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It's Simple

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Fixing my car…..

We’ve seen, in the last few weeks

        The terrible reputation Corinth had

               for being the “Sin City” of the ancient world

                       You know, there’s always one

                              Isn’t there?

                                      There’s always one city

                                             That becomes known for

                                                     What you can get away with there...

                                                            One place you can go,

                                                                    Where anything goes

In the first century…

        Corinth was that city

One redeeming feature that Corinth had

        Was it’s church…

               We’ve just start taking a peak

                       At what things were like in that church

                              At some of the things that were going on there

Paul has already told the Corinthians

        That they are saved

               And he has also mentioned the great gifts

                       The Corinthian church has been given

We got to hear just a little about those gifts

        But Paul makes it clear

               That all those gifts…

                       Indeed, everything the church had

                              Came from God

                                      And was to be used for His glory

Now the problem we are beginning to see

        In the Corinthian church

               Was that they were allowing some of the

                       Predominant thinking in the city

                              To permeate the church…

We’re looking, right now, at how partisanship

        And a feeling of spiritual superiority

               Were impacting the relationships in the church…

                       They were comparing teachers

                              And debating baptisms

                                      And, generally, trying to one up

                                             Each other in spiritual matters

And while we’re not quite done with this point yet

        We’ve already seen that

               We can’t measure our spiritual maturity

                       Nor our spiritual worth

                              By who we associate with

                                      We found out that it’s not who you know

                                             It’s who knows you…

                                                     And that’s our Father in Heaven

And, bearing in mind,

        That He’s given us all we need

               To do what He’s called us to do…

                       we should also realize

                              that what He’s called us to do

                                      is very simple…

He’s called us to be witnesses

        To a lost and dying world

               And give them a simple message…

                       “His Son died so that we could live…

                               All we have to do is repent from our old ways

                                      And believe in Him

                                             And we’ll be saved.”

It’s a very simple message

        One we can all remember

               And share whenever the opportunity arises

                       And none of us has to be

                              Theologically trained

                                      Or brilliantly articulate

                                             To share it


Remember what we learned?

        “God has given us all we need…

               But that’s all we need.”


we don’t have to go out

        and try to improve out “technique”

               all we have to do

                       is trust that God will move

                              when we are faithful to His calling

                                      and then let Him do the work

now it’s important for all of us to realize something else as well

        none of this means we get to sit around

               doing nothing for the rest of our stay here

                       we should remember to continue on

                              in our study of scripture

                                      in learning our theology

                                             on our understanding of doctrine

                                                     and our spiritual growth

why would we want to do this?

        If God has given us all we need

               Why should we have to learn more?

                       Why don’t we just go sit on a corner

                              And start telling everyone who walks by,

                                      “Jesus died for your sins!”

I’ll tell you why…

        It’s so that you can grow

               It’s so that you can reap greater blessings

                       It’s so that you can be a more accurate

                              Representation of the one who sent you

                                      The more accurate a reflection you are…

the easier your calling becomes

                                      The more accurate a reflection you are…

                                             The closer you are to Him

                                      The more accurate a reflection you are…

                                             The easier your testimony becomes

                                      The more accurate a reflection you are

                                             The more accurately those around you

                                                     Can see your Father in Heaven

None of this negates

        The simplicity of the message

               God has sent us to deliver

                       But as human beings,

                              We have a tendency to overcomplicate things…

The Corinthians had this same tendency

        And Paul knew all about it

               He addresses it in our text today

                       Along with our tendency to brag

                              About just about everything

                                      We can brag about

Let’s take a look at the verses….

        Our title for this message is…

               “It’s Simple!”                            


1 Cor 1:18-31

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

When Paul says “word” here

        He means the message of the cross

               He’s talking about the message of the gospel



Paula says this message is foolishness

        Foolishness to those who are perishing

               And we see the contrast here

                       Because it is, literally,

                              The power of God

                                      To those of us who are being saved

Now we see two types of people here

        People who are dying

               And people who are being saved

The Bible tells us there are two kinds of people

        There are two ways to react to the gospel

               There are two responses to the truth;

Either you believe

        Or you don’t believe

               There are no fence sitters

                       No in betweeners

                              No folks that will wait it out

                                      Either you believe

                                              Or you don’t

If you don’t believe, this all sounds ridiculous

        And that refusal to believe in the truth of God

               Will result in death

If you do believe, all this sounds great!

        It sounds wonderful

               It sounds profound

                       It sounds powerful

                              It sounds like the power of God!

                                      And it brings life…


                                                     And forever!

How powerful is the power of God?

        Look at John 16

7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.


God’s power is so powerful

        It will convict the world of all the things it does wrong

               As a matter of fact

                       It’s so powerful that the ruler of this world…Satan

                              Has already been judged

                                      And defeated!

What does that mean to us?

Look at Acts 1

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”


It means that we have the power of God

        To tell people about Him

               The power of God to share the good news!

                       The power of God

                              To open our mouths and speak

And the great news is this…

We don’t have to worry about

        How well we do!

               All we have to do is start showing people

                       And God and His power do the rest

                              Remember, the power is in the message

                                      Not the messenger!

Now here’s the problem we face…

        None of this makes any sense

               To most folks

                       It sounds too easy…

                              It’s religious fanaticism….

                                      It’s a crutch for weak people…

                                              (tell about my Mom

                                                     And me getting fanatical)

Most folks are much too deep

        In their thinking

               And much too sophisticated

                       In their life style

                              To indulge in such

                                      Old fashioned…


                                      Narrow minded…

                                      Out moded….

                                              And intolerant thinking!

They all know life is far more complicated

        And complex than we think it is….

               This whole notion of God      

                       Is for simple people

                              With simple minds

But look what our passage says

        About those folks



19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”


This is from Isaiah 29

14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;

And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,

And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord,

And whose deeds are done in a dark place,

And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”

Think how this must have sounded to the Corinthians

        Especially the ones who bothered

to check the scripture reference

Corinth was a town of sensuality and sin

        It was a city that had a lot of pride in itself

               Pride in how intellectual it was

                       Pride in how much fun it was

                              Pride in how base it was

You could have it all in Corinth!

        And the best thing

               Was whatever happened there

                       Stayed there!

                              How do we know this?...

Think about it…

        You could indulge in any sin Corinth offered

               And couch it in something like this….

                       “I go for the intellectual stimulation!”

                              It’s kinda like…

                                      “I look at these magazines for the articles!”

                                             You could do all this stuff

                                                     And no one is going to rat you out!  

                                                            Why not?

                                                                    Because they are doing it too!

You know it’s been the same

        For every city in history

               That built its’ reputation on aberrant behavior

                       And sensual pleasures…

                              Soddom and Gomorrah


                                             Paris in the late 1800’s

                                                     Amsterdam in the 40’s and 50’s

                                                            And Las Vegas right now

As a matter of fact, Las Vegas is blatant about it

        After trying out family attraction for 15 years

               And attracting a lot of people

                       But watching revenues in the casinos steadily fall

                              They’ve changed their emphasis

                                      Done a 180 degree about face

                                             Brought back the risqué shows

                                                     And nudity and worse…

        They have adopted an official slogan for the city…

               You know what it is?...

                       “What happens in Vegas….stays in Vegas.”

God says differently

        He says “those things done in darkness

               Will be brought to light!

                       Those things you thought were so smart

                              And so clever…

are going to rise up and be known!

Oh my gosh!

        What are we going to do?

               All the things we’ve ever done…

                       All the things we’re doing…


                                      Is going to be brought to light!

                                             How am I going to get out of this!

                                                     You’re not!

                                                            You’re not going to get out of it!

God’s already told you you won’t!

        What now!

Well, if you’re like most folks…
        You would probably like to wait as long as possible

               Until you have to deal with this.

                       Have you ever done that?…

                              In trying to avoid doing something you know

                                      You have to do…

                                             You wait until the last possible moment

                                                     Until you do it…

                                                            Just hoping and praying that

                                                                    Something might change

                                                                           And you won’t have

                                                                                   To go through

                                                                                           With it?

Well, God has provided a simple way

               And easy way to get it over with

                              Without going through all the agonizing and waiting.

                                      A way to deal with it

                                             And have it erased from our lives

                                                     As if it never happened

His Word says, in Acts 3

19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;


God says repent!

        It so simple, there are a lot of people

               Who will try to overcomplicate it…

        It’s so simple, we’re almost afraid to try it….

        It so simple, the world can’t believe it’s true

               It’s so simple, it seems foolish to anyone

                       Who doesn’t know God

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater 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 come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;

The Jews have been looking for a sign

        Throughout their history

               It’s as if they wanted proof

                       Of God’s existence…

                              Proof of His presence…

                                      Proof of His promises…

                                             Before they would believe

That would be nice

        But it would not require any faith

                If God were in the habit of providing proof

                       All our work here would be done…

                              He could just take everyone home

                                      But Gods plan is simple…

                                             He wants us to receive Him

                                                     In faith…

And the truth of the matter is

        That signs and wonders don’t seem to have any impact on our faith

               We think they will,

                       If we can just witness them..

                              But seeing them usually leads

                                      To a demand to see more

                                             Not to a deeper walk

                                                     And an increase in our faith

Yet the Jews always demanded a sign…

        Even the disciples struggled with this issue

               Before they had encountered a resurrected Lord

Late in His ministry,

        This exchange took place between Jesus

               And the disciples

It’s in John 14:

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?


You see,

        Even the disciples…

               After walking with Him for 3 years

                       After seeing all the miracles

                              After acknowledging that HE was the Christ

                                      After all that….

                                             They say,

                                                     “Well just show us God…

                                                            And then we’ll know for sure!”

So Paul tell us

        That even though the Jews are still clamoring for a sign

               And the Greeks, who were noted for the philosophy

                       And intellect

                              Ask for wisdom…


23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

A stumbling block to the Jews

        Because it wasn’t what they were looking for

               They were looking for a conquering king…

                       A political champion…

                              A smiter of their enemies…

                                      A  lot of things…

The gentiles, the Greeks,

        Wanted to reason it out…

               To analyze it…

                       To ponder and pontificate

                              And to debate and evaluate

                                      To think it through

                                             Consider all their options

                                                     And all their alternatives

                                                            And then, maybe

                                                                    Arrive at a conclusion…

But God had a simpler plan

        All God wanted

               Was to take care of their sin…

                              To remove any impediments

                                      To having a relationship with Him

                                             And here was a big surprise

                                                     For our Jewish friends….

He didn’t care whether the people who got it

        Were Jewish or Gentile…

               They were all His…

24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,


God does this all the time
        he uses the simplest stuff

               To confound us and put to shame

                       Our greatest plans and devices

And the principle He wants to show us here

        Is this….

               The more primitive the material

                       The greater the glory to the Master

        The simpler the plan

               The less likely someone will try to take

                       Credit for it

                              As a matter of fact…

                                      This simpler the plan,

                                             The more likely most people will

                                                     Deride it…

We do it all the time…

        God says, “Do this!”

               And we say, “That’ll never work!”

Look at some of the things He’s done…

        He used trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho

Josh 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.

2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.

3 “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.

4 “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

5 “It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”


So, Joshua did exactly as he was told

        Got all his army together

               Put the trumpets out in front

                       Marched around the city

                              Then he blew the horns….

                                      And the walls fell down!


There are others….

        He used Shamgar to kill 100 Philistine soldiers with an oxgoad

               And saved Israel (Judges 3)

        He gave Samson the jawbone of a donkey

               And used it to defeat a whole army


God did this in

Judges 7….

33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel.

Slide of Valley

34 So the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.

35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also were called together to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,

37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.”

38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.”

40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.

1 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

Slide of Spring – long shot


Slide of Spring – cave where it comes from

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’

3 “Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’ ” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.


Slide they gathered of Spring Area where


4 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.”

6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.

7 The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.”

8 So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.


Slide of “soldier” drinking


Slide of valley

9 Now the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.

10 “But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp,

11 and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp.

12 Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.

13 When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.”

14 His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.”

15 When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”

16 He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers.

17 He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do.

18 “When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’ ”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.

20 When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

21 Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled.

22 When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.


You see,

        God is in the habit

               Of using small tings

                       To do really big stuff!

                              A trumpet to bring down city walls

                              An oxgoad to deliver His people

                              A jawbone to defeat an army

                              A few fish and some bread

                                      To feed 5,000 people

28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

Why does He do this?...

29 so that no man may boast before God.


He does it so that none of us

        Can take credit for it…

               So that He gets the glory

This is a quote from Jeremiah

        Let’s take a look for greater clarity….

Jer 9: 23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;

24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.


HE warns us not to get too uppity

        About the stuff we have

               Or the things we can do

                       Or how intelligent we are…

                              (expand on intelligence as opposed to

                              Being “street smart”…street wisdom!”

HE warns us not to depend on those things

        In our lives

               Because they are things we have done

                       And, while some of them are really good,

                              None of them can save us

                                      That’s God’s work

                                             And He tells us so next….


30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”.

You see, God makes it simple

        So that HE can get the glory

               HE makes it easy

                       If we trust in Him

You know, we’ve heard about God using simple stuff

        To do magnificent things…

               Trumpets to bring down walls

               An oxgoad to defeat 100 highly trained soldiers

               The jawbone of a donkey

                       To defeat and entire army

                       And 300 men

                              To overwhelm thousands and thousands

But how does all this work out today?

        Does God still use simple things

               To confound the wise?

                       Does He still operate in the same way?

                              I think He does…..

My testimony

My privilege to preach

You see after all this…

        The message is still the same….

               And the message is simple…..


Gr Paracletos, one called alongside to help; or Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor

John 14:16


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