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This Message is Approved by God (Answer #3)

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Introduction

This morning we are going to continue down our journey of 1 Corinthians
but before we go any further I want to recap where we are at
In the first couple of chapters Paul uncovers a major problem within the church
this is not the only problem that exist but unless they address the issue at hand the rest of the problems can not be fixed
you see
The Corinthian church was deeply divided!
and one of the biggest issues that stood before them was discussion about
what kind of preacher should fill the pulpit
the church was looking for a skilled orator
one who had been trained in techniques and tactics
they wanted a preacher that could win over the crowd with their speaking and entertainment skills
they wanted a celebrity preacher who could entertain the crowd and draw them over to their side
these oracles were incredibly gifted at reading their audience and giving them what they wanted in order to win them over
they were gifted at tickling the ears of the crowd
this seems to be a growing problem here in the 21st century
their are many of men who stand in the pulpit and our labeled celebrity preachers
these preachers think someone should roll out the red carpet whenever they show up
they believe that they should be highly honored and respected and they quote verses from the Bible like that found in 1 Timothy that says “if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task” to justify their actions
They want the members of their church to hang on their every word
These are man that stand in the pulpit every week and tickle the ears of the hearer
They are more concerned with creating a following then with preaching the Word of God
I believe these men have strayed from their calling and they forgot the purpose fo their calling
a purpose that Paul points out very clearly in our set of scriptures this morning in vs 5
1 Corinthians 2:5 (NLT)
I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
The church in Corinthians had forgotten that simple truth and they were chasing after celebrity preachers and not chasing after the message of God
They desperately needed to understand what Godly preaching really was and is
So Paul lays out what a message that has been approved by God looks like
and he does this by using his own ministry among them

Sound preaching is not about lofty words or impressive Wisdom (v. 1)

What are some examples of this type of preaching (the use of lofty words or impressive wisdom)?
How can a preacher/teacher share a message.lesson that is impactful and changes lives with out falling into this trap?
First of all Paul reminds them that sound preaching is not about trying to impress your audience with lofty words and human wisdom
you have to understand this city was made up of great orators
Orators that had been trained for this moment their whole life and they were not trained in truth
rather they were trained in the art of manipulation
they were so well trained that they could read the crowd and switch up their message to match what they wanted to hear
there whole goal was to gain a following
because whoever had the most followers was viewed as the most superior communicator
and so Paul remind the church here that
it is not about trying to manipulate or entertain your audience and win them over
Sound preaching that God approves is focused on the Word of God not the wisdom of men
When Paul came to them as a preacher/teacher he was not concerned in the least bit with rising above others
he was not concerned about creating a following
he was not concerned with having the biggest Sunday school class or the biggest congregation
His concern laid in producing a God approved message
Some preachers/teachers use all kinds of tricks to try and make them seem superior
they set out to entertain and please the crowd
they want to make them self sound smarter and create a following for themself
and while it is the job of the pastor and the teacher to be well studied and prepared it is not so that they can self boast
it is so that they can preach the Word of God in a way that others will respond
it is so they can spread the word of God and they can point others to Christ

2. Sound preaching has one great theme: Jesus Christ and Him crucified (v. 2)

Which leads us to the meat of Paul’ message and the second characteristic of a God approved message
and that is that sound preaching has one great theme
and guesses on what that is?
the crucified and risen Jesus Christ
look at what Paul says in vs 2
1 Corinthians 2:2 NLT
For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.
How can we preach/teach the whole Word of God and still make sure that we are preaching Jesus?
Paul said I decided that while I was with you that the only message I would concern myself with is the message of Jesus Christ
in other words Paul said I was determined that nothing was going to distract me form preaching the gospel message
he was one track minded in his preaching
He wanted people to know Jesus
and not Jesus the great model of a men
not Jesus the great teacher or man of great purpose
Paul’s message was focused on the risen savior
because
It is by the death of Jesus that we are cleansed and freed from all of our sin!
1 John 1:7 NLT
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
It is by His death that we are made righteous and justified !
Colossians 1:20 NLT
and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Romans 5:9 NLT
And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
It is by His death that we are eternally redeemed !
Hebrews 9:12 NLT
With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
It is by His death that the Church of God was purchased !
Paul wanted people to know who Jesus was and why He came
he wanted people to know the risen savior
Church we are to preach and teach Jesus Crucified
Spurgeon said it best when he said
“PREACH YOU CHRIST, AND CHRIST, AND CHRIST, AND CHRIST, AND NOTHING ELSE BUT CHRIST.” Spurgeon

3. Sound preaching is proclaimed with a great sense of inadequacy (v. 3)

now that Paul has coved the topic of our preaching/and teaching and told us what not to do
he switches gears and shares with us the how to’s
If we want to preach/teach a message that is God approved
then fist off we must do so with a great sense of inadequacy
look at what Paul says in vs 3
1 Corinthians 2:3 NLT
I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.
Whenever we sit done to teach the message or someone stand in this pulpit that must do so with a sense of humility
Paul sensed a spiritual inadequacy and unworthiness in serving the Lord.
we see this all throughout his ministry
Paul grasped a truth from early on in his ministry that you and I must grasp as well and that is
Our sufficiency must be found in the Lord and the Lord alone!
If you and I are going to change lives and make a lasting impact them we must so by the power of God!
if we try to go at it alone we will surely fail
Teachers especially listen to me here
we should never try to carry our ministry in our own strength
do not depend on...
your appearance
your charisma
your ability
your wisdom
our your novel ideas
while we do have to be well studied and rehearsed it is not so that we can impress but so that we can show others who Jesus is
We can not spiritually change people!
God and God alone can do this!
therefore you and I must develop a dependency on the Spirit of God
which leads us to Paul’ next point and that is
How can we do that? what must take place for this to be the case? Why is this step so important?

4. Sound preaching is not persuasive words, but a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (v. 4)

look ath what he says in vs 4
1 Corinthians 2:4 NLT
And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.
as a teacher and a pastor I must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit
What does this mean? How can we make sure that we are depending on the power of the Holy Spirit?
Let first of all say that the spirit will only empower men that will preach the Word of God like it is meant to be
when we step into the pulpit or sit down to teach we must recognize that we alone cannot and will not do justice to the message
we can not be such a proud man that God can not use us and fill us with His spirit
Teachers listen
we are not to be puppets of men
tickling ears
rather we must be puppets of the Holy Spirit
if preaching and teaching is not powered by the Holy Spirit then it is not true preaching and teaching
it is not God approved preaching and teaching
When we preach and teach by the power of the Holy Spirit we demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit
and when we do that loves or changed and people or one
this is when revival breaks out
this is when hearts are broken and eyes are opened
The gospel of salvation can be convincing only when the Holy Spirit and His power demonstrates it.
you and I must surrender our life to the Holy Spirit
and be filled with His
presence
his fullness
and his power
Acts 1:8 NLT
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Conclusion

What does this mean for us?
If our preaching/teaching/sharing is centered on man and pleasing them then our listeners are building their lives on sinking sand
Paul’s preaching was not the flavor of the month it was the message of Jesus
the message that can change lives
The wisdom of men cannot save man.
Only the power of God can.
It is of no value whatsoever for a man to know …
• that Jesus Christ really lived, that He was an historical person
• that Jesus Christ is really the Savior, that he is truly the Son of God
• that other religions and positions are not true
salvation is not found in men
salvation is not found in human wisdom
no teacher or preacher no matter how great they are can save a single men
Only God can do that!
that is why it is so important that
when we share the gospel
when we preach
when we teach
that we make sure our message is approved by God
ant the only way to do that is to rely on the influence and power of the Holy Spirit
There is a crying need for God’s people to be controlled by the spirit of God so that God can demonstrate His power through them to a lost and dying world.
When you carry the message of the cross are you doing so on your own strength or are you letting the Holy Spirit be your guide?
No wonder we are having such little impact in this world!
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