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The Underestimated Gospel

In Romans 1:16-17 we read,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Here we learn that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. But do we really believe the gospel has the power to save everyone? Thabiti Anyabwile, one of the speakers at the T4G conference challenged us to believe the gospel has the power to save everyone. He spoke on 1 Timothy 1:12-17 and the title of his talk was: Will your gospel transform a terrorist?

In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Paul is discussing who he was before his conversion to Christianity. As you know Paul heavily persecuted the church. In this text, he lists himself as the chief of all sinners. Even so, Christ saved him. He received God’s grace and mercy despite his persecution of the church.

The Underestimated Gospel

Often I think we, myself included, believe the gospel cannot save those who are that far gone. We do not really believe our gospel will transform a terrorist. The reason we believe that is because we underestimate the power of the gospel, which was the theme of the conference I attended.

The purpose of the conference was to show that the power of the gospel is not to be underestimated. It can, will, and does change those who we may believe are unchangeable. In order to show this, we heard a number of sermons, as well as testimonies about the power of the gospel. Some of these testimonies came from people who grew up in Christian homes, but others were from people who were power hungry, selfish, and only seeking to make a name for themselves. While others gave testimony that the gospel saved them from gang life, alcohol, and drugs.

The Articulated Gospel

Not only did we learn that the gospel has the power to save everyone, and that we should not underestimate its power to bring about change in a person’s life, we also learned that we must articulate the gospel to others. In other words, we must actually tell it to others.

And so, if we believe the gospel has the power to save even the worst of the worst, if we believe the gospel has the power to save a terrorist, then we must articulate it’s message to everyone in society. Never thinking that someone is too far gone, because when we start to think like that, we are underestimating the power of the gospel.

My Challenge

I want to challenge you, just as I have been challenged this week, to not underestimate the power of the gospel to save everyone. As well as I want to challenge you to articulate its message to all you come in contact with. For it is a message that took Paul from a hardened persecutor of the church, to its greatest advocate. May it do the same in someone’s life we take the time to tell this good news to. Don’t underestimate the power of the gospel!

2 comments on “The Underestimated Gospel

  1. I remember preaching recently on this passage (Romans 1:16), on “Do we still believe the gospel?” It seems in our churches that we have come to rely upon everything to save people, except the one thing that truly will which is the gospel. It seems that our churches see fit to share the message with some people but not others with the only conclusion that we don’t think the gospel can save them. I truly believe that what will rock our churches to the very core is if a handful of people believed the gospel the same way Paul, Peter and the early disciples did. So much so that we forsake all to proclaim to those who need to hear.
    Sadly, I myself am guilty of not having done so, which brings me to that self reflection of how well do I believe in the gospel?

    • Will,
      Thank you for your comment. I agree with what you have said here. Not only do we need to preach the gospel boldly, but we need to examine ourselves to see what we believe about the gospel. I know the conference I went to was a challenge to my belief in the power of the gospel. One that provoked a lot of self examination.

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