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Where is the power?

We're in the middle of a mission at the moment (prayers always welcome!).  One of the things we're doing is door-knocking our neighbourhood and we've seen people turn to the Lord even on the door-step.  Praise God!

In our morning meetings there seems to be one kind of prayer that recurs more than any others - that God would prepare hearts so that when we arrive they are open to the gospel.  Now I'll give a hearty Amen to all such prayers and, in His grace, God may well grant this.  But when we think about hearts opened, wouldn't it be better to pray that the word itself will open hearts, conquer unbelief, awaken faith?  Is it possible that we're separating word and Spirit by conceiving of evangelism in these terms?  Is there a danger that the power is thought of as separate from the gospel and not as the gospel itself?  (Rom 1:16).

I think I'd rather pray, "Lord, though the people we meet be stone-hearted, blind and lost in sin and blackest darkness, bring life and immortality to light through your gospel.  May your word do its almighty work and bring life from the dead."

I'd certainly rather conceive of evangelism in those terms.  When we tell the gospel we're not basically hoping that some have previously enjoyed God's power.  Rather, we're going with the power of God which is unleashed upon all, every time we speak of Christ.

 

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5 thoughts on “Where is the power?

  1. timothycairns

    Isn't this a bit chicken and egg?

    Its both/and. Hearts can't be opened without the Spirit (irresistible grace and all that!) and the Spirit needs to word. So neither Spirit or The Word can function apart from each other. So maybe your prayer should be:

    “Lord, though the people we meet be stone-hearted, blind and lost in sin and blackest darkness, bring life and immortality to light through your gospel. May your word do its almighty work and bring life from the dead, in and through the mighty acts of your Spirit convincing and convicting us sinners of our sin”

    or something like that

  2. glenscriv

    yes Tim, the desire to keep word and Spirit together is key for me. I'm certainly not wanting to limit God and say He can't open hearts without the preaching of a solid verse by verse exposition. But I'm encouraging us to conceive of this heart-opening as something that normally happens in and through the word. (cf Acts 16:14). The pay-off being that we don't go around thinking of the gospel as a bar code gun - simply revealing those that are already marked. Instead it's a magnum 44 - the power is in the gospel itself to 'mark' them!

  3. Pingback: Barcode Gun or Magnum? « Christ the Truth

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