Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 14, 1967
NUMBER 32, PAGE 6-7a

The Power Of The Gospel

Harold Fite

The Gospel can change your understanding; your views; your character; your conduct; and your state!

There is nothing as powerful as the Gospel of Christ! "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel: for it is the POWER of God UNTO SALVATION to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom. 1:16)

The Word of God is not only a sound but an effective cause — it says things; it does things. God's word is not only speech — it is POWER.

"By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." (Psa. 33:6)

God could say, "Let there be light: AND THERE WAS LIGHT" (Gen. 1:3) "He spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast." (Psa. 33:9)

The apostle Paul explained to the Thessalonians "how that our gospel came not unto you in word only, but in POWER, and the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance." (I Thess. 1:5)

Yes, my unsaved friend..."The word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb. 4:12)

The Word is possessed of power, life and efficiency — a living issue for all men for all time. Facts of history verify the fact that when the Word is taken seriously, THINGS BEGIN TO HAPPEN.

Through the power of the Gospel, a man turned from persecuting those who walked in truth, to a fervent proclaimer of that truth. (Read Acts 9)

It caused those who had been instrumental in murdering Christ to cry out in anguish, "WHAT SHALL WE DO?" (Acts 2:37)

It produced a change in the heart, life, and state of an Ethiopian eunuch which resulted in the eunuch going "on his way rejoicing". (Acts 8:2640)

These are actual facts concerning real people who lived in the first century — people just like you and me. What the Gospel did for them, it can do for YOU!

Such incidents have been repeated down through succeeding generations. The names, facts, and localities have changed, but the needs of man have always been the same. The Word of God is adapted to those needs. It will do for you what it did for those in the first century.

For a modern day example of the Gospel's power, come, take a trip with Mr. Batista de Silva to a remote Amazon tributary. Mr. Batista is Captain of the Bible Society of Brazil's launch, "Light of the Amazon."

Mr. Batista had heard about a woman who could read and who was a witch! In a land of 99% illiteracy, this information was noteworthy.

"Arriving at her home, he asked her straightway if she really believed herself to be a witch. Looking frightened she replied, 'No, sir. What happened was that I started to read a book, and after that, I did not want to recite any more litanies or dust the image. So everyone began to say that I am on the side of Satan." The book that had produced these changes turned out to be the New Testament.

"Later, when he returned to help her better understand the book, Sr. Batista was surprised to hear that the 'Witch' had invited all her neighbors to hear him preach and see the new year in with him.

"That evening canoes arrived, many from long distances, bringing whole families prepared to spend the night. A service was held, after which 15 people said they wished to become Christians. The first of these was the 'witch' herself, followed by her husband, an old man of 84." (Bible Society Record)

A Bible was given to the woman who was the only person among them who could read. She reads it every Sunday to her neighbors and friends. The old man recently said, "Woman, tomorrow I going to take my canoe and give the image to our son to look after, because from today onwards I wish to serve only this God who took all my sins on his shoulders. I am done with serving a god who has to be carried, and who has not the power to free himself of dust. We are going to clean the chapel, and from today on we are going to meet there and hear readings from this blessed Book."

I don't know what all Mr. Batista taught this woman and her friends. But the point is the changes which were brought about in this woman and man through the reading of the New Testament.

This story reminded me of a similar incident which happened hundreds of years ago. " they (ye) turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God." (I Thess. 1:9)

I doubt that Mr. Batista taught her the full truth concerning salvation, but if she will keep reading from that "blessed book" she can find out for herself what she must do and be constrained to obey, just as she read, obeyed, and turned from idols.

Yes, the Gospel has POWER, and this same Word can make a new person out of you cleansing your soul and making you what you ought to be. However, the Gospel's power to save is in proportion to the person's reception of same. It has the power of God unto salvation" ONLY to "everyone that believeth". The believer is purified, justified; and sanctified through the word of God. "...but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." (Mark 16: 1 6)

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