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“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…Come, and let us return to the Lord…Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord” (Hos. 4: 6; 6: 1,3).

It is commonly said that knowledge is power. That depends. If we take the statement of the poet, that “the proper study of mankind is man,” then certainly is anything but power. Man is nothing but weakness and sin.

All people know that they are sinners, that they do things that are not right, but that knowledge gives them no power to change their course. You may tell a person all his faults, and if you tell him nothing more, you have weakened rather than strengthened him.

But he who with the apostle Paul determines to know nothing “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2) has knowledge that is power. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn. 17:3). To know Christ is to know the power of His endless life. It is for lack of this knowledge that people are destroyed (Hos. 4:6). But since Christ is the power of God, it is quite correct to say that power is the one thing that we need; and the only real power is revealed in the gospel.

And the power of earth is frail and that for a moment, while the power of God is eternal. If people would but recognize the gospel for what it is, there would not be any who would be ashamed of it. Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:4). The reason for this was that the cross is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). The power of God, in whatever form manifested, is glory, and not for shame.

“We proclaim Christ-yes, Christ nailed to the cross; and though this is a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Greeks, yet to those who have heard His call, Jews and Greeks alike, He is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23, 24 NEB).

Waggoner, Waggoner on Romans, pp. 73,74

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