It seems I've always been mystified by this statement "the gospel, which is the power of God." It's in the New Testament; George Fox spoke of it. Just this morning, reading from his fourth sermon, p.75 (That Thy Candles May Always Be Burning) I glimpsed an opening that might explain it to me. So after completing the page I went back to that sliver of light and thought about what I had glimpsed. Following is what I wrote (Italics) in my notebook with minute by minute additions as I copy it.
The power of God is Jesus. The power of the gospel is Jesus/God's power to bring his people (creation) back to himself. For the Devil is powerful, too. Consider that he usurped a whole creation with its people and other life.
We don't appreciate the power of Satan. We don't conceive of him as taken over a creation. We don't appreciate the love God has for his creation, especially man, in that he planned for man's redemption from before the fall (I think that's what I've read. Correct me if I'm wrong.) Jesus endured great suffering to defeat death and resue man from the grave. We don't conceive of Satan perhaps tampering with the universe and the LORD having to protect it until its purpose is ended. We don't appreciate at all the greater power of GOD.
There are many things George Fox says that I comprehend only supperficially. But I know there's more to his confounding statements, just as is the case in the whole of the Bible. With the Bible though I have the Holy Spirit to open to me the layers upon layers. I am evermore loving the Bible, appreciating its unique character in being a factual historical account of ancient times, while being at the same time a mirror of us and our times, while being also a source of layered revelations, unlocked only when the reader is in the same spirit as those who wrote the text and is capable of understanding the particular revelation. It's amazing when one grasps it all.
That, too, is the power of God. And its so sad that there are those who absolutely deny God and don't want to hear anything that smacks of God. I, too, was once that way. In dealing the deniers in the Meeting I attend, I try to think how is it I came to God after having spent some fifteen or twenty years actively disbelieving in him and wanting everyone else to be the same way? I think in all my contemplations I came to the same conclusion: someone prayed for me. So I am adament about praying for the deniers. And blessed be our God he has taught me, opened to me, the way to love them, all of them, even to those who are damaging, hurtful, deceitful. They are lost souls, captives of Satan's power, and in need of redemption. But what does one say to the captives that will spark a desire to be free, that will speed up the shedding of scales over their eyes?
George Fox in his Journal speaks of Jesus as the author of faith and goes on to chastise the priests has being out of that faith. That statement too confounded me, until this morning, as I read it over several times. I made notes on that as well, which follow in italics. Is he saying the priests are creating their own faith, as if there is a recipe for gaining faith? I think I'm trying to say that people might believe they can want faith and get it by working at it or just thinking themselves to have it.
I understand why faith has to come from Jesus through my own experience. If you want to have faith and think it will happen because of your want, you soon learn that your faith is fragile and you resort to previous means. Ah, the journey; but it's not a journey if you've moved from death to life per John 5: 24. You've reached the end of your journey when you believe in Jesus and the one who sent him. Now you've come into the Kingdom. I wrote blog on this subject but I can't remember where it is in the archives. The point is, when you come into the Kingdom you must learn the lay of the land and the ways of the inhabitants.
This is a long blog post, I think. Obviously, things were stashed inside waiting for the Spirit to move me to write. I think I've moved to a more humble stance in this blog post. We'll see what the future brings.