Summary: In this sermon we find out what it means to be a contender for the faith that empowered the early church and will empower us today to do the same things
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints
1 Co 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
(I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom)
Here was an educated man, an intelligent man, a scholar of his day, Paul was skilled in the use of words.
Paul was trained in the different schools of thought of his day and he knew the power of persuasive speech to influence and change the mind
He was trained at the feet of one of the greatest teachers of his day named Gamaliel
But this same Paul said: For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.
In other words Paul is saying: I emptied myself, I laid aside all the natural wisdom and human reasoning and I confined and restrained myself to only one thing and that one thing is (Jesus Christ and him crucified) That is Jesus Christ and all he provided through his life, death, burial and resurrection
Paul said: My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mens wisdom but (in demonstration of the Spirit and Power) that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the Power of God
Paul was saying: I’m not just trying to impress you with my intelligence or my eloquence and I’m not just trying to win you over to another school of thought.
What Paul was saying was: I have come to bring you into contact with the Power of God.
Paul had the ability to speak to the minds and the reasoning faculties of men and sway them and manipulate them through human wisdom.
But he determined he would do anything necessary to guarantee that those he spoke to understood that it was more than just changing your view point or your perception
A lot of preaching today is focused only on changing the way people see themselves, and how to think different and how to how to mentally assent to a better life
But the Gospel is not about just changing the way you think (The gospel is the power of God to salvation) It is the power of God to transform your life, it is the power of God to heal, to deliver to work miracles.
The truth is: As new testament believers we should not tolerate, we should not accept a gospel that does not produce miracles healing deliverance and transformed lives.
1Co 4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not in word (but in Power)
Lu 17:20-21 The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation neither shall they say lo here or lo there for behold the Kingdom of God is within you.
Ro 14:17 The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the HolyGhost.
In the HolyGhost ( In the Spirit) In the Power (The HolyGhost is the Power of God)
This is what Jesus meant
Jn 7:37-38 He said: he that believeth on me as the scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters
Vs39 But thus spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive
Wherever The Kingdom of God is present, there will be manifestations of the power of God
Signs, wonders, miracles, gifts of the Spirit, healing, deliverance, righteousness, peace, joy, (liberty, freedom in the HolyGhost)
One of the saddest things that I have seen happening in our local Pentecostal full gospel churches is the substituting of mental assent, mental stimulation and inspiration for the power of God.
Songs that encourage and stimulate our minds to be all that we can be but not take us into the presence of God.
Preaching that provokes our minds but never penetrates our hearts
Solomon had made shields of Gold and had them hanging in the Lords house
Then Shishak the king of Egypt came in after Rehoboam Solomons son became king and Shishak took away the treasures of the Lords house as well as the shields of gold.