For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first…
In these words we have exhibited the true spirit of this ambassador of Christ, and the nature of the message he was commissioned to make known. "The gospel is no feeble utterance, no mere human speculation composed of sentiments light as air. It is charged with Divine energy, and works out the salvation of all who receive it."
I. Notice that by these words we are assured THERE IS A DIVINE POSITIVE MESSAGE TO MAN. Paul did not appear before the world as a philosopher, who by the workings of a powerful intellect could solve all the problems of being and knowing which had baffled those who went before him. He did not assume the position of a reformer, whose business was to set in order those things which pertained to the social and political conditions of life. Neither did he maintain the position of an educator who should train minds in the mental products of human genius. Paul was a herald of the King of grace and of glory; he was an ambassador of Christ, a preacher of a positive message of truth and love to all mankind, and which came from the heart of the Eternal. God has looked down from His high and holy abode in tenderest love and righteous mercy, and has made known to us His purposes and desires.
II. Our text teaches us that THE BURDEN OF THIS DIVINE MESSAGE TO MAN IS A PERSON. The gospel is the gospel of Christ — concerning Christ. It came from Him and it is occupied with Him and nothing else.
III. THE CHRISTIAN EVANGEL IS CHARGED WITH DIVINE POWER. The magnetism of great men — which is the resultant of their personalities — has more power with those they influence than their wisest counsels. So it is with the gospel. It is powerful, not only because of its truthfulness, or merely because of the love it reveals, but because God in the person of His own Son is in it, and with it, dealing personally with the sinful and the lost. Its efficiency is from Heaven, and the spiritual revolutions it has wrought have been produced, not only by power as power, but by the living spirit of the Lord.
IV. We advance a step further by noticing that THE GOSPEL IS A SAVING POWER. The Roman power was in its outgoings, in very many instances, a power unto destruction. It pulled down, injured, and destroyed; and the more destruction it produced, the greater it was feared, and the more loudly it was applauded. This destroying power is a low, vulgar power. Any person — no matter how weak and wicked — is capable of destroying the finest work of art which ever proceeded from the reason and hand of man. On the other hand, it takes one who is wise, tender, and good inspired by more than human genius — to raise and to save the human soul, and secure the advance and development of the human race. Of all beings who ever appeared in this world, no one has ever been equal to this Herculean task except the Man of Sorrows. He alone can build up the temple of humanity which was pulled down by sin.
V. Finally, it is to be observed that THE SALVATION THE GOSPEL WORKS OUT IS TO BE POSSESSED AND ENJOYED BY FAITH. Faith is the door by which all spiritual power and upbuilding influences enter the soul. It is receptive in its nature, and takes into the inner man those thoughts, feelings, and persons, which regulate the heart out of which flows the issues of life. He that believeth the testimony of the gospel takes Christ and all that is in Christ into the deepest parts of his spirit. By faith Christ dwells in us the hope of glory and the power of an endless life.
(W. Adamson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.