In my previous column I wrote on the first half of 1 Corinthians 1:18. In this column, I want to write on the second half of that verse.
Let me paraphrase it: “The message of the cross is the power of God for us who are being saved. Paul confirms this when he wrote, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
That message or Word of Christ is the Bible. It has power to work conversion in us. When we hear the words of concepts found in the Bible or when we read the Bible or portions of it, it draws, enables, brings understanding, and creates faith within us.
God has caused His holy words, spoken through others; to be gathered together in a book we call the Bible. It is a very reliable book. The apostle Paul testifies that the authors of the different books in the Bible were inspired by God as he wrote, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)
The Bible has power because it is God’s Word. The same Word that brought about creation as God spoke creation into existence. So we should understand that the Word of God, the Bible, is not just another book. It has divine power. It has divine power to draw, enable, create understanding, call and bring about faith.
We should also understand that if God is calling the person we are witnessing to Jesus is determined to see him saved and raised up to heaven. The apostle John quoted Jesus, “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.” (John 6: 39, 40)
I shall lose none of all that He has given Me. Those God has given Jesus are those God is calling. Jesus does not want to lose them. Jesus is on our side when we are witnessing our faith or inviting others to church. Jesus has defeated Satan and is able to counter all his efforts. So we should not give up on anyone. God wants all people to be saved.
“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2: 3 & 4)
God will not; however, overpower the will of a stubborn man. But He will draw those He is calling, using his Word. We can see an example of this in the ministry of Paul. He comes to Philippi, the first place the Gospel was proclaimed in Europe. He brings the message of the cross to them, and God opened the heart of a woman named Lydia to respond to the message of the cross.
“On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” (Acts 16: 13, 14)
Paul spoke the message of the cross to Lydia and God drew her, enabled her, gave her understanding, and created faith in her . . . so do not give up on anyone.
The message of the cross is the power of God for those He is calling. We can bring people the message of the cross by inviting them to church where they will hear the word of God.
Or, we can tell them that God loves them and wants to give them the gifts of reconciliations and eternal life for free, and then invite them to church.
Or, we can give them a Bible.
A closing thought. When you witness your faith, invite others to church or bring someone the message of the cross, there can be no failure. The entire process of conversion is in God’s hands. He draws, enables, calls, chooses, gives understanding and creates faith.
If you witness or invite you are completely successful every time, because that is all you can do. The rest is in God’s hands.