Bob Woods tells the story of a couple who took their son, 11, and daughter, 7, to Carlsbad Caverns. As always, when the tour reached the deepest point in the cavern, the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark and silent it is below the earth’s surface.
The little girl, suddenly enveloped in utter darkness, was frightened and began to cry. Immediately was heard the voice of her brother: “Don’t cry. Somebody here knows how to turn on the lights.”
That’s the message of the gospel. Light is available. Even when we’re overwhelmed and engulfed in darkness. God has turned the light on. That’s the message of Romans 1:16.
“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.”
Here are 4 facts that brighten our world.
(1) The Gospel is Good News. The word “gospel” is found 100 times in the New Testament. And quite simply it’s defined as “good news, or “good tidings.” The word evangelist comes from the same Greek word which means “a bearer of good news.” I am a gospel preacher! A bearer of the good news!
It’s “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). It originated in the mind of the Father. It was purposed and planned before the beginning of time.
It’s “The gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). It was brought to light by Jesus. He came and preached it. And he is the basis and foundation of it through his death, burial and resurrection.
It’s the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). We don’t deserve it! We didn’t earn it! The gospel demonstrates God’s grace and mercy
It’s “the gospel of peace” Eph. 6:15). It will provide inner peace. Peace with others. And peace with God.
“The gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 4:23). And you can’t preach the gospel without preaching about the Kingdom, the church! They go together.
(2) The Gospel Possesses great Power. The Bible testifies to God’s awesome power. His power is called glorious. Irresistible. Unsearchable. Mighty. Incomparable. Strong. Everlasting. Effectual. And sovereign.
The Gospel, God’s Word, is alive and powerful. The Hebrew writer said is it “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
God’s power through the Gospel can convert our thinking. Touch our emotions. Prick our conscience. And affect our decisions. Powerful, indeed!
(3) The Gospel is the means of Salvation. The book of Romans is about salvation. It is the gospel message of God’s plan for man’s salvation. Romans 1:16 is a simple prelude to the great themes of Righteousness. Justification. And sanctification.
The human race has sinned. All of us. None is righteous. Not one. (Rom. 3:10; 23). But we don’t have to be lost! God has provided the means and method of salvation through his grace and mercy.
(4) The Gospel is for Everyone. Who can be saved? Everyone! Jew and Gentile. Male and female. Bond-servant and free. There is no elite in God’s Family, only the elect saved by the Gospel of Christ.
Romans 1:16 proclaims that the saving message of the Gospel is for all people! No person, race or ethic group is excluded (Mk. 16;15). However, we must do our part. We must accept it. Believe it. And obey it.
No wonder the devil desires to keep us in darkness, “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto (us).” (2Cor 4:4)
Thank God that Jesus, our Savior, “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman