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Topic: Power (05/10/04)
TITLE: The Gospel is Power
By Richard Krejcir
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Romans 1:16-17 is the nuts and bolts of Romans where in one sentence Paul sums up his Epistle and his life. Paul lived his life not in theory but in fact, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and shows the only way of justification! Paul was totally surrendered and poured out to God with gratitude and indebtedness that infused and permeated all that he was and did (Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:1-10). As our faith and trust in Christ must also infuse us so all that we do too is a reflection of Christ working in us! If not all we have is a religion and a philosophy and not righteousness and impacting faith. This is the "Christian Manifesto;" this is the clear statement of God's good news. The main theme of Romans is commitment to Christ by Faith referred to as the “propositio” meaning the theses statement. This is where Paul begins his argument on how we are to live as Christians.
Being not ashamed of who we are in Christ is living out our faith with passion and conviction. Power in this passage refers to the life changing power of the Word of God the Gospel and the Spirit to totally transform us as He did with Paul. Only this power can remove our stubborn nature that bonds us to sin that refuses His grace. We cannot receive His grace without the Power to intervene and remove our bond of sin. (Rom. 5:6; 8:5-9). The Paul uses the word believes, which refers to our salvation and we do not earn it by any means or merit, we only receive it by our faith. This is the Great News, the Gospel that is given to all who are willing to receive it by faith, both Jew and Gentile! Thus, we as Christians must live by faith as this is the smart thing to do (1 Cor. 1:22-30)! With His Power we do not need to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we fear to share our faith!
The power of faith is based on knowledge given by God. Faith is not just simple trust; faith is not blind trust either, because we know the One who is leading! Our faith is based on historical evidence, logical reasoning, and valid testimonies. Faith is still trusting what is not seen and believing our God (Rom. 1:16-32; 5:1-11; 10:14-17; Gal. 3:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14-26)! God imputes His righteousness unto us by what Christ has done by declaring us righteous (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:10-19; 10:3). This declaration means we as the elect are free from our debt of sin, but we as debtors are to be witnesses to the lost! This is the power we have!
With His power we not to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we fear to share our faith! Because Power is Salvation; it is by the work of Christ alone through the Holy Sprit. This is through God. It is for all, All people universally with the only requite is to accept the work of our Lord by faith. Paul then uses the word "Salvation," This means to be rescued from a terrible situation. Ultimately it means being delivered from God's wrath. It is also God's work for us: redemption, the work from our Lord Jesus Christ and from no other! Christ's righteousness is given to us (imputed, propitiation) by our faith, which we did not earn; hence grace is the ultimate free gift. The righteousness of God is His character that vindicates His people. We are to show our faithfulness back to Him.
This Power of Faith is not passive on our part; we are active "in with" faith. (Rom. 2:5-16; 3:22; 5:10; 9:30). How can I do this? Every aspect of faith is built on faith, and nothing else, this is the corner stone of the gospel (Habk. 2:4). This means we are to trust God and His promises and provision. Our response is by godly living, exercising out our faith with trust and obedience, whatever we face!
The Gospel is the lightning rod that conducts God's creative and loving power, because it reveals the justice of God in the justification of the ungodly! This is what Christ did for us; He lived a perfect life in our place and died as a sacrifice in our place, to take away our sins. He took our place in life and in death. He took our place in judgment before God's just wrath, which we could never attain by ourselves, no matter how good and faithful we are. Our creation and salvation is by His choosing and purpose, that as Christians we are not our own, but belong solely to our Lord. Thus we must live our lives as a reflection of His glory, and not of ourselves, because there is nothing we can do alone that deserves any kind of Merit to please God for salvation. God desires and deserves our whole-hearted loyalty, allegiance, trust, obedience, and devotion; so, what is stopping you?
Have you realized that your debt has been cleared, your sin has been covered, and your dread has been replaced with Wonder and Eternity? Then how has it affected your life? Does this transformed life impact others around you? If not why and what is in the way? Are you willing to go on your knees to seek His face and His righteousness for your life?
Without His Power, you have nothing but debt and sin!