Summary: Four words that are critical to understanding the gospel of Christ. 1. Power 2. Salvation 3. Believe 4. Righteousness
The Gospel of Christ
These two verses express the theme of the book. To understand and positively respond to this truth determines ones eternity. 16,17 summarize the gospel that he explains in the rest of the book.
*Paul was not ashamed of the glorious Gospel of Christ!
...Imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of Damascus and Berea, laughed at in Athens, considered a fool at Corinth, and declared a blasphemer and lawbreaker in Jerusalem. He was stoned and left for dead at Lystra...He was never intimidated...ready and eager to preach at Rome, the capital of sin and paganism, and he was not ashamed of the Gospel.
We all know the temptation of being ashamed of the gospel.
We are afraid...
We know that the gospel is repulsive to the lost man, unattractive, intimidating. It exposes his sin, wickedness, and depravity.
Many have turned to the health and wealth gospel that is not so intimidating and not so politically incorrect.
Geoffrey Wilson wrote. "The unpopularity of a crucified Christ has prompted many to present a message which is more palatable to the unbeliever, but the removal of the offense of the cross always renders the message ineffective. An inoffensive gospel is also an inoperative gospel. Thus Christianity is wounded most in the house of its friends."
Four words critical to understanding the gospel.
1. Power 2. Salvation 3. Believe 4. Righteousness
1. Power 1:16 "...for it is the power of God..."
From where we get the word dynamite.
The gospel comes from the omnipotence of God who alone has the power to save the lost from sin and give them eternal life. (news report this week, 2-18-01, surveys show that people don’t like to be called lost)
People want to change. Advertising is to make us want to change. Men want to feel better about themselves, come up with schemes to do it , but there is no real power to remove sin which is the real problem. The Bible makes it clear that man cannot be changed by any works...not even by keeping God’s law. Law was given to show man his helplessness and drive him to God’s saving grace!
Paul declares man’s impotence and God’s power.
5:6 "For when we were yet without strength, in die time, Christ died for the ungodly."
8:3 "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"
1 Corinthians 1:18,23-25
Jeremiah 13:23 It is not within man’s power to change his nature, to overcome sin, to make himself acceptable to God.
Scripture testifies to God’s power:
*Glorious power Ex. 15:6
*Irresistible power Deut. 32:39
*Unsearchable power Job 5:9
*Mighty power Job 9:4
*Great power Ps. 79:11
*Incomparable power Ps. 89:8
*Strong power Ps. 89:13
*Everlasting power Is. 26:4
*Effectual Power Is. 43:13
*Sovereign power Rom. 9:21 "HATH NOT THE POTTER POWER OFFER THE CLAY, OF THE SAME LUMP TO MAKE ONE VESSEL UNTO HONOUR, AND ANOTHER UNDO DISHONOUR?"
Jeremiah 10:12 "He hath make the earth by his power..."