Sunday, February 8, 2015

Arguing grace




“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, ‘Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.’ But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Matthew 12:38-39

“For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ.” Romans 15:18-19

In Romans 11:1-6, Paul says that he will not speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through himself (Paul). At first, this may sound arrogant, but Paul is taking no credit for anything. Paul is saying that the words that are heard, the deeds that are accomplished, the signs and wonders that are seen are all done by the Holy Spirit working through Paul.

Christ is evident to the world through the words and deeds of Christians. When Christ walked the earth, His parables, miracles, and healing were to demonstrate the power of God to everyone, including the Pharisees. However, when we read the Matthew 12:38-39, we wonder why Christ would not accept the challenge of the Pharisees and perform a miracle that would prove beyond a doubt that Christ was king. The reason is simple. Christ did not come to earth to prove that He was God. Christ came to earth to prove that God loved us. Christ and Paul did not argue about the power of God. God’s power is for all of us to experience, and we can experience Him moment by moment in our walk with God. We do not have to rely on signs and wonders on a daily basis in order to know that God exists. Christ, and Paul too, has proclaimed God’s love, mercy, and grace toward sinful man, and that is the huge miracle that we can experience on a daily basis.