For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16, ESV)
Over the last couple days, many of us saw some pretty amazing fireworks displays. No matter how old you are or how many times you've seen them, fireworks are pretty darn cool (even if you live in San Diego).
I am always amazed at what beauty can come can come from a small , knee-high cylinder. The genius' who pack those things are in a league of their own. How they can orchestrate such beauty in the sky from blowing something up is way beyond me. I tried blowing lots of things up as a kid and nothing ever looked like that. My local fireworks display even included a smiley face and butterfly! Incredible!
But the Bible teaches us that there is something even more powerful than explosions which reign down colorful fire. We are told in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel has the power to change lives. You heard it correctly folks -- the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can turn a person's life around. That's pretty amazing considering what our lives can be like and how seriously sin has ruined us.
The apostle Paul (who wrote the above verse) knew firsthand just how explosive the life-changing Gospel was. He despised, imprisoned and murdered Christians. It was his life's ambition to stamp them out. Then he met Jesus. He was transformed by the wonderful working of the Gospel and devoted his life to sharing the life-altering story of the Gospel.
What is the Gospel you ask? Once again Paul helps us when he says:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand...that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3b–4, ESV)
When we put our faith (John 3:16, Acts 16:31) in what Jesus has done for us (i.e. believe the Gospel message), our lives can be transformed through the mighty working of God. Now that's amazing. And as much as I love fireworks, I'd much rather watch a show like that any day.