The Kingdom of God is with Power
In the history of the world, many men have seized power not designated to them by God, which resulted in abuse of authority. Ruling in and of itself is not evil if it is done according to God's dictates. The problem with earthly kingdoms is the lack of truth by corrupt rulers.
When Jesus Christ initiated His Church, He called people out of the world system, similar to calling out Israel to be separate from her surrounding nations. Therefore, the Church should be measured by its adherence to Jesus' commands when compromise with the world would prevent it.
It is fair to say that the Church at Corinth was the most compromised in the New Testament, despite the light they received. "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge" (1 Corinthians 1:4, 5).
At the heart of their problem was superficiality. The old saying fits Corinth, "After all is said and done, there is more said than done." "And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2: 1-5).
Corinth was blind-sighted by their appearance of "spiritual" effectiveness. There is a considerable difference between preaching the Gospel or preaching Christ crucified with power. They preached but not like Paul because Paul's preaching resulted in A CRUCIFIED LIFE for all those who had ears to hear.
"You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us, and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world..." (1 Corinthians 4:8, 9).
My dear readers, The time for exaltation is not now. If Corinth had become kings, the Apostles would have been kings with them. It is one thing to be heard for $10 words learned at an ivy league school and quite another to live by the power of God. "For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?" (1 Corinthians 4:20, 21). When Paul spoke, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. God was not judging Corinth for sin laid upon His Son, but because they were careless concerning Christ's shed blood. They were proud! They were not building with gold, silver, and precious stones but wood, hay, and stubble.
From the Greek word power, we derive the term dynamite. Dýnamis is the believer's power achieved by applying the Lord's inherent abilities. It is needed in every scene of life to grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven. "...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Ephesians 3:16, 17).
In the previous verse, "dwell" is from two words: "settling" and "down." When Christ settles down and feels at home in a believer, then His power is released, and there is little back-sliding, and His strength replaces human weakness. Such power belongs to Christ lovers and not lovers of self. There is no place for exalted positions within the Church. Elders and deacons are to give themselves to serve others and not the other way around.
What made Paul a dynamo for Christ began when Christ's crucifixion became a living reality within him. "But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ" (Philippians 3:7). He gave up his learning and everything by which he once counted himself something before God.
A Final Word
If godly people in local Churches could take a giant step back and for one moment stop assuming all the good being done by their Church, they would see more pride than they could imagine. There is a need today to exercise Spirit-filled discernment as Paul did toward Corinth. Then in love, many members, with tears, would speak to leaders in their Church about the need for power and not just words, not to cause division but to please Jesus.