A Gospel of Power
A Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:5
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (ESV)
“The test of anything that claims to be Christian is the test of power”. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that whether we are speaking of the church or of the individual Christian, the test of authenticity is the test of results produced by divine power. The gospel had been delivered to the Thessalonians in word, but it did not come in word only. The gospel came with divine power to bring about results. The results included repentance of sin and pagan idol worship to the service of a living true God. Furthermore, this gospel power was accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit took the words of the gospel and made them effectual in the lives of the Thessalonians and all true believers. Did the Apostle Paul contribute anything? Yes. The Doctor identifies that the Apostle himself brought personal conviction and assurance that was so authentic, the power of God in his message was unmistaken and would not be ineffectual. What is the test of authenticity for the church and the Christian? It is the test of power.