The Power of the Gospel

Paul writes: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Let us analyze this verse. 

Since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), everyone needs a Savior. Sin separates us from God and bars us from His glory. There would be no hope for the future, no hope of eternal life, no hope to escape the wrath to come since “we must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Nobody (except Christ) lived a sin-free life. Is there no hope?

Yes, there is a remedy, a way out, a hope. It is the gospel of Christ. The Greek word gospel (euaggelion) means good news. The good news is that there is salvation for everyone who believes. This good news is the good news of Christ. It must be connected to Christ because as Peter insists: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). 

There is only one power (Greek: dunamis) that can save us. It is the dunamis of God (dunamis comes from the same root as dynamite). This dunamis is the only power to salvation. And that power is the gospel of Christ. There is no greater power, for nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross can atone for our sins and bring us back into fellowship and favor with the Almighty. 

This good news is for all people. When Paul says “for the Jew” and “for the Greek,” he is including all Israelites (not just those of Judah), and all heathen peoples (not just the Greek). Here Paul is using synecdoche, which is a figure of speech, a type of metonymy. That is the way he includes everyone. This good news is for you and for me. If you believe, putting your trust in Christ for salvation, you will be saved. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him form the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “For, whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved” (Romans 10:13). 

Paul experienced this. Being a Jew, he had tried to find righteousness by following the law. Yet he did not have the power to overcome temptation. He says “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24-24). But then he found the power of God to salvation! It is the gospel of Christ. So to the question: “Who will deliver me?” He answers: “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). He is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it has delivered him from death, from the law, and from shame. He concludes: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). That is what the gospel of Christ can do. That is the power of God. Have you experienced this power of God? Have you been delivered from your sins? Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7a).

Gerry Mielke

Hamilton, ON

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