THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 7-17-11
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL”
“The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows forth His handiwork,” Psalm 19:1. No truer words have ever been spoken for all of creation does show forth the glory of our Creator.
Let me welcome each of you to the Living Word program on this glorious Lord’s Day morning! How wonderful it is to know that you have chosen to put God first this day and to assemble for this time of worship before His Mighty Throne!
As always, it will be our privilege to offer sacrifices to God this morning, with the fruit of our lips and the obedience of our actions, may we all be encouraged on this the Lord’s day. However, may we each do our part so that ultimately we will offer praise to God according to His truth as is found in His Precious Will. So as we begin our focus on the Creator, will you bow with me in prayer?
Now let’s join in our first hymn of the day. It’s name, “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed.”
(SONG # 1)
We mentioned a verse earlier, which reminded us of the wonder, power and might of our God. In fact, when we look around in this world or at the vast universe we see the signs of God’s power everywhere. Consider the beauties of this earth, the seasons and their unique and special characteristics. And what about the glory of the stars in heaven which we see twinkling in the night sky. Our God is a great God.
The point is, we see proof, signs and confirmation of our God all around us. We know He exists through the wonder of those things which He created and made. And now consider how blessed we are to have this awesome being as our Creator, caregiver and friend. Brethren, how thankful to God we should all be.
The inspired Apostle Paul understood these same ideas all too well, when He said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” Romans 1:20. Again notice that God has revealed Himself through His Creation. Back in verse 19 It is also clarified that “He has made Himself known” by these things! Yes, God’s wonder, glory and praise can be fully seen in those things which He has made.
Finally, consider with me the crowning glory of God’s fullness and that which clearly makes Him known among us. Let’s read from Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” It was by Jesus Christ that all things have been fully revealed and through which the Godhead itself has become known and fully evident.
Do you know your God this day? Have you realized the great evidences and clarity which His Creation shows concerning His existence? Choose today to believe in this God and to obey His precious Will!
Today we will continue our series of study entitled, “The Gospel of Christ.” Our specific lesson this day will be, “The Power of the Gospel.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, we will lead in our main thoughts of the day.
As far as our speaker, we are happy to again have brother Brent Green with us. Brother Brent is the minister for the Carthage Church of Christ, as well as an instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for joining us and look forward to him leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now it’s time to join in our second song, the name of this hymn, “Be Not Dismayed.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
What a great privilege it is again to study the Word of God. This morning, we’re talking about the power of the Gospel.
Paul said there in Romans chapter 1 and verse 16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation.”
Well indeed we think about powerful things just to begin with. We think first about in nature where we see some very powerful things around us. The roar of a lion and the power behind it, the way of knowing there is a great power behind that great predator. Well the bites of a crocodile, very powerful. Even beyond that, we think about the storms that roll through sometimes and the power that is behind them. Well all of those powerful things that we see in this life, the power there in nature, well none of those even compare to what is talked about in this verse when Paul talks about the power of God unto salvation. Where is that power found? There in the Gospel of Christ as he referenced there again Romans chapter 1 and verse 16. Well that power is what we have to understand as people today as those seeking to guide our lives by the scripture that we might indeed understand that power that there is in the Gospel.
Well think first as we talk about the Gospel and indeed it does have a great power. As we mentioned there in Romans chapter 1:16, we think about that power that is in the Gospel is said there to be “the power of God,” as it is talking there about the Gospel of Christ.
Well just step back for a moment and think about who God is, the fact that He spoke life into existence there in Genesis chapter 1, and the fact that He made not only the things that we see but also will destroy the entire world later in a flood later on the book of Genesis. Well God brought down the Walls of Jericho. God slew Goliath through the hand of David there, and all that God did throughout the Old Testament. Then we fast forward and think for a moment about the New Testament as God as Christ as He came as man to this earth did all the wonders there as He performed the miracles healing those who had never walked since birth, making the blind to see, making those who are lame have the ability to walk again. Well the power that God has not only to make life and to sustain life and to be the One who is in control of life as we know it. That’s God! A powerful God! The One who is indeed All-Powerful as we know Him to be! Well we think about God in that light as we again think about that verse, “The Gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation.” There is indeed a great power in that Gospel which God has given to us. Not only because it has the power of God within it, but also because it has the power contained within the blood that Jesus Christ shed.
Think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 as he begins to talk about the Gospel, that Word of God which indeed can lead men to salvation if they will obey His plan. Well God, through Paul there, talks about the fact that that Gospel was preached. In referencing that Gospel, he talks about the fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He was buried and that He rose that third day. Then it begins to go on even further in chapter 15 there of Corinthians to talk about how Jesus appeared to many after His resurrection. Well Paul begins laying out the Gospel. What was part of that Gospel? What part of the power behind it? Well the fact that Jesus Christ shed His blood. Even though He was buried, He overcame that giving us the opportunity to overcome death. You see there again the power that there is in the Gospel, that Gospel that contains there that understanding, that power is in the blood of Christ. We even sing a song very often that’s in our hymnals, “There is power in the blood.” Well there is power in the blood of Jesus Christ, the power to give us the opportunity to overcome sin. Well that’s the power Jesus gave us with His blood that was shed, the power that is referenced there in the Gospel itself.
Well to think about the power of that blood when we talk about this Gospel. Hebrews chapter 9 reminds us of such. Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 22, even referencing those Old Testament sacrifices. There it is said, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Without the shedding of Jesus’ blood, we learn as well, there is no remission of sins. Indeed there is power in the Gospel because the Gospel is about in part the blood that Christ shed.
Even in the same chapter going back in Hebrews chapter 9 back up to verse 14. It says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God cleanse your conscious from dead works to serve the Living God.” Jesus Christ’s blood is much more powerful is able to wash away sin. Well the power that is in the Gospel, the Gospel that speaks of Jesus Christ and the blood that He shed.
Now Peter had also referenced this power concerning the blood of Christ in 1 Peter chapter 1. “Indeed we’re not redeemed by the things of this earth, not by silver and gold, not for the things that are going to perish, but indeed by the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter chapter 1 there in verse 18 says, “Knowing that you are not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received from your fathers but with…” What? With what are you redeemed? Verse 19 says, “But with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish or without spots.”
Indeed we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. And again we see the power of the Gospel, the power that is in God Himself as He gave us this Gospel, the power that is in the blood, the power that is able to save. That’s why when Paul spoke of it there again in Romans chapter 1 and verse 16 he says, “I am not ashamed. I don’t look down upon it. I’m not ashamed to talk about it in any way.” Because what is the Gospel of Christ? The very power of God unto salvation! The Gospel indeed has a great power. So much power that the Gospel can change lives.
I want you if you have your Bibles and I hope you do as you listen to this program, turn with me to the book of Acts, Acts chapter 2. We see in parts here some of the lives that were changed by this powerful Gospel. As we see there in Acts 2 Peter and the other apostles stand up and begin to preach the Gospel. We see there in verse 5 of chapter 2 “many people were gathered there, many Jews from every nation,” it says, “were gathered there for the feast of the Pentecost.” Now listen to the different men who were gathered there. They were gathered there for the purpose of fulfilling the Old Law as they thought they were here still worshipping according to that pattern, gathered there to offer and offer the praise according to the feast in the things that were called to them to do according to the scripture of old. But as they were gathered there, Peter begins to preach as he stands up there. But I want you to see as he preaches this gospel sermon, as the message is delivered here. To whom does he preach it? Well we have referenced those individuals but look at what he says to them. Acts chapter 2 and verse 23 says, “Him,” speaking of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified and put to death.” Peter says, “Look, those of you who are listening to this today. You are the ones who have crucified Christ.” Well later on in the very same chapter in verse 36, this is the end of this sermon where he really convicts them of what they have done in crucifying Jesus. He says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” He says, “Look, you are the very ones who crucified the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We might say, “Well some are just beyond hope. Some are beyond salvation. Some are beyond the power of the Gospel. Not the case here in Acts chapter 2, the very crucifiers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They had as well found salvation. Guess where they found it. They found it in the power of the Gospel. They say there in reference to what Peter said after he called in the crucifiers of Christ. “When they heard this,” verse 37, “they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” Their hearts were touched. They were convicted by the power of the Gospel. Peter gives them a response there in verse 38. “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And so what did they do? Well they did just that, what we see there later on in the same chapter verse 41, it says, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized and that day about 3,000 souls were added to them.” Verse 46, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house they ate the bread with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Well those who were being saved there, those who were being added to the church by the Lord there were those who were being baptized, those who had followed what Peter told them to do as they asked that question.
But again who were these people? Well in part some of them standing there were the very crucifiers of our Lord and Savior! The power of the Gospel to change lives, to save lives there on Pentecost as those responded to that gospel and they obeyed. They were in sin and those sins were washed away. The power that is in that Gospel.
Same power that is also seen in the life of Paul formerly known as Saul. When we look many places like Acts chapter 7 where Paul was there, Saul rather before his name was changed, was there consenting to the death of Stephen. Even later on in that chapter it talks about all that Saul began to do to the church there. Acts chapter 8 and verse 3 says, “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men and women committing them to prison.” The reason they were scattered everywhere (verse 4) is because of the havoc Saul and others were wreaking on the church. When you think about a man like Saul who was persecuting the church, well what happened? The power of the Gospel changed his life as he indeed encountered Christ there, Jesus on the road in Damascus. In Acts chapter 9 verses 10-19 he was taught the Gospel by Ananias and because of that what happened in the life of Saul? Well he as well was immersed for the remission of his sins and began also to walk a new life. Well the power of the Gospel can change lives. Acts chapter 9 and verse 20 is where we see that in the life of Paul. It says there, “Immediately,” this is after he was baptized, “Immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues that He is the Son of God.” The one who denied Christ, the one who denied the very existence, so to speak, as this being the Messiah, the Son of God. The Gospel, the power of that Gospel changed his life. No longer was he leading a life of persecution on the church but now he was preaching Christ and the church itself. Well the change there and how again was that brought about? Well again by the power of the Gospel!
Many other examples we can look at even in the New Testament of how the Gospel changed people.
In Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9-11 begins to list all that they once were, all the sin that they were engaged in. But verse 11, it says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified.” You see all those sins were washed away when they obeyed the Gospel and therefore the Gospel changes lives.
Well even today the power of the Gospel is seen in its ability to change people’s lives. So often today people are seeking something other than the Gospel, seeking something else that somehow brings change in the lives of people. Maybe they turn to entertainment, lights, production, and the whole scene to try to bring people into church so to speak. Well is the power in those types of things? People have turned away even to another Gospel. They’ve added to or taken away from which indeed is prohibited by Revelation. But they’ve done that. They’ve perverted. They’ve watered down. They’ve sought their own, maybe a self-seeking type of Gospel. What’s in this for me? What can I gain from it? What programs are out there? What do you have in place that I can gain something? But again we go back to what we saw in the lives of people like Saul who became Paul, the lives of there on the Day of Pentecost. They weren’t changed by anything on this earth. What changed them? The very power of the Gospel.
Well the very power of the Gospel that changed them is what we need today to change people’s lives. And what do we do? Well we take that Gospel and the Gospel alone to the world that needs that same saving power today, that Gospel that makes saints out of sinners, that Gospel that gives life to those who were formerly lost, that Gospel that changes people from the old man to the new man. Romans chapter 6 and verse 4 there as we rise out of those waters to now walk in what? Newness of life! Having left then, having left the old man, you see it changes us when we obey that Gospel that God has given to us. “For indeed,” Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 12, “the Word of God is living and powerful,” that we might (indaudible) that sort of spirit in Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 17, that we might take that power to the world because they need it. Only that gospel that has such a power can change lives.
I want us to close in Romans chapter 10 as we consider there what we need to do with this powerful Gospel. It talks about there in Romans 10 and verse 14, “How then shall they call on Him of who they did not believe and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher?” This powerful Gospel, the saving message of Jesus Christ has been enjoined upon us with a great commission to go out there and share that powerful saving message. Indeed we’ve got to understand the power of the Gospel, understand its great power, understand its ability to change lives in the New Testament and understand its ability to change lives even this very day, to know that God has given us such a power that we can take to the world. Let’s hold on to and cling to that saving and powerful message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - “I Stand Amazed.”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I know our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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How blessed we are to have the gospel of Christ and to know its Power from God concerning our souls salvation. May we all cherish this great gift from God, as well as study and obey it that we might do those things which are pleasing in His sight!