Power Of The Gospel
What power does the gospel have? It’s the power of God for one’s salvation. In the gospel is revealed the righteousness of God. Christ says in John 5:39, we must “search the scriptures” if we are to have eternal life. John 8:32 states, “you shall know the truth and the truth (gospel) will make you free. Paul words it this way in Romans 3:21, “but the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets. Righteousness of God is revealed the gospel which produces salvation to “all who believe “. Romans 3:23.
Truth is precious because of what it can produce in our lives. Proverbs 23:23 “buy the truth and sell it not. Nothing we can have in our lives will benefit us as much as truth. We can only know what truth is by study of God’s word. II Tim. 2:15, “study to show thyself approved of God by rightly dividing the word. What would you give up for truth?
“Raccoon” John Smith was born in 1784 in Tennessee and died in 1868. He lived during the restoration movement when Alexander Campbell preached. Mr. Campbell stated concerning Raccoon Smith, “Mr.Smith is the only man I know that would be spoiled by a college education”. Raccoon Smith was a unique person. He had very little schooling. His parents were “Calvinistic Baptist” and were stern in teaching their children this faith. Raccoon was interested in religion that was taught and waited for the Lord to call him, thinking he was one of the chosen few.
When his father died, realizing he had not be called by God as “one of the chosen, he turned to reading the Bible and came to the conclusion he was a sinner. When he told this to others, they told him he had been converted. He became a member of the Baptist church and stated preaching, stating the Lord had called him. In studying NT he began to memorize scriptures and quoted them while preaching. He was told he was quoting too many scriptures and to quit, which he replied, “brethren, what shall I do? I must preach. I cannot preach if I do not study and know scripture.
Later, in meeting with Alexander Campbell whom he heard preach and talked with, he came to see the Baptist church was not the church of our Lord. He renounced the Baptist faith and embraced the gospel. He turned from the religion of his mother and friends. He did not hesitate to make this sacrifice. Few could with the truth he presented to them. He once stated the gospel had this peculiar mark,” who ever does not believe it shall be damned”. When approached later by a Baptist he was asked, “what’s the difference between baptism and our mourner’s bench? To which he replied, “baptism is from above, mourner’s bench from a sawmill”. What would you give up for truth?
- CL Bruner