Demonstration

butterfly-752456_6401Corinthians 2:4: and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (ESV)

To really learn, we need a demonstration. To know God really, Jesus had to come down as God for us to see God. Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). He manifested God on earth.

God made man to be like him but with sin, that possibility was lost, and Jesus came to present him to us, helping us to transition from the wrong knowledge of God to his true knowledge, as we are retrained to be like God.

In the Garden of Eden, the loss that was suffered was because of a wrong understanding. The devil fed Eve on the false information about who God is, that he cannot be trusted, that God wants to repress them, deprive them of moving to their full potentials. But it was all a lie (Genesis 3).

So just as the wrong understating leads to spiritual death, the right understanding leads to spiritual life. While the wrong understanding led to the breakdown of relationship between God and man, the right understanding leads to life from the death.

Jesus said those who believe in him, who have the right understanding about him, and set out to live by that, has passed from death to life, just as the wrong understand leads to death (John 5:24).

We can have wrong understanding about many things, but if we have the right understand of God we are fine. Conversely, we may have the right understanding about many things but with the wrong understanding of Jesus, it makes no difference what we know, what we understand.

We may know a lot of people, but if we do not know God, it is really not that relevant. We may be rich in many things, but if we are not rich towards God then all is lost. The story of both Lazarus and the rich fool bring this to focus. You may obey all other instructions, but if you do not obey God, then it is all a waste.

So the coming of Jesus is to demonstrate who God is to us, to make him plain. God spoke from heaven saying: this is my beloved son hear him (Luke 9:35). It could not be clearer than that. Jesus represents the father, demonstrates the will and the power of the father to us who will be sons of God after him.

John wrote that those who believe in Jesus will be called sons of God (John 1:12) meant to demonstrate God. So Jesus demonstrates what it means to be son of God, in devotion to the father, closeness to him, speaking about him, obeying him.

The son has the mandate to bend to the will of the father. That was where Adam faltered and he was disqualified from fully bearing the name: Son of God. The devil is scared of anyone bearing the name son of God because that person is above him in the spiritual hierarchy.

To demonstrate something is to make it manifestly real. Our lives should demonstrate the power, purpose and passion for God.

To demonstrate something means to take it from the hiding place to be seen by all men. Jesus said that a city set on a hill cannot be hid, neither do one light a candle and put it under a bushel (Matthew 5:14).

Paul talked about the importance of the demonstration of the spirit and power so that the faith of the people will not rest on the wisdom of men but the power of God (1Corinthians 2:1-5).

The power angle of God opens to us a window into his person than just the wisdom angle. Wisdom deals with the mind while power deals with the acts.

The demonstration of the power of God in Egypt and the palace of Pharaoh was a supremacy battle. Even at that, it was when the firstborn of Egypt died that Pharaoh let go. God sent again and again: let my people go that they may serve me. And it was the demonstration of power to the enemy that he bowed. Mere talk would have achieved nothing.

There are acts of God and the ways of God. We do not have to choose between the two since Jesus is both. He is the wisdom and the power of God (1Corinthians 1:24).

He brings together seemingly contradictory attributes. He is the Lion and the Lamb (John 1:29), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation), the beginning and the ending. He is the God who is man, and the man who is God. He brings together heaven and earth, Jews and gentiles in one body, granting us access to God through one spirit (Ephesians 2:13-18).

“Demonstration” is about expression of divine ability. Peter wrote that God’s power has given us everything for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who calls us by his own glory and goodness (2Peter 1:3). And by the precious promises he has made us partakers of his divine nature (2Peter 1:4).

By his words, we get to be like him, act the way he does. The glory of God is about demonstration of divine acts. When Jesus turned water into wine, it was described as Jesus manifesting his glory (John 2:1-11). When he stood before a man blind from his mother’s womb who was then forty years old, and the disciples asked for the reason the man was born in that condition, he said: it is not because he or his parents sinned but so that the glory of God will be manifested (John 9). And that was what happened as the man who was blind from birth got brand new eyes for 20-20 vision where he had none before.

The demonstration of the power of God in Egypt and the palace of Pharaoh were about a supremacy battle. Even at that, it was when the first-born of Egypt died that pharaoh let go. God sent against and against: let my people go that they may serve me, and until there was the demonstration of power that the enemy did not bow.

When Jesus stood before the grave of Lazarus and was about to raise him from the dead, Jesus told Martha: did I not tell that if you believe you will see the glory of God (John 11)? And at the end of the day that was what happened as Lazarus was raised from the dead after being in the grave for four days. That is a demonstration of the glory of God in a supernatural act.

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