“Divine Power in the Epistle to the Romans Chapter One”


There are three distinct presentations of God’s power in the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans.

  • In verse 4 we learn that the Lord Jesus is declared the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection of the dead.
  • In verse 16 the Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”
  • In verse 20 the creation displays God’s “eternal power and Godhead,” so as to render man “without excuse” in his responsibility as His creature.

Beholding the creation, the mind is awed by the almighty power that keeps the “fixed stars” in their divinely ordered way in the distant realms of the vast universe, where these mighty, blazing orbs trace their appointed courses with almost incredible velocities through the shoreless oceans of space. The same mighty power spins the sun upon its axis and keeps the planets of the solar system whirling around it.

On earth, God has made the power of His creation available to men. Mighty rivers drive giant turbines to transform their power into electrical energy, and the hidden resources of power accumulated in the coal and oil reserves have been tapped to drive the engines man has made. Men have recently discovered that tremendous power is locked in the atoms of matter, and they have secured the key to open this amazing treasure house of power.

The evidence this almighty power brings to man of the existence of God leaves man without excuse. If God is so great and so glorious, as evinced in His creation, it is surely reasonable that the creature should render to Him the thanks and praise of which He is worthy. But man is so held in the bondage of sin, and in the power of Satan, that he will deny the very existence of God, and even if he accepts that God exists, it is but to refuse the adoration and homage that are His due.

God, in His wondrous grace, has put forth His power to deliver man from the bondage of sin and from the power of Satan. This divine power is found in the Gospel, and millions of those who once were ignorant of God, as blinded by Satan, have known the liberating power of the Gospel of God. To avail ourselves of this divine power, faith in the Son of God is required, for the Gospel is God’s power unto salvation to everyone that believeth.

It is good to see the hand of God in creation, but this will never save the soul; God’s power unto salvation is not in the message of creation, but in the word of the Gospel.

Many vainly imagine that the recognition of God in His creation, in the beauties of nature, in the glories of the heavens, and in other works of His hands, is sufficient to secure a passport to heaven; but unless they believe in the Gospel of God concerning His Son, they can never have the blessing of God. To ignore the Gospel is to ignore the need of salvation, and to despise the provision that God has made in the riches of His grace.

The testimony of creation renders man inexcusable, but it does not bring to him the knowledge of God. God’s power is seen in the creation, but God Himself is only known in the Person of the Son. Man is a sinner, and at a distance from God by sin, and the pretense of worshipping God and communing with Him in the works of His hands ignores the sinful condition of man, his guilt, and the need of salvation. There can be no true worship of God apart from Christ; and the soul must first know God through the Gospel before it can approach Him in worship.

But the greatest demonstration of God’s power is not in creation: “the exceeding greatness of His power” has been made known in the resurrection of His Son, and Jesus has been declared the Son of God with power by resurrection of the dead. When the Lord was upon earth He raised the dead. The widow of Nain’s son, the daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus all testify to the mighty power made known in Jesus. Yet His own resurrection was the greatest exhibition of this divine power. The same power will be in evidence when the Lord Jesus comes to raise His loved ones from the grave, and also when He raises the wicked dead to stand before the Great White Throne for judgment.

Satan would fain have kept the Lord Jesus in death, but great as is his power, the power of the Son of God is infinitely greater. He was the Stronger Man on earth who bound the strong man and spoiled his goods. Even now the powers of darkness would utterly destroy every vestige of good in this world if they were able, bringing into desolation the whole scene; but they can only go as far as the Lord allows them, for “by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).

The Christian as knowing God’s power unto salvation, through believing the Gospel, delights to contemplate the subject of the Gospel, the Son of God, whose mighty power was seen in His resurrection, th`e same power that enabled Him to pass through this world in the perfection of holiness for the will of God; and the One whose divine power is displayed in all the creation. We rejoice to see His hand in creation, displaying His wisdom and His greatness; to see Him overthrowing all our foes in resurrection: and to know His heart of love made known in the Gospel.

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