Sunnyside First Baptist Church
"Live Life Through the Lens of the Gospel."(1Corinthians1.18-31)
  • At The Cross (Love Ran Red)
  • Whom Shall I Fear God Of Angel Armies
  • You Are Good
  • 1 Corinthians 1.18-31 “The Wisdom of the Cross.”

    If you are today, sitting here as follower of Christ, the message today will have a completely different meaning for you that if say this is your first time in a church.
    The message today has some tough words for those who have not yet decided to follow Jesus.
    To the nonbeliever, the words of 1 Corinthians 18 and following will probably tick you off. Paul did not write them to insult you or provoke you.
    As you know people who don’t have a basis of faith in their lives think of themselves as “wise,” “knowledgeable,” or “smart.”
    They believe that we are “Fools” for following this myth of Jesus. They believe that the “Jesus-thing” is simply a crutch.
    They often believe that everyone is going to die and then that’s it. We will lay in a grave and for eternity in the grave we will stay.
    Paul wrote these words to suggest to those who called themselves, “wise,” “worldly,” “knowledgeable,” “smart,” “intelligent,” maybe something less than that. His words, he calls them “Foolish.”
    There is not a soft, less in your face way to say it…
    In our 21st century ways I hope that we would NOT listen to someone and then call them out as a “fool.” But that is what Paul is doing.
    We have not done this for a while but I’d like to stand if you can as we read the scripture for today.
    IF you have your Bibles with you open to 1 Corinthians 1 and go down to verse 18.
    1 Corinthians 1:18–31 NIV84
    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness 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; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
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    Prayer
    God, we thank you for your word. For the truth and the bluntness that it sometimes delivers. We pray that even someone here or someone listening may realize the “foolishness” of their thought and turn their lives to you. IN your name we pray… Amen.
    -------------------------
    Our question for today is this… “Are you FOOLISH enough to rely completely on the cross of Christ?”
    Let’s see what Paul says and how we might answer our question.
    V. 17
    1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV84
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
    You are correct, verse 17 wasn’t in our passage for today. But for good context we need to understand the setting for our passage.
    … “but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1Cor1.17b)
    Paul’s aim is to correct the Corinthian church, root out those with “knowledge” and no faith, or whose faith was in something or something more than Christ crucified.
    V.18
    1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV84
    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    --------------------------
    The Greek here is this:
    “those who are being destroyed think that the message concerning the cross is nonsense.”
    I had a friend in college. His name was Stu Tanquist. Stu and I got in more trouble in more ways than most guys could have. Fortunately or unfortunately we didn’t get caught. Things got a little crazy but soon calmed down.
    We TOTALLY lost contact until one day I found him on Facebook and just struck up a conversation. About our lives since college and did we have any contact with others from Mankato State.
    And he was a obnoxious atheist! — you know the type, calling you out, laughing at your faith, using logic to positively disprove the existence of Jesus and His resurrection. The only that stopped him was when I said that I had “faith in God” something he could have. That was the last of our contact.
    He was really haughty, boastful, arrogant ...
    I was reminded of him and our interaction when I read this verse.
    “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”
    I looked him up again earlier this week… He died in February of 2019 during a police protest in Portland. He was proudly “house-less” and looked like to traveled the country protesting police violence.
    The only thing I could think of was this...
    Now that he has come face-to-face with God, what does he now think of my foolishness and ignorance. He has seen the glory of the Lord… But without Christ he is on the outside looking in and forever will be.
    V. 19
    1 Corinthians 1:19 NIV84
    19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
    -----------------
    This is a quotation of Isaiah 29.14
    Isaiah 29:14 NIV84
    14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
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    Paul as you know was an Old Testament expert. He used the Old Testament to reach Jews. Paul’s efforts paid off.
    The image here is that Paul may not only be writing, but may be speaking to people when he says this next statement
    V.20
    1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV84
    20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
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    God in sending His one and only Son made it clear that the end to any wisdom, the end of any knowledge, the end of any philosophy has to God!
    And anything less is foolish!
    PRINCIPLE #1 - The end of all WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE must be faith in Christ.
    V.21
    1 Corinthians 1:21 NIV84
    21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
    Let’s look at the last part of the verse first
    “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” 1Cor1.21b
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    Paul here was playing off idea that the knowledgeable of the times designated the followers of Christ as “foolish.”
    I am ready to be called foolish in what I preach to save those who believe!
    Are you ready to be called FOOLISH to be a follower of Christ?
    1 Corinthians 1:21 NIV84
    21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
    According to the first part of verse 21
    “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him...” 1Co1.21a
    ------------------------------------
    But Jeff it was so much easier then… less distractions, less media, less science and technology that moves people away from God and towards knowledge and wisdom of the world.
    I don’t even have a chance to compete against all of that talking about Jesus.
    It’s so embarrassing to talk about God and then to have someone ask a question I don’t know.
    It’s so embarrassing to talk about faith when someone just laughs at me. I don’t even know what to say… I’ve never done it before.
    The “average” evangelical Christian brings 2 people to Christ is their lifetime… I guess I’m not how that meets the ask in The Great Commission
    Matthew 28:19 NIV84
    19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    1 Corinthians 1:22 NIV84
    22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
    The Jews were looking for something like people are looking for today. They wanted “signs and wonders” our generation wants video games, television, and computers… maybe our own version of “signs and wonders.”
    Listen carefully to these next two verses
    V.23 & V.24
    1 Corinthians 1:23–24 NIV84
    23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    -------------------------
    PRINCIPLE #2 - We preach what Christ did for us, but it’s God that calls us from sin into REDEMPTION.
    It is the very power of God that is available to EVERYONE based on our status as “image carriers” of God. God is calling everyone, When God said in Genesis 1.26
    “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.
    He created us with a God-shaped hole in our hearts that can only be filled by him. This God-shaped hole is in EVERYONE ever created or born.
    God is calling everyone… but only some will respond. Others call the cross foolish!
    V.25
    1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV84
    25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
    Whatever your relationship with God is… whether it one of strength through knowledge, scripture memory, instant recall of major portions of scripture or the ability to find the perfect verse for the perfect situation.
    Or it’s one that is based on his ability to heal any sickness or deficit.
    To hold back the waters of the Red Sea and to heal from sickness or to have the power to turn world events.
    Here is that same idea said differently...
    V.26-28
    1 Corinthians 1:26–28 NIV84
    26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
    PRINCIPLE #3 - The cross of Christ is the one great “leveler” of ALL AND EVERYTHING.
    Whether rich or poor, smart or not, wise of foolish, connected or wandering, hopeless or full of hope. It is all about Jesus, His Cross and His resurrection.
    We can never doubt someone’s encounter with the cross. To do that would be to make our wisdom greater than God’s and our strength greater than His.
    Paul goes on to say in V.28 & 29
    1 Corinthians 1:28–29 NIV84
    28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
    God works in ways, and with people and with situations sometimes the lowest of the low, the despised ones to break us down. So that no one should boast before him.
    We collectively have some idea who the lowliest in our world are, we have some idea of those who are often despised but what we don’t is how God is using them in our lives.
    Let’s return to the question of the day...
    Our question for today is this… “Are you FOOLISH enough to rely COMPLETELY on the cross of Christ?”
    I guess my answer is this, I hate when people answer a question with another question… Are you so blind, are so proud, are you so bound up in things of this world, are you so foolish that you can’t rely COMPLETELY on the cross of Christ?
      • 1 Corinthians 1:18–31NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:18–31NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:17NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:18NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:19NIV

      • Isaiah 29:14NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:20NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:21NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:21NIV

      • Matthew 28:19NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:22NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:23–24NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:25NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:26–28NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:28–29NIV

  • Lead Me To The Cross

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