GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #484
HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN AND EXPERIENCED THE POWER OF GOD?
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
The preaching of the gospel is described by the inspired writer as “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). That is to say, it is the means by which God the Holy Spirit graciously calls chosen, redeemed sinners to life in Christ and creates faith in them by the effectual, irresistible power of his grace. It is the instrument by which sinners are born again (James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
THE CALL OF THE gospel is THEREFORE a most gracious call. The Lord God himself speaks to sinners by the voice of that man who preaches the gospel, and calls them to look to, come to, and trust his dear Son (Isa. 1:18; 55:1-7). These are God’s words to you: "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you…I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded" (Prov. 1:23-24).
That puts the matter beyond theological opinion and doctrinal speculation. God says, “I have called…I have stretched out my hands!” What could be more gracious? Every time a gospel preacher preaches Christ crucified, in the power of his Holy Spirit, God Almighty, himself, stretches out his hands to sinners and calls them to Christ! As the gospel preacher proclaims mercy, grace, and salvation in Christ to guilty sinners, God asserts that all who will hear his voice and harden not their hearts, he will save for Christ’s sake! “Whosoever will, let him come!” The Almighty even condescends to reason with you (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11). He says, “Why will you die? He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil way and live.
Were it not for the obstinate hardness of your heart, you would see that only spiritual madness and utter insanity makes such reasoning and such pleas necessary. Why will you die? There is full pardon by the blood of Christ. There is perfect justification by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. There is in Christ complete cleansing from all sin, eternal life, immutable acceptance with God. There is in Christ an infallible security in his grace, and peace, peace, blessed peace with God!
Though it is, in itself, ineffectual for the saving of any, when accompanied by the power of God’s Spirit, the preaching of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Isa. 55:11; Rom. 1:16-17). I have often been asked, “If only the elect are going to be saved, why preach the gospel to all?” Let me give you five answers to that question.
1. My Master has commanded me to preach the gospel to all (Matt. 10:27; 28:19; Mk. 16:15; Acts 1:8).
2. God has chosen to save sinners through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor. 1:21).
3. I have no way of knowing who God’s elect are until they believe the gospel (1 Thess. 1:4-5).
4. When I have faithfully preached the gospel to all, I am pure from their blood (1 Cr. 9:16;Ezek. 33:7-9).
5. I preach the gospel to all because it is by this means that he calls his elect to life and faith in Christ (2 Thess. 2:13-14).