A Litany of the Power of God in Salvation

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Litany of the Power of God in Salvation

The healing motif over the last week and a half is a providential segway into the trunk from which this particular branch grows. My belief in God's divine and sovereign healing of persons today (and particularly in relation to unbelievers in order to bring them to redemption) is deeply rooted in a biblical/theological understanding of the power of God. As I venture into this subject, especially as it relates to the gospel, I begin with a litany of Scripture passages on the power of God in salvation. Notice the many connections between salvation-oriented terminology and God's power.

"Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power…Your Majesty, you are a king over many kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor."
(Daniel 2:20,37).

You are the God of miracles and wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. You have redeemed your people by your strength, the descendants of Jacob and of Joseph by your might. When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. The clouds poured down their rain; the thunder rolled and crackled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters-- a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.”
(Psalm 77:14-20).

Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might."
(Psalm 54:1).

“… God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death.”
(Psalm 49:15).

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-- Jews first and also Gentiles. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’"
(Romans 1:16-17)

“For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
(Colossians 2:12)

“Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God's power - the power we use in dealing with you.”
(2 Corinthians 13:4)

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
(Ephesians 3:19)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
(2 Timothy 1:7)

“I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18)

Last, but not least, is Acts 1:8....a well-known text, yet one which is often left out of the equation with regard to saints, salvation, and the power of the Holy Spirit. "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere..." These were saints, awaiting the coming of the Spirit, and who ultimately experienced it in a divine and miraculous way.

It is my firm belief that the message of redemption has always been associated with either providence or miracle and/or both. God has always acted through history in redemptive ways and means through a sovereign orchestration of persons, events, and circumstances to accomplish His redemptive purposes; or else through miracles, signs, and wonders. It is awe-inspiring to watch these events, in particular, unfold throughout the biblical record of history.

Nothing changes when the church is born. Nothing at all. What simply happens is that the message of the gospel now consummated in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ is manifested in all its glorious power through the presence of the Holy Spirit in signs, wonders, and miracles.

For those reading this and wondering where I'm going, guess for yourself. It's not hard to see that if the gospel of Christ is still to be preached today to the world, and if the gospel has always been accompanied by providence and/or miracles, then what's changed today? Why the lack of miraculous power in the preaching of the gospel today, or the 'poo-pooing' of it or those seeking after it?

It's been a year since my convictions have changed regarding these matters. My road to this theological change was three years prior in the making. And during this my first full year in experiencing the power of the Spirit of God in the gospel of Christ through miraculous reflections, manifestations, words, and acts, I thought it good to spend the remainder of this month on the blog working through the biblical-theology that first brought me here.
Stay tuned for some lively action and perhaps interaction.

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