You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.
First Corinthians 2: 1-5 The Message
Many people find it very difficult to share their faith. The truth is that almost everyone feels that way, at least from time to time - even the Apostle Paul! In this passage, Paul is speaking to a deeply troubled and divided church. He didn’t try to impress the Corinthians with fancy speeches, or whatever was trendy at that time in terms of philosophies. No, he was very clear in what he needed to say, and he deliberately tried to keep things plain, simple, and easy to understand.
There is a power in speaking plainly. In fact, there is a best-selling book about Harry Truman based on his conversations with the author. It is entitled, “Plain Speaking” by Merle Miller. Truman didn’t aim to be a great orator, but he knew how to communicate. He chose his words carefully, but he did not use flowery terminology or overly impressive words. No, plain and simple words were what he used.
When Paul spoke, he credited the Lord with giving him the words. In fact, Paul appeared to be in awe of the fact that even though he was scared to death, God used him to minister to the church in Corinth. When Paul didn’t think he had the words, God did. Thus, the Lord’s Holy message was heard by those present.
Perhaps Paul felt that same feeling that we sometimes get when we have the opportunity to share the gospel. Paul wasn’t sure how it was all going to work, but he allowed himself to be a vessel for the Lord. We have the opportunity to do the same. Paul was very clear that “God’s spirit and God’s power did it.” Paul’s humility comes through in his writings.
We are offered that same opportunity when we lay our apprehension at God’s feet. Those same qualities: sincerity, and saying what is true for you, are all that is necessary to communicate the Gospel effectively to your neighbors, and your friends.
Speaking plainly and truthfully, giving all the credit to God, and speaking about Jesus: those are the three keys to evangelism. May we remember to use them when opportunities present themselves to share the good news of Jesus Christ. People don’t need to hear absolutely perfect words. They only need to hear God’s word.
Lord of all,
We know You want us to share our faith in You. Help us to speak Your words when opportunities present themselves. Help us to remember that our actions are also a part of sharing our faith. Give us courage to share. Use our words, and Your divine power, to give hope to those who are struggling. May we shine the light of Your love out into this dark world. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name.