TO CHEW ON: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." Romans 1:16
You have probably memorized this flag-plant statement of Paul's—a manifesto well worth committing to memory because of its many goodies. Today let's delve into a couple.
Far from being intimidated, Paul states he is unashamed of the GOSPEL.
[Gospel - euangelion in Ancient Greek was the reward for bringing good news. It later came to mean the good news itself. The New Testament meaning encompasses the promise of salvation and its fulfillment by the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus - Dick Mills (Word Wealth) - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1349]
Why is Paul not ashamed? Because the gospel is the POWER of God to salvation for everyone
[Power - dunamis means energy, power, might, great force, great ability, strength. It is sometimes used to describe the powers of the world to come at work upon the Earth and divine power overcoming all resistance … The dunamis in Jesus resulted in dramatic transformations. This is the norm for the Spirit-led church - Dick Mills (Word Wealth) - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1498.]
Bible writers describe this power of the Word (Gospel) in vivid ways:
- God promised to make His word fire in Jeremiah's mouth to devour the wood of the people that heard it - Jeremiah 5:14.
- In another place Jeremiah compares God's word to a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces - Jeremiah 23:29.
- In Ezekiel the prophesied word is a uniting force bringing bones together in preparation for the life-giving breath of the Spirit - Ezekiel 37:7,14.
- Luke describes the increase / growth of God's word: "So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed" - Acts 19:20.
- Paul, the author of Hebrews, and John describe the word as a sword - Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 19:15.
A modern testimony of the power of God's word is Rosaria Butterfield's ("My Train Wreck Conversion" in Christianity Today). This former lesbian university professor came to faith in Christ primarily through reading the Bible (as she stayed in touch with a pastor who answered her questions and a Presbyterian congregation who loved her without conditions).
Let's engrave Romans 1:16 into our memories and hearts afresh. God's word is powerful. We have every reason to be bold, courageous, and unashamed to anchor our lives on it and claim and proclaim it for and over the circumstances of life and the people we love.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the power of the gospel. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.