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Summary: God’s plan of salvation for us is great.

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THE PARADOX IN GOD’S GREATNESS

I Corinthians 1:26-2:5

(I Corinthians 1:18-25)

S: Salvation

Th: Live the Difference

Pr: GOD’S PLAN FOR SALVATION FOR HIS PEOPLE IS GREAT!

?: How? How does it happen?

KW: Options

TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 1:18 – 2:5 three options God does not take in order to show His great plan of salvation.

The _____ option God did not need to take is having (a) …

I. MIGHTY MESSIAH

II. MEMORABLE MEMBERS

III. MOVING MESSAGE

Version: ESV

RMBC 25 January 04 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Clever (you are under arrest)

A deputy police officer responded to a report of a barroom disturbance. The "disturbance" turned out to be well over six feet tall and weighed almost 300 pounds. What’s more, he boasted that he could whip the deputy and Muhammad Ali too.

Said the policeman, "I’ll bet that you’re also an escape artist-probably better than Houdini."

The giant nodded.

"If I had some chains," the deputy continued, "you could show us how strong you really are. But all I’ve got is a set of handcuffs. Why don’t you see just how quickly you can break out of them?"

Once in the cuffs, the man puffed, pulled and jerked for four minutes. "I can’t get out of these," the giant growled.

"Are you sure?" the deputy asked.

The fellow tried again. "Nope," he replied. "I can’t do it."

"In that case," said the deputy, "you’re under arrest."

Do you think you are a clever fellow?

I wonder how often we appear to God like this huge man.

We think we can do whatever we want without consequence.

But it turns out that we are not as clever as we think.

TRANSITION:

As we come to our study today, we are going to discover that God is not impressed with the ingenuity of the human race.

When we go it on our own, we ultimately face failure.

But, when we are dependent on the Lord, we can make a real difference.

You see, according to our theme this year…

1. We are being challenged to “live the difference” that God makes in our lives.

When we come to know the Lord…when we enter into relationship with Him…we change.

We are able to live differently than we were before.

But how do we get there?

How does this happen?

Well, this is where our texts take us today.

And we learn that…

2. God doesn’t always operate in the way we expect Him to.

He works differently than we anticipate.

In fact, the very way He functions, seems to us, to be contradictory.

From our way of thinking, it seems paradoxical.

But as we consider these paradoxes today, it is my hope that you will come to this conclusion…

3. GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION FOR HIS PEOPLE IS GREAT!

Paul wants the Corinthians to remember how they were brought to faith.

He wants them to consider their calling and be cognizant of how they started out.

The Corinthians had clearly forgotten.

They had gotten all wrapped up in the human leaders that had a relationship with their church – Paul, Apollos and Peter.

But it was not these men that saved them.

It was God.

And, in fact, He did it in ways that were unexpected.

This is where we recognize that God thinks differently than we do.

For God’s way of saving people is contrary to every reasonable plan that we might come up with.

But this is what makes it so great and so amazing.

So…

4. We will find in our study of I Corinthians 1:18 – 2:5 three options God does not take in order to show His great plan of salvation.

OUR STUDY:

I. The first option God did not need to take is having a MIGHTY MESSIAH (18-25)

Yes, we did consider these verses last week.

So this first point should be familiar material to those of us that were here last Sunday.

(18) For 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. (19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (20) Where 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? (21) For 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. (22) For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

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