1 Cor. 1:10-31

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

 

 

Ugly Scare of the Church Divisions

    1. [10] Exhort you to speak and think the same (homologous), speak the same, same word for confession. in 2001 = 32,000 xtian denominations.
    2. In Athens it was common, I’m of Socrates, Plato, pythagorus etc…they used to say in the ancient world, “What hath Christ to do with Athens.” Christianity is not a set of philosophical intellectual truths that build a system of truth.
    3. [10] I want you to all have the mind of christ. Growing into perfection, being made complete, in Christ.
    4. [11] Schisms
    5. [13] Christ is not divided?
    6. It is “in” Christ that we call ourselves Christian. Christ is One and the Church should be too. The greatest sin is to divide Christ up amongst people. Jesus died for all, and all who call are saved. Out of all the sins we shall see that Corinth engaged in, how interesting is it that this is the very first mentioned?

Paul’s Purpose Statement

  1. [17] Did not come to baptize or to make followers
  2. Come to preach the gospel
  3. Not with “cleverness of speech” rhetorical skill, [lit “wisdom of words”] not with human eloquence and oratory, with great swelling words of vanity. Deprive of power, make of no meaning or effect;  emptied of it’s significance.
  4. [17] lest the charms of eloquence should divert the attention from the simple doctrines of the cross, and the preaching be really vain.
  5. Paul says I did not come speaking with words of Sophia or wisdom. Christianity is not to be expressed in a philosophical argumentative way. Be careful about leading people to Christ through philosophy. Jesus appeals not to the brilliant he appeals to the guilty. (nelson)
  6. Jim Elliott said, “We are nobodies telling everybody about somebody who can save anybody.”

Cross is Foolishness

  1. [18] Think about that. The Gospel is foolishness. Our faith, Christianity is foolishness.
  2. Power of God: not God’s demonstration of power, or “A” power but “THE” power of GOD. And here we have the true contrast. It is the Power of God contrasted to foolishness not Sophia. It is about power not knowledge. Wisdom can serve to convict us, if it is true wisdom, but it is god’s power which saves us. It is Power that illuminates and sanctifies and gives hope to the human soul.
  3. [20] Where is the wise guy? Isa 33:18 – (and 19:12) Isaiah asks where was the wisdom that you thought would save you, why can’t you find your leader. God is faithful and powerful.
  4. [20] Made foolish – (Rom 1:22-23; 8:3) God not only showed the futility of the world’s wisdom but left it frustrated by a work of Cross not Law.
  5. [21] Foolishness of preaching –Here we have “preaching” or “Proclamation” not logos. It is in the message preached… a slight emphasis on the presentation. Not so much the gospel, but that the gospel as it is delivered through preaching. (See 2 Tim 4:17) This is the vehicle Christian truth has been delivered both John, and Jesus and his disciple came preaching! We too, have our commission! This is actually a bold oxymoron which will be picked up heavier in vs 25.
  6. Well–pleased – This pleases God…to thwart the wisdom of the world in this way.
  7. Naaman: (2 Kings 5:10) “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?”
  8. [22] Jews/signs – Jews typically demand signs. (Mt 12:38, 16:4; jn 4:48) The Lord offered them the Sign of Jonah. Greek/wisdom. Greeks, stoics, epicureans…want to be dazzled and impressed. They would pass over anything that did not satisfy their intellectual curiosity. (Acts 17:18, 21, 31)
  9. [23] But – here comes the main contrast -Preach –there is that word again – Crucified – it is this fact that is the stumbling block and the foolishness. Christ and Him Crucified.
  10. “The motto of all true servants of God must be, “We preach Christ; and him crucified.” A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”   ~ Spurgeon
  11. Stumbling Block – Skandalon
  12. Foolishness – A God, who leaves home to fraternize with us and then ends up dead by the hand of men is laughable. Caricature of crucified jack-ass. Alexamenos heard the Gospel and came to faith by the work of the Holy Spirit and he was mocked for worshiping this crucified god. “Alexamenos worships his God”
  13. [Skip to 26-29]

CHRIST IS THE POWER & WISDOM OF GOD

[24]Christ is the Power of God

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

Christ is the Wisdom of God

The book of Proverbs tells us that wisdom was present from before the world began, when the heavens were set in place and the horizon was marked out on the face of the deep.

…then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. (Prov. 8:29-30)

“For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord” (Prov. 8:35)

True wisdom is not an esoteric intellectualism, theology or philosophy. Simply stated, wisdom is revelation. It is God revealed to us. 

…that the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you… and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…