The Gospel is the Power of God
“The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation – “Romans 1: 16”
The portion of scripture I have utilised for my text today and have just quoted is tremendous in respect of the implications that it carries with it and because it portrays for all of us here today a source of power beyond our wildest dreams and expectations.
The gospel is portrayed as “powerful, purpose driven and effective” and revealed in the person of Jesus Christ of whom it has been declared “is able to save to the uttermost – Hebrews 7: 25” and today, right now and right here in this place He although unseen is here and ready to meet with you in the very centre of your needs.
I do not know any of you, your backgrounds or personal needs, but one thing I have absolutely no doubt of is that no matter what your need may be, the good news as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ is that He is able to deal with it.
He is the worlds: –
- Greatest Teacher
- Surest Guide
- Perfect Example
- Greatest of Hero’s
and this Saviour is able today in this place to deliver, “completely, perfectly and finally”.
I have no idea what your individual need might be, you could be gripped by guilt and fear, there may be evil influences at work in your circumstances, you may be suffering from depression and loneliness, and perhaps you are sick in body. No matter what category you may fit into you are not beyond the scope of His desire and ability.
I want to tell you right here and now that His help is always: –
and as it say’s in “Hebrews 13: 6 – The Lord is my helper”.
It’s been said that “Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you”, and the challenge that is presented to us today is what will you do with your experience.
I am going to throw out a challenge right now at the beginning of this message to prove Christ’s love and compassion towards you. A challenge if you are “sick in mind, body or spirit” to prove Christ’s power to heal and a challenge to believe that God in Jesus Christ both desires to and will deliver you from anything that holds and captivates.
In “Matthew 9: 28” it states, “Do You Believe I Can Make You Well”. The challenge that is presented to us is “Do we believe?”
In the context of the “Matthew 9” we see specific instances of the ability of Jesus to heal. In one there are “two blind men” following Jesus and crying out to be healed and Jesus simply said, “Do you believe that I can do this” they declared Yes! And Jesus reached out touched them and instantly their sight was restored.
I have seen Deafness being removed, Sickle Cell Disease Healed, declarations by people of their Cancers disappearing, partial Blindness and Limb Paralysis, Bones moving back into place and many other complaints and am able to testify of God’s power at work.
Again, in same chapter we are told of a woman who had a “non-healing issue of blood” she had suffered with it for years, she had seen all the medical authorities of her day and yet even though she had spent a fortune was still no better, yet when she heard that Jesus the miracle worker was in her neighbourhood she believed that if she could touch Him she would be healed, and that’s exactly what occurred.
Listen to her testimony: –
It’s no less a truth today that Jesus can still be touched, and He will still heal. Jesus said of this woman “Your faith has made you whole – Verse 22” and today the same could be said of you in the midst of your need.
In another portion of the Bible it speaks of a “crippled man” who had such good friends that they were willing to carry their lame friend to Jesus for healing and their combined faith resulted in a mighty miracle with the lame man walking away and entering a brand-new life.
Likewise, in “Mark: 3” we are told of another man crippled with a “withered hand”. In his day there was not any form of unemployment or sickness benefit and as a result he was ushered into a beggarly existence.
The verses read like this – “Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. “
The desire of the Lord today as we find ourselves in this unique time in our individual life history is to say to you as He said to the man in “Mark 3 :5” – “Stand Up”, in other words “seize the moment”. He said to the man “Stretch forward your hand” and we are told that as he stretched it out his hand was restored to perfectness like his other hand.
The woman with the issue of blood believed that by merely touching the hem of His garment she would be healed (and she was).
I want to say to you today that Jesus will still be touched and perform a miracle in your life if you will but reach out a hand of faith and touch Him. There’s a saying that states “The Past is History, the Future is a Mystery, Today is a Gift that’s why it’s called the Present”.
Jesus says to us today “What is it that you would like that I do unto you?”
Everywhere we turn we find: –
- People with withered minds unable to free themselves from the snares of psychological scars, sinful thoughts and sinful inclinations.
- People with withered hearts who are unable to see any purpose in their existing lives today or any hope for the tomorrow.
- People again, who have withered bodies who feel encumbered in a struggle with their infirmities even to the point of completing everyday tasks.
- People who suffer from withered souls who have failed to discover that there is a God in Heaven who is come down in the guise of Jesus to reveal His love and a pathway to a fuller and restored life.
The Bible tells us that “He came into the world that we might have life and have it more abundantly – John 10: 10” – are you today enjoying an abundance of life or merely existing from day to day. There is no need for you to live life as if you are “half dead” because in the salvation of Jesus and the indwelling of His resurrection life you can live like you are “twice alive”.
Today I wonder if you have considered how Jesus Christ views you. When Jesus looked at those who surrounded Him and those who came across His pathway He looked upon them with “supernatural vision” He saw them with yet “unrealised potential” that was either dormant or supressed by the heaviness of the world and its stresses and strains upon them.
He didn’t look at people then and He doesn’t look at you today as a lost cause, unreachable and not worth the effort, this was never the case with Jesus He always looks upon all with an “un-repressible optimism”.
When Jesus saw the vagrant, liar, coward, prostitute, child molester, drug addict, gay individual or crook, did He discount them, No! No!, No! He saw “unrecognised promise” in them all and thank God for it.
He saw that the old could become new, the fallen could be restored. The prideful could be humbled the wanderers could come home.
When Jesus looked at people with withered lives He could see the weak becoming strong and the derelict and homeless becoming disciples.
When Jesus looked at the lives of His day and He looks at our lives today He truly believes in the power of God to transform and renew, and this belief motivated Him then and now.
Why? does He pursue people no matter where they come from. Why? because He has a vision as to where they could be going when God’s power takes effect in their lives.
Jesus saw past their past and all its crap, in just the same way as He sees through ours and dreams about “who and what they and we could become”.
People are scared, and full of fear much of which is caused not by what is around them but by what is in them and as a result it keeps them away from the source of peace and safety and that’s why He pushes, and loves until He is able to lift them and us into a place where we could grasp our full potential.
There is an expression called “radical inclusiveness” and this was the entire viewpoint of Jesus. When Jesus looked at the people of His day, and it’s true to say that when He looked at each of us here He looked past all the “foibles, weaknesses faults and failings” and sees us in our saved and Spirit-infused state.
Jesus reached out to: –
- The lovely and unlovely.
- The successful and the struggling.
- The outgoing and the recluse.
- The accepted and the outcast.
- Those like us and those who are completely different.
He was and still is radically inclusive in His view of mankind.
I said earlier that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and the gospel is God’s Word. In “Hebrews 4:12” it states that it is “Quick, Powerful and Sharp”.
“His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what” – “Hebrews 4:12” – The Message
and I want to say to you today that God’s Word, the Gospel is: –
- Divine in Origin
- Living in Nature
- Powerful in its Outworking
- Final in its Judgement
- Clear in its Demands
and amid all these attributes it also reveals a loving Saviour and deliverer. Today, you can discover the truth of “Psalm 34: 4” where it states, “I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears”.
I want you today to recognise that you are in a unique and momentous position because right now you stand at a doorway of opportunity that can transform and revolutionise your future. It is a moment that may never arise again and an opportunity that I would urge you to grab with both hands.
In the realm of fantasy stories, we have many examples of doors that have been opened and led into realms of wonderment.
- Ali-Baba and the 40 thieves, in this story the treasure was beyond the door that opened with the words “Open Sesame”.
- Prince Charming, here it was a door overgrown with weeds and rusting hinges and surrounded by a high wall which retained and imprisoned the beautiful princess until Prince Charming found her and set her free.
- Alice in Wonderland, here it was a low door in a wide overshadowed tree which led into wonderland.
These were all fictional stories but the best door of all is non-fictional and is found in “John 10: 9” where it says “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved “
Doors provide when opened and we enter through new opportunities for learning and friendship, they provide the fulfilment of ambitions, hopes, dreams, and aspirations in respect of some many spheres of life. They effect and touch work, marriages, careers and Jesus tells us that in Him is a door that leads to rich pastures.
Let’s see what He means.
- He is the Door to a Brand-New Life – 2 Corinthians 5: 17
- He is the Door to an Abundant and Brand-New Life – John 10: 10
- He is the Door to a Brand New, Abundant and Everlasting Life – John 3: 16
1) He is the Door to a Brand-New Life
“If any person finds Christ as Saviour, he will be a new person, old things will have passed away, and all things will be new – 2 Corinthians 5: 17”.
I feel sure today that there have been times when we have woken up, and maybe it was this very morning and faced a difficult situation ahead, perhaps it’s been perceived to be insurmountable, even devastating in its outcome. At the commencement of a new year all sorts of resolutions are made in an endeavour to create a new future.
A few years ago, offers were made for a fee of £10.00 to emigrate to Australia and then later to New Zealand and thousands of people paid up and headed for a new life only in many cases to discover that it’s not possible to “run away from oneself”.
In general, all the above escape routes and desires for a new life end up in disappointment and frustration, and sadly on occasions tragedy and why? Well! The answer is simple.
In order to escape the consequences of our style of living or to achieve successful resolutions, and to discover new horizons there needs to be an “inward change” that re-orientates how we see life with all its spectrum of experiences.
This re-orientation is just what Jesus does, He makes “new people” old things pass away, and the future becomes new.
2) He is the Door to a Brand-New Life and Abundant Life
“I am come that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly – John 10: 10“
If you are here today and you are sick in mind, body or spirit then how you arrived could be entirely different to how you leave – wouldn’t that be great!
The whole purpose in the coming of Jesus was that He might “unlock and release” people into the fullness of life, a life of abundance, if you like life with a capital L. He wants to Break the Chains that Bind You.
What’s your life like today, is it frustrating, do you on balance find yourself existing from day to day and frequently dissatisfied.
We live in days of uncertainty not knowing what tomorrow holds, but Jesus say’s “We shall go in and out and find pasture” in other words on a day by day experience He will relieve our fears, quench our sorrows and He will be our “all sufficiency”.
3) He is the Door to a Brand-New Life, Abundant and Everlasting Life
Any reasonable thinking man or woman would readily recognise that there is more to life than meets the eye, more than we can physically see and feel.
Why are so many people turning to the supernatural and the occult; because they recognise the reality of an “unseen world” and those who are turning to Jesus as the doorway are discovering the reality of that “unseen world”.
Jesus invites you and I invite you today to take step of faith and to acknowledge the reality of the “safe and secure unseen world that He dwells within”.
- If you fear death, He holds the keys of death and hell.
- If you fear sickness, He is the Healer.
- If you fear on-going enslavement to your habits and complexes, He is the one who sets free.
The Bible says: – “He that believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth will be saved – Romans 10: 10”.
Are you a person living for achievements that do not fulfil, accolades that never satisfy, and money that doesn’t bring genuine happiness then today Jesus is inviting you into life, freedom, healing and liberty.
The Gospel Message of Jesus is a message of…
- Salvation to all of those who are lost and without hope in this life.
- Hope to all who have failed God in one way or another.
- Restored faith and belief to those who have given up.
- Joy and peace to those who are sinking in the mire of self-pity and despair.
- Purpose and destiny to those who are without direction and meaning in this life.
- Christ’s compassion and mercy in His dealings with mankind.
- Healing of the Body, Mind and Spirit.
There are the stories of people in the Bible in which we discover that after his encounter with Jesus he was forever changed.
Situation in which they would declare: –
One day I was blind but now I can see, another day I was lame and now I can walk, I was impoverished but then I was enriched. One day I was under a curse but now I am under blessing, one day I deserved nothing but then I received all things through the grace of God.
There was a time when I was dead in spirit but then I was quickened and made alive by the power of the resurrected Christ.
Truly with the hymn writer I and every child of God would declare Oh! What a saviour. It is truly a place of rejoicing to discover that He has brought me from a dark place into light, He has brought me from a place of bondage to a place of liberty and freedom. He has brought me from a place where my mind was trapped and enslaved to a place where my mind and thoughts could be free.
Christ has brought me from a place that the Bible declares to be stony ground and quicksand and placed me in a fertile place a garden of fruitfulness and my feet upon a rock which cannot be moved.
Wonderfully, in Christ our names have been erased from the Book of Judgement and now are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Right at this moment you are at a moment of decision and you can either reject the offer of the power of God in your life revealed through the Gospel or miss out on the deliverance that only Christ can give, or you can “trust in Him” and acknowledge “His Lordship” and receive from His hands the answers to your need.
The Lame Man in John 5:7, the Woman in Luke 13 11 & 12, the Man at the Gate in Acts 3:2, the Man with the Withered Hand in Mark: 3 all had individual needs, all were desperate, and all had one thing in common they discovered His power to set free and release.
He has come into the World that He might set you free and that you might walk in health and vitality and discover a life of expectancy.
God says to you right now: –
Starting With God
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