The Power of the Cross

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Read | Romans 1:16-17

The scene of the cross is a paradox. It demonstrates the power of God in what appears to be the weakest moment in His Son’s life. With hands and feet nailed to rough wood, Jesus looked totally helpless. Adding to that impression was the fact that He remained there while the crowd jeered, “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matt. 27:40).

Strength is not always revealed in a dramatic display; at times, it’s demonstrated in determined endurance. What power held Jesus on that cross, when with one spoken word, He could have been free? Divine love kept Him there. With mankind’s eternal destiny at stake, Christ hung on the cross until our salvation was attained.

But the power of the cross didn’t end when Jesus finally finished His suffering, gave up His spirit, and died. His death thrust open the door of salvation to all people, and those who walk through it by faith are forgiven for every sin and insured a place in heaven.

Yet even after salvation, the power of the cross continues in believers’ lives. Millions of people have been transformed as a result of the Savior’s victory over sin and death. He sets us free from sinful habits and addictions, empowering us to live victoriously in His righteousness.

Have you let the cross do its work in your life? The Lord does not force its benefits on anyone. Rather, He offers them freely to all who will believe in Him and walk in His ways. With each step of faith that we take, the mighty work of God in us increases.

Romans 1

The Gospel Exalted

1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a [b]descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power [c]by the resurrection from the dead, according to the [d]Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship [e]to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6among whom you also are thecalled of Jesus Christ;

7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as [f]saints:Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ [g]for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be [h]established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am [i]under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager topreach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

16 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed [j]from faith to faith; as it is written, “[k]BUT THE RIGHTEOUS manSHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident [m]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [u]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, [v]haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy ofdeath, they not only do the same, but alsogive hearty approval to those who practice them.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 1:1 Lit a called apostle
  2. Romans 1:3 Lit seed
  3. Romans 1:4 Or as a result of
  4. Romans 1:4 Or spirit
  5. Romans 1:5 Lit for obedience
  6. Romans 1:7 Or holy ones
  7. Romans 1:8 Or concerning you all, that...
  8. Romans 1:11 Or strengthened
  9. Romans 1:14 Lit debtor
  10. Romans 1:17 Or by
  11. Romans 1:17 Or But he who is righteous by faith shall live
  12. Romans 1:18 Or by
  13. Romans 1:19 Or among
  14. Romans 1:21 Lit glorify
  15. Romans 1:23 Or reptiles
  16. Romans 1:25 Lit the lie
  17. Romans 1:25 Lit unto the ages
  18. Romans 1:26 Lit against nature
  19. Romans 1:27 Lit the shameless deed
  20. Romans 1:27 Lit themselves
  21. Romans 1:28 Lit to have God in knowledge
  22. Romans 1:30 Or hateful to God

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