“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.””
Romans 1:16-17 NLT
Paul said to his Roman readers, that the “Good News about Christ” “is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes”. What is this power? Some have wondered if Paul, having preached in the seat of Greek power in Athens, now wanted to do the same in the Roman power-centre, Rome itself. We know that God created the universe and all that is in it. His power is indisputable. And He came up with a plan to save human beings, who have been blighted by sin and wickedness, enabling them to become what God wanted them to be in the first place – His friends and family. Now that is something that will need power. God’s rescue plan for humanity was painful, costing Him the life of His Son, Jesus. It involved a wonderful act of substitution, where Jesus took on our sins and instead gave us His righteousness. That’s power. By an act of our will, we believed in God and His saving grace, and by doing so we were assured of eternal life. That’s power.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God“. That is so true! I remember sharing about the cross of Jesus and all that He did through His willing sacrifice, with a workmate. But their response was that many people were crucified in those grim and dark days, so what was the big deal! What was so special about this man Jesus. And at a stroke the person slammed shut the door that would have given him access into Heaven. At the time I questioned my communication skills, but then remembered that the enemy will get in the way of the Gospel if he can. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul wrote, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God“.
But, undeterred, we pilgrims continue to unashamedly share the Good News about Jesus with those we meet. We pray that the seeds we sow may take root in people’s spirits, where they will grow and finally emerge into the light of day with a decision to follow Jesus. God’s power will never be eclipsed by the devil’s ploys. And we pray that the power of God will be seen at work in our lives. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
Father God. You are the Power. And Your work in our lives is a demonstration of how powerful You are. We wonder sometimes why You bother with us but that makes Your power even more obvious. We are so grateful. Amen.