“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭

I love the Rocky series. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), is a small‑time boxer from working‑class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed in the film titled Rocky. Over the ensuing decades, Rocky would capture the hearts and minds of millions with his “never give up” attitude. Kids would grow up to be Boxers, people who never played in any other major film owe their acting careers to the Rocky franchise. In my own life, it was the Rocky series that helped me develop a thick skin if you will. “Life is not how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit, and take, and keep moving forward, that’s how winning is done!” He counsels his son.

I have a feeling that Rocky would’ve loved our text for today. Ancient Greek culture was very well known for the theatrical, the great speakers such as Plato and Socrates, etc. Yet, Paul comes along and through the power of the Holy Spirit reveals a new way to be great. A new way, to honor the gods. Only in this case, the honor went to one God, the God whom Paul mightily declared “worked the Spirit's power” within him. For Paul, winning the godly way came from within: “I did not come to you as an expert” he laments in 1 Corinthians 2:1. Paul’s ability to persuade came from his spirit, a spirit that could only be supplied from something more than himself (1 Corinthians 2:16). That’s what made him a trusted disciple, that he showed and believed that Christ was with him! Jesus taught his disciples such people who displayed the fruits of the Spirit such as compassion, love, and holiness, were real winners : “by your fruits you shall know them”- Matthew 7:20.

Are you winning the Godly way this morning? There is no better time to get started winning than today. Only the winning doesn’t come with a trophy, but thorns. And the price to win isn’t my blood, but Christ’s. Such a thought might make me a loser, but it also makes me redeemed.

John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs UMC

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