I have often thought about Paul’s passion for presenting the gospel of salvation to those who had never heard it and wondered what energized his passion. Certainly, his dramatic experience on the Damascus road helped drive that passion. But there is much more.
Paul realized the universal sin condition of man. In Romans 1:18 to 3:23, Paul explains in detail the sin condition of man as “ungodliness and unrighteousness” and concludes that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The specific examples he mentions were prevalent in his day and continue to this very moment. In fact, they will continue until the end of this world.
In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul refers to men and women without salvation or the Spirit as “the natural person [who] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is no able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (2:14).
When we pray for the gospel to be spread across people groups who have never heard, do we ask the Holy Spirit to bring about “new birth” (John 3:1-8) and “regeneration” (Titus 3:5)? The power for this change is not in us who preach the message, but in the Spirit who takes the Word and gives understanding to those who hear.
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