The Power of the Gospel
Before the Church began, Jesus proclaimed that the gospel was to go to every culture and nation (Acts 1:8). This plan can only become true if, as the Body of Christ, we are willing to submit and obey His calling for us. The problem, however, is us.
We are sinful, more deserving of punishment than His love. We fail often and over the same things. Yet God, in His sovereignty, still chooses to love us and desires to have a relationship with us; even use us in His ministry despite all of our sin, all of our weaknesses and all of our awkwardness. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of God using a sinful person for His good, is Saul (Acts 9:1-31). We often come across this man and his letters in our studies and personal devotionals. What did the gospel do for Saul and what should it do in us?
The gospel brings forgiveness and grace
Saul was a man on a mission to suppress the work of Christ. As we read previously, Saul was the one who supervised the stoning of Stephen. In Jerusalem, He went from house to house, dragging off men and women of Christ and throwing them into prison. There’s no logical reason for God to choose Saul to be His vessel. Saul persecuted the early church, committed murder and reaped havoc against those that did not deserve it. Yet God chose to use Him and He would choose sinners like us, as it says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The gospel brings change
True gospel doesn’t just bring grace and forgiveness, but it also brings evident change. Saul was a Pharisee. Yet once Jesus intervened, he changed from persecuting believers to defending, preserving and spreading the gospel; even being a catalyst for the Early Church growth. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
The gospel empowers
In Acts 9: 20, Saul immediately proclaims the gospel in the synagogues, preaching and proving that Jesus Christ is Lord. From Damascus and back to Jerusalem, Saul preached the gospel. He even preached to the same people who Stephen debated with in Jerusalem before his stoning. But we clearly see that the gospel had changed Saul! The change was so drastic that he became an effective minister to those around him. In verse 22 it says that “Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus”.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for showing us Your unconditional love by sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for us when we were still sinners. Thank You that the power of the gospel gives us the precious gift of eternal life. Holy Spirit, help us to live in the gospel and to fulfil the Great Commission by going and preaching the Good News to everyone.
In Jesus’ name, Amen