Theology has more components to it than Obamacare and unfortunately most folks know about as much about one as they do the other.
Take Romans 1:16-17, 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 to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
I believe Paul meant every word of what he wrote. I believe God meant every word as well since these are His words as opposed to just being Paul’s. Paul obviously believed that the preaching of the gospel was important for he indicated his eagerness to come preach this powerful gospel in verse 15, “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” Paul believed that the preaching of the gospel indeed had power to change people’s hearts and make a difference in their lives.
Calvinism teaches that the gospel has NO POWER to save the unregenerate. Now calvinists will scream that is not true. Please note, I said calvinism maintains one thing and calvinists proclaim another. Calvinists will argue that the gospel is the means God uses to regenerate the lost person and bring them to Christ. I will use a popular calvinist illustration to prove my point.
The example of Jesus calling Lazarus from the grave is a common popular illustration that calvinists use to illustrate the phenomenon they call regeneration prior to repentance and saving faith. Calvinism teaches that God effectually calls the lost man with a dead heart and deaf ears to life so that he can THEN repent and believe and be saved. Calvinists use Jesus’ command outside Lazarus’ tomb to illustrate the power of the effectual call in regeneration; “Lazarus come forth” and he came to life. When God calls the elect to life, they like Lazarus have new life and are born again and begin to live as a child of God.
My point is that in this system the gospel is NOT THE POWER OF GOD UNTO CONVERSION because it has no power to save the unregenerate; only God can do that because the unregenerated person CANNOT or WILL NOT repent and believe to be saved. THe unregenerate is like Lazarus in the tomb; he is dead and lifeless and has deaf ears that cannot hear the gospel.
So just like Lazarus who was dead, the gospel has no power to save or give new life in the calvinist system. It only has power AFTER new life has been granted. Lazarus had no ability to respond to anything in the tomb; not the gospel, not preaching, not crying nothing. He was dead. So the gospel could not be the means God used to bring him out of the grave and by the same token according to calvinism, the gospel cannot be the means God uses to bring the spiritually dead to new life. His effectual call is what does that and the gospel is then the means of sanctification… not conversion.
This is not what Paul was indicating in Romans 1. He is going to tell dying men about a living Savior who was crucified to pay the penalty for their sin and was gloriously resurrected so that they in hearing this glorious gospel message might believe and be saved! Theology does matter and calvinism simply does not line up with what the text continues to say.