When Christianity is ever covered in the newspaper or on TV, Christianity is typically discussed and seen as a cultural or intellectual position. So people tend to talk about Christianity something like this: “Well, you know, there are various positions, there are various points of view on the nature of God and the nature of the soul, morality and ethics and the meaning and purpose of life. There are these various positions, and the Christian position is one of them.” They try it on the way somebody tries on a dress, looking to see whether it brings out your best parts and hides your worst parts. 

It is possible to adopt Christianity only in word. That means to say, “I accept the position. I accept the point of view. I accept the ideals. I accept the beliefs.” You can do this and yet not have received it as it really is as a power. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20). 

Now see, Jesus, without using the word, is saying the same thing here in this parable. He is saying Christianity is a ruling power. It’s not just a set of ideals, such as forgiveness or God’s love. It’s much more than that – it’s a power. Let’s consider two things about this power: Christianity is the power of new life and it is the power of growth.

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on August 21, 1994. Series "The Parables of Jesus (1994)". Scripture: Luke 13:18-21.

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