Discipleship is Powered by the Gospel

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, ESV).

Paul writes that it is the power of God unto salvation. That word power in the Greek is the word dunamis which is where we get the word ‘dynamite.’ There’s a power to the gospel unlike any other power on earth.

I remember in middle school when I lived for those 18 months in Michigan that we would have drills.  They weren’t fire drills, but drills of what to do in case of a nuclear attack.  We would watch films and documentaries on what would happen if an atom bomb or a hydrogen bomb went off.  We would see clips of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. (In fact, the pilot who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, Paul Tibbets, was my father’s commander in Korea.) They would test bombs in the desert in Nevada, attracting spectators–before they realized the danger of the fallout of those bombs.  I remember being enthralled and nervous, because the power of those bombs were so explosive.

But there’s no bomb, no weapon, nothing invented or contrived by the mind of man that compares to the power of the gospel to change lives. Those bombs can bring one from life to death, but this gospel has the power to bring from death to life. The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again.  That reality that began in the counsels of heaven, manifested itself in history on the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb, and now travels to the hearts of all who would believe, the apostle Paul called in another letter that of first importance (1 Cor 15:3-4).

But the gospel is not only powerful, but it is also revealed His righteousness.  God’s righteousness was not obtained by our works, but revealed to us through Christ’s works. In Romans 3:20-22:

20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

By His Word, through fruition in Jesus, through the Spirit in the church with changed disciples, God reveals His righteousness to us. God gives us the faith needed for eternal life. Revealed from faith for faith. He gives us the ability and strength to believe so we can keep on believing.


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