Power of the Gospel

Scripture: Romans 12:16, Jude 1:24, Romans 7:24
The gospel has power to transform our lives. Too often as Christians we settle for minimum requirements, minimum power. God has great power to give us victory over sin.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, there and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. Today, we're going to be talking about dynamite in the Bible.

John: Dynamite in the Bible?

Gary: Dynamite in the Bible. You know the story of dynamite, don't you?

John: Tell me the story of dynamite.

Gary: Alfred Nobel, the one who funded the Nobel Prizes, Nobel Peace prize we often think of.

John: It's kind of funny there's a Nobel Peace prize. He's the guy who came with dynamite.

Gary: He was a pacifist and he created dynamite to actually stop war. He thought if he created something so destructive as dynamite, people wouldn't dare fight with each other because they could obliterate civilization.

John: Oh, God, give the guy some credit. We had that sort of scenario at the end of the Cold War when the Soviets decided they wouldn't square off the Americans anymore because they felt like they'd get obliterated, perhaps it's principle work a little bit.

Gary: One of the reasons he probably funded the Nobel Prize is, one day he woke up and he started reading the French newspaper to read his brother Ludvig's obituary. He just died the day or two before and the editor of the newspaper made a mistake. He thought that Alfred had died and he wrote the obituary for Alfred. The headline said, "The Merchant of Death is Dead."

John: Really?

Gary: And here he was a pacifist, he was the guy that was trying to promote peace and happiness and they're calling him the 'Merchant of Death.' It just depressed him. He ended up leaving his fortune anyway to these Nobel Prizes.

John: He probably said something like Mark Twain said, "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

Gary: It was that way for sure, but you know, the dynamite where he finds that in the Bible is when Alfred Nobel created dynamite. He didn't have a name for it, so he went looking for a word to describe the explosive power of this chemical reaction that he had there. So he came up with this Greek word 'Dunamis' and 'Dunamis' is found in the Bible in Romans 1:16 where it talks about the power of the Gospel.

John: The Bible says I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation. The Bible makes it clear that this gospel in which we believe, this gospel we accept is a gospel of power, great power dynamite power.

Gary: That's important to know as a Christian because if we don't realize that then as a Christian, we profess Christ, we do the things Christians do but we might not be experiencing God's power to transform our lives and that's what Paul was talking about in Romans one about the gospel that has power to transform us. I've got a friend who mines Gypsum in Nevada and this is the first time I was exposed to dynamite and yes, I grew up playing with firecrackers and that I've stopped.

John: Sure.

Gary: Never with dynamite. He took me to one of the Gypsum mines and he played several sticks of dynamite in a hole in the ground, ran a cord and we hid on the other side of the hill there. He pushed the plunger and ka-boom, the mountain blew up. Rocks and dirt and everything went flying everywhere. I thought it was great fun. This was much better than throwing a few firecrackers in the hole. He transformed the side of the mountain. As Christians, when we accept the gospel in our lives, it changes us.

John, you know, before I became a Christian, I cursed. I did so many things, broke every one of the Ten Commandments.

John: Sure.

Gary: But when I accepted Christ, I didn't have to go about trying to change my life. God changed my life because the gospel came in. I didn't want to do those things anymore.

John: Many people have spoken to talk to me about this on the subject of, well let's just say, smoking. They said I couldn't do it. I just said to God, "God, you have to do it for me. You have to do it for me and when they prayed that prayers, I can't but you can." Suddenly, there was power in the life and the addiction was broken.

Gary: That's so true and that is the power of the gospel. The Bible says that when Jesus spoke, people said, "Wow, look at this. He speaks with authority. He speaks with power." When the disciples went out and they were preaching, they were given, according to Luke 9, power and authority over devils and cure diseases. In Acts 6:8, the deacon Stephen was full of faith and power. He did great wonders and miracles among the people.

John: What is that power? There was creative power in the word of God, isn't there? In the beginning, God spoke, boom the Big Bang Theory. If you lie, He's spoken. There was a big bang when suddenly something was created. He called something out of nothing by the power resident in His Words. If that word, then would it get into my heart and my life, it's going to bring power. Jesus said, "All power in heaven on earth is given unto me." If I'm connected to Christ, I am connected with the source of all the power of the universe. It says on Hebrews, if I'm not mistaken, that Jesus upholds all things by the word of his power. I'm not scared that the sun is going to fall out of the sky.

Gary: You don't wake up every morning praying that God will keep the sun up there.

John: I don't sweat it. I'm not worried that the rings around Saturn are going to somehow fall off and come loose. Jesus is upholding them by the word of his power. If that power can uphold the sun in the sky and the moon in its place and the rings around Saturn and Pluto are right out there where it ought to be. That power ought to be enough to uphold me and you and anyone else looking for that power of God.

Gary: Now, is there a Bible text that talks about, He is able to keep us from falling?

John: I'll tell you what that...

Gary: It seems like I recall that. Jude, is it?

John: Jude verse 24, "Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless," and it goes on. Jude 24 says there's power in God. Hey, wait a minute, power to keep us from falling? You contemplated what this means here? There's power in God to change your life, make you new and empower you through his spirit to live the life of Christ. Wow, now we're talking.

Gary: You know, I think this is an excellent time for us to tell our listeners that at the end of the program we're going to give them a telephone number, email address and a postal address where they can write or call and get our free offer today, 'Is It Possible to Live without Sinning?'

John: You want to get a hold of this. This is power pact. This will connect you with the power of God, the saving power of the grace of God. Is it possible to live without sinning? Call us. Write us, you got to get it.

Gary: Now we're always going to be sinners, John, and we do stumble, we do fall. It's like my little children who will have to learn how to walk. We have to learn how to walk with God but if my little child who, I've got one now that's 19 months old as we're taping this. If two years from now she's still walking five steps and falling, I'm going to take her to the doctor.

John: Yes.

Gary: She walks five and falls and walks five and fall, walks five steps and fall. She's going to the doctor, something is wrong. Some Christians are falling into the same old sins over and over and over and over again. They need to find His Power, don't they?

John: Now I've got to pull you up here a minute because you said we're going to give away book called 'Is It Possible to Live without Sinning?' Then you said we're always going to be sinners. Now would you like to clarify that just a little bit?

Gary: Well, we're sinners by nature which means we're always going to be tempted.

John: We're always going to be tempted and the truth of the matter is once you're a sinner, you're always a sinner, right? If I live from now until the day I die without having sinned, I'm still being a sinner.

Gary: There are depths of temptation. There are different degrees of temptation. I don't curse. I don't smoke anymore. I don't do drugs. I don't do a number of things. I don't go some places I went to when I was a non-Christian but I'm still tempted in other areas.

John: So what you're saying is, we're always going to be prone, we're always going to be subject to temptation.

Gary: God is always going to be revealing to us the depth of sin in our nature and we're going to have to learn that and we often, unfortunately learn that through falling but we learn how to surrender more and more and overcome. You know, let us get back to this power issue.

John: Sure.

Gary: As Christians, I think though we often settle for firecracker power. Just a little bit of power, a little bit of the evidence of God in our life. As long as I'm not cursing, I'm not smoking and not drinking, for some people they'd want a victory over that, others wouldn't. They could still be happy claiming to be Christians but we get these minimum requirements to be a Christian in our mind and different religions, different churches, different denominations have their basic minimum requirements. And they were satisfied with that while we're neglecting the power of the gospel.

We're kind of like that man in Romans 7 in some of the descriptions. We're often like this. It describes our common experience where we say, "We know what is right but we keep doing what is wrong, oh, miserable man that I am."

John: And then St. Paul comes along and really caps this thing off. He said, "Who's going to deliver me from the body of this death?" In Romans 7:24, what an interesting story about where that phrase came from. Way back they'd execute people, often murderers by attaching them to the dead body of the person they'd murdered. Yes, man, you can just imagine what's going to happen today.

Gary: While they're still alive, chain them into this dead body?

John: Oh, man, and then after a while, yes, I don't want to go there.

Gary: Death would bring death.

John: Death would bring death. Paul is saying, "While I'm struggling with this and chained to this, where's the hope for me?" He says there's therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who now walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. See, here's what we got to understand. A lot of people sell Jesus short. They've got a tiny conception and they think far too small. When you become a Christian, you invite Jesus into your heart, what does he bring?

He brings us righteousness, right? He brings his presence. Now man, when the presence of Jesus comes into your heart, you just can't be the same again. For instance, the story in the Bible, Jesus enters the temple. He enters the temple and all the money changers and all the sinners flee.

They run, what do they run from? Don't tell me they run from an angry face, a man turning all the tables, a man with a whip in his hand. Come on, these were big strong men, were they going to be scared by a humble peasant looking fellow?

No man, they ran from the condemnation of his presence. When Jesus guarded that temple, the sinners couldn't be there anymore and out they went. Listen, when Jesus gets another temple of your life, something is going to take place. Sin won't feel comfortable in there anymore and the presence of Jesus is going to begin to drive this out.

Gary: You know the problem we have too often though is we enjoy this temptation.

John: Now come on, that is true.

Gary: And because we like that, we don't want the presence of God there. It reminds me of a true story, came out of World War II when enlisted men in a Florida training camp were given an exercise, their daily routine was to run an obstacle course with their packs on their backs.

John: Sure.

Gary: Of course, it's Florida. It's hot. It's the middle of the summer. It's humid. On the final stretch of this endurance test, they have to grab a rope and swing across a broad shallow pool. Well, many of the men for some reason couldn't make it across the pool and they would fall right down in the middle of the water.

John: Man, I reckon the reason they couldn't make it is because it was a nice hot day and there was nice cool water.

Gary: You call it temptation.

John: Sure.

Gary: They were hot and sweaty and they have this curious habit of just falling in the water until the enterprising lieutenant made that pond a new hole for a large alligator.

John: OK.

Gary: From that day on, the recruits left the ground several feet before the water's edge and they fell sprawling in the dust well over on the other side of the pond.

John: They were motivated now.

Gary: Motivated, first case of Gatorade increasing athletic ability in men. [laughter]

John: Gatorade, OK.

Gary: But you know, if we enjoy temptation, we're going to give into temptation. What we have to do is we have to look at the Cross and we have to see what sin does to God.

John: Right.

Gary: It put Jesus to death and sin does the same thing to us like that illustration being strapped to the dead body. It destroys our quality of life. It destroys heaven's happiness too. It caused the death of God's son. When we get a good long look at the Cross, we will have distaste for temptation and for sin, and then we'll find the way out is through Jesus Christ.

John: Don't forget, we want you to get our free offer today, 'Is It Possible to Live without Sinning?' Soon you'll hear the number and the address. Be sure to get this little book. It'll be a blessing to your life. Hey, I thank God, there's power in Jesus. It's not just power. This is dynamite power! The 'Dunamis' that there is in the gospel of Jesus Christ where Jesus is, where his presence is, there is power. He wants to transform your life. He wants to give you a new experience. [inaudible 13:11] where there is defeat, joy, where there is sorrow. Hey, thanks for joining us today. We're done right now. Join us again next time for more. With Gary Gibbs, I'm John Bradshaw, this has been Bible Talk.


Announcer 2: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for 'Is It Possible to Live without Sinning?' The toll free number is 866-BIBLESAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058, Roseville, CA, 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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