Summary: Our goal in life should be to follow Christ.
Intro. Sometimes as we get into the middle of the Summer, we get distracted. We lose sight of our true purpose, our Goal. We are to be consumed with Christ! Christ and His ways are the goal. It is great that God provides for us, it is wonderful that God has given us our families, our church, our lives - But He is all!
I. We must not lose the Proper Focus - 1:23-24, 2:2,4 - the power of the Gospel is our Theme! Christ Crucified! The world detests it, but we depend on it.
A. The Plurality - We - it is not just one person, but us all.
1. The need of Unity in our Message - vs. 23 - The Gospel! Just as he said to Philemon: Phm vs. 1 "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,"
2. The need of Unity in our Mission - Ga 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"
3. The need of Unity in our Motives (everyone a servant.)
Col 3:24 " Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
B. The Preaching - Preach (Jews wanted signs, magic, entertainment - the Gospel is simple) ( We must never avoid the Word of God!) -
1. We must Desire the Truth - 1 Timothy 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
2. We must Deliver the Truth - Php 2:16 "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
1Ti 5:17 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."
C. The Person -Christ! -the anointed one. Christ is not his surname, his identity.
Lu 11:31 "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
Php 2:9 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:" Php 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"
D. The Perceptions
1. The Jews could not Endure the Gospel - Stumblingblock.
2. The Gentiles could not Embrace the Gospel - made no sense!
Acts 17:18 "Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection."
II. We must be aware of our Personal Frailty - God uses us in spite of who we are! - 1Co 2:1,3
The Power of the Gospel is not impacted by what we are, it is powerful without us.
A. Unimpressive Speech
Moses - “ I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Yet when it came time to declare the passover - Ex 13:3 "And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten."
Aren’t you glad that God can use us in our inabilties.
B. Unneeded Knowledge - Wisdom - Paul did not need to use the vast knowledge that he had from his ample training. Without the cross, all was empty - There was one message!
C. Unassuming Actions - vs. 3 It hit Paul to his core that this ministry with which he was intrusted, was bigger than he! Yet God used him.
1. The weakness - human infirmity.
2. The fear - terror, same as 2 Cor 5:11.
3. The Trembling - shaking literally before God.
III. We must be Sure of our Placement of Faith - vs. 2: 5 These were surrounded with the schools of reason and heathenism, much like today. The Apostle reminded them that they were to have nothing to do with the false wisdom of the world.