Power comes in many forms. In the physical realms we have all heard of electric power plants of immense proportions generating enough electricity for upwards of four million people. Yet, another type of power exist that is much more in demand and is not so much about creating energy, but about altering behaviour, which still requires power, but of another kind altogether different. It is about exerting influence over people where much needed changes are needed such as a prison system that tries hard but is unable to rehabilitate a large portion of its inmates. It seems that over the centuries any number of tyrants, fascists, and terrorists have appeared undeterred from previous efforts to completely eradicate such menaces from our world. Yet, they remain, wrecking carnage on society even to this day. It seems we cannot stop it. On a lesser note but still quite serious is our educational system where student apathy, absenteeism, and disruption in schools and now shootings are continually before us. Are there better ways to address these issues or do we just settle on the idea that we have no solutions anymore. Let’s face it, many measures have been put in place and it is not enough. Things are getting worse instead of better. Greater problems have appeared. Is there any reason for staying hopeful in these dark times? But as difficult as it is to face what is on the outside, that is not the worst of it! Our struggle is much worse than what we think it is when we look at what is going on inside of each of us. No amount of ingenuity or effort can ward off what is germane to the human heart — it is sinful and will continue to be so. Any attempts at peace, justice and harmony will always fail if the gospel is ignored since inner renewal is required. We are in worst trouble than what we can imagine and the power of the gospel is badly needed to be brought to bear on each of our lives.
The transforming power of the Gospel found its rawest moment in the crucifixion. Calvary is where Christ laid down His life to effect change in people, the kind that is legendary. For instance, Paul who at one time was a persecutor of the Church was changed and became its strongest ally. That is why Paul could say that 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 (Rom.1:16). A missionary by the name of Bruce Olsen to the Motilone Indians of Columbia tells of a converted Bari tribesman named Bobarishora. According to tribal tradition, he was challenged to a singing dual by an older chief where the two men sang alternating lines, but unlike his competitor Bobarishora sang about Jesus the whole ten hours. The effect was startling. The entire tribe accepted the song about Jesus. Soon, the song had spread to villages nearby, and within months, virtually the entire Barí people had accepted the gospel. Reports worldwide attest to the power of the gospel. In Zambia, a bar once the most notorious in the land became a place where converts met to fellowship. (Elizabeth Elliot among the Aucas; Bruce Olson among the Motilones. Pg. 22) And here in our own nation, Baptist churches in Quebec experienced an unprecedented number of conversions during 1970’s and 1980’s. Whenever we think about God’s impact upon the Church we must look globally, to places like North Korea, Southern Sudan, and even China where Christianity faces deadly opposition yet continues to prosper. Statistics report more conversions in our world from the 1800’s onward than the combined total from previous eras and more martyr’s in the last two centuries than all the previous centuries combined. The gospel is not only powerful but unstoppable!
Jesus is the reason for the gospel’s success. Having repelled the devil’s temptations in the desert, Jesus would heal Peter’s Mothers-in-law of a fever and after that cured the man suffering from leprosy. The Lord’s power stayed the same; His latent power remained undiminished in carrying out His many miracles. The Great Physician conducted miracles of every sort by mere command, touch, or thought. His power was undeterred and unaffected! That same divine driven power saves countless of souls today, the same as it did back then, with Christ as its source.
Have you considered the life-changing power of the gospel that transforms life? The old saying that today can be the first day of the rest of your life can come off as a cliché. But a whole new life can be true of you, if the gospel finds its way into your life. You will be a changed person! Many have been transformed by the gospel. Will you be one of them? Look to Christ for salvation and repent of your sins today and start a new day with a new agenda. God will make you a new person.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17