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The Power of God | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

The Power of God

This summer, we find ourselves working our way through Romans. On the first Sunday of this series, I gave an account of three times in history that a study of Romans was influential in changing the church.

Romans was a significant catalyst for Martin Luther in the Protestant Reformation. It was in a reading of Luther's preface to Romans that John Wesley finally heard the voice of God and found 'his heart strangely warmed'. It was in war-torn Europe that a pastor of a little church in Switzerland had his eyes opened to the beauty of Scripture through reading Romans. Karl Barth went on to be an instrumental leader in the Confessing Church in Germany, which actively opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.

I remind you of these points to remind you of another point I made that Sunday. Romans is a powerful book. Romans is a life-changing book that God has used for centuries to change the hearts of believers, to change the world, and to change His Church.

Due to the life-changing power of Romans, I believe that there are spiritual forces actively working against us studying this epistle.

I need to be reminded many times of the power of God over any these powers of evil. To do this, I turn back to the beginning of the epistle:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

The gospel is the power of God and this power is that same power that delivers us from the sin and darkness that once ruled our lives.

Theologian John Stott writes in his commentary, "How then did Paul (and how shall we) overcome the temptation to be ashamed of the gospel? He tells us. It is by remembering that the very same message, which some people despise for its weakness, is, in fact, the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. How do we know this? In the long run, only because we have experienced its saving power in our own lives. Has God reconciled us to himself through Christ, forgiven our sins, made us his children, put his Spirit within us, begun to transform us, and introduced us into his new community? Then how can we possibly be ashamed of the gospel?"

Romans is a powerful book and I pray that you prepare your hearts for what God wants to do your life through this book.

May we open our lives to 'the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.'

Pastor John