“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 NIV)

The truth in these two verses is so important to understand. The persuasiveness of the gospel message is not effective because of something in us as communicators of the message. The gospel gets its persuasive power from the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit has the capacity to change stone-cold hearts into born again spiritually alive hearts. I think we often make the mistake of thinking it is our job to persuade someone to become a Christian. We try to convince people to believe in Jesus in the same way we want to persuade people to vote for this person or that person. The journey to Christianity is between the person and God. God might use us to plant a seed. He might use us to water the ground. He might use us to cultivate and remove weeds. But get this clearly: Only God can cause the growth.

Jesus told us that we have to die in order to live. This spiritual process is more detailed than the most trained among us can handle. This process requires the hands of the Maker of the body to perform the life-giving surgery. Jesus clearly tells us that He is the Physician of the spiritually sick. Throughout the entire Bible, the Holy Spirit is credited for transitioning someone through this life to death to life again. We should find comfort that this part of the “born again” process is not our responsibility. We need only focus on one thing: God’s word in us. The Holy Spirit has worked through the word of God to make us born again and continues to work in us to strengthen the new creation in us. Our work is simply sharing what the Holy Spirit has done in our lives. As we share our story, the Holy Spirit will work on every level of the other person’s being to connect that story and His powerful word to the other person’s heart.

May our faith and our Christian witness rely completely upon the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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