward to the Apostle Paul in AD57. He writes to the church of Rome. Similarly his message was often deemed offensive. To him he understands how the promises of God in the Old Testament find their fulfilment in Jesus. So, he proclaims God’s gospel and, like Habakkuk, calls people to faith.
Quoting Habakkuk, he reminds us that ‘The righteous will live by faith’ (Rom 1:17).
In this sermon, we look at Romans 1:5-17 and we should see that faith in Jesus is the most fundamental response to God’s gospel and the way by which Christians most honour Jesus as Lord.
Read the Bible Text – Romans 1:1-17
– Ken Noakes