Power in the Church
When Paul declared that he was 'not ashamed of the gospel', he explained that it was because the gospel was 'the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek' (Rom. 1:16). He further explained that in the gospel 'the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith', and made a direct link between this present reality and the words of Habbakuk 2:4, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith' (1:17).
The question to which I want to turn concerns the nature of the power which Paul sees in the gospel, and so the power which the Church knows. What was it that took place when the gospel was preached which led Paul to make this declaration?
In the light of the New Testament evidence, can we draw some conclusion as to the real nature of the power which we would insist is active in the Church today? This matter is not without its significance, especially in view of the assertions of many groups, large and small, which claim to have become the locus for the power of God over against what is regarded, by comparison, as a powerless church. But the claims may not necessarily indicate the true state of affairs. In other words, the purpose of this book is to discover both the nature and the range of evidence of the power of God.