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The Good News In Simplicity

1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:16
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In honor of Father’s Day & in keeping with simplicity, I would like to open with some dad jokes:

"What do you call a factory that makes okay products?" "A satisfactory."
"What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet?" "Supplies!"
"Have you heard about the chocolate record player? It sounds pretty sweet."
"What did the ocean say to the beach?" "Nothing, it just waved."
"Why do seagulls fly over the ocean?" "Because if they flew over the bay, we'd call them bagels."

Historical/Cultural Context -

Paul preached the gospel in Corinth in the early 50s AD during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1–18). When opposition grew fierce there, the Lord Jesus spoke to him in a vision assuring him that he had ‘many people’ in the city (Acts 18:10). With this encouragement, Paul stayed on for eighteen months, ‘teaching them the word of God’ (Acts 18:11). God used Paul’s ministry to bring about the birth and establishment of the church in Corinth.

Biblical Text -

1 Corinthians 2:1–5 NKJV
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

-[Prayer]-

Life Principle - We Share The Gospel Simply & Rely On The Holy Spirit

Life Point- Simply Share The Gospel

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 2:1–2 NKJV
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Homiletical -

We have been talking about the wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of the world. We learned how the Greek’s saw the message of the cross as foolish and the Jews saw it as a stumbling block.
Paul reminds the corinthians of how he came to them in our scripture.
How did he come?
He came contrary to what they thought they wanted.
Christianity by-and-large today has become a place for people to get their wants met, not their needs.
They say, what do people want? What will draw them?
That’s real simple. Tickle their ears and provide programs for them. You will start to get people in your church that way.
What is happening?
In some churches today we have rank heresy being taught. God is not a genie that you rub the lamp. He is not a mathematical formula that you do one thing and you guaranteed to get what you want.
Yet too often this is what people treat God like. As a Christian you are in relationship with God, and it isn’t a partnership of equals.
you are the slave, He is the master.
You can argue with Him, but it won’t do you any good.
You can say you aren’t going to follow the plain teaching of scripture, but you will pay the consequences.
In other churches, to bring people into their organizations, they will leave the Bible out of things. Begin to walk in ambiguity. Begin to teach in such broad terms that it offends no one.
Worst of all they have taken the simplicity of the Gospel out of the center of their preaching. They have put in human wisdom and human ideas into the place of scripture.
I know of a pastor right now that taught what it means to be a member of a church. He did not use much scripture, if any at all and the cross was not central. Evangelism was not central. The simplicity of the Gospel was not mentioned.
Sin and the dealing with sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ was not brought up.
What does this kind of preaching do to the church? It robs it of God’s power.
The Gospel is simple. Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
But you see, that is not a comfortable thing for people.
They get offended by it.
Why?
1) You are telling me I am totally depraved and reprobate and there is nothing good in me?
Romans 7:18 NKJV
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying; scripture even tells me what the evil works of the flesh are. It also tells me that if my life is characterized by these things, then I am not a true believer.
Galatians 5:19–21 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
That is offensive. Most people will get mad and leave if you keep giving them that message. They want to go to church, make some friends and go out and party with one another.
Don’t say it doesn’t happen in Baptist Churches either. I have a lot of examples where people will post on facebook where they went drinking with other members of those churches. Some of them are even on the praise team at their local church!
Don’t tell me I am living in sin! I don’t want to hear it!
This attitude is pervasive in so-called Christianity, in so-called churches today.
I can tell you right now of a man who has 11 children. I know this man He was deacon at a church. He even came and asked me if it is morally wrong to download music off the internet and not pay for it. Of course I said, it is morally wrong. It is stealing. To which he agreed.
He didn’t like the way his pastor handled a situation and rather than talk to him about it he stopped attending services and only came to Sunday School and Deacon’s meetings.
A few years go by and this same man who had a moral conviction about stealing music, has been caught in adultery and divorces his wife. A man with 11 children, abandons her and moves out of the house and in with the mistress.
Last I heard he went to and now goes to a church where his conscious is salved and then he eventually married the mistress.
Don’t tell me I don’t know all the circumstances, you’re right I don’t. Don’t tell me that was OK for him to do. It wasn’t, for a man who claims Christ that is wrong. Yet, it happens all the time in a lot of churches.
I know of a pastor who committed adultery and rather than resign he held a vote for retention. The sad part is that just under 50% of the church wanted to keep him, with no time off and no plan of restoration. He ended up divorcing his wife, married the mistress and is pastoring a church again. Right here in Lake County.
You’re right God does have forgiveness, and cleansing. However, when a pastor does that he is to resign and never be in public ministry again.
I don’t care that he is a good preacher or teacher. I don’t care that he is charismatic, engaging and fun to listen to.
When we look at the qualifications of a pastor, they are all character based except for one. That is, he must be able to teach.
1 Timothy 3:1–7 NLT
This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
2) You are telling me that there is nothing I can do to get out of this depravity all on my own? You mean I deserve to die and burn in hell?
Yes I am telling you that, and yes we all deserve damnation.
You and I need a savior. That is why Jesus came. He came to pay your sin-debt that he didn’t owe. So that you could be clean before Him.
Romans 3:23 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 NKJV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9–13 NKJV
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 5:1 NKJV
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
This is the good news and it is offensive to the sinner. However, we should not water it down or change the centrality of our preaching.
Jesus and Him crucified for our sins is the centrality of the Gospel. Don’t compromise on it, and don’t water it down.

Illustration -

Speaking of water....
I'm an expert at picking leaves and heating them in water. It's my special tea.
Why do dogs float in water? Because they are good buoys.
Police arrested a bottle of water because it was wanted in three different states: solid, liquid, and gas.

Life Point - Share Relying On God

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 2:3–5 NKJV
I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Homiletical -

By this time Paul had been beaten and suffered for his faith.
We know that in this city there was great opposition to the Gospel and to him, because of the Gospel.
Matthew 5:11 NKJV
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
What kinds of persecution can the Christian around the world, even today, expect as they go out and tell the true uncompromising Good News of God?
Hebrews 11:35–37 NKJV
Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
There was so much opposition that God made a promise to him about it:
Acts 18:9–11 NKJV
Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Paul reminds them that he was there in great trembling, fear and weakness.
Some have said that this is allegorical and not in actuality.
I have studied this passage and looked briefly at the Greek here. It means what it says it means. It means he afraid and physically weak. Probably due to the suffering he had been through before he got there.
Yet even with all of this, he did not shrink back from preaching the Gospel. He pushed forward and he did not preach with the world’s wisdom or mere intellectually offerings.
He preached the simplicity of the Gospel. He talked with people whom he met. He told them about Jesus and what God had done.
He preached within the power of the Holy Spirit. In demonstration of the Spirit.
Often when you speak of the demonstration of the Holy Spirit you will get 2 understandings of what that means.
If you are from the pentecostal and Charismatic camps you are thinking speaking in tongues, Healings, miracles
If you are from the other protestant camps you are thinking about the cut to the heart of the Word of God.
Acts 2:37 NKJV
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
2 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV
But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
In reality it was a little bit of both. Without the miracle of the Holy Spirit piercing our hard hearts we would not come to Christ. We also know, which we will see later in this book, that the Corinthians had an outpouring of God like the days of Pentecost.
When we get there i will spend some time comparing and contrasting the believers in Corinth with believers today.
Undoubtedly someone will ask me, “Do we have miracles today?” Yes, yes we do.
Here is what I can tell about them. You won’t find them on the televangelists on TV. You won’t find them in some splashy fancy meeting where chaos exists.
You will find miracles of healings and other miracles in the simplicity of doing what scriptures say to do. That is, come before the leadership of the church and pray for God to heal and do the miraculous in someone’s life.
The next question I get asked is, well why doesn’t everyone get healed?
1) Good question. I don’t Know.
2) You an I don’t see the big picture only God does and only He knows His reasoning in any given situation.
3) Remembers miracles aren’t miracles if they are the normative. If it happened everyday, would you really need trusting faith in God?
John 20:26–29 NLT
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Let me ask you a question.
What is the greatest miracle in the Bible?
Is it healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy?
None of those, because those are temporary. We are told:
1 Corinthians 13:8–13 NKJV
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Love is the greatest miracle in the Bible. Not love between people, but that love that hung on a cross to pay a debt He didn’t owe. For people who didn’t care. Because they didn’t know any better.
Romans 5:8 NASB95
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
You want to see those other miracles again, happening in our church in a true way, and not some flashy fleshly self-centered mockery of true spirituality?
Then Love your neighbor and tell your story of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Life Principle We Share The Gospel Simply & Rely On The Holy Spirit

Call to Action – altar call….

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