THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST (1) – OUR GOD REIGNS!
During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled “The Power of the Gospel of Christ (1); “OUR GOD REIGNS!”. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans, 1 Thessalonians and Isaiah. “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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16, 17); “Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1Thess 1:5); How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Is 52:7)
THE BOOK OF ROMANS – INTRODUCTION
Concerning the major doctrines of salvation, the Gospel of Christ, The Book of Romans is the most important Book in the Bible, followed by the Book of Ephesians. God used the Book of Romans more than any other book to ignite revival all over the world. Great men of God got converted thru the study of Romans. Among them were St. Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Wesley, and others. The Protestant Reformation and Revival started during the time of Martin Luther. He was a Roman Catholic monk, a professor of theology. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he received the revelation that salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus and not by religious works. God used Romans 1:17 to save his soul. From that time on, Luther insisted that you must be born again to be saved. The Catholic Church insists that you must be a member of the church before you can go to heaven. They believe that salvation is ‘by works’ and not by faith. His conversion led to the split of the Roman Catholic Church. This is how the Protectant denominations started. The Book of Romans was written by Apostle Paul. He was one of the most intelligent men who ever live on earth. He was born in Tarsus, one of the three greatest cities at that time (the other two were Athens, Greece and Alexandria, Egypt). His father sent him to Jerusalem to study under the famous Gamaliel. Paul was highly educated. He was a lawyer, a religious pharisee. He was also born a Roman citizen. That gave him many rights and privileges. The letter to the Romans simply starts with his name: ‘Paul’. Many consider this letter to be the greatest piece of human writing next to the Bible.
NEVER BE ASHAMED OF CHRIST OR HIS GOSPEL
Here, the Gospel is defined as ‘The Gospel of Christ’. Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. All men are born sinners. The Jews and the Gentiles have rejected it. Paul was persecuted for preaching it. But Paul is not ashamed. Paul is preaching to the believers in Rome. At that time, Rome was the greatest city. But Paul is not intimidated by the rich and famous to shut up his mouth! says that he is not ashamed to believe and preach the Gospel of Christ. What does he mean by that? Paul says that he is very happy and proud to believe the Gospel of Christ! He is vocal and boasts in believing the Gospel! He is not hiding it. He is not a ‘silent believer’. He is not shy or ashamed to declare that Jesus died and rose again to save his soul! Why was Paul bold? He knew that the Gospel ‘is the power of God unto salvation’. He knows what the Gospel does! It changes hearts and lives! It may look like foolishness, but it is the raw power of the Creator God! The Gospel is always connected to the electricity of heaven! Are you ashamed to preach the Gospel? Do you keep silent when you should speak?
Apostle Paul uses the word ‘Gospel’ 60 times in his letters. In Greek, the word ‘gospel’ is translated ‘Euangelion’ from where the word ‘evangelism’ comes. Man’s words are ‘bad news’. Only God’s Word is ‘Good news’. The Law given thru Moses is holy and good. But it is not ‘good news’ to sinners, because they can’t keep it and they cannot be saved thru it. The Gospel is the ‘Good news’ from heaven. In a nutshell, the Gospel means this: “Jesus died and rose again for me!”. This is the best Good News to any sinner! If the Gospel, the story of Jesus, does not make you excited, does not make your heart sing for joy, it means that you are not born again! The Preaching of the Gospel comes with the power to change the hearts of men. Nothing else changes a man’s heart and destiny except the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected! Have you felt the power of the Gospel? The evil spirit of religion has taken over many churches. People go to church, but they are not saved. They do not understand the Gospel. For them, it is like a foreign word. But you should know what you must preach! The power of resurrection works in you, and you preach that power, that Word that changed your life! Preach to all, old and young, religious, or non-religious! It is the same Gospel for all! What a Great Power of salvation!
THE MIRACLE OF HEALING THE CRIPPLE LEADS TO EVANGELISM
All miracles are a manifestation of God’s power! Our Lord walked on the water, He raised Lazarus… The Lord Jesus Christ has the power to save, heal and deliver! “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Ac 10:38). Read this wonderful story in Acts 3! The beggar was born crippled. Men carry him every day to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. He waits for alms. He knows that religious men going to the temple are the best people to pity him and give him some money. Religion is good for giving alms. But it has no power to change the situation. It can only give alms. The man did not expect more than alms. He was surprised that Peter and John offered him the power that comes with the Gospel. He believed! By faith in the name of Jesus, his weak ankles received the power of healing. Instantly, he could stand and praised God! This miracle done by the Lord Jesus Christ thru His disciples, was to attract the crowd. Peter did not explain the miracle. He did not call more people to receive miracles. He stood and preached the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. That is the main purpose of miracles. It is to point people to Jesus as their Savior before He is their Healer and Provider! This is true evangelism!
The authority of Christ Crucified and Resurrected has been entrusted to us! We use it to preach the Gospel, to heal and deliver men!
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk 10:19) “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen” (Mt 28:18-20). Worship the Lord!!!