Gospel Power

Sep 30, 2021 1534

Gospel Power photo by Laura Burns for GNU Gospel Power article
Photo by Laura Burns

Gospel Power Saves Us

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16.), not because it changes us so that we can be saved, but because it declares that sinners who trust in him to be perfect and acceptable before God. The Gospel is God crediting the righteousness of Jesus to our account. The Gospel is God’s righteousness imputed to us. It is the most powerful thing in the world because it transfers us from the realm of death to the realm of life — eternal life.

We see the power of the Gospel in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus took upon himself the guilt of the whole world and died in our place. But then he rose from the grave, eternally and powerfully victorious over all sin, and its effects, including death.

A person’s life cannot be changed until the sin in their life has been dealt with. That’s what the Gospel does, it deals with sin. That’s the power of the Gospel.

What Else Does Gospel Power Do?

Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to all creation, and that he who believes will be saved. What he tells them next is really striking:

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well (Mark 16:18.)

These wondrous signs were given to those initially tasked with undertaking the Great Commission as authenticating signs for those who believed.

The specific signs that Jesus mentioned were relevant to the specific events that the first believers in Jesus would face under persecution. You can read about some of them in the book of Acts.

Jesus isn’t telling you to go and grab a poisonous snake. The point he’s making is that the preaching of the Gospel will always be accompanied by the power of God. Sometimes it’s through miraculous signs like these. However, usually the evidence of Gospel power is of an even more impressive kind!

Gospel Power Is Seen In Life-Transformation

Think about it. Isn’t the most wonderful sign of all the power of the Gospel a life transformed from darkness to light, from sadness to joy, and from weakness to power? There are many people who will focus on the impressive supernatural signs of God’s power. However, the most important evidence of Gospel power is that a life transformed by the Gospel will produce fruit such as love, joy, peace, and the other wonderful qualities mentioned in Galatians 5:22–23.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote:

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-9

Like a tree by a stream draws water into its roots to keep it alive, we draw in life from the power of God’s living water which gives eternal life.

The Source Of Gospel Power Is God’s Forgiveness At The Cross

The Gospel is the root, and the transformed life is the fruit. We should never mix these up. Works play no role as the basis of our salvation (i.e. the Gospel). It is only as a result of the Gospel that our lives are transformed, as the grateful, Spirit-empowered response of the forgiven heart.

The source of Gospel power is the Cross, where Jesus dealt with all of our sins once and for all. Because of that he forgiveness all who will believe in him, and he offers them his perfect record in place of their own. The is the ultimate source of Gospel power. It is the power of a person who was facing death for their crimes and who has been forgiven and released. It is the power of a person who could never have believed that they could have been loved so much!

When we are certain that we are loved and that we have been saved, and that we have eternal life, everything becomes possible for us. We will have a powerful story to share with others who also need Gospel power in their lives.

Is your witness for the Good News about Jesus Christ powerful or weak?

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