About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Wouldn't it be nice if someone came to our Sunday morning church services who wasn't actually a Christian. That would be nice in itself, but what if that person was so touched by the presence of God that he had no other choice than to bow down and give himself to Jesus, exclaiming that "God is indeed among us".
"God being among us" is fundamental when it comes to New Testament thinking. God no longer dwells in a temple made by human hands but dwells in people, both individually and collectively. When we come together as the church, God, by His Spirit is with us. If He is indeed with us, we should then allow Him to be seen in whatever way He sees fit.
Let's look at 1 Cor. 14 again. It seems that I have come to this passage often in these articles, but this chapter is devoted to what the gathering of the church should look like. This is what Paul says could happen if an unbeliever entered our gathering when things are going as they should, when we are worshipping and our Lord is responding to us in the use of His gifts, especially prophecy. Paul says, "he (the unbeliever) will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you'". (ch. 14:24-25)
What a great picture this verse paints for us. Someone actually coming into our meeting, never knowing Jesus, meets Him for the first time because of our worship and God response in the use of His gifts. Wouldn't that be nice if this could happen in our churches this Sunday morning.
It appears that this could happen if we conduct ourselves as Paul describes in this chapter. Notice that the unbeliever "falls down and worships God". The word worship in this instance is "proskuneo" that I mentioned in the last article. This unbeliever falls before God in humility and "kisses our King" in divine worship.
It reminds me of Act 2 when the 120 first received the Holy Spirit in such a dramatic way. People saw what happened. All those observing were amazed. Some criticized the event, while others were like the unbeliever in 1 Cor. 14. They gave themselves to Jesus as a result of what they saw.
I have often prayed that our Lord would pour out His Spirit in our times together as he did in Acts 2. All 120 people were touched by the Holy Spirit. Not one was left out. I am not sure that I have been in too many meetings where every last single person had a major encounter with the Holy Spirit as they did in Acts 2. So many times there are so many observers. It makes me wonder at times, if God is really with us, how can so many people leave the meeting as if nothing really happened. Maybe our Lord is in our meetings, but we just don't allow Him to express Himself as He would like. My prayer is to see Acts 2 come alive in our gatherings. That is to see every last person in the room touched by the Spirit of God, so that when they leave the building, everyone could truly say that "God was among us".
I am not one to promote "experience" above everything else. I do believe we need balance in everything we do as Christians, yet experiencing God is part of being a Christian. Then leaving the meeting to do His will should be a natural result of meeting with Him. We should not view worship as a fix to keep us going a few more days. We are not like drug addicts who need a fix. We are worshipers of Jesus. We worship Him because He is worthy of our worship. We worship Him because He is King. When we worship Him, He will be among us.