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Summary: There is much preaching done today in the power of the emotions, or in the power of the intellect. This is false preaching, and false religion.

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Preaching with the Power of the Holy Spirit

Study Text: I Corinthians 1:17 - 18

Introduction:

- One of the most neglected parts of preaching is understanding the role and power of the Holy Spirit in preaching God’s word.

- As teachers, we spend hours studying, outlining, doing word studies, and thinking through applications. This is important, but without the power of the Holy Spirit our preaching is in vain.

- There is much preaching done today in the power of the emotions, or in the power of the intellect. This is false preaching, and false religion.

- Most of the preachers today are vainly ambitious for denominational preferment, and recognition, and place, and advancement in this world.

- Unfortunately, Church members grade our preachers based on the number of people in the Church, the size and greatness of the auditorium, the wealth at the disposal of the minister, and the number of invitations to minister locally and internationally.

- In I Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul continues to explain why he preached and taught in the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and refused to use the power of the flesh or human reasoning.

- Verse 1 clearly states that Paul declared the testimony of God, not his own personal testimony. It could not be clearer. Paul could have preached and taught in the power of his intellect and emotions because he was, after all, very educated, and very accomplished in presenting arguments and persuading people.

- In verse 4, Paul declares his preaching was in demonstration of the Spirit and power, not human reasoning or human abilities. Paul continues this message in verse 5 by noting the difference between faith and the wisdom of men. One is from God, the other is from men. One is heavenly, the other is earthly. One will condemn to hell, the other will exalt to heaven.

- In II Corinthians 4:5-7, Paul knew that Salvation is a free gift from God and is not gained by mental assent, knowledge or education. Salvation is by inspiration of God, not education by men.

- We shall discuss the topic under two sub-headings:

1. Explaining the Power of the Holy Spirit

2. Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit

1. Explaining the Power of the Holy Spirit

i. In the church, the Holy Spirit makes Witnesses out of Weaklings (Acts 1:8)

- One of the immediate result of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking God's word with boldness. In Acts 2, the Spirit came upon them and they received ability to speak with power. And in Acts 4:31 they are filled with the Holy Spirit and they boldly speak the word of God.

ii. In the church, the Holy Spirit also brings Fellowship instead of Factions (Acts 4:32)

- The possibilities of divisions among the disciples was great. They were sinners. There were many cares of the world to consider, even possible fighting for position within the ranks of Christianity.

- This fighting had already begun back in Luke 9:46 which says, "Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest."

- Where before they had fought over who would be the greatest, now they are of one heart and of one soul full of the power of the Holy Spirit speaking the word of God together, in once accord.

- It wasn't a program, a scheduled revival meeting, a lecture series, or great church services. It was the Holy Spirit.

iii. In the Church, the Holy Spirit also produces Growth without Gimmicks. (Acts 4:33)

- And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. Grace not Gimmicks!

- The Great Power was from God the Holy Spirit, not man. Prayer and the power of God produces growth, not only in the individual, but also in the church. It is the Lord who gives increase to the church, not man.

2. Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit

- Unless the Holy Spirit shows up when we teach, no one will be changed by our messages.

- Jesus explains to us what the Spirit will do in the world. One of the clearest descriptions of the work of the Spirit is John 16:8. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

- The Holy Spirit will draw people to God. Therefore, we desperately need the power of the Spirit in our teaching.

- If we want to see the Spirit empower our preaching there are several things we need to do. The Spirit is God. He is sovereign and can do whatever he wishes. We can’t control the Holy Spirit. But there are certain things we can do that will help us experience his power in our preaching.

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