As I prepare to teach the book of Romans to a group of men at our church, I find myself being so thankful for the preparation that I’ve had under some very godly and very competent mentors like Dr. Paul R. Fink. His class on the Book of Romans has prepared me well to live and preach the Gospel. One of the required readings for that class was Alva J. McClain’s “Romans: The Gospel of God’s Grace”. Reading it again today has been a wonderful joy and enriching challenge. On Romans 1:16 he writes:
The Greek word which is translated “power” in Roans 1:16 is the word dunamis [from which we get our word ‘dynamite’]. … Dynamite is a destructive power…A dynamo has constructive power. … The gospel too tears down, it blows to pieces the old life. But at the same time it has the constructive power to build up the new life. … We are told today that the church has no power. The diagnosticians and experts are running around in circles trying to find what is the matter and discover a remedy so that ht church may recover its lost power. They tell us that all the churches must unite; that they must hold the young people; that they must get into politics; that they must teach the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man; that they must cease preaching the theological dogmas of the Bible. All these are mere quack remedies. If the church has lost its power, it is because it has lost the gospel, because the gospel is the power. God has vested His power in the truth we preach. The church is not the power nor the preacher nor the members in the pew nor methods, organization, or money. Some say we ought to pray more. ‘When we pray more, we will have more power.’ That is true. But the most astounding spectacle in all the universe is an apostate church which, having cast away the true gospel, is now on its knees praying to God for power! An astonishing contradiction, and yet, that is the tragic situation today: on the one hand, throwing away the power, and then on the other, praying for it. It is like going into a cave and praying for sunlight; or going on a hunger strike and praying for food; refusing to breathe and at the same time praying for air. It must make the angels weep and the devil laugh!