The Power of the Gospel

The Power of the Gospel

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The word gospel is an interesting word. Today we are talking about the power of the gospel and what that means.

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Before Jesus started his earthly ministry, the word gospel simply referred to something true and widely believed as fact. Keep that in mind as we read Mark 16:15

Mark 16:15

(15)  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Jesus is recorded saying this just before he ascends into Heaven to be with God the Father. This is the great commission put very simply and succinctly. It is the instructions Jesus left us with.

What is the gospel Jesus is telling us to preach? What truth is he commissioning us to share with all the world? Let’s answer those questions.

The Gospel Is

The gospel is God’s truth revealed to us by and through Jesus. This is why the first 4 books of the New Testament are referred to as “The Gospels”. These are the 4 accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry here on earth, his teachings, and his miracles.

Each of these 4 accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry is from 4 different perspectives and speak to 4 different types or groups of people in the world, yet all have the same message. Matthew comes from the perspective of a Hebrew and primarily speaks to that mindset. Mark is the shortest of the gospel accounts and is very succinct and straight to the point. Luke was a Gentile and man of science and brings a different perspective to the life and ministry of Jesus. Finally, John speaks of the love of Christ and shares Jesus with all of us through that view. There is power in the gospel in the telling of Jesus’ story in these 4 different ways.

Preaching the gospel is the retelling of Jesus’ story and sharing his teaching and miracles so people can know God’s plan for all creation and his love for mankind. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells people how to know right from wrong and teaches what real love is.

But there is so much more to it than passing on knowledge. Many people in the world have knowledge of Jesus Christ but do not love or follow him. It is said that many people will miss the gates of Heaven by 18 inches; the distance between their head and their heart. All the head knowledge you can possibly possess about God and his plans and purposes for mankind cannot save your soul. Only the love of Jesus in your heart can do that. The power of the gospel is displayed in someone whose heart is the Lord’s.

The Power of the Gospel in Us

To follow Jesus, we must love Jesus. We must share what he has done in our lives. That is also part of preaching the gospel. We read in Mark 16:15 to go and preach the gospel. This is the great commission. It is our ultimate job. Whatever we do in this world, there is an element of the gospel in it. Part of preaching the gospel is being a witness for it.

Being a witness of something is sharing what you have personally seen, heard, or experienced. As we share with people the things we have seen, heard, and experienced through Jesus, we share his gospel. Then the door is opened to share his teachings and way of life.

Jesus commands us to share his gospel with the world. The choice is simple. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and preach his gospel, or spend eternity separated from him, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

The Power of the Gospel Displayed

The power of the gospel is what happens when we boldly, without reservation, preach the good news of Jesus Christ to others. It changes lives. Jesus even declares some of the powerful things that will take place as the gospel is preached. Let’s read Mark 16:17-18.

Mark 16:17-18

(17)  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  (18)  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

There has been much discussion by theologians over the centuries about this. Unfortunately, some people believe the gospel hasn’t been preached unless each of these signs has been presented. This is not the case. Even a casual reading of Acts will show people accepting salvation through the preaching of the Apostles and others with some, but not all, of these signs.

We must remember at the time Jesus shared this, the Bible had not been put together. There was no New Testament with Jesus’ teachings and further instructions from Paul, Peter, John, and the others. There were the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and there were the teachings of the prophets.

Jesus said these signs would follow so people would believe. These signs were a direct result of the gospel being preached and the power of the Holy Spirit on the individual. The power was in the gospel, not the demonstration or miracle.

Do we see signs like these now when the gospel is preached? Yes, some times. This is especially true in places where the Bible is not widely available, much like it was with the early church. There are places in the world where Bibles are scarce. Bibles are illegal in some places and there is no written language or sufficient literacy to read a Bible in others. Teachings and signs become very useful and the Holy Spirit brings the signs and wonders in those situations.

We also read in the book of Acts in many different places where each of these miracles took place as the gospel was being preached by disciples.

The Power of the Gospel Today

What is the power of the gospel today? It has the power to change lives as people believe the gospel and begin a lifelong love for Jesus Christ.

It has the power, in the name of Jesus Christ, to heal the sick. We see that often as we minister to people in places like Pakistan and across Africa. It also has the power to bind up the brokenhearted and to set people free from addictions and other destructive things in their lives. It brings us the freedom to worship God wherever we are whenever we want. We have life, and life more abundantly.

That is the power of the gospel.

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