Seeing this, we can be tempted to unnecessarily complicate the message, and in trying to add to the message of the Gospel, we can be diluting it's essential message, and unfortunately, its power.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (NIV). Its power lies not in the complexity or sophistication of its message, but on the living Word, which is Christ Himself.
Paul also said: "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (NIV). Again, its power lies not in its "eloquence" or "superior wisdom" but on the power of Jesus Crucified. This was demonstrated in the ministry last night.
In our meeting we shared the story of Christ's passion. The message was simple and clear to them: Christ took our place, took the punishment we deserved, and we are forgiven of our sins by his sacrifice. The guys were on fire! One young gang member even repeated the simplicity of the message with great enthusiasm, telling us how we are forgiven by God.
One guy told us that this marked the first week since he quit smoking weed. Last week he asked for our prayers to help him change.
Ideas on how to improve the ministry and how to spread the word about it were being shared by them.
Curiosity about the Gospel arose. They started to share the Gospel by themselves while the discussion raged. The fire and power of the Gospel was clearly on display last night, in all its glorious simplicity.
Photo Credit: Peat Bakke.