Friday, February 24, 2017

Why the Gospel is Foolishness to Some?

2 Corinthians 4:2-6 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

The Corinthians were facing challenges from without and within. Paul starts by saying, "Since by God's mercy we have been given this ministry, he will give us the strength to make it happen."  What was happening is that people were distorting the Word of God to make it fit their needs.  The false teachers were watering down the gospel, and trying to make it more palatable for those who would hear it.  Paul says, we do not need to complicate the gospel.  It is a simple message of what Jesus did for us that we could not do for ourselves. This gospel calls for a response from us.  Jesus' simple message was, "Follow me." 

We don't receive the gospel on our terms, but what Jesus presented to his first disciples who have passed it on to us. God's Word was revealed in its fullest sense, when Jesus came in the flesh to show us what God's kingdom looks like. All we really need to know Jesus has shown us through His life which is recorded faithfully in the bible  The bible contains the Word, and reveals the Word, and it is only as the Holy Spirit takes the Word and makes it real for us that we become "born again".  As John says in his gospel to Nicodemus about being born again, "
Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again, born of the Spirit." 

Paul says unbelievers have a veil over their eyes, so though hearing the Good News they don't understand it.  Meaning when they hear the word about Jesus they do not hear it, because it is spiritually discerned. They don't accept it and it is foolishness to them. That is why when we have friends who haven't accepted Jesus as the true Word of God, we need to pray that the Holy Spirit would convict them of their need for Jesus. The Good News can only become good, when we accept the bad news that we need a Savior. We cannot save ourselves. 

Paul re-affirms to the Corinthians he will never alter this life changing Word, lest he empty it of its power. To water down gospel would take away the heart of it that Jesus died for us sinners and only through trusting in Him can we have life in His name.  The time is now for believers in the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the simple and effective gospel. 

Later Paul says, "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, not us." It is only when we admit we are weak in our natural man/woman, that Jesus can show his supernatural strength through us.  This is why Paul was so effective and made such a huge impact with his life for the kingdom. 

Don't ashamed to preach the simple gospel. It is the power of God for salvation for all who believe, first for the Jews, then for Gentile.  It is still the best news around!!! 

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