Monday, 2 June 2014
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20
“For” refers directly back to what was just stated about Paul’s coming to Corinth and his discernment of the power rather than in puffed up words. Those who were puffed up were divisive and they were filled with words without substance. On the contrary, Paul was filled with the power of the Spirit and the ability to affect real change in the lives around him.
Of course he did this with the miraculous – healings and the like, but more than that, he did it by the power of the words he spoke. The words of the gospel, both then and now, effect real change in those who hear them. Drunkards turn into solid citizens, prostitutes become princesses, and the proud turn and humble themselves before God. There is great power in the words of the gospel, words to which the puffed up boastings of the world can never attain because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.
This then is “the kingdom of God.” It is not an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual one. It is a group of called-out believers who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Someday, this kingdom will be physical as Christ sits on His throne and rules among His people, but at this time, it is a kingdom of faith in Him and in the surety of God’s word.
Life application: There is power in the gospel message, but the power is of no use if it isn’t shared. The world is quickly getting darker as the church age comes to its close. Before that terrible Day which will fall upon all the unrepentant, isn’t it right that we open our mouths and share? Go forth in the power of the gospel!
Heavenly Father, there is no power like that of the gospel. Even the most debased sinner can have a change of heart and direction through the saving message of Christ. What is perceived of by the world as bondage is actually the greatest freedom of all. To be found in Him, pardoned from a life of sin and covered by the blood of Christ is to be heaven bound and eternally secure. Thank You for allowing me to share such awesome and glorious power! Amen.