Pristine Grace

Why is the Gospel the Power?
by Scott Price
Why is the Gospel the Power?

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth... For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:16-17 

    Many people say that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, nothing more or nothing less. While we must readily agree that the historical facts of the death, burial, and resurrection are an essential part of the gospel we must also be true to the word of God and say that there is definitely more to the gospel than that. It is evident that IF the gospel is only the fact of the death, burial, and resurrection then everybody that was religious would be saved, including many cult groups like Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Catholics, etc.

    Paul the Apostle is saying in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is the means that God uses as the power to save believers, but in that verse Paul does not say why the gospel is that power. Verse 17 tells why: "For (because) therein (in the gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed." This righteousness Paul is referring to is a righteousness that the Lord Jesus Christ established by His obedience to the law and His death on the cross to pay for the sins of His people. This is a righteousness that is to be imputed to His people in the New Birth. All this is the main thrust of the whole Bible and is the heart of the gospel.

    This revelation of the righteousness of Christ is the ONLY thing that will rightly show sinners that their own righteousness is sin and needs to be repented of. This is the sin we cannot detect with our conscience but rather our natural conscience stirs us up to try to establish a righteousness of our own. By trying to do what we think is good, we actually sin (see Romans 10:1-4). Only the gospel, with real acceptable righteousness, can expose this error. The gospel therefore must contain more than the facts of His death, burial, and resurrection. It must contain at least a basic idea of righteousness established by the Substitue when He satisfied the demands of law and justice of God. Evangelize your religious family and friends with that gospel if you desire their salvation.