Communicating the Answer

7 Sep

You can listen to this podcast here.

Everyone is a communicator. Some people are very good communicators. Others are not. This world is full of problems caused by sin.  Is. 64:6 tells us, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” The answer to the world’s sin problem is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins, He was buried and He rose again. (1 Cor. 15:3-4) Faith in Him brings eternal life.  (John 3:16-18, John 3:36) It is the Christian’s job to communicate the answer of the Gospel to a lost and dying world (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, 1 Pet. 3:15) One of the greatest communicators of the Gospel was the Apostle Paul.  He provides us with some pointers on how to communicate the Gospel.

I hope you have your Bibles and will read 1 Cor. 2:1-8.

The first thing we see is that we need a proper mind set. In order to effectively do anything, you must have a proper mind set. We need to think correctly and be determined to accomplish a specific goal. When Paul went to Corinth he didn’t go as a tremendous speaker and he didn’t use great human wisdom.

He went in order to communicate the testimony or message of God. Paul’s mindset was to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul knew that Christ was the answer. His whole goal was to communicate the crucified Christ to these people. Actually, this wasn’t just Paul’s mind set for preaching, but for everything he did. In Gal. 6:14, Paul said, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Paul didn’t entertain silly questions; he focused on the message that could change someone’s life.

Christians often fail to communicate the Gospel effectively because we separate the cross from the rest of our lives. Communicating the good news of the cross to other people is a low priority in our lives. According to a recent Barna survey, 50% of people believe if you’re good enough, you can earn your way to heaven. 45% of born again Christians did not share their faith in the last year. With Paul, sharing the good news of the cross was the vital part of his life. He gloried in the cross.  It was his lifeblood, his aim, his focus.

Not only do you need a proper mindset, but you need a method of communication. In v. 3 Paul said, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.” This doesn’t seem like the bold Paul we all know. Fear and trembling? Paul used that phrase in several other passages when referring to an urgent matter of great concern. Think about where Paul is. Corinth was an ungodly, immoral, pagan city. Sexual sin abounded. The Greek verb translated to corinthianize meant to practice sexual immorality to the extreme. Paul wasn’t fearful and trembling because the Gospel had lost its power, he was fearful and trembling because he knew the results of rejecting the Gospel.

Paul didn’t use man’s wisdom. V. 4 says, “And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” He did not use his vast education to persuade men to come to Christ. Paul used the power of God, the dunamis power.  The explosive power of God to get his message across. Man’s wisdom didn’t save Paul, so he didn’t use it. Instead Paul demonstrated the Spirit and power of God. I think that’s where we lose it.  We talk about the power of God, but our lives don’t reflect it. Paul’s life reflected the power of God. Our lives, our manner of life say a whole lot more than our words. Words are just that. Living the words is where your faith is borne out. Faith in the Gospel is not an emotional appeal. Emotions fade away. That’s why you see so many people who get “saved” go on living the same way they always lived. Churches preach an emotional Gospel where people are entertained rather than equipped; where grace overrides holy living; where tolerance overrides truth; where busyness overrides prayer, study, and meditation; where the power of the Gospel is reduced to an hour or two on Sunday. That’s why Paul said in v. 5, “So that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

In order to effectively communicate, you need a proper mindset, a proper method, but you need a message. Look at vs. 6-7. Paul spoke a message of wisdom to those who were mature in Christ. It was not the wisdom of this world that Paul communicated. The wisdom of this world comes to nothing. People of the world do not, cannot understand the wisdom of God. “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Cor. 2:14) Unfortunately, many Christians don’t have and don’t understand a real passion for Christ. George Barna says that half of those who attend a Christian church (50%) say that they are absolutely committed to the Christian faith. What about the other half? What is your passion? Is it your job? Your family? Is it your possessions?

If the leaders of this world had understood God’s wisdom, they would have never crucified Christ. We must make sure that the message we communicate is God’s wisdom of the cross. Take a look at one final passage of Scripture found in 1 Cor. 1:18-25. This is the message will bring people to maturity, the message that will cause people to grow in their relationship with Christ.

For life’s problems, what is the answer you communicate?  Is it the cross of Christ and His Gospel? That is where true hope rests.

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