When you heard the Gospel, was it presented with bows and ribbons or bells and whistles? For me it wasn’t. It was my 9 year old cousin telling my 9 year old self about Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need bells and whistles. The Gospel is perfect as is, it is enhanced by your weakness and humility. Your testimony is made stronger by your suffering and the fruit produced in you because of it. The power and strength of Almighty God is glorified through the plain truth of working in your life with your frailty, meekness, and hardships.
So if the Gospel is perfect as is, why do we so often seek slick presentations and lightshows for teaching? If the teacher doesn’t have enough faith in God to allow The Holy Spirit to teach us through simple words, actions and circumstance then why should we have any faith that the teacher knows of Whom he teaches?
Be careful. Are those preachers and teachers teaching the Jesus of the Bible? Be sure. Do not let them perverse the truth with changes that suit them. Who are they exalting? Is it Jesus? Is it themselves? Are they building up the church or themselves? Are they teaching the whole truth or a feel good version of it? If it is not 100% of The Gospel then it is a lie. Are they leaving out Jesus’ divinity, resurrection, or perfection? Then they are distorting the truth and guiding people to Hell. Are they leaving out repentance, forgiveness, or Eternity? Then it is a lie that will lead people to destruction.
They can make themselves look good. They will look righteous. They will shine with a charisma that people assume must be from God. Verses 14-15 read,
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
They are headed to Hell and they are taking as many with them as they can. They will be paid back for that great evil. Do not join them. Maybe you can even be the one that turns them around to face the true Jesus before they face Him on the Judgment seat.
Paul says he is a better Christian than those smooth talkers. What makes him better? Is he a better talker? No. Is it because he is Jewish? No. He describes his suffering and weaknesses and says that is why he is a better servant of Christ than they are.
Your life bears out the truth and power of God, Our Father, Our Savior, and Our Holy Spirit. Speak the complete Gospel without the twists, the ploys, and enhancements. Live in Him and glorify Him. Don’t follow or lead down the path to Hell. Don’t boast about yourself. Boast in the Lord. Don’t edify yourself. Edify the church. Verses 30-31 say,
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.”
Paul continues with a description of the miracle of God saving him out of the hands of the governor of Damascus who wanted to seize and kill him. You see it is God, not you. Had Paul told the story differently about how he escaped and not how God saved him, who would turn to God? They might honor Paul but they wouldn’t praise Jesus.
Are you trying to bring people to Jesus with the simple and beautiful truth of The Gospel or are you trying to attract people to your ministry with your goodness, your gifts, and your strength?