Powered For Life!
Romans 1: 16 – I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
Last month, we celebrated Father's Day. Did you see some of the commercials which were aimed at gifts for Dad? One was from a Building Supply store, and they were advertising an amazing power tool. If you got the whole packet, you could do anything you needed to do. You could use the screwdriver/ drill. You could use different kinds of saws and even a blower, all with a change of the battery.
In the Gospel, the Good News of the Savior from God, we, Christians, have a powerful tool which has different uses. As this verse says: It has ...the power of God for Salvation of everyone who believes. It also has the power to make us believe; and the power for us Christians to live a God-pleasing life. Let us think about those three uses.
As the Power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes, this tells us that the power to save us does not come from the law. When an unbeliever hears the Law: “Do this and do that, and don't do this...” He still is an unbeliever. Oh sure, he would know that he is a sinner who is responsible to the God of Heaven. He might be sorry for his sins when he hears the Law, but he cannot believe until the power of salvation through the preaching of the Gospel is worked on his heart by the Holy Spirit.
Closely related to our last point is the one which shows us the Gospel as God's power to make us believe. God's Law commands us to be holy, totally perfect! But even doing our best we cannot obey God's Commands perfectly – all of them, all the time. The Gospel tells us that Jesus was holy. He was the Holy Son of God who became a man child, born of the virgin Mary, and so was placed under all of God's laws for humankind. Then the Gospel tells us this innocent one, who was not worthy of the death penalty, which the law places us all under, suffered and died on the Cross, as the perfect sacrifice of blood for all of our sins and guilt. He rose again showing his sacrifice was sufficient and that we also one day will rise.
As sinners, we could never believe that news. We could never choose to believe in Jesus as our Savior or love God. We were just not in the position to do so because we were spiritually dead and blind. Even if we heard the gospel, we would not understand it or believe it. God the Holy Spirit had to work his miracle of faith in our heart. He had to create a new being inside of us – which through baptism takes on the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So the Gospel is God's Power which makes us believe.
Then when we know and believe in Jesus as our Savior, and when we know and believe what God did through him out of love for us. Then the Gospel motivates us to live our love for God. Paul wrote: “Christ's Love compels us...” and “He gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Notice here how the Gospel is our motivation to obey the commands of God. The Gospel motivates us to live as Children of God and Heirs of Heaven by faith. We obey the Laws, not because we have to, because we were commanded, but because the Gospel worked the power to love to obey in our lives under Christ Jesus.
May God bless us through the Gospel of Jesus so that we see its power to Save, it power to make us believe and it's power to make us live as Children of God.