"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…" Romans 1:15a The Greek word for power is dunamos which is kin to our word dynamite. It has great power to change hearts, transform lives and lift mere mortals to become children of God. It encompasses the very Person of Christ (the Way, the Truth and the Life) and is the only path leading to God. It is the head waters of the River of Life. But it must retain its purity in order to keep its power.
As a river flowing downstream tends to pick up alien elements, so also the River of Life must be guarded from pollutants. Timothy was exhorted by Paul to be an example to believers in word,in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity, giving attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine, to meditate on these things, to take heed to the doctrine and continue in it. 2 Tim 4:12 (paraphrased)
There are extant today religious teachings that have a little of the gospel and a whole lot of little rivulets of opinions, traditions, human preferences, foibles, and mixtures that, because they have been repeated for eons, are accorded the same validity as the gospel. A little something is added or taken away down through the generations. The party game of Gossip is a perfect illustration. One person in a circle of people whispers into the ear of the one on his right a simple sentence, and he in turns whispers what he thought he heard to his right, and so on around the circle. The last person then repeats what he heard. Generally it bears little resemblance to the original, and in order to get it right, we have to return to the beginning.
So it is with the truth of Christianity; we must go back to the Origin and the Originator, back to the pattern if you would know the truth that sets men free. It doesn't need explanations and amplifications nearly as much as honest, repentant truth-seeking hearts. We must return individually to the Source, the head waters, to be certain of purity. The gospel that passes through many hands without checking the Source may be weakened and ineffective and lose its power to redeem a fallen world. If we depend only on human purveyors of the gospel, we may get twisted and tangled up. Perspective is lost, and we may get carried away into fragmented truth. Loving God and each other is not hard to understand, nor is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus' life and His teachings are an implementation of those principles. His words refine and simplify, and His life illustrates them. They are the head waters of the River of Life. As in physical rivers, the water is purest at its point of origin. It would seem more reasonable and safer, then, for us to return, one by one, daily, to the Head Waters, to the life-giving stream which needs no filtering.