28 apríla, 2010

What is the Power of God?

Today I started reading 2 Timothy where Paul is giving last instructions to Timothy. Paul is encouraging Timothy not to be ashamed for the gospel in spite of all the suffering that proclaiming the gospel might bring upon him. But Paul knows that if we decide to stand for the gospel we will suffer. We read in verse 8 (chapter 1): 

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in SUFFERING for the gospel by the power of God.

Paul is saying there, that the way we handle these sufferings is by the power of God. The phrase "power of God" is certainly one of the favourites for Paul. Paul uses this pharase seven times in his letters and it's always implied that the power of God is the gospel. The clearest instance of this is found in Romans 1:16, where Paul proclaims:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

the Gospel = the Power of God

So when we go back to 2 Timothy 1:8 we realize that the way we handle suffering BECAUSE the gospel is the GOSPEL itself. Then this verse could be read like this:

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,..., but share in suffering for the gospel BY the gospel.

Many times we are moked and made fools of because of the faith that is in us. At least that's my experience at school and many times when people find out I'm going to study at a semminary. We are being shamed BECAUSE of the gospel. But the way we fight this shame is the GOSPEL itself - The Power of God! For when we realize what we have in the Gospel (forgiveness of our sins, eternal life and Father who loves us with everlasting love) then there's nothing else in this whole world that is strong enough to put us in shame. And then we can say together with Paul:

I am NOT ashamed of the gospel

And that is the very reason for this blog.

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