Lesson 2:
The Righteousness of God Revealed in the Gospel
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, both to Jew first and to Greek.
17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in it out of faith to faith, as it is written, “But the righteous shall have life and live by faith.”


The gospel of God is unfolded in a complete way in the book of Romans. In chapter 1, Paul shows that the gospel is powerful because the very righteousness of God is revealed in it. When we believe in the Lord Jesus, the power of God causes us to be righteous, have life, and live by faith.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

Why is the gospel so powerful? It is powerful because the righteousness of God is revealed in it (1:17). According to John 3:16, salvation is out of God’s love. According to Ephesians 2:8, salvation is by God’s grace. But here Paul…says that it comes by the righteousness of God.

Neither love nor grace is related to the law...God is not bound to love; neither is He legally held to extend grace. Righteousness, on the contrary, is very much related to the law. Since Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law, God is bound to save us. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 2, section 4)

In eternity past God predestinated us to be His sons. However, although we were the predestinated ones, we became fallen and involved with sin. This brings in the matter of God’s righteousness…As a righteous God and a just God, He cannot forgive sinful people without meeting the demands of His righteousness.

For the sake of God’s righteousness, the Lord Jesus was put to death on the cross. There, on the cross, He was made sin for us, and God condemned sin in the flesh. By dying on our behalf the Lord accomplished redemption and fulfilled all of God’s righteous requirements. Now God has the position righteously to forgive us. In fact, He not only can forgive us, but, for the sake of His righteousness, He must forgive us. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 57, section 1)

Now that Christ has died and has been raised from among the dead, it is impossible for God to change His mind about forgiving us. Rather, we have the ground to say to Him, “O God, whether You love me or not, You must forgive me...” (Life-study of Romans, msg. 57, section 2)

Whenever our conscience condemns us because of our failures, we need to remember to stand upon the foundation of God’s righteousness.

I am deeply grateful to God for His love and grace. But my standing is upon His righteousness, the foundation of His throne. His righteousness cannot be shaken.

If we are clear concerning God’s righteousness in the gospel, we shall be at rest knowing that the righteousness of God is our eternal security. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 57, section 3)

This book covers mainly our being justified (1:15:11; 9:111:36), our having life (5:128:39), and our living properly by this life (12:116:27)…This verse…may be considered an abstract of the entire book. (Romans 1:17, footnote 3, Recovery Version)

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 2, sections 4-5
Life-study of Romans, msg. 57
Crystallization-study of the Epistles to the Romans, ch. 5

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 3, The Gospel of God (start at the 20:17-minute mark)
Broadcast 57, Righteousness—The Power of the Gospel (1)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 1:16, footnote 1
Romans 1:17, footnotes 1-2
1 John 1:9, footnote 2

Questions for personal or corporate study:

References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • Why is God’s righteousness the power of the gospel? (Broadcast 57)
  • Explain how God’s righteousness (and not, for example, God’s love or grace) gives us the full assurance and security in our daily Christian life. (Romans 1:17, footnote 1, Recovery Version; Life-study of Romans, msg. 2, sections 4-5)
  • How does Romans 1:17 provide an abstract of the entire book of Romans? (Life-study of Romans, msg. 2, section 5; Romans 1:17, footnote 3, Recovery Version)
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We highly recommend using the printed Life-study messages as a tool to explore this lesson. There are over 1,900 Life-study messages in total, and this amazing resource expands and develops this lesson in greater detail.

View Life-study of the Bible resources on our website
Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989.

Recovery Version of the New Testament. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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