¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is (the)power of God to salvation to every (one)believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek;
17 for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it is written, “But the just one shall live by faith.” Hab. 2:4
The Gospel is (the) Power of God unto salvation to every (one) believing. The believing know the Gospel is what saves. The Gospel is not the power of God unto salvation to every (one) unbelieving.
The Believing (one) is also a reflection of God’s Power through His Sovereign Act from above in generating in them a new heart and new spirit unto belief of The Gospel.
The natural man must be acted upon by God in order to believe the Gospel because he thinks spiritual things including the effectual and efficacious work of the cross of Christ are foolishness and he doesn’t realize he doesn’t have any righteousness of his own to satisfy God’s just requirement of perfect righteousness in thought word and deed.
John 3:3,5,8 Mark 16:16 John 6:29 Romans 3:10-12 Psalms 14:1-3 Isaiah 64:6 Galatians 2:16 Romans 3:20 1 Corinthians 2:14 2 Corinthians 4:6 1 Corinthians 1:18 1 Corinthians 1:21 Luke 18:13 Luke 23:42-43 Ephesians 2:8-10 Romans 3 Romans 4 Romans 8 Romans 9 Romans 10 John 6:44 John 6:65 John 10:26 John 6:37-44
The Tax collector and The Thief on the cross knew they were at the Sovereign Mercy of God to be saved and “Free” Will wouldn’t save them. They knew they did not have a righteousness to satisfy God’s Law and both knew they were at the Totally Sovereign Mercy of God and His Righteousness. They both were regenerated with a new heart and spirit and both believed the Gospel of salvation by Grace alone conditioned on the atoning shed blood of Christ and His imputed righteousness alone without any effort or conditions met by the ones he represented in His death and perfect life lived. They knew God would have mercy on whom He chooses. Romans 9:15, 18
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, the sinner!
And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.
43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you will be with Me in Paradise.
The Thief on the cross that changed his mind knew he was going to die that day. The Thief knew Jesus was going to die that day.
Consequently, there wasn’t any possible way for the thief to say: And he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom” unless God had regenerated him and caused him to pass from death to life John 5:24
Highlights, italics and parentheses added for emphasis
All Scripture taken from KJ 3 literal translation sgpbooks.com Read KJ3 online