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Demonstrating God's Power (3 of 6)

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 10
In other words, you can be right, but be wrong, at the top of your voice. That when you minister - whether your ministry is singing; playing the drums; greeting people at the front door; parking cars and saying ‘hello’ out there; dressing up like Barney, and waving at children and handing them lollies; preaching, teaching like in these meetings…

I want to be very gracious, but at the same time, sometimes we need to be challenged to a better life. The test of what I'm saying is - did I deliver it in a manner that was: compassionate; gracious; slow-to-anger; abounding-in-love-and-forgiveness? Or did I deliver it in a prideful, puffed-up manner that made me look better than anybody else? We have to be that - the disposition of messiah.

For the rest of tonight, I want to talk to you about demonstration - about demonstrating God's power. I can't talk to you about demonstrating God's power without understanding that, no matter what we have, what power gift we have, or what we do with what we have - if we do not use our gifts inside the Disposition of Messiah then we miss the point.

1 Corinthians 2 - one of the New Years resolutions that me and my group made in Charleston made, is that we never want to be a punch-line in one of Jesus' parables. We do not want to live in such a way, where we're a punch-line in one of Jesus' parables.

So we have this police man (I'm being euphemistic there); she has become the ‘policeman’ for the whole group for that; and her name is Joanne. What Joanne does… like we were all sitting around, and one of the people in the group was complaining, like really whinging pretty bad. Joanne had had enough of it, so she said:

There's this lady, and she was blessed by God, and she'd be in the richest one per cent of the whole world, because she owns two cars and a house. She came in, and was complaining about her day, while in the same day, people were being raped and murdered and pillaged in Sudan, just because of their faith in Jesus Christ; yet she was complaining because she had to wait in traffic. Surely that woman's life will be required of her tonight? And everybody's like: okay, yeah, we'll quit complaining!

It's very easy to have Jesus Christ as a Doctrine, and there's nothing wrong with that - nothing wrong with believing the right things about Jesus, nothing wrong with it. But what we need to be challenged to, as leaders, is to take it one step further, and: have we moved to Yoke?

Have we moved from Doctrine to Yoke - to a way of life, to where we're binding people to a certain way of life, and we're loosing people to live a certain way? Are we doing that? Now with that in mind, in 1 Corinthians 2, here's what's going on.

This was a letter written to a group of first Century Christians, in a city called Corinth; and he leaves, and sends the letter back, because of reports of some problems,.

He goes into an area where there are seven or eight different gods. One of the gods in the region received worship through sexual acts. So one of the ways they worshipped that god was, you'd go to church (on whatever day you went to church), and they had temple prostitutes there. You would just pick up your prostitute, and you'd come in here and you worship the god - through intimacy.

So there was all kinds of really odd sort of things going on there; and Paul goes in there, and he gets a bunch of people saved; then he leaves; and he leaves them there to form a church.

Now how many of you know, that there is going to be problems with that? There are hairs on that! There's stuff that needs to be corrected, and some historians say that 1 and 2 Corinthians, which is what we have in our Bible, was actually like 4 and 5 Corinthians - that there was several letters before this, so he was trying to help sort them out.

So in 1 Corinthians 2:1, he says: “So it is with me, when I came to you, that I did not come with eloquence of speech; but I came determined to only know Christ, and him crucified”.