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Thursday, 26 April, 2018

1 Corinthians 2 : 1-11

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.” -1 Corinthians 2:1

After Paul met his Saviour on the road to Damascus, He knew that God had anointed Him to carry His Word into the world: “The Hope in Christ Jesus.”

What were the Christian Principles he based his message on, that he was able to penetrate the then civilized world with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Today even as we see the Christian world flooded with preachers, how are we to know if they are truly speaking the truth? Jesus in Matthew 24:24 warned us that at end times “false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” How can we guard ourselves from this? In today’s reading of Paul’s writing to the Corinthians, we will be able to grasp the only truth we need to hear and witness.

The first truth he proclaimed in His message was:

Christ And the Cross: Vs 2 says “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” There is no salvation apart from the cross. It was at the cross that the righteous anger of God was poured out on Jesus Christ, who willingly took up our sins onto himself so that we would be saved from the wrath of God. This is the only message of salvation preached (though many considered it foolishness) and the message of the Cross was the only hope to a world lost in sin. This understanding did not come to Paul from his rich Jewish heritage or his immense knowledge of the Scriptures but by the grace of God, that he was willing to live and even die for it. Paul says in Galatians 6:14 that the world has been crucified to him and he to the world so that he could carry this truth to the ends of the world. When was the last time you heard about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and your call to crucify your life with Him, so that the world would hear about the Savior? Jesus did not come to make us comfortable: He came to rescue us from sin.

The second aspect of Paul’s preaching:

In the Spirit and with Power: Vs 3 “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” The Christian world is flooded with motivational speakers gifted with oratory skills giving out messages in their earthly wisdom. This results in raising up a lot of followers for Christ but not disciples! Paul when giving a testimony of the Thessalonian Church says in 1 Thessalonian 1:5 that the gospel did not come to them in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit. What happens when the Word is preached in the Spirit and in Power?

The 3 effects in all our lives as recorded in 1 Thessalonians are:

  1. We become examples to all because of our changed lifestyle: as we turn to God from idols to serve the living true God (1 Thess1:7,9)

  2. We become carriers of the Gospel: As we experience the change that Christ has brought into our lives, we become His ambassadors to the ends of the earth. (1 Thess.1:8)

  3. We understand that this world is not our home and we look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess.1:10)

May we align our lives to the message of the Cross and open our lives to the Holy Spirit that we would have a fresh encounter with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Quote For The Day: Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”~John Wesley

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