1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NET) My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
It is on record that when Billy Graham traveled long hours to preach, he spent most of the time praying. It is also on record that his words were not empty words, but they were packed with the power of God to convict people and draw them to salvation.
Note that Paul said my conversation and preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom. So he preached with words, but the purpose of his words was not primarily to persuade or wow people, it was to transmit spirit and power. Words can transmit knowledge and wisdom and that is the most common application of words. But words can also be used to transmit spirit and life (power). This was the way Jesus used His words when He preached. He said, “the words that I speak to you are spirit and life” (see John 6:63). Those who listened to Jesus said no one ever spoke the way He spoke because the effect of His speaking was different from what they were used to (see John 7:46, Luke 24:32). The way Jesus spoke and preached should also be the way we speak and preach because as the Father sent Him, so has He sent us (John 20:21). We must use our words primarily to transmit spirit and life when preaching.
Go into today knowing that before your words can transmit power, you have to be full of power yourself. Those who walk in this dimension are people of prayer. Prayer is the surest way to make much power available (see James 5:16).
—Abraham Damilola Arigi
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