Thesis: Anyone who becomes a Christian makes a radical change!
1. Possible to become a Christian and seemingly not have to change very much at all.
a. Might have a few moral adjustments to make.
b. If already moral, it would appear nothing changes.
2. We want to challenge that notion this AM.
a. Anyone who becomes a Christian makes radical change!
b. Place in Scripture: first chapter of 1 Corinthians.
1) Discusses the problem of division.
2) Way Paul approaches problem emphasizes our point.
I. THE PROBLEM AT CORINTH (1:10-17).
A. Read 1:10-17.
1. Division centered on teachers.
2. Greek people put much stock in philosophers/teachers.
a. Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, etc.
b. Wisdom = getting plugged into the right teacher.
3. Illust. Modern people do the same thing. Philosophers today define reality & speak wisdom for us. Examples: Rap artists; Beatles; Arnold Schwarz./Jane Fonda; Earl Pitts; "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
B. Note change of subject at v. 18 (division --> cross).
1. Subject has not changed! (3:1-5, 18-23).
2. Crucial to see the subject of division and the cross are related.
II. THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM AT CORINTH (1:18-25).
A. Read 1:18-25.
1. The "scandal" of the cross is missing today!
a. See crosses everywhere: bldgs., bumper stickers, chests of rock stars (w/o dead man, of course).
b. The message of the cross is foolishness!
2. Cross in 1st century was a means of execution.
a. Illust. "Neighbor, my best friend just died in the electric chair for you. If you believe this and will take up your electric chair you will be saved!
b. Illust. Rewrite songs: "At the EC, at the EC, where I first saw the light"; "Old Rugged Lethal Injection"; "Room in the Gas Chamber for You."
B. What is Paul saying in 1 Cor. 1:18-25?
1. Asking: "Do you believe the message of the cross?"
a. YES--cannot look at world with the same eyes!
b. Everything must be filtered through the revelation of God at the cross.
2. You cannot be a Christian and fail to experience a fundamental change in the way you look at the world.
C. What would you do if you were a High School football player and coach sent in a play that called for you to run to your
opponent's goal line?
1. Happened in 1988 at a game between Tishimingo HS and Faulkner HS; at stake berth in Miss. class 1A playoffs.
a. THS led 16-14 with 7 seconds left.
b. On opponent's 40 yard line--lay down and win.
2. Coach David Herbert called in a play to his son and quarterback Dave Herbert.
a. Handoff to tailback Shane Hill; run 60 yds. opp.!
b. "Your daddy must be crazy!"
c. Argued in huddle; 5 yd. delay of game penalty.
3. When the play was run Shane Hill ran ball 55 yds. in the "wrong" direction.
a. Result: safety .... score tied .... overtime.
b. Coach crazy?
c. For THS to qualify for playoffs they had to beat FHS by at least 4 points.
1) Impossible to kick 50 yd. + field goal;
2) Unlikely they could go 40 yds. in one play!
3) Best bet was .... overtime!
4. In the overtime period THS won 22-16 on a 2 yd. run by Shane "wrong way" Hill.
a. He finished with -29 yards rushing for PM.
b. Team won and went into the Mississippi playoffs.
1. If you are a Christian you move about in this world according to a different set of rules.
a. Not always going to make sense.
b. May seem at times like you're going wrong way!
c. Plays being called by father of Lord Jesus Christ; his game plan was revealed at the cross.
(The title and closing illustration are from a bulletin article by Rubel Shelly )