Greetings Johntwayne~my favorite subject, miss it here and one will be without biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ~this does not
mean that they that miss this truth is not born again, (for only God knows truly those that are his, we do not know 100%) but for sure they are still in the dark concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ, its true message, purpose, and to whom it is sent, and its 100% success, both toward the elect and non-elect.
2nd Corinthians 2:14-17~"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
Now to your post we have a few things to say, which I'm sure you expected.
The gospel is God's power unto salvation
And you quoted Romans 1:16 to support what you said concerning the gospel is the power of God. John, context is important as we both know, so let us look at exactly what Paul is saying to us concerning the gospel being the power of God.
Romans 1:15-17~"So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
John we all should consider these scriptures in light of, or, alongside ~1st Corinthians 1:16-31
~both are saying the exact same thing only saying it a little different
but not very much. Consider:
1. To those Paul was addressing his words to:
Romans 1:7~"To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul is only writings to those that are beloved of God and that were called to be saints! It was to them
that the gospel of the grace of God was sent unto to reveal to them what Jesus Christ accomplished for them by his life, death, and resurrection form the dead, which is revealed in the gospel when it is preached in it purity.
2. THIS GOSPEL is the power of God only to believers and to them alone!
To the rest of the world, it is pure foolishness, and they (the world) truly believe it is below their wisdom to follow such teaching, that they consider is only for the weak-minded folks of this world who have nothing more than to trust in such a useless fable as the gospel of Jesus Christ. The world, consider their wisdom far above following such teachings, and truly such teaching stripped them of all power that they so glory in.
3. According to Romans 1:16 when understood correctly the Gospel is the power of God TO THOSE THAT BELIEVE
, for in the gospel they see the wisdom of God on display in providing redemption by his grace through his Son, Jesus Christ's faith and obedience for sinners who were without spiritual strength See and ponder Romans 5:6-11)
to hear, see and believe.
Let us hear Paul speak from Romans 1:16,17 carefully:
Romans 1:16,17~"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Notice a couple of things of great importance: The gospel is the power of God ONLY to believers~so, the salvation under consideration is PRACTICAL in nature, not a salvation from sin and condemnation. God freely regenerates, and the gospel comes and gives us INFORMATION
(when it is preached according to the truth) concerning what believers have in Jesus Christ.
The gospel can only
be revealed from one person who has faith, to another person who has faith~it is impossible to reveal spiritual truths of the gospel to men still in their sins and serving their own lust. Hear Paul:
Romans 1;17~"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.""For THEREIN"~
Only in preaching the gospel is the truth concerning how one receives the righteousness of God. It is a free gift given by grace on the behalf of what Jesus did for that person. "is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith"~
The truth of how one is made the righteousness of God can ONLY be revealed from a person who has faith, to another person who has faith, no way under heaven can any man reveal the truths of the gospel to an unregenerate man~ IMPOSSIBLE according to Paul's teaching in Romans 1:17.
Enough now. RB