Transcribed from a sermon preached on Romans chapter 1 by Elder David Pyles in 2005.
He [Paul] says I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Now, some people think that text speaks against what we Old Baptists believe because we deny that the gospel effects regeneration. But he didn’t say the gospel is the power of God unto regeneration did he? He said the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Now in modern day simplistic language, salvation and regeneration have been made synonymous. When someone comes knocking on your door and they ask you are you saved what they’re asking you is have you been born again. I challenge you to go read the Bible and tell me that’s how the word is used there. Seldom in the Bible does the word mean that.
When we look at Salvation, that word refers to a broad package of things that may or may not include regeneration. It refers to the covenant of God before the foundation of the world the election of His people. It refers to their redemption in Christ. It refers to their regeneration in some places refers to their conversion. And to their practical sanctification. Sometimes it refers to their glorification and resurrection. Sometimes it refers to some of these things but not all of these things. Sometimes in the Bible it says we’re saved already. Sometimes in the Bible it says we’re waiting to be saved.
Well, which is it?
The night is far spent the day is at hand…for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed – Romans chapter 13 about verse 11. So that text says I am not saved yet. And yet over in 2 Timothy chapter 1 it says He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works. You see this word refers to different things and it doesn’t always mean “born again.”
We’re not born again by the power of the gospel, we’re born again by the direct work of the Holy Spirit of God…We’re born again by the direct work of the Holy Spirit of God but then the Gospel saves us in the sense that it converts us and brings about sanctification in our lives.
Now, when I look at my life I can only say that the most blessed thing that’s ever happened to me in this world has been the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I said lots of times that I’m not what I ought to be but thank God I’m not what I would be had it not been for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the power of salvation. It’s the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Doesn’t do any good for the unbeliever, but it’s the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith.