Daily Readings and Thought for July 28th. “THE POWER OF GOD”
Paul in writing to the Romans speaks about “the power of God” – but he is not referring to physical power such as will be shown at the time Jesus returns when the greatest earthquake ever (Rev. 16 v.18) and other terrible events occur, this could be very soon! . God gave Isaiah a vision of this time, about events around Jerusalem (code named ‘Ariel’) “the city where David encamped” [v.1] and how God deals with “the multitude of all the nations … that fight against Mount Zion” [v.8]. Note especially v.5-7. We can reason that some of these events have a spiritual interpretation as the hearts of people tremble in fear, but there is no doubt that there is to be a remarkable and totally awesome physical manifestation of God’s power.
But in today’s 1st chapter of Romans Paul writes of the gospel saying, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes “ [v.16]. What is the point of Paul writing that he is not ashamed of the Gospel? Well, I recall when a Hindu (the manager of the Hotel at which I was staying) asked me to tell him about the Christian God as he could no longer believe the nonsense about an Elephant headed God!
Paul’s point is that the Gospel makes sense, compared to the nonsense surrounding the many gods (of human imagination) the Romans believed in. Today, we can say it makes sense – compared to the nonsense of evolution that everything that exists, sort of invented itself, and there is no need for a creator God.
But we need to take this one step further and realise that to believe a gospel about believer’s having a future life in heaven is also nonsense and, as a falsehood, has nopower at all. It is only the gospel God revealed to men through his son that has “power”- because it is truth, because it is based on historical facts, because the events of the First Century and what followed, only make sense when we accept them as truth: the evidence for them is so strong it had the power to turn the beliefs of the pagan Roman world upside down.
We must let this gospel become a power in our lives – if we are to really live a life worth living now – and experience the wonder of the far greater life God will provide in the future.