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Christ Crucified

If you have your copy of God’s word whatever format or version it might be I would ask that you turn with me to 1 Corinthians Chapter 1 where I will begin reading from verse 18. As you turn there, That was , want to read to you some sentences from church bulletins.
The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
Concerning a Ministers illness, GOD IS GOOD; Dr. Hargreaves is better.
Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?”. Come early and listen to our choir practice.
We would like to congratulate Tony and Renee on the birth of their 4th child this week
And my personal favorite, Jesus loves hurting people.
Now the reason I read all these is because I want to demonstrate to you all the importance in the message we proclaim and the way we proclaim it. Which is also what I want to do with the sermon I’m about to preach. Paul tells us here in these verses what we must preach and the importance of preaching it. so if you would join me in the reading of God’s word.

Two Different People

The first thing I want to look at is the fact that we see two different people here. We see those who are perishing and those who are being saved. Paul makes it clear that there is a distinction between the groups. He even goes further and we see what distinguishes the two, and that is the message of the cross.
Later on he even goes to mention the Jews and Greeks, but he doesn’t identify them as two different people group. Because your nationality doesn’t define who you are anymore, the message of the cross does. There is only two types of the people in the world, and Paul tells us who they are. There is those who are perishing and those who are being saved.
When God looks upon the world he sees those who belong to him and those who do not. He doesn’t see Asians, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Jews, or Greeks. What he sees are those who are wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and those who are not. God sees sinner and saints. When he judges the world that is what he is going to judge them on. Whether they are a sinner or a saint.
The answer to that question is all determined by how you receive the message of the cross. It is either foolishness or the power of God.
Those who are perishing.
The message is folly or foolishness to those who are perishing. It doesn’t make any sense to them. The idea was folly to them, the meaning of it was folly to them, and ultimately the salvation of the message was folly to them. The next chapter in this letter Paul tells us why it is all folly to them and that is because God has not made it clear to them.
says, The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
The Spirit of God must be present and active for anyone to understand the things of God, especially the saving nature of the message of the cross. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you think you might be, or how many degrees you might have, or how many times you have read the Bible, you will never understand the message of the cross if the Spirit of God is not active in helping you discern it.
Because until you become one of those who is being saved and no longer one of those who are perishing you will always find the message of the cross to be foolish.
Just think about it, to the Jews it is foolish because Jesus is claiming to be the Son of God but then he goes and dies. that doesn’t make any sense to them because he is the Almighty God, El Shaddi. He is the immortal infinite creator of the universe, there is no way that he would have let himself be killed or better yet than that, there is no way that he could have been killed if he was God.
It seemed more than foolish to them, God was supposed to come and conquer Rome with his mighty sword and destroy them for what they had done to the Jews. Instead you mean to tell me that he came and became subjected to the authorities of the world. Our King Jesus became a servant, our Master became a slave, and ultimately our Messiah was killed? There is no way that this makes sense.
It is very clear why that message would seem absolutely foolish to them.
Now to the Greeks it was absolutely folly because this man claimed to have died and then was raised from the dead. The resurrection of the dead was not something that happened on a daily basis. With the Greeks fascination of wisdom that didn’t seem to make sense to them. They have studied and studied and people don’t just raise from the dead. If someone was dead they usually stayed that way.
I mean we can all relate to that feeling. When one passes away we don’t sit around and wait for them to come back to life, because it isn’t the norm. Sometimes we wish it was the norm but we understand that when someone has been dead for 3 days that they are probably gonna stay that way.
Besides the crucifixion story, If I was to stand up here and tell you a story about a man who was killed and buried. And now his grave is dug up, his casket is open, and now he is walking around the streets. You all would look at me and say, what is wrong with this guy, is he foolish? The story of the cross does not make any sense to those who are not being saved, it cannot be comprehended apart from the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
This is why so many people struggle with the message, we think that it’s because we maybe said something wrong, or that we weren’t gifted enough to convert them. We like to blame ourselves for the lack of understanding of other. Church if you are proclaiming the message of the cross and doing it correctly you are not to blame.
This is why so many people struggle with the message, we think that it’s because we maybe said something wrong, or that we weren’t gifted enough to convert them. We like to blame ourselves for the lack of understanding of other. Church if you are proclaiming the message of the cross and doing it correctly you are not to blame.
This is why so many people struggle with the message, we think that it’s because we maybe said something wrong, or that we weren’t gifted enough to convert them. We like to blame ourselves for the lack of understanding of other. Church if you are proclaiming the message of the cross and doing it correctly you are not to blame.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit just isn’t active in that persons life at the time working in them to cause them to understand what you are proclaiming.
I’ve seen it over and over again where we think our message is what is keeping people out of church or maybe it’s our music or maybe it’s our lighting. So we start to change our music and change our message and we change the way our building looks and the way the lights darken for music.
We start to change things and when we do we start to move away from the message of the cross. We start to focus on how we can get people into church and lose focus on how to get people to the cross of Jesus Christ. All of these things are great to get people into church but I’m here to tell you only one thing will keep people there and that is Jesus Christ.
This is why our message must always be the message of the Cross. And that message is Christ Crucified, which leads me to my next point which is,
We must preach Christ and Preach him crucified.
This reminds me of a story I once heard a preacher tell about a church who had these words inscribed on the outside of their church. The words were these, “We Preach Christ Crucified.” Which is an excellent thing to have outside of your church, but over time the Ivy started to grow up the walls of their church. And after so many years all you could see were the words “We Preach Christ.” The ivy continued to grow and over some time it grew so much that the sign on the church now only said we preach.
Church that is a sad sad parable of the 21st century church. We now no long preach Christ and Him Crucified we just preach. We preach what might get people in the doors or what might make our congregation feel good but we lack the preach of Christ and him Crucified.
Paul makes it very clear here that we must preach Christ Crucified. This is the beginning of a very long letter to the Corinthians but Paul starts it off by setting up the whole theme of his letter and that is Christ Crucified.
For those of you who have read the book of Corinthians know that Paul has a lot of different things to say to the church here in Corinth. Those of you who haven’t read it let me just say he had a lot of things to say to the Corinthian church. For example just a couple things he calls out, he calls them out for hosting a man who was sharing a woman with his son, he calls them out for improperly taking the Lords super. And there are so many more things he calls out the church for doing.
Which I why I know a pastor who preached a series over 1 Corinthians and titled the series Christians behaving badly. But the point I’m trying to make is Paul never made any of that the center of his message, he always made the Crucified savior the center of it. That’s what he reminds the church in chapter 15 that all of his work and preaching would be in vain, and useless if it wasn’t for a Crucified and risen savior.
I’m reminded of a story I once had a professor tell me about preaching. He told me there was a man who now is a famous preacher and christian author who I highly respect. But he said that when this man took a homiletics or preaching class in college he had to preach the sermon he wrote in front of his professor and a bunch of other faculty and staff from the college. When he was done preaching he got feedback from his professor who said, Tim that was a great sermon but why don’t you go preach it at the synagog down the rode.
The idea behind his statement was that although he preached a good sermon he lacked anything that made it distinctively christian. He could have just as easily went to the Jewish Synagog and his message would have been recieved the same because he didn’t make it christian. Paul makes it clear in these verses what makes a sermon distinctively christian and that is the message of the cross.
Charles Spurgeon said, “If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last.
We must not try to change the message or leave out the crucifixion to please certain people. We can’t leave out the offensive parts because we are afraid that the new couple that just started here might end up leaving. We we do that we are saying that our words and messages have more power than the messages of Christ.
To often to we fall into the trap of trying the hide the hideous truth of the cross. Church the message of the cross is hideous, it is unappealing, it is offensive and it is foolishness, but it is only the case to those who are perishing. To those who are being saved it is the power of God.
We can either hide the offense message of the cross and have a church full of those who are perishing or we can preach the message of the cross and watch lives get changed and have a church full of people who are being saved. You can’t have it the other way. You can’t leave out the message of the cross in your sermons and have a church full of people being saved for the glory of God.
We must crucify this ludicrous idea that we must make the church more like the world so that we can reach out to those in the world. Because leaning over to reach the world, the church is prone to fall in. This is why we must not try to change the bible to fit the world, but hope that one day the bible will change the world.
The Church that the world likes the best is sure to be the one which God abhors. Just think about that statement with me, “The church that the world likes the best is sure to be the one which God abhors.
Church the message of the Cross with always be a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Greeks. It doesn’t matter how you proclaim it, so just preach the message of the cross and those who are being saved take comfort in the message of the Cross. Some will leave the church, and some will take other with them, but God will surely be glorified when the message of the cross is proclaimed inside of this building.
The reason we must preach Christ crucified
With that being said I want to dive into my last point and is, The reason we must preach Christ crucified. I know I already talked a little bit about the reason but I want to look at 2 specific reasons we can see directly from the text. Those being we must preach Christ crucified for the salvation of the lost and the glorification of God.
For the glory of God, for the salvation of the lost,
Salvation of the lost.
In verse 21 it says that it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. So although what we preach might seem folly to those who hear it, it pleased God to use it to save those who believe. There is a specific word in that verse that really stands out to me and that is the word pleased.
If we were to take a look in the Greek at that word it is the word eudokeo, which means to take delight or be well pleased. This is the same word that we see used when The Father is talking about Jesus after his baptism and says, this is my beloved son whom I am well pleased. The same way that The Father felt toward the Son is the same way the Father feels in saving those who believe through the folly of our preaching.
To me is seems amazing and unbelievable that God would satisfy himself through the salvation of sinners like me and you. I’m not sure if you heard me or not but what I said was that God takes pleasure in saving those who believe.
So when we preach Christ Crucified God uses that to save those who believe, and not only does he do that he takes pleasure in doing so. But that isn’t the only thing we see God do when we preach Christ Crucified, we also see God bring Glory to himself.
God is not only pleased but he is also glorified, so if you would look with me at verses 26 through 31 with me. We see that God is using what we think is foolish to same the wise, and that which is weak to shame the strong. One of the main themes of scripture is this idea that the Lord chooses those who are least likely to be chosen for his purpose.
For example, David was the least likely of Jessi’s kids to be the King of Israel by the worldly standards. Some might have even thought it to be foolishness for David to be the King, but God still chose him. Also we see how God used Rahab who was a prostitute to help his nation capture Jericho. There are many other examples that I could list such as Moses who had a speech impediment, and Jonah who was racist towards the ninevites. The Lord uses those who by the worlds standards would be disqualified to do mighty things for himself.
Verse 31 tells us that he does this all so that man has no way to boast but to boast in the Lord. God does not do these things to make man look God, but he does these things to get all the credit and to be glorified in the process. The Lord could use the strong to beat the strong, but then it would seem natural. God uses the weak so that there is no other explanation of how it could happen other than God making it happen.
Church when we preach Christ Crucified people are saved and the Lord is glorified.
So Church
If you want to see the lost become saved, PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
If you want to see the lost become saved, PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
If you want to see God do mighty things, PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
If you want to see this Church grow for God’s glory, higher a preacher who PREACHES CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
With that being said I want to close by saying one more thing as the musicians come forward to sing our closing song. Church I don’t know exactly where you each are in your walk with the Lord. Maybe you don’t know him, or maybe you just aren’t walking very close with him. I’m here to tell you that if you don’t know the Lord, today is the day of salvation. For all who call on his name and believe in their heart that Christ was raised from the dead will be saved.
Church we worship a crucified savior who takes pleasure in the salvation of those who believe in him. Take comfort in that truth and carry it with you as you go through out the week. Lets us pray.
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