Follower or lawyer

The fierceness and intensity of debates for or against God’s existence is amazing. Are we called to win people over by argument? God (Love) does not seek or need to be intellectually grasped but to be believed and debates rarely produce faith, but promote strife which is contrary to Love, the Spirit of Jesus.

The proof of God’s existence is in individual hearts for sure. But Jesus also told his disciples not to go anywhere till they were filled with power. When His power is at work within and through us, there is no need for arguments. Paul, an intellectual, said to the Corinthians that his preaching was not in persuasive words of man’s wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit’s power.

Jesus did not send us into the world to argue for Him. He said, “these signs shall follow them that believe…” If signs and wonders are not following us, we should check our faith not our arguments. No one would have argued with the disciples after the lame walked, the sick were healed or the dead came back to life. Anyone arguing Jesus’ divinity after witnessing Lazarus’ resurrection has to be out of his senses.

I would rather study how to deploy the Spirit’s power to create, to heal and to deliver than how to debate better. In any case, the burden of proof is on those of us who claim God exists.

Arguments do not address our individual or collective pains, they worsen them. Only love in action does. Do not tell me God is real. Show me. Do not just quote scripture either, show me its workings in your life. We are called to display God’s works, not to argue on His behalf.

“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Yes we are called to proclaim and to speak but if my words are mere intellectual words arguing God’s existence or debating fine points of scripture while I lack the Spirit’s power, I am not truly following Christ. He went about not arguing His divinity but through the power of the Spirit, doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.

There is more than enough disease and oppression in the world today calling for Christ’s followers not His lawyers.

8 thoughts on “Follower or lawyer

  1. I agree. Signs and wonders have no choice but to follow the sons of God. It’s not about arguments. The earth is waiting for manifestations, that the unbeliever might see & believe. “The whole earth groans for the manifestations of the sons of God.” (”
    For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19 NKJV)

    • May we be those sons of God all of creation awaits. That scripture provokes me endlessly. It makes me realize we are just functioning on the periphery of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” May we step in and show Christ as He is.

  2. This is so in tune with what we were taught just this Sunday. I especially love this “Do not tell me God is real. Show me. Do not just quote scripture either, show me its workings in your life.”

    According to Acts 1:8, we are called to ”be witnesses” not “to witness.” This is to mean that we are witnesses by our deeds, sharing what we see, know and experience and not merely through words but mostly through action. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

    The problem is most of the time we want to justify Christ without first being Christ’s followers. As you have rightly put it we can’t do God’s work without the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives.

    I really appreciate these posts. Blessing Tolu!

    • That is such a profound distinction – “be a witness” not “to witness”. Be a living proof, don’t prove. I also always think that arguments do not change the truth. Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life, there is no argument there. We either believe it or we don’t and if we believe it, we need to live it not wrestle “opponents” to the ground with arguments.

      The more I catch glimpses into “the unsearchable riches of Christ” the more I want to abandon it all and truly follow. Everyone in this world I believe is seeking Christ whether they realize it or not and all they are waiting for is His true representatives to appear in their lives. May we be true followers and not lawyers.

  3. “Do not tell me God is real. Show me.” If we truly believe that Christ’s life now flows through us then our focus should be on manifesting that life to others in a real and tangible way and not on winning intellectual arguments. In my little experience as a Christian, arguments usually end up further hardening the hearts of unbelievers. Rather, a life lived out as a true Christian will always preach a better sermon than any intellectual argument ever will. Thanks bro

    • I too believe arguments only harden hearts, they never gender faith. People are only won over by our love and works of faith (which works by love) not our intellectual debates. If there is one word to describe how we are to live, it is Love.

      One man who lived this among staunch Muslims was Frank Laubach. His book, “Letters by a modern mystic” is very good reading. He was so profoundly gentle and loving that muslim clerics were directing their followers to him. I highly recommend the book.

      The more we study Christ, the more like Paul we count everything as loss and pursue Him, being changed into his image day by day. Then those around us cannot but notice and respond, whether we are CEOs or cleaners. I believe there is something in every human being that is drawn to Christ and all He offers. Christ in us.

  4. This is a good article…….but Paul had a habit of going to the Synagogue and reasoning with people from the Scripture (Acts 17:2)…..and Jesus did thousands of miracles and the people crucified Him…also.. the Apostles all did many signs and wonders….but they too were all killed (except John, he was exiled). We cannot separate correct doctrine that is properly argued from Scripture… from a life of love that displays God’s work’s. Both go together and cannot be seperated.

    • Thank you sir. Again, your comment touches several points. 

      I think both should go together. Scriptures state we should be ready always to defend our faith and I believe that means intellectually. This for example is an intellectual presentation but I strive for my words to be Spirit-birthed not just coming from Tolu’s head. An intellectual defense without the Spirit seems a mere form of godliness, lacking the power. I am tempted to lean towards mere intellectual debates sometimes but I know what counts is Christ living through me – through my words and actions as well as through signs and wonders that benefit others. 

      The Bible is not a mere book to be defended but living truth to be lived out. Truth needs no defense, He only needs to be verbally presented and practically displayed. He will defend Himself, He will build His church…

      I love Paul’s extra sound presentation of the gospel to the philosophers/idol worshippers on Mars Hill at Athens. Jesus reasoned in the scriptures. Truth has been written down for us so we can parse them through our minds and intellectually analyze and present them. Scriptures lend themselves very easily to reasoning and I love reasoning in the scriptures – they sharpen the mind. My posts are borne out of scriptural meditations. I think when we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, our intellectual presentation of the gospel becomes much more sound. He gives us, as Christ said, “a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to gainsay nor resist.” Jesus was proof of this – he floored His opponents every time, intellectually as well as spiritually. No one could withstand His wisdom. We cannot be true followers of Christ without sound intellects that easily expose the foolishness of godlessness.

      Stephen was stoned to death after a Spirit-inspired and sound intellectual presentation of the gospel. The demons were obviously stirred up. I think we are more of a threat to the darkness of the world when we truly follow Christ than when we focus on intellectual arguments devoid of the Spirit. That means being under perpetual risk of attacks from the dethroned powers we have authority over. Following Christ implies readiness to lay down our lives for who we believe. It also implies access to all the power in heaven and on earth, to fulfill our assignment here and not be quenched before our time, to fight the good fight of faith, to walk through the valley of the shadow of death unscathed like Christ until he laid down His life willingly. I love Jesus’ sacrifice – He could never possibly have been killed regardless of attacks if He did not lay down His own life for our sake. There were many attempts to stone Him to death like Stephen but He often disappeared or walked through their midst or even preached in their synagogues while they were trying to seize Him. 

      I may be wrong but it seems the intellectual opponents of Jesus and the Apostles were mostly always “religious” people. I tend to think that neither Jesus nor the Apostles tried to convince unbelievers that God existed. I think there were more debates with people already acquainted with God (Pharisees, Scribes, Jews in the synagogues, Christians) than with atheists. Paul reasoned in the synagogues with the Jews but presented the gospel to unbelievers including kings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *