On Preaching Beyond the Church

The Apostle Paul to the Corinthians: “1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4 My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”

Let’s think about shiny new toys for a moment. Is there something that you have either received or purchased that you just couldn’t play with or use for fear that it would lose its “newness”? Perhaps you got yourself a new vehicle but refused to drive it unless it was 75 and sunny outside. Or you remember a toy from childhood that no one, not even you, could play with because then it wouldn’t be “new” anymore. We get very possessive of our things. We want them to hold their value for as long as physically possible. We like to hold out for the “if we would ever get rid of it, we will get our money back” factor.

I’ll cut to the chase: you have been given the gift of the forgiveness of all of your sins, everlasting life, and true freedom in Christ. Why is it that so often we feel the need to qualify ourselves to use that shiny gift. As if it is too nice, too expensive, and we don’t want to be responsible for damaging this gift. Why is it that we feel that in expressing or speaking about this gift of faith we might show signs of weakness and trembling?

Christ has not freed us so that we might store up this gift of faith, put it in a little box, and cherish it forever. Rather Christ has freed us so that we do not need to fear any trembling or weakness! Christ has freed us to live has His Father’s creatures not worrying about whether we are good enough to be His servants and disciples. This is what Paul is saying in the beginning of chapter 2 of his first letter to the people of Corinth. You do not need big, theological words to proclaim Christ and him crucified. You do not need the wisdom of the world to know and deliver the love and mercy of God. As Paul notes, the only thing you need is the Spirit and the power of God. And guess where that comes from? Not deep inside of you, but from God himself. So wherever or whenever you feel nervous about delivering some sort of Word, may you know that any Word of Truth, Grace, or Forgiveness comes to you and through you by the Holy Spirit. May that bring you peace!

This is most certainly true.
Pastor Max

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