The Power of the Gospel
When an individual hears, believes, and obeys the gospel it has the power to change their spiritual state and standing with the Lord. Notice what the power of the gospel can do:
· It pierced the hearts of 3,000 people and caused them to obey (Acts 2:37 – 41).
· It caused a group of Samaritans to believe and obey (Acts 8:5 – 12).
· It convicted the Ethiopian eunuch to say, “look, there is water, what hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:26 – 40).
· It transformed a murderer into a bondservant (Acts 9:1 – 18).
· It caused people who practiced witchcraft and magic to burn all their books for Christ (Acts 19:18-19).
Back in Oklahoma, there was an unmarried couple visiting a congregation; after hearing the sermon, they approached the preacher and asked what needed to be done to get their lives right with God. The preacher invited them for a bible study. A few weeks into the study, they got baptized and married that same day. This is the power of the gospel. It has the power to change an individual’s life. Paul stated, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). But what is the gospel?
The gospel is the good news of restoration, forgiveness, and redemption through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:1 – 4). When it comes to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus it is important to understand its significance.
Who Did He Die For?
The Bible tells us that Jesus died for the world without distinction (John 3:16). This means He died for all people—people of different ethnicities, cultures, and languages. He died for the unbelieving in hopes that they would believe. He died for the ungodly in hopes that they would repent. The Scriptures mention in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
It is sin that alienates us from God, and the result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God had a desire to save man and restore the relationship that had been severed. God could have easily exercised punishment on mankind. He doesn’t owe us anything. We don’t even deserve salvation, but God did not leave us in the dark. He did not leave us in a lost state. He sent His Son Jesus Christ. The God-man. The ultimate, perfect, and final sacrifice.
The crown of thorns that was pressed into His head should have been on our head; the lashes He received should have been on our bodies; the nails driven through His hands and feet should have been driven through ours; the humiliation He felt should have been ours, but God’s gracious oversight—His foreordained plan—is why we are here today.
What Did It Accomplish?
· It removed the agony and sting of death (I Corinthians 15:56). This is why Paul said, “O death where is your victory, O death where is your sting?” Paul knew that same power with which God raised Christ from the dead is the same power that will raise us on the last day.
· It released us from the bondage of sin and granted us the opportunity to have eternal life (Romans 6:22).Those who live in submission to God will become holy and receive the greatest gift: eternal life.
· It restored our relationship with God (II Corinthians 5:18). The relationship was severed, it was ruined, it was completely damaged. But because of His sacrifice, we have been reconciled to Him.
· It broke down the barrier of the divided wall (Ephesians 2:14). The death of Christ gathered all people from every corner of the world so that they would become one flock, one nation, one body, and one church under one Head, making Christ all in all. This is what His death, burial, and resurrection has done.
· It established a new covenant (Hebrews 9:15). A new covenant with better promises. This covenant is better than the old because of the sacrifice made—it was once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). This sacrifice takes away sin and removes the guilt we feel because of it.
With that being said, as Christians we must live like we’ve obeyed the gospel. In other words, live like you believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a game. Christ did not die for us to play around with our salvation. God sent His Son so that we can be holy, blameless, above reproach, and one day dwell with Him.