The Kingdom of God is Not Words
Kingdom of God is not words - A.W. Tozer notes
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
1 Corinthians 4:15-21 “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?”
Paul showed people the Way - His Way. His authority was observable and evident. Timothy also testified about Paul’s power. Paul did not test men’s words, but rather he tested their power (Spirit)! The Kingdom of God is about power, not mere words, words, and words... Don’t think that if you get the words right, then you will have the real thing. There is no power in mumbling certain words. Satan is not scared of certain words! He is not afraid of symbols, lucky charms, and mere words... Superstition and Idolatry is based on fine words.
Paul’s Way: “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Words, intellectual knowledge, never break one through to a NEW BIRTH. The Kingdom of God does not lie in words, but rather the Kingdom of God lies in the Power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is about the statement that Jesus died for our sins along with the Power of the Holy Spirit. “Religion” can have the statements of the Gospel without the power, but true Religion cannot have the power without the statements of the Gospel. The evidence of the power is Essential and Foundational. The power lies inside the shell of the Gospel. The power of God talks, not the mouth of man. The Christian Life is a miracle! It’s like Noah’s Ark. A Christian is one who Believes in the Power of God, not one who believes in mere words. When the Holy Spirit comes, HE WILL BE THE ONE WHO CONVICTS THE WORLD OF SIN. You can’t argue about the works of the Holy Spirit, but you can argue with mere words. The evidence of the Holy Spirit persuades. He is the One who works on the inside of a person. The Holy Spirit draws people to Christ!
We must demand that the word come with power, and that we HEAR IT with (in) power.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
When the Gospel runs in power, and when it is heard in power, then the purposes of God will be fulfilled. If only “teaching” is heard without power, then we have a right to demand why not?! We must be more than a friendly social “church,” more so, a Jesus who IS Living Church.