November 2014 Teaching Letter - True Gospel Preaching and Its Purpose
1Corinthians 2:1-5”And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” The term “excellency of speech” means prominence, or superiority, authority or excellence. The “testimony of God” refers to the gospel of Christ, which Paul confirmed to all men everywhere he went with power and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
After Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey, they returned to the church at Antioch and then went to the Jerusalem council. Acts 15:2”Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” Whenever Paul gave testimony, he gave proof by the Spirit of the power of God. What Paul is saying is that he preached under the anointing and power of the Spirit and the Spirit confirmed what he preached with signs following. Why? “So that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Romans 1:16-17 tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Acts 1:8 is the promise of the Spirit baptism of power. True gospel preaching and its purpose is to demonstrate or confirm the Word with signs following so that men may have faith in the power of God and not in man’s wisdom. Mark 16:20”And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following.” This is why the Spirit baptism is so essential to the preaching of the gospel. The gospel and the Word of God, have enough power in themselves to change the hearts of men toward God. But God didn’t stop there. He endued us with the power of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate the gospel that we preach.
Paul’s policy was to preach the word and to demonstrate it with power. Romans 15:18-19”For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” We are fully preaching the gospel of Christ when we are demonstrating it with mighty signs, wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. Romans 15:29” And I am sure that when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” Are you confident that when you preach the gospel as Paul preached, as Jesus preached, that all the gifts and graces of God are at your disposal to be imparted unto the people that you are in contact with?
Romans 1:11,16”For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established. For I m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 12:3-8 and 1Corinthians 12:1-7 speak of the service of the body of Christ and spiritual gifts that go with those services. There is nothing in the scriptures that says that a believer cannot operate in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 10:35-36 tells us not to cast away our confidence as a Christian for it has great recompense of reward. The reference is to a cowardly soldier who throws away his weapons and flees from the battle. Your confidence is your shield so keep it and use it!
The only difference between a believer, Paul or Jesus is confidence. Our confidence is in God and in His Word! Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 55:11. Our confidence is in the Holy Spirit, the greater one in us! 1John 4:4. Our confidence is in the name of Jesus. Acts 3w/ Philippians 2:9-11.