Sermons

Summary: God’s foolishness is still wiser than our wisest wisdom.

God’s Foolish Plan of Salvation

Andy Griffith - cow thief episode

Have you ever met people who were geniuses? They are members of Mensa. They seem to know everything. If they were on Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, they’d walk away winners. They’re the ones who, after you’ve finished a conversation with them, you walk away wondering just what they said. They’re talking up here. But have you ever noticed that many geniuses, while having an abundance of intelligence or what we might call wisdom, don’t seem to know how to boil water or make a piece of toast, although they could tell you all the properties of boiling water and how a toaster works? I am so glad I’m not a genius! In fact, I’m just the opposite. I couldn’t care less how a toaster (or computer for that matter) works. I’m just glad that they do and I know how to use them.

Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being smart or having wisdom. The trouble is, too often, this “wisdom” gets in the way of day-to-day living. And it affects people on all levels.

This is another one of those “A-HA!” moments when I realized yet another reason why God gave us kids. Sometimes Cody rejects our attempts to help him because, “I know how to do it, Daddy!” Often, he finds out that he didn’t know how to do it. Then he realizes that maybe ol’ dad can help him out. All of you with kids know exactly what I’m talking about. But I’m positive that’s just how God feels when we say, in effect, “It’s okay, God. I got this all under control. I know how to do it.” And, of course, we find out we don’t.

We’ve all “been there” and “done that”. We get a little big for our britches, a little cocky. We think that we’re wise and know exactly how to live our lives. We’re going to live our lives just as we see fit and we come up with all kinds of euphemisms to make it sound all right.

So what used to be called "living in sin" is now called "a meaningful relationship." What used to be called "self-indulgence" is now called "self-fulfillment." And what used to be called "killing the unborn" is now called "the right to choose."

The result is, eventually, we bump into an old rugged cross. There we meet a God who says, "I don’t approve of the way you are living. I don’t like your sin. Your sin is so terrible, so bad, that I have to go to the cross to suffer & die for it."

We haven’t learned anything new. We’re still sinning the same sins, still stumbling over the same cross. We’re still laughing at the wisdom of God, & treating it as foolishness.

You see, God has a special program. It’s called “God’s Foolish Plan of Salvation”. It goes like this:

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:13, For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Yes, this simple message seems foolish to those who refuse to believe it.

To the Greeks it was foolishness, because of its simplicity. How could the death of a Jew on a cross bring salvation? They just couldn’t accept it.

The Apostle Paul was one of those “know-it-alls” who finally saw the light, you might say. Paul was also known as Saul, a man who had long persecuted Christians. But God got his attention with a “light from Heaven” and made him realize that he didn’t “know how to do it”. Saul became the Apostle Paul - a “man with one message”. That message was “Christ crucified”.

Opinions of Paul varied. Some said that he was rather plain looking. Some said that he couldn’t speak well, that his speech was contemptible. Some even insisted that Paul had no right to be an Apostle, because he had not been one of the original twelve Apostles of Jesus. None of this mattered to Paul. He kept right on faithfully proclaiming God’s truth. He was a simple preacher, with a simple message. And, that message would revolutionize his world, because there was power in the preaching of the simple message of the cross. He stuck to preaching the message of “Christ crucified”.

But “Christ crucified” was a stumbling block to the Jews. For them, Messiah meant power, splendor, triumph; crucifixion meant weakness, defeat, humiliation; those 2 ideas didn’t go together. They couldn’t get over it. The Jews looked at the cross & stumbled over it because they didn’t see the kind of Messiah they expected or wanted. This is too bad, because the Jews were the chosen ones. God had watched over them & protected them down through the generations, & had prepared them to be the nation through whom the Messiah would come. But when they saw the Messiah, they rejected Him & crucified Him. The Bible says, "Jesus came unto His own, & His own received Him not."

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