Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Gospel's Power and Message

I've been reading Paul Washer's book "The Gospel's Power & Message. Washer who is usually known for his intense style of preaching, impassioned would probably be a better way to describe it. In this work, he comes across as a shepherd, with concern and urgency in his voice.
Inside of these 274 pages, lie a treasure trove of gospel gems. I would even go as far to say that this work will be one that speaks to the church years from now, much like the classic works of Spurgeon and Edwards and Whitefield. It may not be found in the bestseller racks at your local Christian bookstore, but neither will you find much from the other men of God that I mentioned earlier. 
There isn't a lot of feel good messages found in Washer's book, but what you will find is something much more valuable and that is an undiluted and unapologetic gospel message. One that as Washer puts so pointedly; "Christ died not only because of our sin but also because of God's character- He is just and cannot justify or pardon the wicked without first satisfying the demands of His justice against them. (Proverbs 17:15 Exodus 34:6-7 Romans 3:23-26) Christ not only died, but He stood in the place of His people, bore their guilt, suffered God's wrath and shed His blood. Through His suffering, divine justice was satisfied and the wrath of God was appeased, that God might now be both just and the justifier of those who place their faith in Him." 
So much gospel truth in those few sentences, much more than you would find in many of today's "popular" works. Again, Washer isn't trying to win an audience to a popular message, but is urgently trying to clear up so much of the spiritual fog that exists within evangelicalism today. "In the opinion of many, the promise of salvation is no longer a strong enough motivation to move the sinner to repentance or the saint to true devotion, so we must add many other promises to make the gospel call appealing. Health and wealth, purpose and power, and getting the most out of this present life are the real drawing cards of contemporary Christianity." To which I would totally agree with. So much of the message we hear in most churches today is, "here is something for you" when it was never meant to be about us, but about the gospel. It is truly the only thing that is needed. We constantly think that we must go beyond the simplicity of the gospel, Mr. Washer gives a great picture of this by actually using the account of David and Goliath properly! "The church needs men who will stand before the opposing masses with nothing to help them except the gospel and the God who has promised to work through it. How cumbersome was Saul's armor to David, and how ridiculous did David appear when he wore it? The sheer weight of it sapped his agility and strength. Yet  he made the crucial decision to put it off and face the giant with nothing more than the name of The Lord. Likewise, we must refuse Saul's armor and weaponry and go to battle with nothing more than the smooth stones of the gospel." He then goes on to state "The gospel is the power of God for salvation. Men will be converted if it is preached!" 
The book is broken up into three different parts, An Apostolic Introduction, The Power of God for Salvation, and The Acropolis of The Christian Faith. You probably won't agree with everything that Paul  Washer writes in this book, but all great works have things within them that may not be agreeable to you. However the overarching message of The Gospel's Power & Message is one that we as Christians cannot afford to miss or overlook, and Washer is a very ample shepherd to oversee that work.
You can pick up a copy here;


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