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Power of God

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Gospel message alone has the power to save.

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WHAT DID IT TAKE TO CHANGE YOU?
Heard gospel & believed - saved, born again
Transformed - walk, talk mind & heart
Jesus is the same today (Heb 13:8)
Jesus can change any heart today - white supremacist or black lives matter...Jew, Muslim, religious churchman or secular evolutionist, the educated or uneducated
Christ can cause a person to put down gun & pick up a Bible (Acts 2:37)
Weapons - Word of God Hate & pick up the Love of God Booze- pick up Body of Christ Gangs - Grace of God Instead being influenced by Satan- savior devil - divine Lucifer - Lord World - Word
FOUR THINGS

GOSPEL IS PERSONAL

“Not ashamed.”

Many people in attendance but God speaks a Word directly.
NOT ASHAMED
God always had a personal Word for Paul... WHEN PAUL WAS
In Prison in Philippi - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13) Chased out of Thessalonica - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. " 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) Smuggled out of Berea Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJV) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Mocked at Antioch Romans 8:28 (NKJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Called a fool at Corinth Romans 8:35 (NKJV) 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Stoned in Galatia - Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ…”GOSPEL MET HIS EVERY NEEDMAKE SURE YOUR WORSHIP IS PERSONAL IT'S ME OH LORD STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYERGosp meet every need-
GOSPEL IS POWERFUL “it is the power of God…”
Penetrate years of sin and gets straight to heartBrings salvation where there was no God & no hope in this world... Ephesians 2:12 (NKJV) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Relationship with GPenetrate Years of - Sin, drinking, drugging, immorality, unbelief, depression, cheating, criminal, child use..SALVATION - deliverance & rescue from the power dominion...no bondage...slavery FREE "WHOM THE SON SETS FREE IS FREE INDEED" John 8:36 On time I was "too mean to live, not fit to die...going to hell and enjoying the ride...God did something to me I did not deserve...transformed my life & set me free"I was sinking deep in sin,
far from the peaceful shore,
very deeply stained within,
sinking to rise no more;
but the Master of the sea
heard my despairing cry,
from the waters lifted me;
now safe am I.
Love lifted me!
PRACTICAL “to every that believes"
Accepted by anyone no matter COLOR, CREED or CULTUREOnly color that matters to God is RED
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
· Look (hair, dress, talk or walk...situation.. tattoos, ear rings, music..
· WHOSOVER WILL - Red,
· GUTTERMOST to the UTTERMOST
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
PERSISTENT - verse 17 "just shall live by faith"
Always depend - beginning to end, start...alpha to omega...faith to faith DEPEND ON THE WORD OF GOD...Heaven and earth shall pass awayImpact culture, citiCOMMANDS, PRECEPTS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, STANDARDS, JUDGMENTS ARE IN HIS WORD REVEALED. BASICS OF FAITH All else failed...God word standsSALVATION NOT in party or movementWORD OF GOD can change racist, abuser,
ASHAMED OF racism in the church, babies being killed, petty differences, practice don't preach, immorality in the church, how our children are being exploited…
Power
for it is the power of God (1:16b)
First of all, Paul declares, the gospel is the power of God. Dunamis (power) is the Greek term from which our word dynamite is derived. The gospel carries with it the omnipotence of God, whose power alone is sufficient to save men from sin and give them eternal life.
People have an innate desire to be changed. They want to look better, feel better; have more money, more power, more influence. The premise of all advertising is that people want to change in some way or another, and the job of the advertiser is to convince them that his product or service will add a desired dimension to their lives. Many people want to be changed inwardly in a way that will make them feel less guilty and more content, and a host of programs, philosophies, and religions promise to meet those desires. Many man-made schemes succeed in making people feel better about themselves, but the ideas promoted have no power to remove the sin that brings the feelings of guilt and discontent. Nor can those ideas make men right with God. In fact, the more successful such approaches are from their own standpoint, the more they drive people away from God and insulate them from His salvation.
Through Jeremiah, the Lord said, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23). It is not within man's power to change his own nature. In rebuking the Sadducees who tried to entrap Him, Jesus said, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God" (Matt. 22:29). Only the power of God is able to overcome man's sinful nature and impart spiritual life.
The Bible makes it clear that men cannot be spiritually changed or saved by good works, by the church, by ritual, or by any other human means. Men cannot be saved even by keeping God's own law which was given to show men their helplessness to meet His standards in their own power. The law was not given to save men but to reveal their sin and thus to drive men to God's saving grace.
Later in Romans, Paul declares man's impotence and God's power, saying, "While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6), and, "What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin" (8:3). Affirming the same basic truth in different words, Peter wrote believers in Asia Minor: "You have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God" (1 Pet. 1:23).
Paul reminded the church at Corinth that "the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18), and "we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (vv. 23-25). What to the world seems to be utter absurdity is in fact the power by which God transforms men from the realm of darkness to the realm of light, and delivers them from the power of death and gives them the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12).
SEE Heb 2:14-15, 2 Cor 1:10, Col 1:13-14
Ancient pagans mocked Christianity not only because the idea of substitutionary atonement seemed ridiculous in itself but also because their mythical gods were apathetic, detached, and remote—totally indifferent to the welfare of men. The idea of a caring, redeeming, self-sacrificing God was beyond their comprehension. While excavating ancient ruins in Rome, archaeologists discovered a derisive painting depicting a slave bowing down before a cross with a jackass hanging on it. The caption reads, "Alexamenos worships his god."
In the late second century this attitude still existed. A man named Celsus wrote a letter bitterly attacking Christianity. "Let no cultured person draw near, none wise, none sensible," he said, "for all that kind of thing we count evil; but if any man is ignorant, if any is wanting in sense and culture, if any is a fool, let him come boldly [to Christianity]" (William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p.21; cf. Origen's Against Celsus). "Of the Christians," he further wrote, "we see them in their own houses, wool dressers, cobblers and fullers, the most uneducated and vulgar persons" (p.21). He compared Christians to a swarm of bats, to ants crawling out of their nests, to frogs holding a symposium around a swamp, and to worms cowering in the muck!
Not wanting to build on human wisdom or appeal to human understanding, Paul told the Corinthians that "when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:1-2). Later in the letter Paul said, "The kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power" (4:20), the redeeming power of God.
Every believer, no matter how gifted and mature, has human limitations and weaknesses. Our minds, bodies, and perceptions are imperfect. Yet, incredibly God uses us as channels of His redeeming and sustaining power when we serve Him obediently.
Scripture certainly testifies to...
God's glorious power (Ex. 15:6), His irresistible power (Deut. 32:39), H is unsearchable power (Job 5:9), His mighty power (Job 9:4), His great power (Ps. 79:11), His incomparable power (Ps. 89:8), His strong power (Ps. 89:13), His everlasting power (Isa. 26:4), His effectual power (Isa. 43:13), and His sovereign power (Rom. 9:21).
Jeremiah declared of God, "It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom" (Jer. 10:12), and through that prophet the Lord said of Himself, "I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm" (Jer. 27:5). The psalmist admonished, "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33:8-9). His is the power that can save.
Salvation
for salvation (1:16c)
Surely the greatest manifestation of God's power is that of bringing men to salvation, of transforming their nature and giving them eternal life through His Son. We learn from the psalmist that, despite their rebelliousness, God saved His chosen people "for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known" (Ps. 106:8). As God incarnate, Jesus Christ manifested His divine power in healing diseases, restoring crippled limbs, stilling the storm, and even raising those who were dead.
Paul uses the noun sōtēria (salvation) some nineteen times, five of them in Romans, and he uses the corresponding verb twenty-nine times, eight of them in Romans. The basic idea behind the term is that of deliverance, or rescue, and the point here is that the power of God in salvation rescues people from the ultimate penalty of sin, which is spiritual death extended into tormented eternal separation from Him.
Some people object to terms such as salvation and being saved, claiming that the ideas they convey are out of date and meaningless to contemporary men. But salvation is God's term, and there is no better one to describe what He offers fallen mankind through the sacrifice of His Son. Through Christ, and Christ alone, men can be saved from sin, from Satan, from judgment, from wrath, and from spiritual death.
Regardless of the words they may use to describe their quest, men are continually looking for salvation of one kind or another. Some look for economic salvation, others for political or social salvation. As already noted, many people look for inner salvation from the guilt, frustrations, and unhappiness that make their lives miserable.
Even before Paul's day, Greek philosophy had turned inward and begun to focus on changing man's inner life through moral reform and self-discipline. William Barclay tells us that the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus called his lecture room "the hospital for sick souls." Another famous Greek philosopher named Epicurus called his teaching "the medicine of salvation." Seneca, a Roman statesman and philosopher and contemporary of Paul, taught that all men were looking ad salutem ("toward salvation"). He taught that men are overwhelmingly conscious of their weakness and insufficiency in necessary things and that we therefore need "a hand let down to lift us up" (The Letter to the Romans [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 19).
Salvation through Christ is God's powerful hand, as it were, that He has let down to lift men up. His salvation brings deliverance
from the spiritual infection of "this perverse generation" (Acts 2:40), from lostness (Matt. 18:11), from sin (Matt. 1:21), and from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9).
It brings deliverance to men
from their gross and willful spiritual ignorance (Hos. 4:6; 2 Thess. 1:8), from their evil self-indulgence (Luke 14:26), and from the darkness of false religion (Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9), but only for those who believe.
Faith
to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (1:16d)
The fourth key word regarding the gospel is that of faith. The sovereign power of God working through the gospel brings salvation to everyone who believes.
Pisteuō (believes) carries the basic idea of trusting in, relying on, having faith in. When used in the New Testament of salvation, it is usually in the present, continuous form, which could be translated "is believing." Daily living is filled with acts of faith. We turn on the faucet to get a drink of water, trusting it is safe to drink. We drive across a bridge, trusting it will not collapse under us. Despite occasional disasters, we trust airplanes to fly us safely to our destination. People could not survive without having implicit trust in a great many things. Virtually all of life requires a natural faith. But Paul has in mind here a supernatural faith, produced by God—a "faith that is not of yourselves but the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).
Eternal life is both gained and lived by faith from God in Jesus Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith," Paul tells us (Eph. 2:8). God does not first ask men to behave but to believe. Man's efforts at right behavior always fall short of God's perfect standard, and therefore no man can save himself by his own good works. Good works are the product of salvation (Eph. 2:10), but they are not the means of it.
Salvation is not merely professing to be a Christian, nor is it baptism, moral reform, going to church, receiving sacraments, or living a life of self-discipline and sacrifice. Salvation is believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Salvation comes through giving up on one's own goodness, works, knowledge, and wisdom and trusting in the finished, perfect work of Christ.
Salvation has no national, racial, or ethnic barrier but is given to every person who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. It was to the Jew first chronologically because Jews are God's specially chosen people, through whom He ordained salvation to come (John 4:22). The Messiah came first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24).
The great Scottish evangelist Robert Haldane wrote,
From the days of Abraham, their great progenitor, the Jews had been highly distinguished from all the rest of the world by their many and great privileges. It was their high distinction that of them Christ came, "who is over all, God blessed for ever." They were thus, as His kinsmen, the royal family of the human race, in this respect higher than all others, and they inherited Emmanuel's land. While, therefore, the evangelical covenant, and consequently justification and salvation, equally regarded all believers, the Jews held the first rank as the ancient people of God, while the other nations were strangers from the covenants of promise. The preaching of the Gospel was to be addressed to them first, and, at the beginning, to them alone, Matt. 10:6; for, during the abode of Jesus Christ upon earth, He was the minister only of the circumcision, Rom. 15:8. "I am not sent," He says, "but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"; and He commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, "beginning at Jerusalem."... Thus, while Jews and Gentiles were united in the participation of the Gospel, the Jews were not deprived of their rank, since they were the first called.
The preaching of the Gospel to the Jews first served various important ends. It fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, as Isa. 2:3. It manifested the compassion of the Lord Jesus for those who shed His blood, to whom, after His resurrection, He commanded His Gospel to be first proclaimed. It showed that it was to be preached to the chief of sinners, and proved the sovereign efficacy of His Atonement in expatiating [sic] the guilt even of His murderers. It was fit, too, that the Gospel should be begun to be preached where the great transactions took place on which it was founded and established; and this furnished an example of the way in which it is the will of the Lord that His Gospel should be propagated by His disciples, beginning in their own houses and their own country. (An Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans [MacDill AFB, Fla.: MacDonald Publishing Co., 1958], p. 48)
All who believe may be saved. Only those who truly believe will be.
Righteousness
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." (1:17)
The fourth key word Paul uses here regarding the gospel is righteousness, a term he uses over thirty-five times in the book of Romans alone. Faith activates the divine power that brings salvation, and in that sovereign act the righteousness of God is revealed. A better rendering is from
Paul confessed to the Philippians, "I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith" (Phil. 3:8-9). "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:21-24).
The German pietist Count Zinzendorf wrote, in a profound hymn,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
'Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am,
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
From faith to faith seems to parallel "everyone who believes" in the previous verse. If so, the idea is "from faith to faith to faith to faith," as if Paul were singling out the faith of each individual believer.
Salvation by His grace working through man's faith was always God's plan, as Paul here implies in quoting from Habakkuk 2:4, as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." Abraham, the father of the faithful, believed, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3), just as every person's genuine faith, before and after Abraham, has been reckoned to him as righteousness (see Heb. 11:4-40).
There is emphasis here on the continuity of faith. It is not a one-time act, but a way of life. The true believer made righteous will live in faith all his life. Theologians have called this "the perseverance of the saints" (cf. Col. 1:22-23; Heb. 3:12-14).
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