weakstrong?

Car adverts tend to bug me. Working out why what I’ve seen would make me want to buy that particular car is often just as difficult as remembering ten seconds later which particular model was being advertised. The exception (apart from the infamous Honda ad) was the campaign for Micra a little while ago. Still, I can’t remember much – just the line ” ‘bigsmall’, put it in your dictionary”.

Why am I writing about this? It started with a conversation I was having with Adrian, a full-time Christian worker at my university. On Wednesday a large group of people were sent out to do belief surveys with people at ULU. He was one of them, and he met an Iranian woman. He went through the survey with her to find out what she believes and then she asked why he was doing it. He explained he was a Christian, he explained the gospel and she accepted it. Now she’s a Christian. She’s been born again. Her sinful nature has been put to death and she has been raised with Christ. There’s an inheritance waiting for her which can’t ever spoil or fade. There’s a colossal party in heaven. And, I’m sure, a great Spirit-filled joy in her heart. She’s a sister, a saint, called to belong to Jesus, loved by God. She’s a Christian!

Those are the thoughts that were going through my head after Adrain told me, and which blocked the commands I was giving my mouth to close again so that it just hung open. And they are so exciting, which is why I can’t stop thinking about it, why I’ve told everyone that I can (Christian or not!) and why I can’t help writing about it now. But it would make a rubbish action story. He told her, she believed it, the end. That’s another mini adventure (there’s another car ad!). There was no debate, no shouting, no apologetics, no lightning flashes, floods or fires, no arm-wrestling. It was just weak.

And this has had me thinking about the gospel. It is weak. It is truly a “foolish” message that we bring (1 Corinthians 1). Sitting down and telling someone that they need to be saved by a man whose crowning accomplishment was to die seems nothing but weak and foolish. Yet – and praise God! – that same message is “the power of God” (Romans 1:16) to save sinners. In his infinite wisdom God has chosen only to save those who will ignore human wisdom and cling with child-like tenacity to the folly of the cross.

Which has had me amazed by grace recently. It has truly encouraged me for my evangelism and for myself. For my evangelism, because I don’t have to be clever. We know in our heads that all we have to do is tell people about Jesus and trust God that he will do the rest. But here it is in action. It works! For myself, I know that my salvation never depended on someone else being clever but on God changing my heart and my life. Whatever happens he won’t undo that – so I’m saved for good. What a gospel!

A weak message which is the power of God. ‘Weakstrong’, put it in your dictionary! (And share it with people too!)

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