How does Christianity remove the stones?
How does Christianity remove the impediments that confront all people? Through the power of God.
The truth be told, each person living in this world is confronted by so many impediments that unless God clears the path, as it were, no one could come to the truth and clearly see. The impediments that influence us and entice us away from the truth are overwhelming. Left alone, these impediments are too much for us. Add to this the impediments we erect ourselves through our sins, our unbelief, and our desire to avoid accountability, and you have obstacles that are insurmountable for any person to traverse without help.
To come to grips with how Christianity removes the stones we must correctly choose our source of information (as I repeatedly say). What source should we turn to? What source of authority will we look to for reliable information about God and his efforts in this matter? Should we turn to those who say God does not exist? Should we turn to the naturalists who claim the universe itself brought everything into existence? Should we look to the postmodernists who claim that truth does not exist and if truth did exist we could not know it? Should we look to the secular humanists who tell us that life void of God we are to pursue because it frees us from the burden of accountability? Should we look to the nihilists who claim that life has no meaning—to those who say, “let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die”? All these sources are but stones that cause people to stumble. Paul summarizes their position by saying,
“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).
But how is Christianity the remover of stones? Simply put, the stones and impediments are removed as the power of God gives us understanding and clarity of himself in our minds and hearts when we are exposed to the gospel of Christ. When we clearly see our sinful condition we are drawn to repentance and forgiveness and eternal life through Christ.
Clearing the road—The power of God Let me say again: it is the power of God through the gospel message as provided in the Bible that removes the stones that blind us from the truth. Let’s take a look at an unambiguous statement found in Romans 1:16-17 that explains the power that clears the way on our behalf (italics added).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith'” (Romans 1:16-17 ESV).
There are three key points to answer our question about how God removes the impediments.
1. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The gospel message is the communication from God that provides the impetus to remove the impediments to God. The gospel is the explanation of the truth and the conduit through which God gives light to us and removes the impediments and incorrect thinking. When an individual hears the gospel, that person stands at the door to be freed from the impediments that hinder so many. The New Testament eloquently states in in this manner: “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV). In the same manner that electricity is the power behind the operation of electrically operated devices, so the gospel is the means God has selected to demonstrate his power in people’s lives.
There is no other message conveyed that God chooses to demonstrate his power and free people from their incorrect views of truth—“the gospel is the power of God for salvation.”
2. God demonstrates his power for all who will believe. Each person who hears the gospel must make a determination—to believe the gospel or no. The power of God to save and remove the impediments we are discussing only occurs when an individual hears and believes. The writer of Hebrews makes this distinct and writes, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2 KJV). You see, to hear the message is not sufficient. An individual must hear the message and believe its contents.
This is the reason that many people read the Bible and turn and speak disparagingly of it. I have provided many quotes throughout this site that indicate that people have heard but have chosen to disbelieve and reject the gospel. When this occurs, the message has no impact on their life, God’s power to remove the impediments is not brought to bear, and the individual continues to travel his road “alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).
Yet, for those who hear and believe, join with Paul is saying, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 ESV).
3. The righteousness of God is revealed from “faith to faith”. How is the righteousness of God revealed? It is revealed from “faith to faith”. Meaning from individual believer to individual believer. This simply means that individuals who come to a saving knowledge of God through the gospel message are saved and the impediments are removed. When an individual is saved the righteousness of God is put on display in that individual’s life. But let us be clear on this matter, this is an act of God. The impediments that blind a person are removed, the path is cleared, and light shines within the heart—this is God’s doing through his power alone.
A. W. Tozer has a few words we can close with. In his book, God’s Pursuit of Man, the author explains how the power of God alone enables an individual to understand the truths found in the Bible, specifically the gospel, and writes: “The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text...[Paul] had no faith in man’s ability to comprehend truth apart from the direct illumination of the Holy Ghost” (Tozer, p. 77, 79). Tozer is correct. Only God has the power to remove the impediments that lay in the road of a person’s life.
Let’s go on to discuss the things God gives to people when He removes the impediments.To next section Homepage