The gospel is the central theme of Christianity. It is the core fundamental belief. Many unbelievers might hear the gospel over and over again and wonder, “Why do Christians want to tell me about this? Why do I want to know the gospel? What does the gospel do?” The answer: it is the best thing that God has offered to humanity. Paul in Romans chapter 1 verse 15 writes, “I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” Paul was saying that he wanted to preach the gospel. Here is the reason why: He is not ashamed of the gospel for two reasons.
1. The gospel is the power of God.
When I think of power, I think of all sorts of things. I think of the truck F150. I think of the eruption of volcanos or the storms. I think of the unimaginably hot boil of the sun or the speed of light of a recently discovered star that travels at 1.5 million miles per hour. We can clearly see God’s power and omnipotence in those things, but none of them are labeled as “the power of God.”
Yet, in verse 16, Paul states that the gospel is the power of God. Nothing else in the Scripture is labeled as God's power except the person of Jesus Christ and the gospel. What does Paul mean by saying that the gospel is the power of God? The word “power” means “strength, might, force, capacity, capability, or ability.” When Paul states that the gospel is the power of God, he is saying that the gospel has the power to give you the forgiveness of sin, to save you from the judgment of God, to provide you with eternal life, and transform your heart.
It can change people. It can change your inner being, from being a wretched sinner to being a child of God. It can change the desire of your heart, from wanting to commit the sin that might bring you pleasure to wanting to the things that honor God.
Also, because it is the power only from God, we don’t have this power. We can’t summon this sort of power within ourselves because we are weak in our flesh. In Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1, Paul writes that we are dead in trespasses and sin. In Romans Chapter 5 verse 8, he also writes that we are weak in the flesh. We are powerless to save ourselves. However, the gospel is God's divine power that can save you from sin and give you eternal life.
2. The gospel is the power of God that brings salvation.
Romans chapter 1 verse 16 states, “For the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.” How can the power of the gospel bring about salvation? The answer is that the gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. Paul perfectly summarizes the gospel in First Corinthians chapter 15 verses:1-3, which says, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word, I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scripture.” The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, and because He died for our sins, He brings us salvation.
There are several reasons why you might hesitate to believe in the gospel or refrain from it. First, you might think that the gospel is foolish. First Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18 states, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.” The gospel sounds silly, and it is rightly so. When I first heard the gospel, I thought this is foolish. The second reason could be that the world and even the culture are against the gospel because it is offensive. The truth is offensive because it contradicts the false belief. Therefore, the gospel is offensive.
However, despite all these reasons, Paul states in verse 16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” He was not only not ashamed but also eager to preach the gospel to the people in Rome. Why? Because it works. It is effective. It has the divine power that can transform your inner being or your heart. It can rescue you from your sin and the judgment of God and give you eternal life. How do I know that? Because God’s word never fails. It will always accomplish what God has proposed. Therefore, we have all the reasons and confidence to believe in the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life with Him.
Dat Nguyen is a student at the Master’s Seminary and a member of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, California. His desire is to be a faithful minister of the Word of God. He loves playing basketball and watching movies.