Power To Save, Evans Olang

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Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes …”

Since last week, the Lord has been dealing with me concerning the power that ought to be present in my life, and in other people as well, and I have found myself meditating heavily on this word “power.” Many people know about God’s power. The question is this; is it present in our lives and are we craving to see it at work, or is it possible that the Lord has shut down his power in our lives because we are not hungry enough to actually cry out to Him for it?

As I was meditating on Romans 1:16, I could not think of a more fitting story that highlights God’s power more than that of Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead in John 11. I have seen people who I never possibly imagined could get saved, actually come to Christ, and I believe the Lord does this to constantly remind us of his saving power that comes through the gospel. I believe the Lord is calling on us to pray to Him to be empowered to share the gospel that He may save the lost. Allow me to borrow a few words shared by Ray Comfort and John McArthur, preachers I respect. First of all, Paul declares that 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.

In John 11, John reports to us that Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Jesus came to give life that no one else can give, and this was the message he had for Lazarus’s sisters in John 11:25-26 when he said “25 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Only Christ in His sovereign power could give Lazarus life. It’s this same power through the gospel that gives sinners life. If the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, how is it that there are people who can make professions of faith and not live it? Is it possible that the power of God actually never saved them in the first place? Ray Comfort in his message “Hell’s best kept secret” shares this:

“What it is is a sad admission of the amount of confidence we have in the power of our message and in the keeping power of God. If God has saved them, God will keep them. If they’re born of God, they’ll never die. If He’s begun a good work in them, He’ll complete it to that day (Philip. 1:6); if He’s the author of their faith, He’ll be the finisher of their faith (Heb. 12:2). He’s able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him (Heb. 7:25). He’s able to keep them from falling and present them faultless before the presence and glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). Jesus said, “No one will pluck you from my father’s hand” (John 10:29). You see, saints, the problem is that Lazarus is four days dead (John 11). We can run in the tomb, we can pull him out, we can prop him up, we can open his eyes, but “he stinketh” (vs. 39). He needs to hear the voice of the Son of God. And the sinner is four days dead in his sins. We can run up and say, “Say this prayer.” Still, he needs to hear the voice of the Son of God, or there is no life in him; and the thing that primes the sinner’s ear to hear the voice of the Son of God is the law. It’s a schoolmaster to bring him to Christ that he might be justified through faith (Gal. 3:24)”

John 11:38-39 says 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” If Christ had the power to bring life, He also had the power to remove the stone. But He told them to take away the stone. Although it’s the power of God that gave life to Lazarus, we as believers have 3 tasks in removing stones from the tomb of unbelievers by simply being Christ-like before them, interceding and witnessing to them. That’s all we can do to reach our unsaved loved ones and friends. Remember that Lazarus’s sister called on Christ, and He encouraged them, and eventually gave life.

John McArthur comment on the salvation process says: “Only the power of God is able to overcome man’s sinful nature and impart spiritual life. Romans 5:6, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” 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.”

When we LIVE, PRAY and WITNESS to the lost, the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel will CONVINCE, CONVICT, CONVERT and CONTAIN. Blessings Ev.

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