Article: The Purpose and Power of the Gospel | Pr. Lalachan Abraham ( Patna )
“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.” (Romans 1:16) Paul said he was not ashamed of the Gospel. Why? “For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”
Since the dawn of time, man has been seeking redemption from his guilt and his sins. Humanity is born into this world with a void. There is an empty place within the heart of man that he is ever seeking to fill. People attempt to fill this void with all kinds of religious and other activities. The problem with human religion and good works is that it always ends in death, Hell and eternal separation from God. If salvation does not result from being religious, being a good person, or doing good things, where does salvation come from? Salvation is not the result of doing anything; it is the result of a lost sinner simply taking God at His Word. The Bible is clear on this matter. The way of salvation is simply taking God at His Word and believing the Gospel. What is the Gospel?
The primary theme running through Paul’s letter to the Romans is the revelation of God’s righteousness in His plan for salvation, what the Bible calls the gospel the word gospel means “good news”. It referred to news that was so awesome, nothing really justified using it. Nothing was nearly too good to be true. The Gospel is the most basic, foundational message of the New Testament, yet it is the most misunderstood. The book of Romans was written to explain the Gospel so that anybody could understand it.
The Gospel is not the invention of man. Pau says, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12).
The Gospel is direct and divine revelation. The source of the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-3) First Corinthians 15:1-4 clearly tells us “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you………………..Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”It is Jesus and Him alone who is the subject of the Gospel. He is the beginning, the end, and the forever of the Gospel.” It is through what Christ accomplished in his life (namely, that he bore our nature but did not sin and died as an offering for sin) that we have opportunity to be saved. His name, Jesus, means “savior” and this is exactly how the Bible describes him:” For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
The gospel is God’s means for bringing us to salvation – not merely for forgiving our sins. It is not only the announcement of the Kingdom of God, but also the process by which we can enter God’s Kingdom. The Gospel has the power to Save, sanctify and sustain us (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2) There is no other way to be saved apart from the gospel. The Gospel authenticated by its message of salvation. You cannot beg, buy, borrow, or steal the salvation that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You cannot even earn it (see Ephesians 2:8-9) It was bought by the grace and supernatural work of God through Christ on the cross. Therefore, the supply of the Gospel is Grace. We are saved by God’s grace. (Romans 1:5)- Grace can be articulate as “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” Jesus died on the cross, in agony and suffered, for our sins in order to provide for us all of the riches of God. Yes that great work of God who through Jesus Christ would seek to reconcile humanity back to Himself again. In his first coming, he opened a way for men to have salvation and to draw near to God and in his second coming; he will restore the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The Gospel is the power of God, and that is talking about grace. Acts 20:24 and Galatians 1:6 both use the terms “gospel” and “grace” interchangeably. It is saying that when you understand the Gospel, or the grace of God, it will release the power of God into your life. The saving operation of the gospel is that Grace wrought it (Romans 3:10-11, Galatians 1:6) The Course of the gospel is that it extends to every person. (Romans 10:13), It flows to every place and It covers every problem. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 10) The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The gospel has the power to … —Forgive sins (past), to —Impart new life (present) and to —Admit into Eternity (future) No other power on earth can do that! No science, no education, no religion, no moral reformation, no fame and fortune can save man from their sinful nature. The grace of God means that God turns His favor toward those who deserve His wrath. It means that God reaches down to those who cannot reach up to Him. It means that God goes to those who will not come to Him. Lost sinners are dead, radically depraved, totally deceived and utterly doomed in their sins, but God, In His grace, reaches out to save them by His amazing, abundant grace.
The gospels, and only the gospel, have the Power to save sinners those who believe. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) The word “believe” means to make a personal commitment, to trust by an act of the will. That means that the gospel always demands a personal response. It is never enough simply to hear the gospel; eventually you have to respond to it one-way or the other. Faith means, “Forsaking All, I Trust Him.” Faith receives what grace provides. Without faith, there is no way to acquire the grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins; but we must believe and receive the Lord Jesus. Grace is God’s ability; faith is man’s responsibility. It is our responsibility to respond to God’s grace. The purpose is clear. God sent the gospel to make an appeal to those who are lost, so that they “may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God…” so you receive the righteousness of God by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8)!
Paul says, “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. (Romans 1:16)The last phrase introduces the universal dimension of the gospel. The Jews were God’s chosen people. Although most of the Jews said No to Jesus, the gospel still has the power to save them if they will only believe. The “Greeks” were the Gentiles, that is, all non-Jews. The gospel has the power to save people without regard to the distinctions that divide us. It has the power to save without regard to Race, Education, Age, Income, Skin Color, caste, Family Background, Religious Preference, Moral Degradation and he Power to save without regard to human distinctions. Jesus said, “Go and Make Disciples in all the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Why is the gospel so powerful? Because it reveals righteousness from God, which comes only by faith-“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, ’The righteous will live by faith.’” My friend, salvation is a gift. God reaches out to offer us what we cannot do for ourselves. He offers us salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. This salvation delivers us from our sins. This salvation changes our lives. This salvation alters our eternities. This salvation adopts us into God’s family. This salvation is freely given and it is available to all who will come to Jesus Christ by faith.
Faith is the medium of exchange in the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 9:29) The object of our faith is God Himself. Jesus said, “Have faith in God,” (Mark 11:22) since the object of our faith is God, our ambition should be to know Him intimately. The more we know God, the more our faith in Him will grow. A lack of faith is not weakness; it is wickedness. Unbelief is slander against God. Do you want to be saved? – “Have faith in God,” (Romans 5:1) Do you want to be sanctified? “Have faith in God,” (Acts 15:9) Do you want your prayers answered? “Have faith in God,” (Mark 11:24) Do you want to overcome the world? “Have faith in God,” (1 John 5:4) Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ” We must learn to listen to God if we would have faith. () We cannot generate faith; faith comes by hearing God’s word. We cannot pray outside the will of God and have our prayers answered; and in order to pray in the will of God, we have to hear the Word of God. Faith is not man’s way of getting man’s will done in Heaven; faith is God’s way of getting God’s will done on Earth. In order to have faith, we must submit to His will. If we say we believe God but do not obey Him, then we really do not believe Him. Why is the gospel so powerful? Because it reveals righteousness from God, which comes only by faith- This is the verse that changed Martin Luther’s life. “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, ’The righteous will live by faith.’”
Pastor Lalachan Abraham ( Patna )