This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
If in preaching the gospel you substitute your knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the gospel, you hinder people from getting to reality. Take care to see while you proclaim your knowledge of the way of salvation, that you yourself are rooted and grounded by faith in God. Never rely on the clearness of your presentation, but as you give your explanation make sure that you are relying on the Holy Spirit. Rely on the certainty of God’s redemptive power, and He will create His own life in people.
The apostle Paul said,
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. …My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1, 4, 5)
As a pastor I have be so careful that I am steeped in the Word of God. It’s not my persuasive words that will win people to Christ, or draw them into a deeper relationship with God. My words will only be effective to the extent that they are God’s words. Yes, I still must study to be a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth (1 Timothy 2:15), but I must not allow my “knowledge” to ever be a substitute for the purity of the Word of God.