Larry R Taylor
30 August 2011
A casual reading of the New Testament leaves an entirely different impression than the predominance of current religious thought. In most evangelical teaching we are sternly warned against an over emphasis (translate that to any emphasis) on experiential encounters with the Holy Spirit, especially those that result in signs, wonders and miracles. The scriptures, however, contain this emphasis on practically every page.
Paul¯s writing to the Corinthians shows that the early Apostles considered tangible encounters with the power of the Holy Spirit essential to the presentation of the Gospel itself.
¯And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.¯ 1 Corinthians 2:4
Rather than bowing to the pressure of contemporary thought, Paul acknowledged the Jew¯s demand for a sign that lined up with their dogma and the Greeks requirement of a logical presentation based on philosophical wisdom. The preaching of the cross of Christ satisfied neither group. His response was to present an entirely different option; demonstrations of the Holy Spirit and power. The authority and validation of the message of the gospel was derived from a personal otherworldly encounter, in stark contrast with both Jewish and Greek thought of the day.
We live in a culture that is no more or no less accommodating of the message of the cross. The message and the demonstrations of it¯s power is equally offensive to both the modern religious as well as secular world views. A host of believers today believe in the miracle working power of God, the necessity of the new birth, and the message of the cross. The problem is that a majority allows no opportunity for the demonstration of the very gospel they hold so dear. Church services are timed to the split second with highly effective multimedia presentations fully exploring the full spectrum of the social, emotional and philosophical aspects of the Christian faith. However, there is no opportunity given for the demonstration of the one truly distinctive element of the message of The Church, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is our assignment to present the authentic gospel, just as Paul did, with demonstrations of the Holy Spirit and power that faith may be established on the only unshakable foundation, a personal transformational encounter with Jesus.
Larry & Carol Taylor
Go In Ministries
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