The Power to Preach
So, the truth is you have not been sharing Jesus Christ with other people. There may be a couple reasons for this fact: First, you are not a Christian so do not have the spirit to share Him; Second, you think you are Christian, but you are not, which makes witnessing very difficult for you; Third, you are a Christian, so you have it in you to make Christ known, but you still struggle in witnessing to others.
The way a person becomes a Christian, a true born-again believer in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Cor 1:30; 1 Pet 1:3), is an act of God’s grace that reveals truth to that person through preaching (Acts 10:42, 44). God’s Holy Spirit “baptizes” the new believer in a process called regeneration (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). From a state of being spiritually dead in sin (Eph 2:1), new life springs forth in the person chosen by God for His salvation (Rom 11:5; Eph 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 2:9). He or she receives Jesus, unto salvation, according to the will of God (Jn 1:12–13), as the Father has appointed him or her to eternal life (Acts 13:48).
Evidence of this conversion manifests in the faith and good works of the new Christian (Jas 2:14–26). Suddenly, a hunger and thirst for God becomes visible in the new believer’s life (Dt 8:3; Ps 34:8; Amos 8:11; Mt 5:6; 25:37; Jn 4:10). Growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ brings the beloved child of God to a place where her cup runneth over with the things of God (Ps 23:5; 2 Pet 3:18; 1 Jn 3:1, 10). Filled with the Spirit of Christ (Acts 2:4; Eph 5:18; Col 1:19), the desire to communicate one’s faith in Christ becomes pervasive. Simply put, lovers of Jesus Christ want to talk about the One they love.
Our deficiencies, personally experienced, abound as opportunities to distribute the heavenly treasure come and go (2 Cor 4:7). The desire to speak of Christ, when dormant or denied, rightly burdens the believer (Jer 20:9; 1 Cor 9:16). “Preach the Word” is the imperative that haunts him (2 Tim 4:2).
The Christian mind is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mt 26:14). He does what he should not and does not do what he should do (Rom 7:25). O wretched man! The weakness is not in knowledge, for at the very least, he possesses a testimony of God’s grace through Christ changing him (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2). He has a testimony, even if he is only beginning to learn doctrine. Confidence grows with the latter.
The Christian who does not share Christ is plagued by prideful self-reliance (Rom 12:3; Phil 3:3). If one is not boasting in Christ, she is boasting in herself (2 Tim 3:2; Gal 6:14). She is called to obedience in going and making new disciples (Mt 28:19–20).
Disciple-making begins with the sent-out ones who go and evangelize others (Acts 2; 8, 17). Someone is planting, today (Mt 9:38). Someone is watering. Someone is harvesting (Mk 4:29; Lk 10:2). God is always the One giving the increase. This is the obligation of every believer, not just the pulpiteer on Sunday. There is a distinction, however.
The called man of God heralds Jesus’ name and His fame (1 Cor 2:2), through the special calling to prophetic forth telling (Is 49:1; Jer 1:5). With or without that specific calling every believer must rely on God’s power (Acts 1:8; Rom 1:16–17), to do what God intends for you to do (Eph 2:10).
The household appliance may look good and ready, but without the cord plugged into the power source there is a failure to function. Jesus told His disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Acts 1:8).” Your baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers your mere form to fulfill your kingdom function — to tell forth the glories of God in Christ! “You shall be my witnesses,” He promised.
The things revealed by God belong to you (Dt 29:29). Tell of them, for there is no exhausting the unfathomable riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Job 9:10; Rom 11:33; Eph 3:8). Be mindful, however, to rely on the Spirit — who bears witness of Christ.
It is God’s will (Eph 1:11), revealed in God’s Word, for you to join in the sufferings of Christ (Col 1:24), through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1:18). We proclaim Him (Col 1:28), admonishing every man to repent of his sins (Acts 17:30) and to trust Christ’s acceptable, one-time sacrifice of Himself on the cross of Calvary — the Righteous for the unrighteous (Acts 17:31; Heb 7:27; 1 Pet 3:18). He bore our sins in His body (1 Pet 2:24), and that is Good News because in doing so, He released us from our sins by His blood (Rev 1:5), shed for our forgiveness (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7).
Finally, the tension builds and the power surges in view of His coming again to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5; Rev 19:11–21). So, redeem the time for the days are evil (Eph 5:16), but realize resistance to the Gospel will go from bad to worse (2 Tim 3:13).
Pray in the Spirit for boldness (Eph 6:19), for yourself and for the brethren, to tell of the mighty deeds of God (1 Pet 2:9)…not by might, not by human power, but by My Spirit says the Lord (Zech 4:6)!
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 19, 2021