Summary: The Gospel is not complicated or busy, but it is simple and efficient! Christ and Christ crucified, and risen! Why do believers feel they need to add onto the Gospel?
Date Written: February 14, 2014
Date Preached: February 16, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: The “Simple” Gospel
Sermon Text: 1 Cor 1:26-2:5 [ESV] – Read 2:1-2 here
1And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Last week we learned somewhat of the issues Paul was dealing with in the church at Corinth and it was about the Gospel. Last week we learned that there were many in the church at Corinth who were questioning the Gospel that Paul had preached because it did not fit in with the worldview of those around them…
Paul told the church in Corinth that the Gospel was NOT something the world would agree with, but that it was foolishness to those outside of Christ and even a hindrance to those who THOUGHT they knew God!
We saw how Paul detailed how the Cross was central to the message of the Gospel and that the Cross, no matter how controversial was central in how they were to present the Gospel. That approach was focused on how the church was to present the Gospel to the world…
He instructed them to NOT dilute the Gospel, to NOT be ashamed of the Gospel, to NOT strip the Gospel of its power by removing the Cross…
The world WILL think it to be foolish and the Jews who know God will believe it to be a stumbling block, but this IS God’s plan… this IS the way to redemption… this IS what Jesus came to do and this IS how Jesus accomplished salvation for all who will receive Him!
This morning’s passage is similar but I believe the focus is more internal for those already within the body…those who may be having doubts about the Gospel that they had already surrendered to…
I believe that Paul had rec’d a message that there were many believers who were falling prey to the teaching that the Gospel was too simple and that things had to be added to the Gospel to make salvation real…
So in these verses Paul takes steps to lay out the situation, place his judgment on this false teaching and then lay out the MAIN message of the Gospel…which is the crucified Lord!
Let’s take a look at Paul laying out the situation to these church members, turn with me to 1 Cor 1:26-31…
Paul’s ‘recall’ (1 Cor 1:26-31) – the set up
26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
The issues in the church in Corinth were not specified directly in Paul’s letter back to the church, however, we can surmise what the church was dealing with by what and how Paul responds.
One particular issue seemed to be the Gospel itself. It seems as if there were people coming in and trying to make the Gospel into something it was NOT… These people were using their intellect and knowledge to intimidate those of the church who were not as knowledgeable. These people were spiritual bullies attempting to take over the church and begin teaching their own personal agenda and gospel.
Here Paul acknowledges that what is going on may be something that is intimidating to theses believers BUT Paul calls on them to consider their ‘calling’ in Christ Jesus! The 1st part of v26 tells them to look back to the time that Christ called and saved them and to be grounded in that promise that Jesus had given!
He tells them that he understands that they not be the wisest or most knowledgeable people… that does not matter, consider your calling in Christ Jesus!
He tells them that he understands that they did not have much clout in society that they may be looked down upon by others in their world, but that does not matter, consider your calling in Christ Jesus!
He tells them that he understands that they may not have been of noble birth… it doesn’t matter, consider WHO called you to redemption!