For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not worked by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,…
One of Satan's artifices is to induce men to attempt to reduce the gospel to a mere system within the reach of human intellect; and in this attempt they have gone far to deny and reject everything supernatural. But so long as we have the Book of God in our hands, and the power of the Spirit of God to accompany its hallowed truths, we shall dare to insist upon thee gospel being "the power of God unto the salvation of every one that believeth." Paul always advocated the old-fashioned doctrine, "It is not by might or by power," etc. Note —
I. THE SUCCESS OF PAUL'S PREACHING THE GOSPEL
1. "I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:19). Then it was a pure gospel (Galatians 1:8, 9). He did not mix law and gospel together (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8). In his preaching I mark four things prominent: and a man does not preach a pure gospel who does not preach all four.
(1) Principles (1 Corinthians 3:11). What principles? They are summed up in "By grace are ye saved" (Ephesians 2:8). Well, then, there is nothing for works, as he urges elsewhere (Romans 11:6).
(2) Privileges (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:16).
(3) Promises. Paul dwelt on these with delight, but he never set them forth as dependent upon creature doings, or as subject to contingencies (2 Corinthians 1:20).
(4) Precepts. In his Epistles, which he commences with doctrine, and proceeds with experimental godliness; but he always closes with the most pressing exhortations to "every good word and work."
2. His success in the pure preaching of the gospel. He talks about "mighty signs and wonders" and names one in the preceding verse, viz., that the Gentiles should be made "obedient by word and deed." It is one of the greatest miracles when God brings a poor ruined sinner down to obedience to the sceptre of Christ. Paul's success lay in —
(1) The rescuing of Satan's slaves.
(2) Refreshing and establishing the Churches of the living God, so that they were "built up in their most holy faith."(3) Thus the glorifying of Jesus' name.
II. ITS EFFICIENCY. It was by the power of the Spirit of God — and truly such "mighty signs and wonders" are never accomplished by any other power. This power —
1. Is invincible — it is sure to conquer, and accomplish that for which it was designed. Every other power is found to be conquerable! The power of the Holy Ghost is so invincible, that the most stubborn hearts must yield, and the most confirmed habits of idolatry, or of licentiousness, are vanquished.
2. Defies all hostility.
3. Is new creating. All creation, in a spiritual point of view, is a chaos under the fall, until the Spirit calls to a new state of existence the souls that were destitute of it.
III. PAUL'S TRIUMPH CONCERNING HIS SUCCESS.
1. The wonders of God's grace, the miracles accomplished, the triumphs of the Cross, and the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, made Paul rejoice. Here is a criterion by which we are to judge of every faithful minister of Christ.
2. Moreover, in all his exultations he took care to neutralise and give the negative to the boastings of proud free will.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,