Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power! - August 3rd, 2011

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. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

History and Context:
Paul seems to have written the letter to the Corinthians while he was staying in Ephesus on his second missionary journey. By reading the letter as a whole, we can see that the church in Corinth was very strong in the spiritual gifts, but not very organized and they often acted in pride (Ch 12). We can also see that there was immorality in the church which was not being dealt with (Ch 5). Paul writes the letter, with Sosthenes, addressing these issues and admonishing them to act on the issues of immorality and division.

The Text:
The text is still towards the beginning of the letter and it seems that Paul is establishing his authority to speak into their situation. He reminds them that he did not simply come and persuade them rationally, but he came and the power of God manifested through him. This was needed so that they would truly believe in God and not just have a mental understanding of who God is. He says that the only thing he knew and preached was Jesus and that he was weak and fearful when he was there. But the power of the spirit confirmed what he said to be true.

The Challenge:
Seeing the entirety of his work and life, it sometimes seems like Paul was never afraid. We think he was a power preacher who is somehow above us because he was one of the first apostles. But here, from his own words, he admits to being afraid when he preaches the Gospel but also gives us the key to getting over that fear. He let the Spirit of God work through him! Seek the power of the Holy Spirit, then step out and share the Word when you get the opportunity and watch the power of the Holy Spirit move in the lives of those you are sharing with. This is your challenge today.

The Prayer:
Lord, I do get afraid when I start sharing your Word with people sometimes. I pray Lord that your Spirit would fill me, and work your power through me for those around me. Prove to those people around me that you are real. Use me to heal the sick, cast out devils, and heal the sick. Use me to prophesy into people's lives. Use me to spread your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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