The final message in our series looking at the original 12 disciples of Jesus, under the general heading of – “How God uses the average to achieve the amazing.”
They were twelve very ordinary, unexceptional men, who would later be accused by their opponents of – “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17 v 6.)
So how come such a bunch of nobodies made such an impact? It was precisely because they had been with Jesus (Acts 4 v 13) and been empowered by Jesus (Acts 1 v 8.) You see it is not the person that matters, but what God has done for that person, coupled with the power that God gives that person. And he seems to delight in making the weak strong (2 Corinthians 12 v 9) and the ordinary extraordinary!
We see this principle in operation once again as we pay a visit to the church in Corinth, which in the main was comprised of common, ordinary people of no great social standing. This is not to say that the so called “movers and shakers” cannot become Christians, in fact there are examples of such conversions in the New Testament (see – Acts 8 v 36; 13 v 12; 17 v 4 & 12; and Romans 16 v 23) but these would seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Thankfully God in his goodness saves all who believe, but no bodies seem to find it easier to acknowledge their need of him as opposed to some bodies!
The Corinthian Christians were described as not being “wise” in terms of possessing vast amounts of human knowledge; they were not “influential” by way of walking the corridors of power; and they were not of “noble birth” being members of the well heeled aristocracy. Instead they were “foolish” in the eyes of the world; “weak” and prone to being pushed around and trampled on; “lowly,” being on the way down, rather than up, and because of all these unattractive and least sought after characteristics they were in turn “despised.”
Yet God chose them not because of what they were, but in spite what they were. He then went on to change them from sinners to saints, on the basis of his work for them and in them by way of salvation, resulting in no one being able to boast about the change, because it could only be of God and so he must receive the glory.
What applied to the twelve disciples and to the Corinthian believers also applies to us today, in that God has given us all that is needed to live extraordinary lives for him guaranteed by the three tenses of salvation that are mentioned in this passage:-
1 – We have been saved from the PENALTY of sin (RIGHTEOUSNESS)
God has declared us righteous in Christ, not by our own self effort, but by Christ’s death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5 v 21.)
2 – We are being saved from the POWER of sin (HOLINESS)
We are being sanctified and set apart to belong to and to serve God (1 Thessalonians 4 v 3 & 7.)
3 – We will be saved from the PRESENCE of sin (REDEMPTION)
Having been set free by the price paid by Christ on the cross (Romans 3 v 24), we will ultimately inhabit a heavenly environment where there will be no trace of sin.
Challenge – Will you allow God to work out his salvation in you, enabling the ordinary to be transformed into the extraordinary?
Morning Service 10:30a.m
Theme: “The ordinary becoming extraordinary!”
Reading: 1 Corinthians 1 v 26 – 29
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes