Paul states, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weaknesses and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and, of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” ~1 Corinthians 1: 2-5
The interesting part of Paul’s testimony is that he was a well versed and learned in the scriptures. As a Pharisee, he was called to live and process through God’s law with a deep regard. They were trained to follow and uphold righteousness, or their version of righteousness. He was trained under the teachings of Gamaliel, an elder of the Jewish community who had a reputation and wisdom. Paul was zealous in what he believed and what we call “good stock.” However, he considered that nothing compared to his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
He was persuaded fully in the saving grace, through faith in Christ. That reality became evident in his life, his ministry. In his letters, and the message he preached. He was not trying to move people with creativity or in his words, but with his passion, his persuasions came from his complete yielding to the things of God. His faith was grounded in his personal belief in his Lord and Savior.
For instance, I went to the Colony of Mercy and I was introduced to Jesus Christ. Keswick aided me in the exchanged life; from my life of addiction into the man God created me to be. I have a place in my heart that will defend and support Keswick for the presence it had in my life, as well as the integrity of the work that is being done. I believe in what they do! But moreover, I am persuaded that Jesus Christ has the redemptive power for freedom from the bondage of addictions.
Like Paul, our testimony of God’s amazing grace, through His Holy Spirit, can empower us to be a living epistle. Our life is the example of death, burial, resurrection and the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. And our love, our service, our kindness, gentleness, etc…to each and with the world will persuade, those who are called to be regenerated to their creator.
Written by Juan Mendez. Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.
Think About This: “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” ~Hans Urs von Balthasar
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, And in Your righteousness they are exalted. ~Psalm 89:15-16 (NKJV)