September 8 I Sunday
2 Corinthians 1
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” —1 Corinthians 1:18
How do we come to faith in Jesus Christ? Some of us may think we come to faith intellectually but from the opening verse, Paul tells us for the natural mind, the gospel of Jesus Christ does not make sense. It is not because it is intellectually untenable, where we have to somehow switch off our brain to become a Christian; rather, it is a spiritual truth that is spiritually discerned and not naturally or rationally discerned.
Sometimes we fall into a trap saying “all wisdom is wise” and “all truth is true” but Paul tells us, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19). He contrasts the wisdom of this world with the wisdom of God because there is human wisdom and divine wisdom. Paul also says, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14). This leads to a dilemma: the most wonderful message to ever be heard in this world cannot be understood simply by natural intellectual processes. There has to be spiritual discernment and revelation in a person’s heart that comes from God, which is part of the evidence of its authenticity. That is why we are utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit to draw and reveal Himself to people as Paul notes, “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Even Jesus told His disciples, “The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him” (John 14:17). Because it is the Spirit who reveals truth to us and we are utterly dependent upon the Spirit for that to take place. The Spirit is the one who convicts people of sin, righteousness and judgement.
If our evangelism simply becomes a means of techniques that logically lock people into a kind of box, where the only reasonable response for them to make is “yes” to the presentation, we are not going to see conversions. We might see people “christianized” but we would not see people spiritually made alive. We need to recognize it is the Spirit of God who reveals the gospel in a way that makes sense and people latch on. This does not mean we should not share the gospel message with others and strive to be as logical and as clear as we can be. We should seek to share Christ with others but leave the results to the Spirit to convict and draw people to Him.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank You for revealing and drawing me to Yourself. Strengthen me to grow my faith and share the gospel with others.