Faithlife Sermons

Foolishness of the Cross

Gospel-Centered Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
Recap: What is the gospel? #herelastweek - if present last week - Minimum answer: the good news that Christ died for our sins, buried, raised to life again -Tendency to forget: Paul felt he needed to remind Corinthians Christians the gospel. -Optional: if Christ was not raised we are still in his sins ().

Introductory questions:

1. What are crosses used for today? What does it symbolise today?
- religious symbol - fashion accessory
2. What were crosses used for in the 1st century Roman Empire. What did it symbolise then?
- the Cross only became a religious symbol among Christians more than a hundred years later. - crosses were used to publicly execute the worst criminals. Specifically designed for maximum pain and shame - first you had to carry your cross (literally) - it was very heavy - you will be hung on the cross naked (either nailed or tied - Jesus was nailed) - you had to pull with your arms and pushed with your legs to breathe. After a while you'll have muscle spasms and then you'll collapse. - it would go on and and on for hours and even days. If they didnt want to wait they will break your legs so you cant push with your legs then you'll suffocate

Exposition (Passage: 1 Corinth 1:18-2:5):

Part 1

3. At the end of the day, everyone can be divided into two categories of people. What are those two categories?
- not Jew or Gentile. There are Jews that are perishing just like there are Gentiles that are perishing. There are Jews that are being saved just like there are Gentiles that are being saved.
- the two categories are those “who are perishing” and those “who are being saved” ().
4. What impressed Jews? What impressed Greeks? In other words, what would win them over?
- miraculous signs of power - even telling Jesus that they would believe in Him if He came down from the Cross () - wisdom/latest and greatest clever philosophical arguments ()
5. What does it mean that "Christ crucified" was a "stumbling block to Jews" ()?
- stumbling block: something that causes you to stumble, preventing you from going over. NLT: “offensive” - Christ was not a surname. It referred to the Promised Messiah that the Jews expected to triumph over their enemies i.e Romans and establish a powerful Kingdom. - Yet Christians were claiming that this Christ was executed by the Romans as a criminal - They were claiming that the blessed One was cursed by God (anyone who hung on a tree is cursed by God).
6. What does it mean that "Christ crucified" was "foolishness to the Greeks" ()?
- A method designed to inflict maximum pain and shame to the worst criminals, crucifixion is not something to be mentioned in polite company. - Yet Christians were proclaiming that a crucified Christ was Lord and Saviour. - that the all-powerful son of God was executed. And through His death He saves the world!

Part 2

7. Since "Christ crucified" is a stumbling block to Jews, foolishness to Greeks, why did some Jews/Greeks see it as God's power and wisdom? In other words why did some believe?
- they were called by God (). Chosen ().
- there are lot of ppl smarter than us who reject Christ. But its not about how smart you are.
- Its not about your background. - evidence is the church of Corinth itself. Made up of all kinds of people. Not all among the wise or elite in society.
- and us as well. There are all kinds of people in our church today. And thats the beauty of the way God saves us.
8. Can we be proud that we believe in Christ crucified? Give reasons.
- notice the question is not “can we be proud for being saved” since we are saved by faith alone and not works. But can we be proud that we have faith? - the way God saved us is so that no one can boast in themselves (vs 29) - it is because of Him that we are in Christ. (vs 30) - we can only boast in what God has done for us (vs 31) - Bad examples: This so simple why I believe u don't? Why u so stupid worship fake gods. My God can heal. Yours can or not??
- Bad examples: This so simple why I believe u don't? Why u so stupid worship fake gods. My God can heal. Yours can or not??
9. Should we be discouraged when people reject the gospel? Give reasons.
- we might give up thinking that we are not gifted in evangelism
10. Should we change our message to something more appealing to them? Give reasons.
- vikings version of Jesus - 19th liberalism - prosperity gospel - The gospel is not natural to any world view or culture. Its not American. It originated in Asia. And it didn't make sense to anyone there either.
11. In it says Paul was regularly trying to persuade people. Here he says that he does not preach with “wise and persuasive words” (). Whats the difference?
- against the temptation to rely on a different message and a different method - against self-reliance in contrast to reliance on the Spirit's power  - Paul is rejecting the popular Sophist method of persuasion that places emphasis and reliance on the person or presentation instead of the Spirit's power.
- But “resolved to know nothing... except Christ and him crucified” ( - In an age where rhetoric style was seen as essential to winning people over to whatever view, converting people through a 'ridiculous' message clearly demonstrated the power of the Spirit.
12. What are some special techniques that modern Christians maybe relying on to win people over?
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