Ref: 1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16.
Why is the death of Christ not seen as good news by all? We must see it as true and good before we can believe it. So the question is: Why do some see it as true and good and others don’t? One answer is given in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Besides that, sinful human nature itself is dead to true spiritual reality. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
If anyone is going to see the gospel as true and good, satanic blindness and natural deadness must be overcome by the power of God. This is why the Bible says that even though the gospel is foolishness to many, yet “to those who are called . . . Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). This “calling” is the merciful act of God to remove natural deadness and satanic blindness, so that we see Christ as true and good. This merciful act is itself a blood-bought gift of Christ. Look to him, and pray that God would enable you to see and embrace the gospel of Christ.
I’m used to hearing the ‘power of God’ associated with a certain kind of spectacular and miraculous happenings. In this chapter, the verses Piper chooses speak to another kind of spectacular and miraculous that is often overlooked when considering God’s power—salvation.
Curious, I searched the New Testament for passages where ‘power’ and ‘God’ appeared together. Out of a total of 52 results, here’s what I found:
- 8 weren’t in reference to God’s power, so that leaves 44.
- 12 refer to God’s power in a non-specific way, leaving 32.
- One reference is to Jesus’ birth; one to hope, joy and peace; this leaves 30.
- 6 references are about God’s future reign/ future kingdom/heaven (Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24, Mark 9:1, Hebrews 6:5, Revelation 11:17, Revelation 12:10) 24 left.
- Six other references ascribe power to God. (1 Peter 4:11, Jude 25, Revelation 1:6, 4:11, 7:12, 19:1) 18 to go.
- There are 4 references to God’s power in the resurrection of Christ ( Romans 1:4, 1 Corinthians 6:14,2 Corinthians 13:4, Colossians 2:12). 14 left.
- Of the remaining fourteen were six references to miraculous, supernatural acts. Of these, two were in reference to God working through Jesus (Luke 24:40, Acts 10:38); one of His working through Stephen (Acts 6:8 ). The other three were of God directly working (Acts 13:17– the deliverance form Egypt; Romans 4:21– giving Abraham an heir; Ephesians 3:7– Paul’s call). 8 still to go.
- Those final eight verses are about the power of God in salvation. (Acts 26:18, Romans 1:16, Romans 8:3, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:24, 1 Corinthians 2:5, 2 Corinthians 4:7, 1 Peter 1:5)
This is just a quick study. However, it would seem that the NT writers considered God’s power to be shown more in the new birth than in miracles, or at least as much as in miracles. Another way in which we ‘put God in a box’?