Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Power of God

By David Morris

Maybe it’s the boy in me, but I’ve always enjoyed seeing raw power on display. Whether it was my dad lifting objects I hardly thought possible, a tank steamrolling over everything in its path, or just a good old-fashioned explosion of something. Power awes me.

As I was reading 1 Corinthians 1:18, however, I was struck with what Paul said the power of God is. What comes to your mind when you think about the power of God? Do you wish you could see it on display? Do you long for a powerful God to show Himself in your life? Maybe you wish you could see God’s power in signs and wonders, or maybe a brilliant display in nature. Paul emphatically declares that you can know and see God’s power on display. Here’s how: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 

Notice Paul does not say the cross is the power of God. He says the word of the cross is the power of God. The declaration of the cross, the Gospel message, the pronouncement of the sacrificial death of Jesus—this is the power of God. If you want to see the power of God most clearly on display, then listen to the word of the cross. This verse echoes the same thought of 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.” 

Notice too that this display of God’s power is not universal. The cross message is only God’s power to those who are being saved. Unbelievers cannot hear about the crucifixion and see God’s power in it, nor can they experience that saving power. God’s power is on display in the Gospel only for believers. If you cannot see God’s power in the Gospel, you cannot know His salvation. If you do see His power in the Gospel, you cannot stop marveling.

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