By Cindy Koch –
In a time of war it makes perfect sense. You take the resources you have available and turn them into weapons against the enemy. Fighting for survival, everything hinges on the destruction of the other. Yes, it makes perfect sense to take the good gifts of God and craft your weapon to win the war. And what war do you find yourself fighting? What weapon are you crafting to fight the enemy?
Many a Christian is engaged in the battle of the devil and the world today. Shocked by the culture, disappointed by the grasp of the evil one, those who take comfort in Christ set themselves up for a fight. Those on the other side believe a story that is not one from the lips of the Triune God. Those on the other side ridicule and belittle a historical account of a savior passed on from generation to generation. Those on the other side proudly declare war on those who trust in the God who created and redeemed. And so there seems to be no other option. Prepare for the war. Ready your weapons.
And so, a Christian may take up the gifts of God and attempt to turn them into deadly weapons. Fire a baptism on an unbeliever and that will show them who’s boss. Pummel them with missing out on the fellowship of believers and the gathering of the church. Argue and force the Word of God into their ungrateful ears. The powerful gifts of God can be weaponized, but is it enough to win the battle?
The gift of God that wins the war is the Gospel of Jesus. Strangely, the power of the Gospel is not fire-power nor strength. The power of the Gospel is not shame or control. The power of the Gospel is not a weapon that kills. The weapon that Christ delivers is love and sacrifice – the opposite of what anyone would expect would make any difference.
The Gospel fights evil with forgiveness, especially when it is undeserved. The Gospel defeats the devil with freedom, freedom to love and serve your neighbor. The Gospel attacks the world with righteousness done for you, not demanded from you. The Gospel of Christ renders every weapon we can construct from the gifts of God – powerless.
So how do we fight the enemy with the Gospel? We don’t. How do we make our stand in the world with the Gospel? We don’t. How do we change their minds, make them believe, make them see the truth of the Gospel? We don’t. Christ’s death and resurrection is not our weapon to use against their unbelief. Rather, He has already decided the fight for their life. He has already defeated death and the devil, and He has won.
So there is only one thing you can do. Give the gifts of God freely, as they were given to you, expecting nothing in return. Proclaim the Gospel – tell them the war has already been won. Simply love and forgive, as Christ has loved and forgiven you. These are the weapons Christ gives.