Faithlife Sermons

3-4-2018 - Wisdom and Power in the Cross

Living in Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We find salvation in the Responsibility of the Cross of Christ.

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Thesis: We find salvation in the Responsibility of the Cross of Christ.
We find salvation in the Responsibility of the Cross of Christ.

For Kids:

Getting a job changes you.
God wants to give you a job.
Me

UMC Clergy Gathering of the Orders in Elizabethtown

Funny looking and funny acting men and women called to shepherd God's flock
All shapes and sizes
Many kinds of gifts and talents
Rev John Hatton from Columbia with his wild electric guitar skills leading worship
Apparently he used to have really long hair and played in some kind of rock band
Today he drives up to Campbellsville once a week to take flute lessons at the college.
Rev. Linda Millions, teacher, pastor, now counselor
Rev. Linda Millions, teacher, pastor, now counselor
Joined the Methodist church in 1967 and then became one of the first female pastors of the former Louisville conference
Joined the Methodist church in 1967 and then became one of the first female pastors of the former Louisville conference
Her ministry focuses on bringing healing to those who are wounded spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Adam Sharp who was determined to make lots of money as a pharmacist so he could buy a horse farm and enjoy the good life
Adam Sharp who was determined to make lots of money as a pharmacist so he could buy a horse farm and enjoy the good life
He now is part of 3 leaders who head up Church Planting in KY
He now is part of 3 leaders who head up Church Planting in KY
Which is a huge job, and he does it as a volunteer.
We

Paul's message to the Church

God makes you beautiful
He does it with the power of the cross
Not just in defeating sin and death on His cross
But transforming us as we bear our own crosses for His sake as well
God
Scripture

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 NIV
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.
1 Corinthians 1:18–20 NIV
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?
Salvation
What are you being saved from?
Present tense
19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 
20 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? 21 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.
Foolishness in the face of tragedy
Foolishness in the face of success
Foolishness in the face of success
Attempting to explain things we do not understand
Attempting to explain things we do not understand
God's plans almost always sound foolish when you begin telling them beginning to end.
God's plans almost always sound foolish when you begin telling them beginning to end.
Because we do not see the big picture in the present,
we have misunderstandings about our past,
And we don't know what the future is supposed to look like
Ex. Jesus dying on a cross for the sins of the world instead of setting up schools for righteous living.
Ex. Jesus dying on a cross for the sins of the world instead of setting up schools for righteous living.
1 Corinthians 1:22–25 NIV
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.
Power or Wisdom

Power or Wisdom

Jews want signs because they know about God already
Not needing proof of his existence
But more importantly because they know they do not have the power to change their lives themselves
They want proof of strength
Greeks want wisdom
Greeks want wisdom
They don't know God and want to make sure it is a wise thing to follow him
Some creeks believe they have power to change their own lives and want to be sure getting involved with God at all is wise
What are you looking for?
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 NIV
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.”
You want proof of the power of the cross? Look no further than ourselves.

You want proof of the power of the cross? Look no further than ourselves.

We are living witnesses to the power and wisdom of the cross?
Those of us who have followed Jesus for very long at all quickly realize
We have no wisdom except for that which we get from God
We have no power except for that which we get from God
Ex: We get the flu shot because we believe it will prevent us from getting the flu
Then we get the flu anyway
We go to the doctor, and she says take this medicine for a week and you should be cured
We take the medicine but still have the flu a week later
We go back to the doctor, and she says, even though that last medicine didn't work, let's try it again for one more week
So we take the same medicine again even though all evidence points out that it doesn't work
By week three our God-given immune system plus the chicken noodle soup and rest we got for three weeks begins to fight the virus within us
And then the medicine begins to work as well
We get better. Next year we are definitely going to get another flu shot, we will probably get the flu again, we will probably get the same medicine again, as the cycle begins all over
Without God's wisdom and power in our lives we are all just guessing and hoping for good results.
It's bad enough with the flu but this becomes extremely apparent when we're dealing with severe cancers and incurable diseases
Not just illnesses either
We face the same challenges just trying to raise children in this world today
We face the same challenges just trying to raise children in this world today
Bekah and I don't have kids at the house every day like some of you all, but we have had parents bring their children just about every age to one or both of us when they have run out of ideas and strength to help their kids.
We are not foster parents but have had toddlers and college students dropped off at our house to stay with us for weeks.
Let me tell you, the experience humbles you really quickly and get you leaning on God for that wisdom and strength in ways you never dreamed of.
This is a major part of what Paul was trying to teach the church and us today:
That unasked for, unsought, and often times reluctantly received responsibility will change you forever.
Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about
That change that we experience in taking of our crosses as we take on those responsibilities… That change Paul calls salvation.
You see we don't need to just be saved from a handful of bad things we've done in our past
We ultimately need to be saved from ourselves
The only way we can ever be saved from ourselves is to deny ourselves, pick up those crosses, and follow Jesus.
If you want to emotional experience then we can put the fear of Hell into you, invite you up to the altar, and even get you soaked through in a moment of baptism
But if you want to talk capital S Salvation, then you need to understand that when you come out of the water there's a cross already waiting for you
And the changes you hope for will not stick in the changes God intends for your life Will not happen if you were not willing to pick up the cross and follow Jesus.
Jesus did not say calling yourself a Christian, reading your Bible, getting baptized, and joining a church there's a way to eternal life.
Jesus said he was the way, the truth, and the life. ()
You
What is your cross that Jesus is asking you to take up?
It may change over time, but I am confident we got has already been speaking to you can you know what your cross is for today.
We
We gather together on Sunday mornings, and Wednesday evenings, and on host of other days to share and encourage one another as we make this journey together carrying our crosses.
I can't speak for every congregation out there, but I've been part of this congregation long enough to speak for us... when we get together we share our joys and our sorrows, but we don't get together to brag about ourselves, we get together to brag about how good our God is.
Part of that encouragement we do as a church is in praying for those who have not picked up their crosses yet.
We have one month as we journey together towards Easter with Jesus
We know it gets a lot darker before that glorious Easter morning
Last month we focused on ourselves and the challenge that it is to follow God's call in our life as we make this journey with Jesus
This month, take a moment to look around you here today and throughout this week Who God has brought into your life that you can share the power and wisdom you get from God as repair your own cross with Jesus.
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