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Summary: The cross divides men. The lost see it as foolishness. But it unites those of us who have been born again. Jesus called Himself a divider of men, and the dividing line is the cross. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.

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The Power of Foolishness

I Corinthians 1:18-2:16

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/Foolishness.html

The cross divides men. The saved from the lost. But it unites those of us who have been born again. Jesus called Himself a divider of men, and the dividing line is the cross.

The cross is wisdom and power to us who believe. But it is foolishness to the world. The world thinks it is wise, but worldly wisdom is a far cry from Godly wisdom. Everyone has a philosophy of what they believe and what ‘seems’ right to them. But worldly philosophy is foolishness. “Philosophy is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there.” No wonder the Bible describes them as ‘lost!’

v. 25 Modern man is so impressed by his own achievements that he has no use for God. We are so proud of ourselves that we come to worship at our own altars, and bow to the mirror.

Ill.—we call men in space astronauts, which is a misnomer...for they are a few dozen miles up and away from us, that’s all. They would need to travel among the stars to make that name truthful. And the stars are light years away.

How do people react to the cross?

Many don’t understand it. Some don’t know the story. But most do but don’t grasp the real meaning of it all. Many wear it as jewelry, and nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that many don’t live by it whatsoever, it’s just a fashion statement, or maybe they think it will protect them.

Some Stumble

1 Corinthians 1:23 “But we preach Christ crucified: unto the Jews a stumbling block…”

All throughout Jewish tradition, you find a nation waiting for a Messiah to come, rule with an iron fist, and solve all of their problems; but Jesus did not come this way.

Jesus was a poor son of a carpenter who was crucified on a cross like a criminal. Understand that only the worst criminals were crucified. It was the worst possible way to be executed because you did not quickly die, but died slowly from suffocation.

The Jews were looking for power and great glory. They stumbled at the weakness of the cross. The cross is not a pleasant thought, yet the power of the cross is our way to salvation. Do you stumble at the cross?

Some Laugh

1 Corinthians 1:23 “...unto the Greeks foolishness”.

The Greeks were always emphasizing wisdom. To them the cross was foolishness. They looked at the cross from a human point of view.

How in the world could an old, nasty, bloody, wooden cross be the source of salvation? Does that really sound like something God would do?

1 Corinthians 1:19

You may think you are pretty smart, that all you have and all of your successes are because of you; but I will assure you that the wisest of all people in the world are absolutely stupid in comparison to God. Some may laugh at the cross today and call God’s plan foolish, but in the end they will not be laughing.

Some Believe

1 Corinthians 1:24

There will always be some that stumble at the cross. There will always be some that laugh at the cross. But, there will also always be some that believe. Now just simply believing that there was a man named Jesus that died on a cross is not enough. Even the demons of Hell believe in Jesus and Him crucified.

Romans 10:9-13

The power and wisdom of God are shown to us in the cross of Jesus Christ.

Have you ever thought about how God does things? So often the way God does things does not make sense to me. I sure wouldn’t do it the way He does, but I am not God.

I have also noticed that God uses people that I would not use. For example, I would never use me to preach. I would have never used some fishermen and a tax collector to be a part of the 12 Apostles. I would have never used John the Baptist to lead the way for the Son of God. But, God did! Have you ever just asked God the question, “God, are you sure?”

Let’s look at two types of choices God makes:

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

The first choice we will look at is God’s choice of…

People

Our text says that most of them were not wise, influential, or of noble birth. God chose the foolish, weak, and lowly.

In Jesus’ family line you will find prostitutes, foreigners, liars, adulterers, murderers, etc… You will also find people who were poor and not influential. In fact, Jesus’ mother was poor.

The second choice we will look at is God’s choice of…

Plans

God chose to send His only begotten Son to earth as a baby. The King of kings and Lord of lords was born in a cattle stall. Some tried to kill Him. He was not treated as a king.

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