Summary: The message of the Gospel and how God chose to bring about redemption is one that many question, doubt and mock b/c they believe it to be senseless, but those of us in Christ understand it fully and we are called to live it out and proclaim that message!
Date Written: February 7, 2014
Date Preached: February 9, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: Foolishness, Fantasy or Freedom?
Sermon Text: 1 Cor 1:18-25 [ESV] – Read v22-25 here
22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Last week we dived into the letter we know as 1st Corinthians and we learned that Paul was responding to some things he had heard about the church there in Corinth… it was a church dear to his heart because he had planted this church on his 2nd missionary journey. I told you last week that you could learn a little more about this church by reading Acts 18 along with Paul’s letter to them…
We learned last week that even though there were MANY accusations about this church… we learned that Paul still loved this fellowship very dearly! We also learned that Paul believed that they WERE a fellowship of saved and redeemed believers, no matter what rumors or situations had developed. God had saved them and they were HIS children…
We learned that Paul believed that the Corinthian church was NOT a lost cause, and that there WERE definitely things that needed fixing but that God was NOT done with them yet! Paul told them that he believed in them that they could turn things around if they would have the right focus… if they would stay in tune with God!
Paul did not condemn the people… but he DID condemn some of the people’s actions! God is not going to abandon those who struggle, but He is going to rally around them to give them His support.
We learned how Paul’s words apply to us today:
We learned that God loves you & you must trust in HIS salvation!
We learned that you can change…that God’s grace is greater than your failure!
We learned that you have received a spiritual gift(s) from God when you were saved and it is time for you to begin to serve!
We learned that you must stop looking for dividing walls, and that you must start seeking that which unifies us! Break down those barriers, lift up your fellow saints.
Today we are going to look at a few more verses of this letter Paul writes to this church that seems to have many problems, but a church that God has NOT turned his back on… a church he wants to succeed and flourish!
Turn with me and read 1 Cor 1:18-25 (ESV)
18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
In these verse Paul begins to address some of the issues that had been brought to his attention in the letters he had received! It seems as if there was a group OR several groups within the church or seeking to influence within the church… these groups did not accept on faith what Paul calls ‘the Word of the Cross’… or the story of the Christ event!
They were people who believed they had to figure it out or prove it wrong or show a better way… they could not accept the simplistic and rather bloody way God had brought about redemption…
The Cross: Ridiculous or Redemptive? V18
18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Paul uses the phrase, “the word of the cross” This phrase is a brief description of the entire Christ event. It represents the story that Christ came born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a criminal’s death on a shameful cross, was buried and rose to life on the 3rd day to provide eternal redemption and salvation to all who received Him as MESSIAH…