Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."
Gospel means "good news". The good news is that Jesus, God's Son, came to earth to show us the way to God, the Father. Then He became the Way to God by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sin. Finally, Jesus arose from the dead and broke the power of sin and death.
Salvation means being saved from punishment as well as being saved to eternal life.
Romans 2:7-8 "To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger."
Those who persist in doing good are saved from God's wrath and anger. They are also saved to eternal life with Him.
"Doing good" primarily means trusting in Jesus. When someone asked Jesus about good works, "Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'" John 6:28-29. When we are in a right relationship with Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit, good works will follow.
Romans does not say that we can be saved by just doing the good works of the Law of Moses. Instead, Romans says the opposite.
Romans 3:20-24 "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
The Law of Moses was never meant to save us. It only makes us aware of our sins. God's plan has always been to save us through faith in Jesus.
Romans 5:1-2 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."
"Justified" means that we have been put into a right relationship with God. The relationship is "just as if I'd" never sinned. Therefore, we have a peaceful relationship with God through His grace, because we have been set free from the power of sin.
Romans 6:2-7 "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been set free from sin."
Baptism by immersion symbolizes how our old sin nature is dead and buried, and a new creation rises from the dead.
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Even though our actions deserve death, God gives us the gift of eternal life.
Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."
Believers are no longer condemned for their sins, because their faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit living in them has set them free from the penalty of death.
Romans 8:26 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
The Holy Spirit helps us pray to God, as well as guides our lives to follow God.
Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God'this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."
After salvation comes sanctification, which is the process whereby believers are changed and become more like Jesus. As we study the Bible to learn more about God's way and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, bad habits and attitudes will drop away to be replaced by godly attitudes and actions.
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