Jack Price - The Power of Love - Putten Convention - 2001

Hymn #186

This is a gospel meeting, and the gospel centers around a special verse found in Romans 1:16. It is a rich verse, and it is the whole gospel story in a small package:  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." There are a number of reasons why Paul was not ashamed.  The gospel is true and it had a wonderful effect on Paul’s own life by totally changing his life so he was not ashamed. Mark 8:38 says, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father and the holy angels." We know that if we are ashamed of Jesus now, He will be ashamed of us then.  A mother once was badly burned and her face disfigured, but she raised a son who, when he grew up, was ashamed of his mother. He did not want to be seen in her presence, and so he went on. One day someone enlightened that boy to the cause of her disfigured face, and how she had rescued him from the fire and had received the burns and scars. That boy changed his attitude from then on, and did not mind being identified with his mother — he was proud of her because she had saved his life. We cannot be ashamed of Jesus when we think of how He died for us.

Years ago, a school teacher was teaching in a school house in Canada, and one day, two brother workers came to have gospel meetings. She attended the meetings when most of the community had turned against the brothers — the religious leaders included. For awhile, she was ashamed to be identified with the brother workers. One night before she retired to bed, she knelt by her bedside and God revealed something to her. He told her, "If you are ashamed of these messengers of Mine, you are ashamed of Me." This went into her heart and she could not wait for the next meeting, but stood up in that meeting and declared whose side she was on. She turned out to be a faithful woman in the family of God and was never ashamed of God again. "It is the power of God unto salvation." We connect this verse with Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." This power of the gospel sets us free. We know people in this world and they want to be free. People always seek freedom, but there is only one law in the universe that can set us free and it is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. This is the power of the gospel. This is Jesus' call, the new commandment, the more excellent way, the all-abiding gift, the greatest power in the entire world and the universe, and it can change lives and work a miracle when the heart is open to it.

In Colossians 3:11, it says, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." Here are four barriers that the law of the Spirit in Christ can break down:  the racial barrier, the religious barrier, the cultural barrier and the social barrier. This power of God can break down every barrier between people, including barriers between ourselves and God. Sin is a greatest barrier between us and God, yet the power of the gospel can break it down. In the days of Jesus, there were the Jews and the Gentiles who didn’t get along very well together, and there was a great barrier. One day a little seed fell into the heart of a Jew, and another seed fell into the heart of a Gentile, and this seed started to grow. It wasn’t too long before the two were meeting together. They had the same harmony as we have here today, and this makes it possible for us to have a convention like this, just because a little seed fell into the heart of His people and began to grow. This miracle binds us all together, all over the world. The Roman army was the greatest army in the world at that time, but they could not bind the Jew and Gentile together. Men, trying to bind people together, are a failure for the entire religious world can not bind the Jew and Gentile together — only the little seed of the gospel is so powerful that it is able to work that miracle. In India at one of the conventions, I saw the greatest miracle I have ever seen. Attending this convention was a Brahman lady who gave her testimony. You may know that she belonged to the highest caste in India. In that gathering was a sweeper lady, who was of the lowest caste. These two are as far apart as the North and South Poles, yet they sat together and enjoyed that convention. Miraculous! There is no power on earth that could perform this miracle apart from the seed of the gospel falling into their hearts and placing them both on the same level. When we come to the footstool of God’s throne, we are all on the same level. When we come to the foot of the cross, we are all on the same level. This powerful seed in the heart puts us all on the same level. We never cease to marvel nor do we become familiar with it, for we have seen some great miracles performed in people, and in lives that have heard the gospel and have become believers.

The religious world talks a lot about believers, but what really is a believer? A believer is one who believes in Jesus and is willing to accept and follow Him. Acts 8 speaks of the Ethiopian man. You will recall this man was sitting in his chariot in the desert when Phillip went up to him and preached unto him Jesus. That is the gospel — that is the power of the gospel beginning to work in a man's life — to the extent that he asked to be baptised. Phillip gave him the condition for baptism, "To believe with all your heart, then you can be baptised." This belief is a heart belief, not a shallow belief that many have, that Jesus lived and died and rose again; that does not bring salvation. When we open our hearts to Him to get that true inner heart belief and when we believe in Jesus with all our heart, only then are we ready for baptism. One thinks of their own baptism and one feels they have not lived up to it, but we are thankful that there is still a desire to die as a corn of wheat, so fruit can be brought forth in our lives. James tells us that if we believe there is one God we do well, but even the devils believe also and fear and tremble — that is not enough. John 12:42 says, "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. We need to see beyond public opinion and not only please those around us but see right through to God and have a part in Him — we must have this heart belief.

One time in 1859, an acrobat walked over the waterfall at the Niagara Falls. He put a rope across the Falls and walked across and did a few stunts. He stood on his head and the people were spellbound, then he took a wheelbarrow across and brought it back again in front of a big crowd. There were even several ex-Presidents there. He asked the crowd then if they believed he could take the wheelbarrow across with a man in the barrow, and one man replied, "Yes, I believe you could." So the acrobat said to the man, "Then get right in!” This man replied, "No, nothing doing." He believed in his mind but he didn’t believe in the action. We know that the books of the New Testament begin with the gospels and next comes the Book of the Acts, or actions. These have to come after the gospels, for if there are no actions we will not cross from this shore to the other shore when it comes time to take us to eternity.

There was a girl in college and her professor gave a talk on the future of their lives. He told them how important it is to have a basic belief. He said, "When you go out into the world, you will be putty in the hands of worldly men if you don’t." Then he pointed to this faithful girl who was in the truth and mentioned her name, and said, "She has a basic belief and I am not afraid for her." This is so important. This professor knew it to be correct.

I will finish today by giving my testimony briefly. My mother and father immigrated to Canada in the early part of the last century, and had been raised in the Anglican Church. My companion used to say that the church is dead, only it hasn’t lain down yet. I'm so glad that my parents looked for something better that paved the way for us. You young people amongst us are very fortunate to have professing parents who are serving God today, and I appreciate it more today now than I used to. When my parents came to Canada, they joined the First Baptist Church. My father read the Bible a lot and he would say, "No, Truth is not here." He understood a lot of the truth by reading the scripture and he knew what he was looking for. They then moved to western Canada and joined the Methodist Church for awhile, but still didn’t feel satisfied. In 1918, something wonderful happened.  Two sister workers came with the gospel message to our area. My parents went to the meetings in a hall and it was full of people. There were six meetings a week for six weeks, an intensive course, and they did not miss a meeting. After the first meeting, Father said, "We’ve found the Truth." He checked it out thoroughly, and after the meeting, he would check it out like those in Berea to see if everything fits, then the time came when they both made their choice. This was the beginning for us children as we came along. Our grandparents on father's side lived next door to us and were very bitter and against what father and mother did. Our grandfather said some bad things, for he was very hot tempered and was capable of expressing himself! We were half scared of him all the time, but our parents never struck back but just took it for 16 years. Then two sister workers came to the same hall and I made my choice. My parents said, "Do not give all the details to grandpa or he will tell you off," but the sisters said, "No, we will invite everybody." I watched as they knocked on his door and I was scared for them. Grandpa came to the door and received the invitation, then said, "I’ll come." We all nearly collapsed! Grandmother came, too. They both came to all the meetings and it was a wonderful meeting when they both stood to their feet. For a number of years, they were hearty in the truth. My grandfather was so much like Saul of Tarsus, for before he was against it but later we learned what made the change. Just before the workers came, he had been working in his corn patch and got to thinking that his life was empty and he had nothing. He was now 70 years old and he laid down his hoe and lay flat on the ground and prayed to God, "Lord, what must I do to be saved?" Then this scripture came to him, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This was the first time God had given him a revelation — the first time he understood that to believe is to accept and follow and obey Jesus. After granddad professed, there was a feud between grandfather and his neighbour. Some cattle had broken the fence down and grandfather who was a hot-headed Englishman and his neighbour, a hot-headed Irishman, were a bad combination. They got into a fight and the police had to come. One day grandfather went to the sister workers and said to them that he had awakened during the night and had come before God and realized that he loved that neighbour. He said, "I don’t have anything against him, and I would like to go across and make it right with him." The sister workers told him it would be better for him to take a little time and pray about it — just make sure that the Holy Spirit was guiding him. I remember the day he walked from his place over to the neighbours, and it was a miracle. We have seen many miracles but this was the greatest. We waited until he came back and asked him how it went. "It went good," he said. He gave that man his testimony, how he went to the gospel meetings and how something had happened in his heart, and then he said, "I don’t hate you, I love you and I want to take all the blame. I want to apologise for all the wrong. Could we be friends?" What could that old neighbour do? They became very good neighbours after that for this spirit had broken every barrier down. The gospel is powerful when there is true believing. The message grandfather received was to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what follows in all of our lives.