The Eloquent Church
The events of the early church are quite apparent today; there has been a lot of talks – crusades, ministration, weekly sermons. The talks have been eloquent, conversational and charming; we have consistently thrown off our hats to what sounds like a Revelation Logo (RHEMA), but missing is the power of the Holy Ghost. Apostle Paul observed the absence of power and wrote to the church at Corinth. He wasn’t talking about the miraculous or signs and wonders – it was about the influence of the Holy Spirit. Paul noticed that the doings of the natural man was still evident in the church and some of them were getting arrogant which was not a fruit of the spirit. He says he wants to confirm if these arrogant congregants live up to their claim (1Cor4:18-19) – with boastings, speaking as if they have patterned their life to the ways of Christ.
The modern church is filled with admonishments, bible scholarly classes among others. These classes include bible study, Sunday school, home fellowship meetings and other studies that aim to make the modern congregant biblically erudite. The result of this has seen more scripture quoting Christians, eloquent talkers and human inspired revelations. It has produced more puffed up religious workers, who are led by their intuitions. Men and women, who claim communion with God and do not reflect the character of Christ. They claim to have been to the mountain of the Lord, but their personality does not show they have they known the path to Horeb. The modern church is very particular about persuasive conversations – you think everybody in the church is a copywriter or art director. The church spends more time generating catch phrases for sermons and Christian programs. It is not to disregard the excellency of human efforts, but the aim of the gospel can’t be achieved with the human mind. Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy saying, bodily exercise is profitable but godliness profits in all things (1Tim4:8)— we should prioritize and give utmost dedication to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is with the capacity to achieve what man can never assume. Flesh and blood will never inherit the kingdom of God. Paul’s emphasis was thus on the kingdom of God – it was beyond the events of the earth.
The priority of Paul was that the church appears without blemish before God. A gospel enriched with talk fills the seats in the synagogue but does not influence the thought pattern of the congregants. These teachings are persuasive, boastful but lack the power of the Holy Spirit. They are the teachings that form doctrines that do not conform to the requisites of the Bible. These teachings do not have the capacity to the give the church an encounter with God. It leaves worshippers dwelling on the eloquence of the Apostolic. It has no ability to ignite a kingdom appetite in the congregants. Paul writes to the church that he will check on them to evaluate the words of the arrogant with their claim. This is to nullify the claims of the man on the pulpit who in self-aggrandizement, boasts of the efficacy of his sermons. There is thus a check between the lives of the talkatives and the workings of the Holy Spirit – if the power of God is evident in their lives. The power of God is the working of the Holy Spirit. It is the creative doings of God. It can create in a man the life of Christ – which qualifies the man for the kingdom of God. Peter taught with this power and the Holy Ghost immediately fell on people (Acts10:44) – creating an instant encounter with Christ. The pursuit of our faith is not grand sermons or colorful apostolic work; it is teachings that pattern our lives after Christ through the power of God, for the kingdom of God is based on power (1Cor4:20).