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2 // PAUL

Power not eloquent prattle!

· devotional,explore,fast

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

There is a saying in Italian “a lot of smoke but nothing roasted.” It’s used to refer to situations where there is a lot of talk and hype surrounding an idea but nothing meaningful actually happens. We are so often good at this as people – talking things up which we want to be known for, but lacking substance.

The reality is that my faith isn’t defined or empowered by my words, no matter how fine they may be. In fact Paul said that eloquent words would empty the cross of its power! “For Christ sent me…to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Cor 1:17). The reason that eloquence saps the cross of power? If I use rhetoric and grand philosophy to convince you, you may believe me but your faith will depend on my logic and skill, and not on God’s power!

Instead he only relied on the simple truth about the cross and Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2)

Why is it so simple?

  • So that not just the intelligent people, but all people can be saved. (1 Tim 2:4)
  • So that people’s faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power. (1 Cor 2:5)
  • So that even the weak and the timid might be used by God when they rely on him, and not their own wisdom and ability. (1 Cor 1:27)

It’s so simple! This comes as a big relief to those of us who don’t have theology degrees or formal debating experience. That’s not what it’s about but simply relying on the truth of Jesus’s cross.

Prayer points

  • Thank Jesus that the simple truth of the cross and resurrection makes an eternal difference to those who believe!
  • Ask for an opportunity today to explain the simple gospel to at least 1 person
  • Ask God to reveal any areas of your life in which you rely on your formal abilities and wisdom rather than the power of God. Give these areas back to God!
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