by John F. Klem
The gospel is really big and genuinely powerful! The gospel is big in terms of its vast, redemptive impact upon God’s creation. It is genuinely powerful in terms of its amazing, transformative nature in the lives of those who receive it. The really big and genuinely powerful gospel is such because of the eternal and all-powerful Lord Jesus Christ. So when we think of Advent, we need to think of what is really big and genuinely powerful.
Two special New Testament passages tie together the ideas of gospel bigness and power with the person of Christ. The first text appears in Romans 1:16. Here Paul declares, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and for the Greek.”
Verse 16 is part of a larger context devoted to the theme of the gospel and the person of Christ. The gospel of God is not something new, but something promised in the Holy Scriptures through the agency of the prophets. It specifically deals with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was born of the seed of David and then declared to be Son of God with power by means of His resurrection from the dead.
This really big gospel is both life imparting and life transforming. The murderous Saul was transformed by it to become the apostle Paul. The Romans were also changed by it to such an extent that their faith was well known throughout the whole world.
The gospel is the power of God. The gospel is the good news about God’s saving power in connection with the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to one commentator, the gospel is distinguished by its dynamic quality. It is God at work.
The second passage bringing together gospel bigness and power is found in 1 Corinthians 1:24. Again Paul writes, “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” In the larger context (1:1–25), Paul recounts His call to preach the gospel. This call is not fulfilled by using words of wisdom. After all, the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The call is fulfilled by preaching Christ, Who is the power and wisdom of God.
As we ponder these verses, note that Paul writes of Christ and the gospel in similar ways. The gospel is the power of God. Christ is the power of God. The gospel is really big and genuinely powerful!
Despite the challenges of the Christmas season, don’t lose sight of what Christ is and what brought us. The gospel is bigger and better than any gift we can give or receive. The gospel is the most fruitful topic of conversation during family gatherings. The gospel is what meaningfully informs this Christmas celebration of Christ’s birth. The appearing of the eternal Son of God in the manger is a momentous, historic event. O come, let us adore Him!
John F. Klem is director of Regular Baptist Press.
Regular Baptist Press is committed to providing educational resources that point people of all ages to Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. RBP offers a wide range of curriculum, VBS programs, Bible studies, books, and training seminars that are Biblically sound, cover the entirety of Scripture, and designed for spiritual growth.
- Read the entire series of Advent meditations.