Summary: Salvation, hope for everyone, the Gospel
POWER OF GOD
Romans 1:16 (p 796) March 6, 2011
"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile"
Earlier in the year we went down to Florida and visited with my wife's family. My father in law, Ken is an awesome quite spoken man with a dry sense of humor…he's a former Air force guy and loves to tinker with electronics and gadgets. He came into my room before we left to return home and said, "I want to give you some homemade fireworks. these aren't your normal firecrackers either. They're like a third of a stick of dynamite."
It only made sense that since Josh Cooper and I are trained professionals in "redneck" that when I returned we should set it off.
Here's a video of how it went: (Show Video) - Fable Frustrators
Kids please, don't try this at home if you have a stick of dynamite lying around. Josh and I did take every precaution to make sure all our fingers remained attached to our bodies.
I think we frustrated the Fable that only a silver bullet can kill a vampire…(At least we've proven that a giant fire cracker can remove a cardboard cutout vampires head.)
Its not an accident that the apostle Paul uses the word "dynamics" to describe the power of the gospel…it’s the Greek word from which we get the English "dynamite".
Its explosive power...it's extraordinary energy that’s released…but this power isn't released to destroy vampires…it's released to destroy sin and then heal sinners. It takes something extremely powerful to change people, to blow away their old lives…and to radically transform their hearts and minds.
Paul has experienced this explosive power first hand…this former Pharisee of Pharisees who persecuted the church as a violent, aggressive blasphemer of Jesus. He says,
"Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man…I was shown mercy because I acted in unbelief…the grace of our lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Jesus came into the world to save sinners --of whom I am the worst" (1 Tim.1: 13-15).
The fuse of this good news was lit for Paul on the Damascus road. It exploded with the light of God's grace and the gift of Dog's Spirit in Paul's soul…as the mercy of God flooded Paul's heart…it broke the cam of resistance and rebellion…he was changed…radically transformed by the power of the gospel.
We know this same power is able to change anyone…whether you're from a Jewish background or not. This is his message…His testimony. He knows it's why God called him and why God has sent him out to preach. This power transforms.
I SHAME INTO CONFIDENCE
"Shame" is a powerful emotion each and everyone of us has felt…it means "to feel regret or guilty deeply concerning something you've done"
Shame makes you hang your head…shame causes your face to turn red, and your self worth to plummet. If you've said the words "I'm ashamed of myself". It's because you've done something horrible, you've had something you've tired to hide come to light…something you wanted to stay secrete has been discovered.
The easiest definition for us is "Sin made Public" equals "shame". The one good thing about shame is…you cannot repent without it…shame is the catalyst for forgiveness.
At the end of Genesis chapter two we read "Although both Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame"
What this means is…they were innocent…they were without sin before God…they were God conscious not self conscious.
But there choices in chapter 3 change everything. In verse 7 we read that as they disobeyed God and ate from the tree he'd forbidden…"their eyes were opened and they suddenly felt shame for their nakedness."
Shame comes into the picture because they are no longer innocent…sin has made them self conscious instead of God conscious. They realize they are naked, become afraid…and hid from God. They are ashamed.
Adam and Eve experience both shame and guilt…Guilt says, "I've done something wrong, shame says "theirs something wrong with me" guilt says "I've made a mistake" shame says "I am a mistake" Guilt says "what I did was not good" shame says "I am no good"
We see both experienced in Adam and Eve's fall…they experience guilt. And then are consumed with shame…why else would they run and hide and cover themselves." One of the elements of shame is embarrassment…you do something stupid and you want to run and hide.
The Apostle Paul knew about shame…his memory must have flooded his soul with it…holding the cloaks and giving full approval as Stephen is stoned to death…He's literally applauding the misery of another. All the treats and murderess accusations that went through his mind and his mouth…the violence, the arrests, the beatings he'd administered… no wonder he says