“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17).
Paul’s evangelistic fervor was fueled by his sense of obligation (Romans 1:14), his preparation for the work of preaching (Romans 1:15; Galatians 1:15), and his fearlessness which was spawned by the gospel’s incredible power.
In these verses Paul identifies six characteristics which contribute to the gospel’s unique, incredible power.
Its Exclusiveness (“the”). There is nothing commonplace (or “a”) about it. It is not “a gospel” with “a power”. It is the divinely conceived, eternally purposed, the lone solution to humanity’s black plague called sin. The redemption offered by Christ is not a way to the Father; it is the way (John 14:6).
As the writer of Hebrews so eloquently and powerfully demonstrates, a religion is only as good as its High Priest. Only one religion in the world has a High Priest who is holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, ascended into heaven, who ever lives to make intercession for guilty, needy sinners (Hebrews 7:25-27).
The cross of Christ is not a message of spiritual victory over Satan, sin, death, and Hades; it is the message. The gospel is not one of several powers which can truly deliver a sinner from the cruel clutches of sin; it the one and only, the exclusive power to do such.