Summary: We live in a time of confusion and change, where some Christians are abandoning sound doctrine and adopting the views of our culture. Christians should be unwavering in their devotion to the Bible, God's Word!
I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL
Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18-25
A. HUMOR: SANCTIFIED TONGUE?
1. A lady wanted to get baptized, so she asked her new preacher how they do it.
2. "We take you into the baptistery pool and immerse you completely for a few seconds."
3. "I'm sorry, pastor, but I have a phobia about putting my head underwater. How about if I go down under the water, all except my mouth. Will that be OK?"
4. "I suppose so," replied the Pastor, "you’ll be like most Christians who’re all sanctified except their tongue!"
B. THE CULTURE WAR
1. The cultural war entered a new phase 10 days ago with the bombshell that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states, including Texas.
2. It’s not a complete surprise; the culture has been drifting that way for years.
a. Hollywood’s been promoting it;
b. Corporations began legitimizing it;
c. Politicians started to support it; &
d. Liberal denominations began to endorse it.
3. Anybody who doesn’t agree with it has been labeled discriminatory or “bigots.”
4. Some who call themselves Christians will argue that God looks favorably upon Gay marriage and that the Bible really doesn’t say anything opposed to it.
5. Many people on Facebook have changed their profile pictures, draping them with rainbow flags (but the rainbow is a symbol connected to judgment)!
6. Now the Christian suddenly feels like they’re in the minority and out of step with the culture.
7. So what will we do? Will we keep quiet? Will we be intimidated into silence? Will we decide to adopt the majority view to avoid being stigmatized?
8. In Paul’s day (early church), Christ’s crucifixion was called a “scandal” (the actual Greek word). So what did Paul do? He said;
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” Romans 1:16.
“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. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block [skandalon] to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 1 Cor. 1:18-25.
D. TITLE: “I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.”
I. WHY THE WORLD FINDS IT SHAMEFUL
1. Paul was saying that the Gospel Message God chose for the salvation of the world seemed like foolishness.
2. In fact, the root of the word translated ‘foolishness’ here is the same Greek word from which we get our English word ‘moron.’
3. So, I guess that makes us – if we believe in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ – that makes us morons. But, really, it’s not foolishness; it only seems so. It’s actually the power of God!
4. To those who are perishing, this Gospel’s not just foolish, it’s offensive. Why?
A. BECAUSE THE CROSS WAS BARBARIC
1. It was offensive in Jesus’ day, and I believe the message of the cross is no less offensive today. It was offensive in Jesus’ because crucifixion was so barbaric.
2. "The cross of Jesus sounds so familiar to our ears, that we are in danger of forgetting just how dreadful, how horrific…it was. Perhaps we should wear an emblem such as a miniature electric chair, or a hangman’s noose - for that is what it is a symbol of - shameful execution. It was the extreme punishment, reserved for the worst kind of criminal." Bruce Goettsche.
B. IT REMINDS US OF OUR SIN
1. Not only is the brutality of the cross offensive, but
what the message of the cross clearly says about us is offensive. The world doesn’t want to hear that it’s our sin that made the cross necessary. Your sin. My sin. Not just the generic “sin of the world.”
2. Romans tells us there is no one righteous, that all have sinned – that’s offensive. “We want to hear about how good we are. We want to hear about how great we can become – the potential for our future.”