Strangely, the two things Alfred Nobel is most remembered for are both far apart and closely connected. They are destructive explosives like dynamite and blasting jelly and the yearly award recognizing outstanding efforts to promote peace. Alfred Nobel set up nine million dollars to be used for the peace prize when he had the shocking but enlightening experience of reading his own obituary in the newspaper, mistakenly written because the writer assigned the task selected the biography of the wrong Nobel. The headline proclaimed something like, “SWEDISH INVENTOR OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION DIES.” The shock of how he was perceived led Nobel to establish the prestigious prize.
Until Nobel, TNT would get the job done as an explosive, but the slightest jolt would explode it. Many people lost their lives because of the instability of the substance. Nobel invented the method of combining it with sawdust into a stick resembling a huge firecracker that had to be detonated with a blasting cap and the problem arose of what to call it. Finally, the Greek word dunamis was selected because it meant power.
Two thousand years earlier, when the Holy Spirit was looking for a word to convey the action of the gospel of Christ in Romans 1:16, he selected the same Greek word, dunamis. So, our English translations tell us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
The encyclopedia tells us that dynamite causes an atomic reaction but not a nuclear reaction. The gospel causes a human reaction. It gives us the power to become the children of God. John 1:12.
The power of the word of God is vividly illustrated in the creation when God spoke our world into existence. And is further seen in the statement that Christ “upholds all things by the word of his power” in Hebrews 1:3.
Not only does the word of God tell us how to be saved, it also gives us power in our daily living. Psalms 119:105 tells us “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway.” In the same Psalm David said he kept the word, trusted in the word, was comforted in the word, ordered his steps by the word, and was in awe of God’s word.
The Christian today who does not avail himself of every opportunity at his disposal to study God’s word is cheating himself out of the greatest source of spiritual power in the world. He is like one who lives on top of a gold mine and yet scrapes pennies together to buy a meager meal.