March 21st, 2011 by Eric Gilmour

DEMONSTRATING THE GOSPEL

The world out there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity but a new demonstration.

~Leonard Ravenhill

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 Cor. 2.4,5)

Demonstration: “the action of showing the existence or truth of something by giving proof or evidence.”

The Gospel is not a verbal argument for the existence of God.  It is above all things a demonstration of God Himself.  It is the evidence of who He is in His love and power.

I believe “LOVE AND POWER” evangelism is the only evangelism that there is.  The reason is simple; we don’t want the faith of individuals to rest on the cleverness or wisdom of our arguments but on the demonstration of God’s love and power.  We seek to embody these things to the world, first of all in our lives, and then in our outreaches.

Love is the greatest demonstration of power that there is; in Christ’s love He went to the cross, and through His death He destroyed the power of the enemy.

Power is the undeniable demonstration of God’s love.  We have seen men who have little to no belief in God encounter Jesus when their torn ACL was completely and supernaturally mended before their eyes.  In that moment, there is nothing that a man can say other than, “God is love.”  For they had done nothing to earn the privilege of being supernaturally healed, but His care for them was extended to them even in their rebellion and ignorance.

Love still holds the key to His power, and His power showcases His love; love and power embody the gospel of Jesus Christ.

BE IN LOVE

“Do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16.14).

We ought to have no agenda but to love. God’s agenda has always been to love, His reaching out to humanity reaching its climax in His Son, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinth 13:1-8 states, “Without love we are nothing, love never fails.” So let us drop all other agendas and expectations we may have, in order to be free to simply love people.

We are bound by our agendas and drained by our expectations, but love is freedom, for it is not something to do, but be.  Let us focus on the love of God and let love melt the hearts of men.  Even if they don’t receive the gospel that day, they will never be able to shake off the fact that we loved them and told them of His irresistible love.

Jesus did not come to shame sinners but to save them.  Evangelism is spreading the good news of Jesus’ salvation of our souls from sin, which is the greatest expression of love.  So how empty is the testimony of God’s love if it be void of love itself? Love’s presence during evangelism shows that we not only believe, but also care that men are literally walking toward an eternal fire.  God’s word says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love,” (Galatians 5) and “for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5.5);” therefore, the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives will be love.  We should never forget that God makes men like Jesus, and Jesus laid His life down for others.

Love is best defined as “selflessness,” since “greater love has no man than this, that He would lay down His life for His friends” (John 15.13).  This is why “Perfect love casts out all fear ” (1 John).   Fear is based out of self-consciousness, and love is being conscious of others before ourselves.  We are slaves to fear to the degree that we love our lives, and to the degree that we love our lives, we will fail to be witnesses; we will simply be restrained by fear and self-interest from the love that makes us true witnesses.  Our Christianity is silent to the degree that we love ourselves.  But if we will allow the Holy Spirit to be a constant presence in our lives, His love will expand in our hearts and self-consciousness will burn away.  God will be free to extend His hand to the world through us.  Love is the goal.  Love is the incentive. Love is the inspiration. Love is the power.  Love is the gospel.  Love never fails.

WALK IN POWER

When God made it possible for the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead to live in you, He made powerlessness inexcusable.

Jesus did not leave us powerless. He never desired us to go without power. To do God’s work we need God’s power.  There is no witness without power.  A good  news without power is not good.

~Bill Johnson

The power of the Holy Spirit is for the preaching of the gospel (Isa. 61.1).  It is for the delivering of the captives (Acts 10.38).  The gospel is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1.16.  Paul shows us that he was not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God.  Many people are ashamed of the gospel because they have never seen it as the power of God.  To see the gospel as the power of God will destroy this shame.

A demonstration of power forces a decision by those who witness it, because it shows God to the individual in an undeniable way.  We see the sick healed on the streets, and it is such an arresting moment in the individual’s life.  Even in their shock, they are stuck with the evidence that God has just touched them.  Even if they are not sick, we seek to pray for them in an attempt to usher the presence of God into their hearts.  As they sense He who is the desire of the nations, they break internally. Power is irreplaceable.

Without power we can end up as phony as the door to door salesmen whose products do not work when he is asked for a demonstration.  Power is God coming into the lives of men.  What love!  Power is love.  Power is the gospel.  Power is the demonstrated presence of God.

 

Eric Gilmour is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Revival & Evangelism.

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