Do we proclaim the same Gospel as the early church did? Is there something missing from our experience that would make a big difference? I believe that we’re lacking one of the greatest aspects of the Gospel. We need to return to this truth if we’re going to impact our generation for Christ.
In my last post I talked about the need to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. In today’s post I want to explain exactly what that means. Here’s one of the verses I looked at last time.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
I have heard people explain this verse by saying, “The hearers were convicted by the Holy Spirit. That’s the power Paul’s talking about.” I simply can’t agree with that kind of thinking. Paul said that the Gospel came to them with power AND the Holy Spirit, AND deep conviction.
Even the very word conviction that Paul used was a Greek word that means many assurances. It was something that could be seen and experienced by the unbelievers receiving the Good News.
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 men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5
As you can see, I’m not using some isolated verse without context. This teaching runs throughout the New Testament. The Good News must be demonstrated. That demonstration can only be energized by the power of God. It is beyond our human ability to walk on that level if we rely upon our own strength, wisdom, and knowledge.
I fear that too many Christians allow their faith to rest on man’s wisdom, because they have never seen a demonstration of the power of God. There are so many believers that have never seen a healing or a miracle. They have never heard an anointed prophecy or someone speaking in the heavenly language. There are Christians that have never witnessed someone delivered from demonic possession or oppression.
As a result the Good News, in most cases, has merely become an intellectual debate. On many occasions, what we call the Gospel today, is void of any power to change the direction of a life impacted by it.
The church needs to do what it takes to once again walk in this life-changing power. In short – we need revival. We must admit that we’ve lost something along the way and allow the Lord to make the necessary adjustments.
Questions: Do you think the modern “American Gospel” has the same impact as the early church? If not, what must we do to change?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013