In the face of so much personal, cultural and global evil— do you feel powerful? You should if you believe in and proclaim, advance, and promote the biblical gospel. In a recent article in the Christian Post, a priest from Nineveh declared that Christianity is finished in Iraq following the mass killings and ethnic cleansings by ISIS in the region. American Atheists recently ran a promo announcing the up and coming Roku based Atheist.tv channel which will stream non-stop atheist based content. The culture continues to spiral out of control morally speaking with the celebration of more and more “alternative lifestyles.” The Middle East always has its geopolitical fires, the American economy hangs by a thread, not to mention the many personal tribulations that fill all our lives— is it any wonder we can be tempted to feel weakened? This begs a further question of course, namely, how do we respond to the evils of our day and what impact can we make if any given the current climate? The answer to this is that we have no power in ourselves so that we first have to acknowledge our total inadequacy (2 Cor. 3.4). Second, God has all the power we need to make a difference in the world and He has vested that power in the proclamation of the gospel:
Romans 1:16 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.
As a minister of the New Covenant, I am grateful for God’s unfailing power in the gospel. God knowing that His power is in the gospel, calls us to faithful stewardship of the gospel (1 Cor. 4.1), and a faithful proclamation of the gospel (2 Cor. 4.1-2) through which He will accomplish His purpose (2 Cor. 2.16-17). This is why it is imperative to have a biblical gospel, the more we diminish the precision of the gospel the more we diminish its power!
This is why we must hold to the gospel of the apostles, Jesus and that which accords solely with Scripture and is not defined by the fickle vacillations of culture or theological trends. This is a gospel that can conquer the hardest hearts (1 Tim. 1.15), change the vilest sinner (1 Cor. 6.9-11), transform a person’s life into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3.18), and set people free from false teaching (Col. 2.8), and put them on the path of obeying the truth (Rom. 6.17). In other words, the gospel has the power to do all that we want it to do in the lives lost people.
However, a gospel that does not preach the truth does not set people free and is powerless (Gal. 1.6-9). A gospel without the torments of Hell leaves people in Hell, a gospel without a call to repentance produces lawlessness and effects no change or true worship, a gospel without justification by faith produces legalism, a gospel devoid of holiness produces antinomianism, a gospel that focuses only on the love of God is pure hatred, a gospel that does not preach the exclusivity of Jesus Christ is idolatry, a gospel that does not use biblical vocabulary is liberalism, a gospel without essentials is ecumenicalism, a gospel that is not rooted in the glory of God is man-centered, and a gospel that does not preach the sovereignty of God is humanism. This is why before we present the gospel to others, we must be sure we believe it ourselves.
Every social evil is an opportunity for the gospel. Every family dysfunction is an opportunity for Christ. Often the only question left is whether not we believe in the power of the gospel ourselves. The more Islam oppresses, murders, and slaughters people the more we can declare the moral superiority of Jesus Christ over Muhammad. The more immorality the culture throws our way the more we can warn of the wages of sin and set forth the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. The more hardships we suffer in our own lives, the more we can cling to the power of gospel promises. The gospel is the power of God.
Emilio Ramos is the preaching pastor of Heritage Grace Community Church. Pastor Emilio is committed to the expository and exegetical teaching of the Word of God. Emilio is also the author of Convert, From Adam to Christ and the founder of redgracemedia.com- a media ministry devoted to the glory of God’s redemptive grace through Jesus Christ. He and his wife Trisha live in Dallas, TX.