In the second chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he said he came to them as if he knew nothing other than Christ and Him crucified. “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3).
Those of us who have read the biblical account of Paul’s conversion and who have read at least some of his epistles know that he knew much more than simply Christ and Him crucified. Furthermore, weakness, fear, and much trembling were not the norm for Paul. So why did he come before the church at Corinth that way?
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (verse 5).
Even though Paul the apostle was a man of impressive wisdom, he did not want the people to become infatuated with the enticing words of men’s wisdom. Rather, he wanted them to have faith in the power of God and on the works of the Holy Spirit.
Similarly, the church of today needs to have more faith in the power of God. Oftentimes, the message we preach is an invitation or a challenge for those who hear us to believe in the power of God. And some churchgoers can’t benefit from what is being preached because they lack faith in God’s power. For instance, consider a person who attends church on Sundays, but who to date has not accepted Christ. This man is bound by drugs and alcohol. It so happens that on a particular Sunday, the preacher preaches about the born again experience. He explains that through this experience God changes us and gives us a new heart and makes us a new creation.
The person knows that what the preacher is talking about is exactly what he needs. But he can’t get over the fact that he has entered and tried two rehabilitation programs in the past. And both of these programs were failures. The man fears that if he comes forward and accepts Christ, this may end up being another failed attempt. The problem here is the man knows that what is being offered is what He needs. But He lacks faith in the life-changing power of God.
We come to the house of God and talk about how awesome He is. We sing powerful songs about His greatness. But that’s not enough for us to witness Him in our churches with healing and miraculous ministry to His people. We must come with faith and expectancy to see and to experience His timeless power.
In Matthew’s record of the gospel, he writes about the time Jesus came to His own country. He could do little there in the way of mighty works because of the people’s unbelief (Matthew 13:58). Jesus was no less capable of doing great things in His own country than He had been in other places. And He is no less capable of doing things in our midst today than He has been in times of old. But faith is the only climate in which we can experience the power of God among His people.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.