April 21, 2024

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BUT IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND POWER

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: BUT IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND POWER

COMPILED/EDITED BY-:
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”
1 Corinthians 2:4 Kjv

THE SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” –Billy Graham

The Holy Spirit is a beautiful and powerful part of who God is. We need Him in our life as a conduit to become who God created us to be, and through His power we have aid in all situations. Without Him, we are powerless.

Inspired preaching causes us to receive the kingdom of heaven within us and be set free to conquer the world with its life-giving power. Therefore, preaching that is done in accordance with the Holy Spirit is actually a form of spiritual warfare. That is, it advances the kingdom of heaven and breaks off darkness over people.

Look at this amazing statement from Paul: “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:1-4
In other words, Paul hadn’t gone to meet the Corinthians with his seminary thesis in hand. Paul was actually at his weakest and most vulnerable, feeling quite out of his element and comfort zone. His message was not eloquent, nor was it elaborate. Paul says his message was very simple: “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” That’s what he knew, and that’s what he preached.

DEMONSTRATION
To demonstrate is to confirm. The confirmation or the demonstration is self evident to those observing. When Jesus was asked to heal the official’s son He made an odd statement
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:48‬ ‭

The word “demonstration” is translated from the Greek word apodeixsis, and it means to display, to show off, or to demonstrate. Paul knew that to reach the pagans in Corinth, it would require a demonstration of power so outstanding that it would convince the unbelieving audience that his preaching was more than mere words — it was a message backed up by Almighty God Himself! He knew it would take an awe-inspiring demonstration of power to get their attention and to persuade them that his Gospel message was true. Thus, Paul started his ministry in Corinth not only with words, but also with a “demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

POWER
The word “power” is dunamis. This Greek word and its various forms are used 119 times in the New Testament, and it denotes the mighty power of God. As used in this verse, the word denotes not merely power, but tremendous power. In fact, the word dunamis is where we get the word dynamite. I believe this is an important fact to point out, for the word dynamite — denoting an explosive power — very well expresses the type of power Paul is describing in this verse. This word dunamis denotes God’s supernatural power, which when released on a human level, is explosive, mighty, and awe-inspiring to those who see it or experience it.

An interpretive translation of these words in First Corinthians 2:4 and 5 could be taken to mean:
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but I came with a display of power so outstanding that it really showed off the power of God.”

Paul explains often that these two go hand in hand, preaching the gospel and a confirmation with signs and wonders
“For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience— by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:18-19‬

These words seem strange for someone who is trying to impress his hearers.
But they are the words of a man of humility after Christ’s heart. Paul was genuine and sincere in all that he says.

He did not pretend at power and authority.
He did not hide his weakness, but shared it with the family of God. Indeed God loves the humble man who relies on God in all things, even in exposing his own weaknesses and fears.
Therefore, in all humility of heart Paul expressed to the church at Corinth the condition he was in at the time he had come to them.
Those who try to impress, often are in the habit of seeking the praise of men. In the Gospel work, it is evident that there are always those who seek the praise of men and those who seek the praise of God.

D.L. Moody (1837-1899) was an American evangelist with only a grade school education. He went to England standing before highly educated people and preached the simple message, resulting in the Cambridge Seven.

The gospel is a message of God’s power. Human wisdom is useless for salvation. Only God’s power can set us free from our bondage to sin and death, changing us to faithful disciples of Jesus.

To every man or woman who are interested in how to deliver the message of the Gospel, Paul offers us a secret.

The message must be simple such that even a child could understand it. The message must expose sin and its consequences.

The message must exalt Christ and his sacrifice of atonement on behalf of the sinner. The message must be directed at the core of the heart of each person.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him”
1Corinthians 2:6-9

What is it about the wisdom of men which makes it destructive to faith? In verses 1 and 2 there is a contrast between trying to deliver a testimony of God with superior words of wisdom on the one hand and preaching Jesus Christ as crucified on the other. Would it not be right, then, to say that for Paul the “wisdom of men” is, at least, a use of the human mind which comes up with ideas contrary to the meaning of Christ’s death. Or to put it another way, if we are following the dictates of merely human wisdom, the claim that the King and Creator of the world was executed like a criminal because we are such horrible sinners will simply be regarded as an intolerable foolishness.

“The Cross is only lifted up aright when we can say, “Not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
Every minister should be able to say with Paul, “Seeing, then, that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech.” No, my dear Hearers, may it never be in any measure or degree an object of ours to flash and dazzle and astonish—but may we keep this one aim in view—to persuade you to be Christians!

  • Charles Spurgeon

PRAYER:
Lord, I ask You to help me surrender myself to the power and working of the Holy Spirit as I present the Gospel to people in darkness.
Yes, I need to speak the right words and to speak it in a way that is relevant to those who are listening to me, but I also need to come with a demonstration of the power of God. Holy Spirit, I am looking to You to help me find the right words, to empower me and flow through me, and to do Your mighty work as I share Christ with people who are lost and in darkness. Today I ask You to release Your great power through me and to help me surrender when it’s time to allow that power to operate!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am an instrument through which the power of the Holy Spirit can flow to touch other people. I am not afraid of the power of God, nor do I hinder the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When it is time for God to show up in all of His marvelous supernatural ability, I move out of the way and make room so that God can do exactly what He wants to do. Rather than hinder or thwart the power of God, I am a facilitator that creates environments and provides time for God to show up and show off so that people will see and know His mighty strength!

SHALOM!

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