For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
The Power Of The Gospel
Two thousand years ago on a mountain in Galilee, the Son of God bid farewell to eleven men whom He called to be fishers of men. A few years earlier their lives were forever changed when they followed the man from Nazareth and saw His miracles, heard His teaching and watched the Jews take Him away to kill Him. It was a three days later they witnessed the resurrection of the Son of God. No life has changed the world as the incarnation of Jesus Christ. No story has moved the hearts of men as the story of the baby born in Bethlehem. No movement has changed the world like the early disciples of the first century. No religion can compare to the one way, the one truth and the one life. No faith can find its roots in the resurrection of a man whom was God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most remarkable teaching since the fall of man. This message is for all men and for all generations in all nations. What applies to man today is the same truth that changed the lives of men twelve hundred years ago and will move the hearts of men in a thousand years Lord willing. The gospel is a message for all men.
Nicaragua is a land filled with the poor of the earth but there are many who share in the riches of the gospel. Last week I spent a week with the saints of God in this Central American country enjoying the devotion and love for truth found in all of God’s children. They sang in a different language but we shared in the same message. The preaching was translated for them to understand but we all knew the meaning of the words. Jesus brought a message from His Father that was a powerful means of changing the hearts of all men. It is easy to assume a cultural dependency on the Bible and its message as singular for a certain people. Visiting other lands and learning that humble people in a mountain top village worship the Lord God in spirit and truth reminds us the gospel is the power of God for all people. Sin influences the lives of Nicaraguans as well as Americans. Baptism cleanses the sins of the street vendor in Managua just like the CEO of a large corporation in America. Jesus died for all men, all nations and all races.
The power of the gospel is an amazing transformation that changes the hearts of men. It is a force that removes the stain of sin and lifts the spirit to love God and serve Him with great love. What constantly impresses upon my heart when I visit my brethren in Nicaragua is how they joyfully worship the Lord without all the necessary amenities expected in the churches of America. Last Sunday we gathered under a building with a tin roof with no sides upon a vacant foundation sitting in plastic chairs as the wind softly blew a cooling breeze through the crowd. It was quiet except for the boisterous singing and words of the gospel spoken in English and Spanish. The land was somewhat desolate and the homes impoverished but the spirits of the saints was rich in the glory of the Lord. No air conditioning, padded pews, clean bathrooms and expected amenities of this country were present. Just hearts who loved the Lord and loved to sing His praise. The Lord’s Supper was simple fair with real juice from the grape and unleavened bread baked in a stone oven. Praise God for the power of the gospel of Christ.
Thank God for a gentle reminder of the message of Jesus Christ who died for all men. The gospel shows how every man can learn the joys of God’s grace no matter the language, culture or color of skin. Lives were transformed by the same Bible that changes our hearts. Sin is defeated with the same armor of God as worn by the saints in this country. The glory of the gospel of Christ has changed sinners into saints for two thousand years in desolate, forgotten places because the love of God has been given to every nation through the grace of God’s love. I am indebted to my brethren in Nicaragua for the message of their love for the Lord. It will be a wonderful reunion when we all meet in Heaven where only the language of the Heavenly Father will be spoken and we will all understand the message of redemption.