Rivers carry within them the potential power to reshape and mould the environment around them. Keep that in mind as you remember that Jesus said, “Out of you will flow rivers of living water.
The Corinthians had put the messenger who had brought this gospel message to them under scrutiny. They had analyzed his approach, his speaking style, and even his personal characteristics and had concluded there was nothing at all remarkable about him. If his message was truly sent by God, shouldn’t there have been something more special about him? Paul’s response is that the believers were missing the point. It is exactly because the message is so important that the messenger is so weak. Just like a treasure in an earthen vessel, it is not the fragile, breakable, disposable vessel that matters most but the treasure it carries inside. If that were not the case, the vessel might think it was the treasure! The life of the disciple must be modeled on the gospel itself.
The gospel of Christ… is not something we can survey like the goods in a department store, picking and choosing articles from it we like. It is all one parcel—it is the breaking in of a kingdom of absolute rule and government. The only way we can receive it is by turning away from all that has previously been occupying us and taking it in entirely.
Tag, we’re it. The baton of faith is in our hands. There’s no point waiting for the cavalry, we are ‘it.’ God has plucked us out of eternity, positioned us in time and commissioned us to share the good news of the Gospel to our generation. Most of us think that someone else can do it better than us. Someone else is more qualified than us. Someone else is more educated than us. Someone else is more charismatic than us. Someone else is more gifted than us. SURELY God wants to use someone else. Anyone else but me? The truth is God called you. God chose you. God sent you. And me.
Something less is among us, nevertheless, and we do well to identify it so that we may repudiate it. That something is a poetic fiction, a product of the romantic imagination and maudlin religious fancy. It is a Jesus, gentle, dreamy, shy, sweet and feminine, almost effeminate, and marvelously adaptable to whatever society He may find Himself in. He is cooed over by women disappointed in love, patronized by celebrities and recommended by psychiatrists as a model of a well-integrated personality. He is used as a means to almost any carnal end, but he is never acknowledged as Lord. These quasi Christians follow a quasi Christ. They want his help but not his interference. They will flatter him but never obey him.
If only the beautiful Gospel of love could spread as quickly and be accepted as easily as a conspiracy theory on Facebook.
The Gospel is not a new law. It is not a code of morals or ethics. It is not a creed to be accepted. It is not a system of religion to be adhered to. It is the good news that God will forgive and accept any person who trusts His provision of the crucified and risen Christ as the answer to their rebellion and sin.
Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ.
Power does not come by working up emotions. We may shout, sweat, get excited, and whack the pulpit when we have the anointing of God. But without that anointing, we are actors, and the platform is a mere stage. God does not want theatricals. Get God’s love into your heart and true emotions flow. Anything else is emotionalism, imitation feeling. It reminds me of a man trying to speak from one city to another by shouting when the telephone line was dead. If the line is live, and there is power in it, his voice will reach the other city quite easily. If the Gospel is live, it will reach the hearts of hearers.