Presentation on theme: "2014 HOLY WEEK MESSAGE: THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE GOSPEL I. INTRO I am thankful to God for the yearly celebration of Holy Week in our nation. ~ It compels."— Presentation transcript:
2014 HOLY WEEK MESSAGE: THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE GOSPEL I. INTRO I am thankful to God for the yearly celebration of Holy Week in our nation. ~ It compels us to deliberately commemorate the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the very act of our Lord that resulted in the forgiveness of our sins and, consequently, our eternal salvation.
Read 1Cor 1:18. ~ This gospel that we love, to most people out there, is despised and mocked at worst, and ignored and dismissed at best. The world today, just as in Paul’s day, is caught up in the admiration and worship of human opinion, human wisdom, and human desires and aspirations. ~ As long as men reject divine authority, they have no other option.
Just as in Paul’s time, the church today has not escaped the problem. ~ We ourselves can fall prey to current trends in human thought. ~ We sometimes are more concerned about human opinion than about God’s Word – “using” Scripture, but not fully believing, trusting, and obeying it.
II. THE FOOLISH MESSAGE Read 1Cor 1:18. ~ Paul is contrasting man’s word, which reflects man’s wisdom, and God’s Word, which reflects God’s wisdom. ~ “the word of the cross” – includes the entire gospel message and work, God’s plan and provision for man’s redemption. ~ In its fullest sense it is God’s total revelation, for His revelation centers in the cross.
The gospel “to those who are perishing” is foolish, absurd, silly, senseless, and even insane! But God has frequently worked in seemingly incomprehensible and absurd ways, hasn’t He? ~ Our Father usually prefers to demonstrate His power in unlikely ways. That’s because He has inside information that we don’t have.
~ We only learned by revelation that something so absurd as His death could result in something so amazing as our life. AS BELIEVERS, WE MUST NEVER DISTANCE OURSELVES FROM THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE CROSS – OR FROM THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IN GENERAL. ~ We must never be ashamed nor apologetic for the gospel message (Rom 1:16).
~ It is “the very power of God” (1Cor 1:18). ~ Only with such power can the gospel message redeem sinful people and transform them into God’s people. ~ Read 1Cor 1:18-21. To the world it looks absurd, but to us it’s the most powerful force in the universe.
~ Unbelievers will one day be ashamed of the things they have laughed at, and we will one day be grateful for looking like fools. ~ Always choose the foolishness of God over the wisdom of the world (1Cor 1:25). David Watson: “The cross is a picture of violence, yet the key to peace; a picture of suffering, yet the key to healing; a picture of death, yet the key to life.”
III. THE FOOLISH MESSENGERS Read 1Cor 1:18b. ~ We are still in the process of being saved (salvation present is not complete until the redemption of the body – Rom 8:23; cf. Rom13:11). ~ We “who are being saved” are being contrasted with “those who are perishing”.
Nevertheless, we need to realize that to the world those who believe and carry a foolish message are, as a consequence, foolish themselves. ~ Cf. 1Cor 1:27 ~ “Foolish things” here refers to what the world considers foolish, not what God considers foolish. ~ John the Baptist (Matt 11:11) ~ 1Cor 1:28 ~ “Despised” means, in the root form, “to be considered as nothing.”
GOD REVEALS THE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER BY DEMONSTRATING THAT IT IS THE WORLD’S NOBODIES THAT ARE HIS SOMEBODIES. ~ No amount of sophisticated theology can obscure the strange picture our faith sometimes creates. The fact is that no matter how simple or naive or foolish we look, those who seek God will be drawn to His power seen in changed lives.
There are two ways this principle applies to our lives. ~ First, we need to be able to see the character and power of God in unexpected ways. ~ Second, we need to let Jesus be whoever He wants to be in us. ~ Do we rejoice in being God’s chosen fools for God’s foolish message?