1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
What if the kingdom of God was a talk show? That would be messed up. “Today on Sally Jessie Raphael, we will talk about how the kingdom of God will be expanded by our conversation.” “Tonight on Larry King: God, talk, and me. Get the kingdom going.” Or how about this one: “tomorrow on Oprah, the kingdom of God will advance by the power of Oprah’s words.” That’s getting close to sounding like the kingdom of Oprah. Oh boy, we are in a lot of trouble here.
So these are far fetched ideas, really, and I am certainly glad that is the case. I mean, no one would ever just sit around and ramble on and on about the fine points of theology. No one would ever have a debate on the consistency of the canonization process and the legitimacy of translations derived from the textus receptus versus the Septuagint. No one would ever place greater importance on a single word in scripture than on a single person in scripture – that single person being Jesus. If you haven’t picked up on the sarcasm of this paragraph, go ahead and do that now.
Why does this happen? Why does all the talk end up being more important than all of His power? The kingdom of God is power. It is the life of Jesus, the Holy Spirit He gave us, flowing through our spiritual veins. The kingdom of God is us, His people, responding with life action. It is us responding to His heart. It is not empty words, banter, and disagreements. It is power – His power at work in us.
But wait, don’t get mad at me. I am not undervaluing the Word of God. I am not saying that we shouldn’t know what we believe. I am not saying that our salvation shouldn’t be worked out. We should strive to be perfected and we should strive to know God’s standards. It’s just that when our Christianity becomes more about the words and the study than the relationship and the power (or action), we aren’t really doing the kingdom of God any favors.