I pity the fool!

Sermon 05272018 "I pity the fool!" By ED!

Where we've been - where we are.

2nd missionary journey over, Paul is back in Syrian

Antioch.

We read, today, from 1st Corinthians, which we

believe Paul wrote from Ephesus during his last

journey.

Paul addresses the church in Corinth because of their silly, foolish ways.

They have the Spirit, but they also have the world.

We hear Paul discuss the "foolishness" of the Gospel.

The message of the cross

Foolishness to those perishing

Power of God to us who are being saved

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the

intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

1 Corinthians 1:19 / Isaiah 29:14

Where is:

the wise person?

the teacher of the law?

the philosopher of this age?

God has made foolish the wisdom of the world.

since the world did not know Him,

God used foolish preaching to save the believer

The Gospel is foolish

to Greeks

a god-man who dies?

this is not a myth,(Hercules), it's real?

to Jews

they waited for Messiah

 

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Jesus - not what they expected

not a conqueror

Dies on a cross? Deut 21:22-23 (curse)

The world has it's own wisdom,

Jews demand signs

Greeks look for worldly wisdom

We preach Christ crucified.

a stumbling block to Jews and

foolishness to Gentiles,

but to us who have been called,

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

power - God's raising Him from the dead, Death not

able to hold Him. God showing His domination over all.

Wisdom - God's plan which puts all other plans,

thought, etc... to flight.

This argument is a blow to human pride. The pride the Jews had in their closeness, the pride the Greeks had in their philosophy and wisdom is destroyed by God's action. He chooses Jesus, His Son, and His philosophy is one of sacrifice and suffering.

Jesus is the center of our work, ministry and life.

and so; "we preach Christ crucified" 1 Cor 1:23

God turns everything upside down.

The world, and its values

wisdom

strength

influence

greatness

God shames all of this.

"wisdom" is conquered by "foolishness".

"strength" by "weakness"

"influence" and "greatness" by "meekness" and

"lowliness"

 

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God sets a new pattern in the world

Pride and boasting (which comes from pride) are

destroyed

We boast only about what God has done.

We can't even boast about our part in all this

Jesus did it all

holiness

righteousness

redemption

deliverance

all from Him. His work accomplished at the

center of the foolishness - the cross.

Paul demonstrates this pattern with the Corinthian

church by his approach

not by his skill at debating (Athens)

not by his knowledge of the scriptures, (student of

Gamaliel, well read, a rabbi)

not by wisdom

or anything else

He knew only Christ and Him crucified.

that's the power of God.

God has His own wisdom
it's eternal
no beginning
no end

When we speak of the good news, some may ask...

this was 2000 years ago, how relevant is this?

who cares? What does this story have to do with me? What can a dead(?)guy 2000 years ago have to do with me?

Our issues are timeless and universal.

our problems, fundamentally, are the same as those

of Paul's time.

we worry about meaning in our lives

our place in the world

our family

 

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our future

we have sin that

eats us up, or

we suppress, we don't think about (or try not

to) .

we also have this sense that things aren't right.

Conversely, we believe that we have it all together. We have a handle on things. The Corinthians believed that they had a grasp on the Christian life, but based on their divisions, they didn't. :-Paul comments to them in chapter 3:

"Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere human beings?" 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

They are spiritually immature, not realizing, or filled with the truth.

We believe (and the Bible says), the truth.

Paul notes that in Jesus is everything that is

necessary for life. He states that:':,

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor 1:24b

Like today, even then the news was countercultural.

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;

 

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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.

1 Cor 1:27-29

Shoe experience.

Although our shoe exercise is a trivial example, what it revealed was our self centeredness, our arrogance, and pride. It also showed our own vulnerabilities, our fear - fear of rejection, of failure, of falling behind the crowd, of not being good enough. *

"Perfect love drives out all fear." 1 John 4:18

Love precludes boasting, an offshoot, an offspring of pride. Our boasting is only in the Lord. In His work, in Him. *

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor 2:8

The message of the cross is counterintuitive, counter to all we know, against "common sense".

This message, what God wants us to know, comes to us through the Holy Spirit. *

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Cor 2:12

The message is that God has done and is doing a new thing. He repairs relationships, between us and Him, and so our relationships with each other can also be

 

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repaired. This happened then, happens now and will happen at the end of all things. The whole of creation is to be made new when "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."

The Corinthians were operating in the mode of the world, we are called to be in the world, not of the world. ':2Paul called on the church in Rome to not, "be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds." Romans 12:2

Shoe experience part 2.

We learned that the focus of our work, the attainment of our goal had to be subordinated to our relationships with each other. Once our relationship existed in a strong way, only then could we proceed to accomplish our task with hope of success.

Similarly, the Corinthian church, still operating under the old rules, couldn't break away from their old habits and the old model of society.

"there is neither Jew nor Gentile man nor woman, slave

nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:28

The church even more so than the world can break away from this thinking, we have the Spirit.

At Alpha we eat together, talk together and learn about

one another.   (Discuss)

Retreat - love. The Spirit at work. His power.

Shortly we will share a meal, a "foretaste of the feast to come" at the end of all things. Together, as the body of Christ, we come here to the altar to eat and drink forgiveness of sins and unity. Holy Communion is

 

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also the community of the Holy, those whom Jesus has called and made righteous through His blood. In this letter Paul explains it to the Church. Pastor Don will say Paul's very words.

Means of grace.