Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Gospel Lives by the Power of God

2 Cor. 13:1-4 (ESV)
This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [2] I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them— [3] since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. [4] For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. The Gospel often seems weak, but it lives by the power of God. The Gospel seems weak. The forgiveness of sins, the cross, water, bread, and wine, it just doesn’t look like much. Furthermore it works in tandem with the law that seems to shut out things this world finds appealing. It looks weak. It isn’t a good business model, the gospel. It goes against reason.
Spectacular shows, gimmicks and rock concerts, inspirational speakers, those are good business models. There isn’t much inspiring about the gospel. The gospel doesn’t tell you, you are a good person. The gospel doesn’t lay out a financial plan to make you a miracle. The gospel doesn’t tell you who exactly you should vote for so that the United States will be bless by God with three car garages for everyone. The gospel tells you, you are forgiven of your sins. In doing so it tells you, you are a sinner, a poor and miserable one at that. It doesn’t give you a nice ladder for you to climb out of the cesspool with, so you can claim you did it yourself. It just doesn’t appeal to the world. It is foreign and the world doesn’t know what to do with it. It looks weak.
Yet just as Christ was crucified in weakness, and lives by the power of God, so the gospel lives by the power of God. So we are crucified in weakness but live by the power of God. So the Church appears weak but lives by the power of the God, when it lives on the Gospel. Oh it looks weak. It may not attract as many people as other “religious” messages. It may not pack the house overnight. But the gospel does something that no other message can do. It saves people from their sin, and gives them eternal life. Therefore it lives, even today, and will always live by the power of God, for God wants to save sinners from their sin, and give them eternal life. Sinners like you and me.

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