A gracEmail subscriber requests some discussion here about “revolutionary” people, power and purpose, the titles of my classes at the March 2009 Tulsa International Soul-Winning Workshop.
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We have considered what it means to be revolutionary people. For starters, it means being God’s agents, gospel carriers whose character and lives are more important than their marketing skills or their ability to persuade others. Revolutionary power does not refer to our skill at “selling” Jesus. All human power combined cannot produce the spiritual regeneration of even one small person. That result requires the supernatural power of the living God.
The New Testament makes this very clear. Early in Romans, Paul exclaims that the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). He reminds the Thessalonians that the gospel did not come to them as verbal communication only, but “also in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thes. 1:4). Writing to the Corinthians, he compares himself and all gospel carriers to fragile earthen jars. God entrusts his good news to us weaklings for a purpose, Paul explains. It is to show “that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7).
Strangely, not all Christians share that biblical perspective. Alexander Campbell, a founding father of my own “restoration movement” heritage, interpreted conversion as a mere intellectual process, based on one’s acquiring information previously unknown. Campbell’s fellow-restorationist Barton W. Stone acknowledged dependence on the Spirit’s power. However, within two generations, the movement’s heirs largely forgot Stone’s God-honoring teaching on this point in favor of Campbell’s humanistic explanation.
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