WHEN THE GOSPEL COMES IN POWERRead: Isaiah 29:18-24
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Has the gospel ever come to you in power? Paul speaks of the gospel coming to men and women. Then he speaks of it coming not in word only, "but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance" (1 Thess. 1:5); and there is a difference, a great difference!
Many hear the gospel who are unaffected by it. But when the gospel comes in power, by the effectual call of the Spirit, those sinners to whom it comes are born again by God's almighty grace. In Isaiah 29:18-24 the prophet of God describes "that day" and tells us six things that will happen when the gospel comes in power.
1. "In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book" (v. 18). All men by nature, being dead in trespasses and in sins, are spiritually deaf. They cannot hear with understanding the gospel of the grace of God. But when the gospel comes with power, God gives the deaf a hearing ear. "Blessed are your ears, for they hear!"
2. "And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness" (v. 18). All by nature grope about in the darkness of spiritual blindness (1 Cor. 2:14). But when God calls, he causes the light to shine in the sinner's heart. He makes the blind to see (2 Cor. 4:6). When God teaches, sinners learn (John 6:44-45). Until then you cannot see, know, or understand anything spiritual. Until a sinner is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
3. "The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD" (v. 19). They shall obtain their joy in the LORD. Once their joy was found in the world. Now it is found in Christ, "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." This joy that is found in Christ, the joy of faith, is an ever-increasing joy.
4. "And the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel" (v. 19). This is not talking about the physically poor, or the spiritually poor, but the sensibly poor. Those who know themselves to be bankrupt sinners before God, rejoice in Christ, the Holy One. He is holy. He makes sinners holy. And we rejoice in him.
5. "They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding" (v. 24). Once we saw no value in Christ and his redeeming work. Now, being called of God, we see that "Christ is all." God has given us understanding.
6. "And they that murmured shall learn doctrine" (v. 24). When the gospel comes in power rebels are transformed into disciples. Those who once hated the doctrine of Christ learn it, love it, and abide in it (2 John 9). Again, I ask, has the gospel come to you in power?