Summary: Our faith is an expression of our Godly boast.
September 21, 2002
A minister, a boy scout, and a scientist were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and explained that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot then added, "I should have one of the parachutes because I have a wife and tree small children." So he took one and jumped.
The scientist jumped up almost immediately and said, "I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me." So he took one and jumped.
The minister turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, as I am sure that all of you would, "You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with the plane."
Then the Boy Scout said, "Relax, Reverend, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out!"
One man’s boast can be another man’s salvation.
If any man had room for boast the apostle Paul most certainly did. He could have boasted had he wanted for any number of reasons. Philippians 3:4 he states, "If anyone else thinks he has reason to boast, I have more." He was circumcised on the eighth day. He was born into the right family, the tribe of Benjamin. He was very faithful to his religion, as religious as they come. He keep all of the rules. But he counted all of that as worthless.
God want each of us to be a messengers of his love. This is the command of evangelism stated in a personal way. Part of the job description of every believer is that once we have been born again, we become messengers of the Good News to others. If we are personalizing the Bible message we must personalize the Great Commission that says "Go ye therefore, into all nations . . ." That means we must boldly go.
We need a confidence in the truth of the Gospel and the message of the God’s redeeming love. The Gospel must then be every believer’s boast.
I. The Believer’s Strength
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because is the dynamic power unto salvation. For nothing short of the very power of God can make anyone a Christian. Not one of us can claim that power alone. Our salvation is not our own. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because the gospel is the believer’s power.
Folks, if we are to have any power in our lives, it must first come from knowing personally the lord Jesus Christ. The man of God must have a personal faith. Would you buy a new Ford from a salesman if that salesman drives a Chevy? Without being born again someone who talks about God is like that salesman. They are powerless to speak with conviction. But even more if we doe not know God in Christ personally we not have the power Jesus promised to his disciples. Without being born again a man can only be bound by the conviction of guilt. For the believer’s might comes from knowing the grace and love of God.
The Apostle Paul understood that power. His words are words of experience. He had met Jesus. He had experienced the power of God. In one mighty encounter with the son of God Paul had everyone of his previous boasts immediately striped away. As he neared Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven fell him to the ground. From that moment on all that Paul could say was - "Lord".
For Paul the gospel was his boast because of his own personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer is that you know without a doubt today that your hope is secure. Do you know the person of the Gospel?
The person who can boast in the Gospel is one that has an experience with the living Lord. The believer’s faith must be in the person of the Gospel. Jesus himself is the source of the good news. He is the prophet’s hope, the messiah, the seed of Abraham, and our redeemer. He must be our strength. Paul’s hope and confidence lay in him.
The Power Source
Paul also knew he had no power in his own word or intellect. The gospel power is found in God. For in both of these verses the source of both the power and righteousness is God. The power of God unto salvation belongs only to God. For us to be effective servants of God we must also be accompanied by the Holy Spirit. When we go to our neighbor, friend, our boss and share our faith — we should seek to go filled by the Holy Spirit. The power of every power filled believer lies in his present relationship with Christ.