Do you realize that you wield the greatest power on earth when you unleash the power of the gospel? We need not entertain the crowd or cave to culture; we need only to give them what they so desperately need – the truth and nothing but the truth! It is, and always will be the gospel that delivers unstoppable power.
To live for the gospel, we need to unleash the gospel. And before all of that, we must know the gospel. The rest of this article is dedicated to ensuring you know the gospel better than you think you already do, and to give you practical truths you can immediately apply to your life.
In Romans 1:16 Paul the apostle writes, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” In just one small verse Paul unloads a monumental truth! This passage takes any doubts that you and I may have about power, and melts them like an ice cube landing in a furnace.
Whenever doubt creeps in and you’re tempted to look to the power of man, marketing, or money, these three truths will help you remember that you have been armed with the gospel and have everything you need to be a living example of God’s power.
1. God powerfully transforms lives through the message of the gospel
Above all else, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes! We don’t need better marketing, a better message, or bigger miracles. We need the gospel delivered in power. The gospel is what saves, so what other power do we need? The Greek word used in Romans 1:16 for “power” is dunamis. It’s used in the New Testament to describe miraculous power and strength. Used in this context, it is the miraculous power and ability of God for “salvation” which is the Greek word soteria; meaning deliverance or safety. This word is synonymous with “ransoming.” Now, enough with the Greek lesson and let’s get to the point. Putting all of that together, you could say that Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the miraculous and mighty ability of God to ransom people out of spiritual death and into spiritual life! Soteria occurs some 44 times in the New Testament and primarily describes the deliverance of souls from the bondage of sin and death at the hands of a powerful God! Do you want to reach the lost? Do you want to operate in the power of God? Do you want to live an unwavering life of legacy and purpose? Then preach the gospel!
In our zeal to “save” souls, we must also remember this powerful truth: God is sovereign in salvation. This means He is the one who’s in control of saving people. You can’t technically “save” anybody, but God can — and He does. It’s just as important to know where the power for salvation comes from as it is to know where it does not come from. If it’s God who transforms lives with the power of the gospel, then we can be certain that it’s not man, money, works, equality, government, skin color, education, feelings, social influence, or a denomination. Jesus Christ is still the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life (John 14:6). Without him, every effort to transform lives is powerless.
2. Your everyday efforts are powerfully used by God to transform lives
We often think of power as positional. People who are CEO’s, influential entrepreneurs, famous YouTubers, “celebrity” pastors — now, they are people of power, right? Wrong. Sure, they have some level of influence and decision-making authority, but in God’s Kingdom, power is not necessarily defined by position, it’s defined by proclamation. In God’s system, it’s the foolish things of this world that He uses in powerful ways! Everyday people from all walks of life are given extraordinary power. At a time when so many leaders use power to oppress and abuse lives, Christians have been given power that can be used to transform lives.
If you’re a Christian, I’m guessing you remember a specific person whom God used to share the gospel with you. Maybe it was a pastor, a neighbor, a parent, or even a stranger. Whoever it was, do you realize they are not “extra” special? They aren’t more holy or more anointed than anyone else. They may just be more obedient.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus declared to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Do you really believe that you are filled with the same Holy Spirit that the disciples were filled with? Do you really believe that you are empowered with the same gospel they were empowered with? You should, because you are! If more people lived this way and more pastor’s preached this way, there’d be genuine revival.
3. You have been given the power to do “greater works” than Jesus
Yes, you read that correctly. And guess what? Jesus said it, not me.
Some people think that Jesus was talking about performing signs and wonders like healing the sick, raising the dead, or controlling the weather when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will He do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). But how can “greater works” mean miracles like raising the dead or making hurricane force winds dissipate if Jesus said “greater” than those? He already did those things! What could we possibly do that is “greater” than what He did? Doesn’t the word “greater” describe something that is better than something else? It sure does. So what does all this mean?
It means that Jesus was talking about our ministries having the ability to reach more people in more places than He ever did. Reality is, Jesus’ ministry only lasted for three years. Jesus’ ministry only took place in a region six times smaller than the state of New York and He didn’t even visit the entire region. Jesus’ ministry only physically ministered to people numbering in the thousands. When you think about that in relation to our opportunity for ministry today through missions, church-planting, and even YouTube videos, the contrast of our reach is staggering. Today, followers of Jesus have ministries spanning twenty, thirty, forty, and even fifty years. We collectively cover millions upon millions of miles annually, reaching untold millions — even, billions — of people with the message of the gospel, in places few humans have ever travelled. The gospel reaches into homes and schools, onto cell phone screens at every hour of the day and night, and into the hands of desperate souls through the Bible. Talk about empowered to do greater works. That, is power.
Are you a Christian whose lost your gospel passion somewhere along the way? Are you a pastor who has abandoned your primary call to preach the gospel; caving to the culture and people-pleasing methods? Get back to being the unwavering warrior that God has empowered for his glory! Unapologetically preach the gospel and expect God to move in power! (Romans 10:14-17) Whether you’re faking power or forgetting power, you’re living life with uncertainty because you’re not plugged in to the right power source.