Good morning and a blessed Thursday morning to you.
Martin Luther used to have informal discussions around the dining table. They were theological discussions. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for those! One time he told a young pastor this: “When you are to preach, speak with God and say, ‘Dear Lord God, I wish to preach in thine honor. I wish to speak about thee, glorify thee, and praise thy name. Although I can't do this well of myself, I pray that thou mayest make it good.’”
For Luther, the focus was to be on God. It was the same thing with the Apostle Paul.
2 Corinthians 4:5
5 For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.
In 1 Corinthians 2: Paul says:
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
You see, it wasn't about Paul. It was about Christ. There was a wonderful and deep sense of humility with regard to the Apostle Paul.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Paul did not take responsibility for unbelief. Conversely, he didn't take responsibility when someone believed. Look at verse 6.
For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
He didn't take responsibility when someone didn't believe. He didn't take credit for when someone did believe. Because you see, if we take responsibility when the gospel is shared and someone doesn't believe. Or if we take credit when the gospel is shared and someone believes, then all we're doing is preaching ourselves.
Our witness is not about us. It's about him. The response of faith is not about us. It's about him. Because when someone comes to believe as the gospel is shared with them, it's all God's doing. And God gets all the glory, because it's all about him, not us.
What a glorious message we have to share! What a glorious gospel; that Jesus Christ has taken our sin upon himself on the cross, that sin has been paid, and the tomb is empty; that God claims us as his own in the waters of baptism, giving us the gifts of forgiveness, and life eternal. How glorious the message is that we have to share. And it's a message that's all about him.
Let's pray. Dear Lord, we wish to witness in thine honor. We wish to speak about thee, glorify thee, and praise thy name. Although we can't do this well of ourselves, we pray that thou mayest make it good. In Jesus' name we pray.
May God bless you this week as you share the glorious gospel that's all about Christ.
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