The Power That Brings Salvation
by Steve Hale
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" ( Romans 1:16-17).
The power of God that brings salvation is the gospel ( Romans 1:16, 17). There is no other power provided by God that can bring that salvation.
The gospel will deliver the message that can bring liberation from sin, based upon the submission of the hearer.. Without. submission, there can be no salvation ( Hebrews 5:8, 9; James 4:17).
The gospel is centered on things of "first importance" ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ died, was buried, and resurrected. We must die, be buried, and resurrected with Him by baptism to have our sins washed away ( Romans 6:1-7; Acts 22:16).
This is not Allegiance to the "roots of our Restoration movement, but loyalty to the Scriptures! It is not "the quaint traditions" of Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, or Abner Smith, but faith based on biblical evidence ( Romans 10:17).
To be frank, we are at a crossroads with some brethren who are opting for a utilitarian hermeneutic. The crossroads is whether or not we will respect the scriptures from a patterned hermeneutic, or if we will adopt a utilitarian hermeneutic.
The new or utilitarian hermeneutist is telling us that what we believe is a result of a traditional and historical apparatus known as the restoration movement. Further, we are told, many of our doctrinal positions are based on this movement rather than any valid biblical interpretation. This is a fancy way of opening fellowship with the various denominations, and surrendering biblical authority.
If nothing matters, if doctrinal positioning is merely a futile exercise, why then does Paul warn Timothy about the false doctrines of:
1. Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:19).
2. Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Tim. 1:15).
3. Hymeneaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17).
Notice that Paul not only deals with the doctrinal problems but names those promoting it! Salvation is not by praying through, miraculous intervention, or good intentions. Salvation comes by obeying the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation!
What can we do in the midst of all this confusion and turmoil? More next week...
June 16, 1996
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