The Potency of the Gospel – The Power of God
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16–17 ESV)
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, FOR.” Here is the why. “It is the power of God for salvation.” (Romans 1:16)
Paul realized it wasn’t his gospel or any human being’s gospel. He didn’t preach Paul’s gospel or Peter’s gospel or John’s gospel or the Jews’ gospel or the Gentiles’ gospel. What would be the point? There is no forgiveness of sins in Paul’s name or Peter’s name or John’s name or your name or my name. Our gospels and all our self-help gurus and doctors and health experts, and psychologists, and all the medical knowledge of the whole world can’t save us from death much less the wrath and judgment from God. No. We need power to save that we don’t have.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God.” The gospel is the power of God. The Greek word there for power is dunamis. If you’ve studied this, you know we get our word dynamite from it. However, while dynamite blows things up, the gospel powerfully puts us back together. It is power to save, reconcile, heal, and forgive.
Its central truths are God’s activity on our behalf through Christ. Its saving work in the human heart is generated from God, not us. Its application of saving benefits is God’s work, not ours. Its eternal application is an ongoing, promise-fulfilling work of God. We live forever by the power of God. From start to finish, salvation is by the promise and power of God. The gospel is God’s gospel, not ours. We should be glad that anything from a human is marked by weakness and frailty and subject to the whims of culture and change. Humans are all fads and latest-and-greatest, but nothing from us endures.
But the gospel is God’s gospel and is empowered by God’s power. Paul’s point is, why would I be ashamed of the gospel if it’s God’s power on display in saving us?
As I was preparing this message, Vladimir Putin of Russia came out and bragged that he now has a nuclear weapon more powerful than any other in the world. He didn’t say, “I am ashamed to have to admit something, I now have the most powerful weapon in the world.” No. Power empowers. Power emboldens. And the greatest power in the world is the supernatural work of God through the gospel transforming sinners from objects of wrath to objects of mercy forgiven forever by a Holy God. The only reason that doesn’t astonish us is that we don’t realize what we have.
Why should we not be ashamed of the gospel? God. It’s God’s gospel and God’s power.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2018 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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