In the concluding chapters of the book of Romans, Paul talks about his ministry. He has yet to go to Rome, but he want to get there someday.
Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.
When Paul boasts, it’s about what God is doing through him. We need to remember that. It’s not how much I do for Him, but how much He can do through me. After all, I can’t do any miracle or healings on my own. It’s only by the power of God at work in me.
That being said, I believe that signs and miracles are a part of the true Gospel. Without them, it’s difficult to impact the unbeliever.
The Apostle Paul refers to this truth as he continues.
I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Paul tells us how he led the Gentiles to obey God by announcing the Gospel and making disciples. Notice, that he accomplished this by what he said AND did. It was through the power of signs and miracles.
There’s a difference between a sign and a miracle. A sign is a miracle that confirms the Word of God that you’re speaking.
The key issue is that by operating in this way, Paul fully proclaimed the gospel. I believe that just talking about Christ is not the whole Gospel. The Bible is clear that the kingdom of God is “not a matter of talk but of power.” (I Corinthians 4:20)
In one of my posts I asked, what is it about the Gospel that we’re ashamed of? I used some illustrations. If I won a new car I would call you over to look at it. If I got a promotion at work, I would immediately show you my new business cards. How is that different from the spiritual Good News?
I believe it’s because we have reduced the Gospel to cliches. “Jesus loves you.” “Jesus wants to bless you.” “God loves you and I do too.”
The problem is that there’s no demonstration. It’s not like the new car or the promotion at work because I offer you no proof of what I’m saying.
Based upon Scripture, if there’s no demonstration, then there’s no Gospel. Many are ashamed because all they can do is tell about Jesus. Some can’t even see the proof in their own lives because of the lack of power. It makes many believers feel like charlatans when they share the Good News.
It seems we’ve lost the original Good News. We don’t understand the power of God and we don’t understand the Gospel. The two go hand in hand.
Without the Good News, there’s no need for the demonstration of power. Some American Christians want the power without proclaiming the Good News. The fact is, that without the message of the Gospel there’s no need to demonstrate healing, prosperity, joy, freedom from depression, or anything else the Lord has provided for us through the cross. I’m striving to spur the church on to get hungry to experience the full Gospel.
That’s why Paul could say that he had fully proclaimed the Gospel of Christ. Not only did he tell about Christ, but he also demonstrated the love and power of the Lord.
Question: How can we return to the true Gospel?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi