In both the Old and New Testaments, various phenomena in God’s dealings with man can be categorized as signs, wonders, and miracles. However, Apostle Paul reveals that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the magnitude of God’s power, surpassing all (Ephesians 1:19-20). It was God’s full power on display. In this day and age, that power has been invested in announcing the message of Christ.
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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. – Romans 1:16-17
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul gives a disclaimer notice that the proclamation he describes as the gospel of Christ would be the antithesis of human religion. The extreme generosity of God shocks our religious sensibilities. To the Jews, the notion of a crucified Messiah was unthinkable. To them, “Mashiach” was a political ruler who had absolute authority. They could not imagine that He was to submit Himself in humility, in co-suffering love with man to the point of embracing and accepting the abuse of angry sinners to be crucified by their hand.
To the Greeks, the gods of their Pantheon were drunk on power. They toyed with man. Unfortunately, many of the portraits we have of God today come from the Greek concept of God. We think of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as though He was like Zeus, an angry judge who will eventually get you. If we are to preach the Image and Word made man, Jesus Christ, you will realize that it will come into confrontation with the portraits men have painted of God.
Paul said he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation. He did not say the Gospel has the power of God; neither did he say the Gospel of Christ is powerful. It is the power of God. There is nothing we can do to make the Gospel more powerful. The Gospel possesses the inherent ability and efficacy of God. Attempting to add to it only obliterates it. We were not just saved and liberated from sin and its effects, but we were saved unto God’s ultimate intention.
The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God. When Paul said, “the just shall live by faith,” he was not referring to faith as a lifestyle. This phrase is the most cited Old Testament passage in Paul’s epistles. The term “the Just” is a Messianic title for Jesus. The phrase is a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul was saying that He, who is the Just, will be resurrected, and His resurrection will publish His righteousness unto all represented in Him. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the justification of humanity. At the cross, God was not judging us for our sins. He was judging our sins for us. Jesus Christ died as the last Adam on the cross, and on the third day, He resurrected as the first fruit of the new creation.
There are two main features of the Gospel that, until you have heard them, the Gospel has not been announced yet. These are the resurrection and our justification as a result of it. The resurrection of Christ certifies that we have been made righteous. The Gospel is an announcement, not a probability nor a presentation of principles to be observed. It announces an event that has already happened, a world-altering event that includes the audience. We do not preach a message of conditions, but we announce and proclaim the conclusion of our inclusion.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the full power of God, His consummate power on display. That event and the power thereof have been invested in the proclamation of the Gospel. God’s consummate power is invested in the preaching, the heralding of Jesus Christ.
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” Romans 16:25-26
Paul says God is of power, and again, he adds that this power is according to the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery. In Paul’s declaration of the revelation of the mystery, he preaches Jesus Christ, not just Him apart from you, but Jesus Christ with you, through you, in you, as you. The Gospel is exclusively inclusive. The Gospel of Christ equals the power of God. If we expect another manifestation of God’s power than the resurrection, ascension, and session, then there is something we have not understood.
This article is an extract from the series, “The Consummate Power of God” by Dr. Shawn Smith. For the complete series, please, visit gcmonlinestore.com