By Norman E. Pultz
What the gospel is God’s power to save from sin Paul affirms in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” It would appear that many times we do not believe as strongly in its power as we should. We are disposed to think of some folk who are deeply embroiled in sin as being beyond the reach of God’s power, the gospel. Yet how we marvel when we see lives that have been lived so sinfully turned, converted by the hearing of the gospel!
The gospel can transform one from a life of sin and degradation into a life of uprightness and holiness (see Romans 6). The members of one’s body, formerly the instruments of sin, become instruments in God’s service. Drunkards, liars, thieves, adulterers, et al can be changed by the gospel (see 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
How does it accomplish such a feat? Because it works in man’s heart, the control center of his actions. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). The gospel penetrates the very deepest recesses of his being and brings about a change from within. Man’s intellect, emotions, and will are changed by the gospel. One is made to consider the folly of a life of sin and the promise of a life of uprightness, and he weighs the two in the balances of his intellect. Having formerly been a lover of pleasure and of sin, his emotions are changed; for now sin offers only fleeting pleasure, no lasting happiness. But godliness offers him the “promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8), and the “goodness of God” (Rom. 2:4) in providing salvation for sinful man (Rom. 5:8) causes him to love God; and this is a constraining love (2 Cor. 5:14). A choice is made, a decision is reached -he renders obedience to the gospel of Christ, repenting and being baptized for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38).
Now he is in Christ and is a child of God (Gal. 3:27). He is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). He has been changed, converted by the gospel, God’s power to save. To live “soberly, righteously and godly” becomes his aim, and heaven his hope.
Sinner friend, where do you stand in relation to God? The gospel can save even you.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 19, p. 577
October 1, 1992