The Power of God Unto Salvation (Part 1)

Power: "The ABILITY to do or effect something or anything, or to act upon a person or thing." I. The word "gospel" means good tidings. ISA 61:1 c/w LUK 4:18. II. The common explanation of ROM 1:16 is that the good tidings itself is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel itself is deemed to have the ability to effect the salvation of a sinner from death in trespasses and sins. A. Note that the verse does not say that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all fallen sinners, but only to believers. 1. This would imply that it is of no value at all to an unbeliever. 2. If therefore the gospel is of no value to an unbeliever, then what is the point of sharing the gospel with unbelievers? B. In reality, according to this system, the power unto salvation does not lie in the gospel, but in the dead, fallen sinner, if only he would believe. III. The sinner does not possess the power of God unto salvation. All men are by nature under sin. ROM 3:9-12, 23. A. Mind the expressions "none," "no, not one" in ROM 3. These are very inclusive expressions. B. The following verses show the sinner's inability, his powerlessness to save himself from his sinful condition: 1. JOB 14:4. "Can" means "to be able; to have the power, ability, or capacity." No one has the power to bring a clean thing out of unclean. 2. JER 13:23. Those accustomed to do evil CANNOT do good anymore than an Ethiopian can change his skin or a leopard his spots. 3. ROM 8:6-8. The sinner CANNOT be subject to the law of God; he CANNOT (has no power or ability to) please God. 4. JOH 8:43. The sinner CANNOT hear God's words with understanding. 5. 1CO 2:14. The natural man CANNOT know the things of the Spirit of God. These things are spiritually discerned and he lacks the spiritual capacity (see def. of "can") to discern them. 6. PSA 49:7-8. Sinners are POWERLESS to redeem their brother by any means. 7. The sinner's condition is described as being WITHOUT STRENGTH (ROM 5:6). He is so powerless that his sinful condition is described as being dead. EPH 2:1. IV. The law does not possess the power of God unto salvation. ROM 8:3. A. "Could" is the past tense of "can." The law does not possess the ability to effect salvation. B. The law is "weak through the flesh." The problem with the law lies not with the law itself but with the weakness and faultiness of the people to whom it is given. 1. ROM 7:12-13. The law is good. The problem lies with the sinner. 2. HEB 8:7-9. The fault of the law was with the people. a. The old covenant was a "do and live" proposition. ROM 10:5. b. But, the new covenant would NOT be according to this! c. How many people are still advocating an old covenant system and calling it the new covenant of grace? C. The sinner is not able to meet the requirements of the law in order to live. ather than justifying a sinner, the law only reveals his utter sinfulness. ROM 3:20; 7:8-9. D. The following verses show what the law could not do: 1. ROM 3:20. The law could not justify. 2. GAL 3:18. The law could not produce an inheritance. 3. GAL 3:21. The law could not give life. 4. HEB 7:19. The law could not make perfect. 5. HEB 10:11. The law could not take away sins. The sacrifices mentioned in this verse were "offered by the law" according to v.8. E. There are those who teach that salvation is not by keeping the law, but by believing the gospel. But, what saith the Scripture? 1. The law requires faith. MAT 23:23. 2. God judged Israel under the law for not having faith. DEU 32:20. 3. Furthermore, God judged Israel for not believing the gospel! ROM 10:15-16; HEB 3:18-4:2. 4. The gospel was set forth in the O.T. a. The gospel was preached unto Abraham. GAL 3:8. b. The gospel was promised by the prophets in the O.T. scriptures. ROM 1:1-2. c. The very righteousness which the gospel reveals (ROM 1:17) was witnessed by the law and the prophets. ROM 3:21. d. Jesus Christ is the "horn of salvation" (LUK 1:67-75). (1) Observe the definition of "horn" as it used in this context. (2) Horn: "An emblem of POWER and MIGHT; a means of defence or resistance; hence 'horn of salvation' is used of God or Christ." (3) This sets forth Jesus Christ as being the power or might of salvation and this is the very message of the gospel! Mind that this raising up of the horn of salvation was spoken by the of the holy prophets. (4) The O.T. prophets spoke of the salvation that is now reported in the gospel. 1PE 1:10-12. (5) The gospel which Paul preached was none other than what Moses and the prophets said should come. ACT 26:22-23. (6) Therefore, believing the law and the prophets of necessity included believing the gospel FOR THEY SPOKE OF THE GOSPEL. And this is exactly why the Jews did not believe on Jesus: they did not believe the O.T. scriptures. JOH 5:46-47; LUK 16:31.
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