Whenever we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with cleverness of speech relying on worldly wisdom, we present a gospel devoid of power. Paul, writing the Word of God in 1 Corinthians, states in two places that the sharing of the gospel is in simplicity of speech, with dependence upon the Lord.
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:17-21
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:2-5
Often times, the preaching of the gospel today is a theological dissertation rather than the simple sharing of the gospel from the Word of God and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
We have to remember that the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. We must trust the Word of God to work effectively in the hearts of those to whom we share the gospel, because it is the living Word of God.
23…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass wither, And its flower falls away, 25 But the Word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the Word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25
Man’s words and wisdom are an empty and destructive substitute for the living and refreshing Word of God. The ways and false wisdom of man can never affect genuine salvation in the life of a sinner. Man’s word lies limp and lifeless while the Word of God by the Holy Spirit raises up the dead.
Paul in 1 Thessalonians describes this effective work of God in the life of sinners through His Word, the Bible.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
We also have to remember that salvation is the work of God and none of us can effectuate salvation in the soul of a dead, lawless, wicked sinner.
I love the book of Acts! We read about the church of God being established and we see God using Paul to broadcast the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Many verses in the book of Acts teach us that it is God’s work to save sinners. I want to highlight three of them. The first relates to the early establishment of the church.
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47
The second passage I want to point out relates to God’s sovereign call in salvation.
47 “For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth'”. 48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. Acts 13:47-49
The final verse shows God’s intimate involvement in the salvation of the individual, as it relates the salvation of Lydia, a woman chosen by God to hear and believe the gospel message.
Now a certain woman name Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. Acts 16:14
If the gospel is not preached by the power of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God then those who respond are going to be false converts. Could this be a reason for the compromise, apostasy, and wickedness we see in the “church” today? Could it be that all of these man made programs and demonic man made doctrines produce man made converts who are devoid of the Spirit and the truth? As genuine believers, may we by God’s grace and goodness, hold fast to the simplicity that is in Christ and preach His gospel, His way with His power and turn away from the corrupt contamination cloaking God’s Word from lost sinners. Let us present the Word of God by the power of God and see Him do His work and rejoice in His faithfulness, love, mercy and truth.