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Perishing or Being Saved Part 3

As we finish our series on 1Cor.1:18, we look today at the phrase “The power of God.” As we have seen, no one has
the power to see anything else but foolishness in the word of the cross. Only the Holy Spirit will give us the ability
to not see foolishness in it that leads to perishing, but to see the power in it to save us from perishing. It is the
power of God that we believe, our minds must be renewed, Rom.8:6,7, show that our minds cannot. There is bad
news for each one of us unless we receive the good news, to see that which was of first importance to Paul in
1Cor.15:3, that in which Paul points to in Rom.1:16, for the gospel, the good news, the cross of Christ is the power
of God (there is our phrase) for salvation to everyone who believes. Charles Hodge said,” The power of God is
manifested and exercised and therefore it is divinely efficacious.” In other words, His call to you will draw you. God
makes the call efficacious, and it accomplishes what it commands. His call is experientially done through election, it
is sovereign, it overcomes all our resistance. And He offers to us freely what He demands, namely His own

The power of the cross offers to us daily, victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. (1John 4:4) He strengthens
us by His indwelling us. John 14:23 shows He makes His abode (dwelling place) with us. J.I. Packer states, The
saving power of the cross does not depend on faith being added to it, it's saving power is such that faith flows from
it”. Christ and the cross bring deliverance from the guilt of sin in the past, it breaks the slavery to sin in our daily
living, and it promises the complete deliverance from the presence of sin in the future. Paul in our verse does not
jump from foolishness to its opposite, wisdom, but to power. He gets the people’s minds off of wisdom and on to
what is really important, and that is power. 1Cor.1:25 states,” The foolishness of God is wiser than men.”

The Greek word for power is dunamis, we get our word dynamite from it. The word is generally used by Paul of
Divine energy to accomplish something supernaturally which cannot be accomplished naturally. While the English
word dynamite explodes and destroys, the biblical Greek word creates and establishes. And God's best evidence to
refute worldly wisdom is a transformed life. The gospel is a Person to be welcomed, a truth to be believed, and a
life to be lived. And we believers are distinguished from those who see the word of the cross as foolishness, by
living a Godly and holy life, because this is the design and end of election. The Christian life is not merely a set of
doctrines to be accepted. It is a power to be experienced. And one other thing to be sure of which you and I have
seen is Christians who just “float" get into great peril. The evidence of Godliness is seen in our “swimming"
progress. Our lack of progress in Christlikeness may show we are not on the way to Heaven at all.

So, in our fallen world, and in our diverse times, a cross displayed on public property will likely be decided in our
courts, but displaying the power of the cross in our lives will be decided in our hearts. Can we excel still more, can
we serve Him a bit more, and can we love Him a bit more and then follow all His commands? Paul's prayer for us in
Eph.1:18 is this, “That the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of His
calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His
power toward us who believe.” Wow, what a great prayer, a great request, a great desire of the Apostle for those
within ear of His voice and sight of His words. May we pray that we might have power to grasp the limitless
dimensions of His love toward us, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, to know that the love of
Christ which surpasses knowledge. May our faith not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God!

Elder Randy Slak