W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Power of the Gospel is real to those whose hope lies in the Creator of the Universe, His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, who make up the Holy Trinity. A Bible dictionary notes that the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are called the Gospels because they contain the basic facts of Jesus' life.
Daniel Webster stated: If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breath of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end. Many voices of the past have stated the significance of the power of the Gospel and what would happen if it no longer was an influence.
A Sunday school commentary noted: Jesus described the characteristics of the time leading to the end of the age. He said there would be religious deception, political unrest, disasters, wars, and the persecution of believers. In the face of all which was to transpire, He stated: This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).
A Bible commentary noted: A witness to all nations could either be a witness against them, because of their rejection, or as a testimony of Christ and salvation, to all who believe in Him.
Scripture reveals that when Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. And there was delivered to him the book (scroll) of the prophet Isaiah, and when he opened the book, he found the place where it was written concerning His coming ministry.
He read: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus then closed the book and set down with the eyes of all fastened on Him. He said to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing) (Luke 4:21). The ushering in of the power of the Gospel began at that very moment!
Jesus' proclamation of His ministry, identified through the prophetic voice of the prophet Isaiah, with the words: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me notes the Third Person of the Trinity (God's Spirit) being part of that ministry.
Because he has anointed me denotes the permanency and continuation of God's Spirit upon Jesus during His public ministry, as evidenced in displaying the power of the Gospel. Later the power of the Gospel would be revealed through His disciples as the Spirit of God flowed through them.
Preach the gospel to the poor of their spiritual poverty, to emphasize the power of the Gospel, of its glad tidings of love, grace, and the mercy of God in Christ; of peace, pardon, righteousness, life and salvation by Christ, with such power and authority as never before realized.
There are those today who remain in spiritual poverty having rejected the message of the Gospel, blinded to it, as identified by the Apostle Paul, who stated: If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (perishing): in whom the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Jonathan Edwards sermon, Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God, continue these words: Consider the fearful danger that you are in: You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any mediator, nothing to hold on to save yourself, nothing that you have done to induce God to spare you one moment.
Those words still ring loud and clear today, to endangered souls who are about to descend into eternity without the benefit of a Savior, unless repentance comes into focus prior to Judgment Day, through yielding to the power of the Gospel message.
He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted refers to those in great distress, ready to faint and possibly die in the dire straits they find themselves. Christ was sent to heal such persons by the stripes He bore for our healing, by the application of His precious blood shed on the Cross of Calvary towards the forgiveness of our sins, by discovering the pardoning grace of His mercy, by opening and applying the power of the Gospel message.
We live in a world of chaos, suffering, and pain due to pressures of daily living, through repressive regimes in which the healing of the broken-hearted is of a urgent need; with Jesus being the avenue of relief. Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
To preach deliverance to the captives refers to one who is captive to sin, or Satan, from whose only deliverance is through Christ and the power of the Gospel message, with one's being redeemed (saved), with liberty and deliverance being a factor, rather than continued bondage to sin and Satan.
Scripture reveals: That they (those in captivity) may recover (come to their senses) out of the snare of the devil (Satan), who are taken captive by him at his will (2 Timothy 3:26). Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
God's Word gives assurance: Those who resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished (experienced) in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:9-10).
Recovering of sight to the blind is opening the prison to them that are bound; persons in the prison of sin who are in darkness, not seeing the light of the glorious of Gospel of Christ. They are blinded, ignorant, uncaring, and insensible to their state of mind; until Jesus opens their understanding, and sets them free, through the power of the Gospel. Many today are in such a state; under ungodly influence rather than the Gospel message.
Sat at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed) is a category that fits our society; with many held in captivity to doctrines that would enslave rather than promote liberty. There are movements that dominate the lives of others through suppression of the truth, offering a life of leisure, promising the world, but eventually taken away basic freedoms once enjoyed.
For one to be set free of oppression it takes the truth to open one's eyes. Jesus revealed: You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Those seeking to dominate hid the truth, or give half-truths, to hide their real intent. Their desire is to place one in bondage, through deception, and hiding the truth.
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord begin in the synagogue at Nazareth on that eventful day; with the words: This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing). We (believers in Christ) have been blessed, since that day, to personally witness the power of the Gospel being manifested in the lives of all who will receive its life-giving message of deliverance from sin.
A Sunday school commentary noted: A man was asked; if he was given an hour to explain the Gospel message to someone, how would he do so? He said he would spend the first fifty minutes on the bad news of judgment and then the last ten minutes on the good news of salvation, because without the context of judgment one would not appreciate or even understand salvation.
Scripture reveals that John the Baptist had heard (being confined in prison) the works of Christ. He sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him, are you he that should come, or do we look for another?
Jesus said to them, Go and show (tell) John again those things you do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them (Matthew 11:5). Jesus was giving reference to several prophecies concerning the Messiah (Deliverer), given by the prophet Isaiah, being fulfilled.
Scripture reveals: Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23); further emphasizing the power of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul stated: Our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost (God's Spirit), and in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Paul calls the Gospel, our Gospel; not because he and his fellow ministers were the authors of it; but in respect that it is of God, producing His wisdom and grace, by the revelation of Jesus Christ. In word only; not of man's wisdom, but in power and demonstration of the Spirit of God, and of power, enlightening their dark understandings, softening their hard hearts, delivering them from the slavery of sin and Satan.
Scripture reveals: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection (passion), evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience: in which you walked sometime, when you lived in them (Colossians 3:5-7).
This is a reminder of what God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God, brought us (believers in Christ) out of, putting off the old man of sin, and putting on the new man, renewed in the newness of Christ. The old man consisted of worldly thinking and sinful acts; the new man possessing a new nature, with the values and aspirations toward a new life in Christ!
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