Summary: the apostle Paul wants us to understand that human wisdom is not the answer to the needs of the church, the cross of Christ is the answer to the needs of the church
INTRODUCTION: As we continue our study in the book of First Corinthians, we approach a fundamental tenet of Paul’s’ writing, namely the inability to comprehend the wisdom of God through the wisdom of man. Aptly applied to the church, the apostle wants us to understand that human wisdom is not the answer to the needs of the church, the cross of Christ is the answer to the needs of the church. So together, lets look and see what the Bible says to us today about the kind of church we should be ………….
I GOD COMMUNICATED A FOOLISH MESSAGE – 1:18-20
A The Message of the World Today
1 We have a self-centered world that gives us a very self-centered message.
2 We have a performance-based world that values us based on our performance.
3 We have a dying world.
a Dying things do not produce life
b Products of dying things are dead themselves
WE CANNOT LOOK FOR ANSWERS TO A LIVING CHURCH FROM A DYING WORLD ………….
· World has been and continues to be corrupted by sin
· Ruler of the world is Satan – he is the “prince of the power of the air”
· Bible declares that things will get worse for believers, not better until Christ comes for us!
B The Message of God Today
1 God’s message defines man’s greatest problem – Self-Preservation
2 God’s message deals with man’s biggest issue – Self-Centeredness
a Used to be an honor to come in second, now second place has been reduced to first loser. What a shame!
3 God’s message offers man a complete solution – Spiritual Transformation
Romans 12:2 (NIV) 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
C The Rejection of God’s Message
1 Man believes he can conquer evil
a Philosophically – thinks we can compromise, and negotiate a better world
b Technologically – thinks that we can invent a way to subdue evil
c Human Effort – thinks that there is enough submerged good will to rid the world of evil
2 Man sees no power in a “dead man”
For the Roman the most absurd thing one could as him to believe was that a man condemned to death on a cross was capable of having any power at all.
a We associate power with influence
b We associate power with wealth
c We associate power with intelligence
3 Bible calls this “perishing”
a Literally this word means to be lost; to be in the process of being destroyed or ruined, corrupted and put to death; to be wasted; to be executed.—Practical Word Studies in the New Testament
b Whenever we choose human wisdom over the divine instruction of God.
c The choice propels us in the direction of perishing
4 God’s message is simple
a Renounce yourself
b Obey God
5 God’s message is salvation – the highest exhibition of His power
ONLY THE CROSS CHANGES LIVES.
WE WILL NOT COMMUNICATE WHAT WE DO NOT BELIEVE
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
WE are the biggest obstacle to the gospel:
ü We have a hard time believing that God has a plan
ü We have a hard time accepting a plan we cannot see
ü We have a hard time believing that God wants us involved in His plan
ü We have a hard time appropriating the reality of hell
o This above all else condemns our comities
II GOD COMMUNICATED WITH A FOOLISH MEDIUM – 1:20
A God’s chosen medium is the proclaimed Word
1 WE cannot know God apart from revelation
a Faith comes by hearing
b Hearing comes from the Word of God
B Preaching is the communication of God’s self-revelation about Himself.
1 What God wants us to know about Him
2 What God wants us to know about His message
C Preaching declares one simple foundational truth
1 Relationship with God does not begin by solving the difficulties of the world.
2 Relationship with God begins with satisfying the need of our heart
MAN IS TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD
GOD IS SAVING LIVES
MAN IS TRYING TO DEAL WITH SUFFERING
GOD IS DEALING WITH DEATH
III GOD MADE SOME FOOLISH CHOICES – 1:21-28
A God chose to do what He did without a gimmick!
1 Jews wanted a sign – a token from heaven
2 Greeks wanted a philosophical demonstration of Christianity