Imagine the irony in being gifted a brand new car for Christmas, let’s say a Holden Commodore. You go to the showroom, sign the forms, and the car is waiting for you with one of those nice big bows they like to put on it. You even get the obligatory Facebook photo telling the world of your good fortune. Now imagine with the whole family packed into the car you start to physically push the car with much grunting and groaning out of the showroom. To say there would be startled faces everywhere would be an understatement. The question would be this, “Doesn’t he/she know the power that the car has?”
Ever felt like you are pushing and groaning in your Christian faith? Sometimes we can be pushing so hard to get ourselves moving in our faith, and not just us, the connect group leader, the friend and sometimes even the pastor are all helping you push. A heap of effort for little traction.
In Romans 1v16 Paul tells us that the gospel is the ‘…power of God…’. Paul doesn’t say it contains the power of God or even that it is the key to the power of God. Paul says it IS the power of God. What a difference this makes to our Christian walk. When we understand what is under the hood of the Christian life, the power that is ours, suddenly the striving and the pushing diminish.
So what is the gospel? Probably because it can’t easily be defined the bible at no point lays down a simple definition. Better people than me have attempted to define the gospel but five things come to mind for me:
- Salvation for eternity that moves to a salvation for our everyday lives.
- The truth that our identity ultimately comes from a deep knowledge in our inner being of the length, breadth, height and width of the love of God in our lives.
- A heart understanding that we don’t control our lives but God does.
- A truth that when grasped helps us leave our worldly idols (pleasure, performance, power etc) and lets us become enraptured with the true beauty of Jesus Christ.
- A supernatural ability to leave our hurts and injustices behind and move through our suffering with a heavenly joy.
Now that is a power I want to grasp! I personally believe we can spend our lives gradually moving toward a fuller realization of the gospel power in our life. This holiday season don’t see Christmas just about gifts, food and a cute story about a baby. The gospel is always first from God, so why not give yourself the greatest gift you ever could and ask God to open your eyes to the power of the gospel in you.