9 Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. – Titus 3:9 NLT
Paul’s advice to Titus was given at a time when the discussion about the law was the single most divisive issue in the new church. Did Jesus fulfill the law or abolish the law? We have grace but don’t we still need to be circumcised? Even the apostles had differing opinions on some of these things. In today’s church, we get involved in foolish controversies over things not nearly as important as the law. Carpet colors, steeple or no steeple, immersion or sprinkling and the list goes on and on. Not one of these discussions will lead a soul to Christ but they may very well turn people away from the church altogether. They are definitely unprofitable and useless. Jesus instructed us to “go and make disciples”. He did not instruct us to go and make denominations, etc. When we are in front of outsiders, our conversations and teachings should be limited to instructing people in how to be saved. All true Christians agree on the plan of salvation. That is the story Jesus wants us to tell. It is simple and powerful. Wherever we are or whomever we are speaking to, our sentiment must be the same as Paul’s:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. — 1 Cor. 2:2-5 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. — Isaiah 43:2 NLT
These are not idle words with no meaning or no power to back them up. In fact, in the past, the Israelis walked through the Red Sea and across the Jordan without even getting their feet wet. Elijah and Elisha would one day cross the Jordan on dry ground and Elisha would cross back over the Jordan on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:7-13
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would one day walk in a fiery furnace and come out alive, unburned and without even the smell of the smoke on their clothes.
Anything that our God promises, He is able to bring to pass. Just because we know the stories of these miracles and the miracles in the New Testament well, they should not become so familiar to us that they lose their meaning. Every time we read them or hear them, it should be a reminder that we serve a loving and a faithful God. The One and Only God who is able to do exactly what He says He will do in His own timing. He has proved His love for us over and over with the ultimate proof being that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. He has proven over and over that anytime He asks anyone to do something for the Kingdom, He supplies eveything they need to accomplish the task. The next time and every time that we feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking us to speak or act, our hearts should jump with joy that God has chosen us. Our minds and our bodies should jump to the task. If we are obedient in taking the first step of faith, we can be assured that God will finish the work. He has never failed and He never will. No other human or so-called god has predicted, promised or performed without failing.
The Lord, our God, is one God and He alone is worthy to be praised!
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?—1 Cor. 4:18-21 NIV
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul is really concerned about the puffed up and arrogant attitude some of the Christians at Corinth have developed. This example of the things happening at Corinth is a great reminder for us not to bring people to Jesus and then leave them as “babes in Christ”. It is very important that we take the time to mentor and disciple them in a Holy lifestyle. New converts do not understand the dangers of following the flesh any more than a newborn understands what he/she needs. They just know they are hungry and they need a parent to give them the right food. So do new converts. They need someone to make sure they are getting the right message until they get past the “milk of the Word’ .The Kingdom of God is not just a matter of talking and walking but it is a matter of the power of God and that power must be understood and used properly.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.—1 Cor. 2 :4,5 NIV