Sin City (3) - Notes
TROUBLES IN SIN CITY
- Division - They followed human leaders rather than Christ
- Pride - They were impressed by human wisdom (and achievement) rather than the cross of Christ
1 Corinthians 1:17-25
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
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. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 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. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1. The Foolishness of the Cross
- Jews demand signs
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
- Greeks look for wisdom
- God gives the cross
How dumb, how weak is THAT?
NO! How wise, how strong!
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Brothers and sisters, 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. 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. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 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. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
2. The Foolishness of the CHURCH
- Not the Who’s Who
- The Who’s NOT
- To give the glory to God
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
3. The Foolishness of Preaching
- Not about the messenger
- About the message
- If you focus on Christ and Him crucified, the Spirit’s power will be demonstrated
1 Corinthians 2:13-14
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
4. The Foolishness of THE SPIRIT'S REVELATION
- We don’t know anything without the Spirit
- We can’t convert anyone without the Spirit
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
1. Stop demanding signs from God - Start clinging to the cross
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2. Stop trying to figure everything out - Start asking God for wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
3. Remember the Kingdom of God isn’t just about words, it’s about power. So ask for a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
1 Corinthians 1:4-5
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.