Who Is The Stronger?

Strength is regarded as power. When a person has strong body he is regarded to be powerful. So, many people crave for strength. It is not only since the superhero movies came up in Hollywoods, but it’s been since early human history. Ancient people even worshiped some gods because of their strength, such as Hercules in Greek myth Gwanwoo in Three Kingdoms, a Chinese nonfiction. In this mindset, men build up their muscles to get stronger in body. Women also, thinking that their bodily beauty can make them socially stronger, try to get more beautiful in appearance. All these seem to reflect human wish for power.

There may be a power that is more wanted by more people than bodily strength or beauty. That could be miraculous power of healing, of foretelling of the future, or of knowledge of the other world, such as spiritual realm. It is interesting to know that those who think it is possible for human beings to have such superhuman power are mostly found in religious groups. They think it is possible for them to have superhuman power through their faith. There are more people like that in Christianity. Some Christians really believe that they have superhuman power. For example, some believe that they are able to heal people miraculously. Some believe that they are able to foretell future of a person or a society. The former senior pastor of the world’s biggest church used to say that he was able to heal people miraculously. The church sued to broadcast his miraculous healing performances and used it as a mean to attract tremendous number of people to the church.

Likewise, even in the church, there are people who would like to have power, even superhuman power. Those who claim that they have such a power, they claim that the power is from God. For example, the former senior pastor of the world’s biggest church claimed that he was a “friend of God.” This blasphemous thing was exposed to the public through news papers by a pastor who was close with him but later separated from him for some political reasons. This kind of thing also shows that how much human beings are craving for power, even superhuman power.

However, there is a thing we have to think about according to the Bible. To exhibit superhuman power by miracles, signs, and wonders through the power of God, He has to make exceptions of the order of the nature. Superhuman power is an exception of the natural order, that is, the natural law. The natural law originated from God. God created the world and set the world to working in an order. The order is the natural law. Thus, superhuman power which is supernatural, is an exception of the law that God himself set. Therefore if God makes many exceptions of the natural law, without extremely special reasons, it is like that God denies himself (cf. James 1:17). So, exhibitions of superhuman power or supernatural phenomena have to be limited to cases which are necessary for some special purposes.

For this reason, it is a great surprise that there are people who claim that they have superhuman power and that the power is from God. What they are claiming is that what they are doing is extremely special that God makes exceptions of the natural law. Thus, what they are actually claiming is that they are extremely special people to God. This may be a reason why the former senior pastor of the biggest church claimed that he was a “friend of God.”

However, power from God has to be in essence just like those described in the Bible. For example, apostle Paul exhibited great miraculous superhuman power. God allowed him superhuman power to perform miracles and wonders (Acts 19:11-12). He even raised a dead, Eutycus (20:9-10). However the apostle, as he talked about the power through the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:18-20), did not talk about miracles, wonders, and signs, but all that he really talked about were humility, obedience, and becoming nothing to people and even to angels. He said, “God has exhibited the apostles as the last of all, like men sentenced to death” (1 Corinthians 4:9; ESV). He continued, saying, “We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things” (v. 13). That was what apostle Paul claimed as to be the power that he had.

Why is that power? Let me ask a question to answer the question. Who can do so as apostle Paul did? What can make a person do so as apostle Paul did? That is the power that is coming from God. That is the power God gives to those who do the exactly same things apostle Paul did. Why is that so? It is because that is what Jesus did. He was in the form of God and was God in essence, but made himself nothing and humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8). What could make Jesus do that? That was the power from God; that was the power through the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 4:18). What could make apostle Paul and his companion in the missionary journey do so as Jesus did? That was the power from God through the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:4).

Then, who are the stronger between those, who perform sporadic miracles—which are not certain if they are truly miracles of God—and those who became obedient as Jesus did? Which power is stronger between that, which worked in Jesus and Paul for them to become so obedient, and that, which exhibits doubtful miracles, wonders, and signs to draw people’s attention. No human being can humble him or herself as Jesus did without the power which was from God through the Holy Spirit. Nobody could become just scum or filth of the world for Jesus’ sake and for other people’s souls’ sake, except through the power, by which Jesus could go through all the passions. Which do you think is stronger? Which one is more pleasing to God? The power through Holy Spirit, which is in those who humble themselves by becoming obedient even to death for Jesus’ sake, for the gospel’s sake, and for other people’s salvation’s sake, is the strongest power that human being may have; and those, who have such power, is the strongest people.

Those people, who are enjoying to be called by people “friends of God” cannot have the power. Even though they may be able to perform some just a little tiny miracle-like healing sporadically, they cannot have the power to discard anything that belongs to this world, by which they can get money, popularity, and some number of people. For them spotlight is glory that they want to have. The number of the people of their congregation is the measure of their glory as a ‘pastor.’ They could be strong people from worldly standpoint, but they are not ones from godly standpoint. They are not stronger at all than anonymous minsters who are serving people in remote places, hoping to save just a few souls, doing their best all through their lives just as servants for them—the lowly people. They are stronger than any of those who are found in powerful positions in popular churches. Any human power cannot make anyone do such a thing that Jesus did by becoming obedient to God and Paul did by becoming scum and filth of the world. Therefore, that is the strongest power human being can have. That strongest power is only in God and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

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