Summary: Lent 3(B) - We preach Christ crucified: Christ crucified is God’s wisdom and Christ crucified is God’s strength for believers.
WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED (Outline)
February 24, 2008 –
LENT 3 -
INTRO: Let’s face it: man and God seldom think exactly the same way. The thoughts and mind of man does not agree too often with the thoughts and mind of God. Man in his selfish, self-centered life simply cannot earn salvation. But God in his unselfish, loving way provides eternal salvation as his free gift to man. God’s ways are not always our ways. "’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’"(ISAIAH 55:8,9). The difficulty lies in the fact of our great difference with God. We are finite (limited) God is infinite (limitless). We are mortal, God immortal; sinful man, sinless God. It is through the cross of Christ that man and God are brought into agreement. God’s word through Paul serves as our theme:
WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED (AND RISEN).
The words and risen are added for those today who also deny Christ’s physical resurrection from the dead.
I. Christ crucified is God’s wisdom.
II. Christ crucified is God’s strength.
I. CHRIST CRUCIFIED IS GOD’S WISDOM
A. The apostle Paul makes it very clear that man’s wisdom does not match with the wisdom of God.
1. The wisdom of man and God are not even close, verse 21a. Man is born lost and condemned.
2. As an enemy of God man will not, cannot, know God. God’s wisdom comes to the rescue.
3. Verse 21b. The power of the preaching of God’s word saves. It changes men’s hearts.
B. In a world of foolish words the word of God is just the opposite. There is wisdom in God’s word.
1. There is still a problem, verse 22. Man’s sinful nature looks for and demands more.
2. Greeks look for wisdom. Wisdom was their god. God’s cross was to be their wisdom, v. 23.
C. There is only one conclusion when considering the mind and thoughts and ways of God, verse 25a.
1. The original does not have wisdom. God’s foolishness is wiser than man. Period, totally.
2. The original also reveals that foolishness means a specific act. The foolish act of God wiser….
D. Humanly speaking we might think of a few foolish acts of God. God created a perfect world. God placed humans in that perfection who had only one choice – to choose evil. They already lived in perfection. It was foolish to think that man would make the right choice. Then, then God does not destroy them. God demands payment for their sin AND God promises that deliverance. Later, on the cross God’s own Son pays the price for the prideful disobedience of man. That sure seems foolish. You and I would have gotten even with Adam and Eve for destroying perfection. Thankfully we are not. All of this happened according to God’s plan, God’s wisdom. "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons"(GALATIANS 4:4,5). In God’s great wisdom, we who are sinners, are made his children, by grace!
E. We preach Christ crucified. This is God’s wisdom for the foolishness of man. Too many do not like to hear, see, or talk about the cross. The cross was a gruesome form of torture. The cross was reserved for the worst criminals. Others were to learn a lesson from a public execution. The cross is unpleasant. Sadly, 5 out of 6 of the biggest churches in America have removed the cross and other Christian symbols from their worship areas. They feel the cross is just too controversial. "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts"(EPH. 4:18). We preach Christ crucified, the wisdom of God for the foolishness of man.
F. By God’s grace we view the cross as the altar upon which God sacrificed his own Son for us. This is simply amazing. This can seem foolish that God would do such a great thing for those who still sin daily and sin much. What we are unable to do Christ does for us. Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all sins. We live in complete wonder and awe. "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’"(ROMANS 11:33,34). We preach Christ crucified – God’s wisdom.
WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED (AND RISEN).