Charles e. whisnant, pastor/teacher, rivers of joy Baptist church
December 06, 2009
There is a shocking lack of confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ today. We don’t have to be “ashamed” of the Gospel. We don’t need to be doubtful as to whether it is indeed the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” We really don’t need to supplement or replace it. Nor do we need to doubt the Gospel and therefore expect no conversions. God is still working. God can and does inflame the hearts of people. God will put a growing desire to exalt the name of Jesus Christ and to live lives of holiness.
FIRST: PAUL WAS NOT ASHAMED.
- Paul was not afraid, he didn’t feel shame, he was not reluctant to say that the Gospel would save. He was not afraid of humiliation, he did not experience a lack of courage to stand up and teach the Word of God. He did not feel shame because of what has been done, for he knew the power of the Gospel.
- Paul was not ashamed even though he had been imprisoned, chased out, smuggled out, laughed at, considered a fool and declared a blasphemer and a lawbreaker.
WE DO NOT NEED TO BE AFRAID OF THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST FOR SALVATION.
SECOND: PAUL PREACHED THE GOSPEL:
- “Have you any good news for me today?” would have been a common question.
- Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 summarized for us his definition of the gospel.
- Paul considered himself first as a servant of Christ with his call to proclaim the Gospel: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.
THE GOOD NEWS THAT IS THE GOSPEL:
William Tyndale (1494-1536)
- “Euaggelion (which we call the gospel) is a Greek word , and signifies good, merry, glad, and joyful things, that make a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.”
Alexander Maclaren describes the gospel:
- “The Gospel of Jesus Christ presents itself not as merely a new stimulus and motive to do what is right, but as an actual communication to men of a new power to work in them. It is a new gift of a life which will unfold itself after its own nature.”
FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD: Romans 1:16
- Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24, Luke 22:69, Acts 8:10, Romans 1:16, I Corin. 1:18,24, 2:5; 2 Corin 6:7; 13:4; 2 Tim 1:8 and I Peter 1:5
Charles Spurgeon said: “Let us put ourselves under its power.”
- The Gospel is not advice to people, suggesting that they lift themselves. It is power. It lifts them up. Paul does not say that the gospel brings power, but that it is (present tense = continually) power, and God’s (omnipotent) power at that.
POWER 1411 “BEING ABLE.” “CAPACITY”. Used 121 times.
- Root word which we get our word “dynamic”. Energetic, functioning, live, operative, working. This describes that which is marked by usually continuous and reductive activity or change.
- The word dynamic is characterized by energy or forces that produce motion, as opposed to that which is static.
- Dunamis does not refer to explosive power, as if the gospel will blow men to bits but it refers to intrinsic i.e. built in power. Jeremiah 23:29.
- The gospel is dynamic. God is dynamic, and so is powerful and able to effect radical regeneration of spiritually dead men and women. The gospel makes Dunamis power available to all believers.
- I Corinthians 4:20. The kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
- It was not Greek Logic, not Roman Law, not Hebrew Thought, but the Gospel of God.
- That every individual is created with a spiritual “God shaped vacuum” and it will be filled by something, either divine spiritual truth or demonic spiritual lies. Everyone has an innate desire to be changed especially in a way that will make them feel less guilty and more content. They seek to fill this need by immersing themselves in a variety of programs, philosophies, and religions that promise to meet their felt need.
- Sadly, all these “methods” may seemingly succeed in making people feel better about themselves, but they have no ability to liberate them from their enslavement to the power of SIN which stimulates sinful behavior and the resultant feeling of guilt and discontent (ultimately an uneasiness that they are not “right” with God, because they’re NOT.
So, let me ask you, have you experienced this wonderful working power of God in your life? Have you been freed from the guilt of sin? Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing from sin?