Sunday, June 8, 2014

God Glorified in Men's Dependence

God Glorified in Men's Dependence
Pioneer Days Outdoor Service 6-8-2014
Rev. Bruce A. Shields - Sermon by Jonathan Edwards
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

Those Christians to whom the apostle directed this epistle dwelt in a part of the world where human wisdom was in great repute; as the apostle observes in the 22d verse of this chapter, "The Greeks seek after wisdom."

Corinth was not far from Athens, that had been for many ages the most famous seat of philosophy and learning in the world. 

The apostle therefore observes to them, how that God, by the gospel, destroyed their human wisdom.

The learned Grecians, and their great philosophers, by all their wisdom did not know God: they were not able to find out the truth in divine things.

But after they had done their utmost to no effect, it pleased God at length to reveal himself by the gospel, which they accounted foolishness.

He "chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world, and things that are despised, and things which are not, to bring the things that are to nothing."

And the apostle informs them why he did, in the verse of the text; That no flesh should glory in his presence. 


SCRIPTURE READING

I Corinthians 1:29-31
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. 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. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 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. 27 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. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.30 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. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.

I.                   THE MESSAGE IS FOOLISHNESS
A.                 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing
1.                  The "message", the "preaching" this the Word of God, is foolishness to the lost.

2.                  Why is this foolishness to those who are perishing?
a)                 Because spiritual things cannot be discerned by unredeemed people.

b)                 Therefore, to them, it is foolishness.


c)                  None the less, the Gospel must be preached just the same.


B.                 But unto us, who are being saved, it is the power of God
1.                  The power of God which paid the total debt of sin

2.                  The power of God which gave His Holy Spirit

3.                  The power of God made available through Christ Jesus

4.                  The power of God doing a mighty work within our lives.


C.                 "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
1.                  Reference to Isaiah 29:14

2.                  Speaks to those who are wise in their own eyes.

3.                  In effect, having forsaken the ways of the Lord.


II.                WHERE ARE THE WISE?
A.                 The so-called philosophers of this age
1.                  Paul addressing the three classes of learned people
a)                 The wise and educated
(1)              He is the greatest fool of all who pretends to explain everything, and says he will not believe what he cannot understand.

b)                 The Scribe, Jewish Theologians
(1)              He who knows nothing is confident in everything; hence they are bullheaded beyond measure.

c)                  The disputer of this world, the Greeks, who were seekers of mystical and metaphysical interpretations.
(1)              To know that which God conceals seems to be one of the depraved desires of the human heart.

d)                 "Has God not made the foolish, the wisdom of this world?"

(1)              What God did by sending His Son to redeem humanity, all the wisdom of the world could not do this.


B.                 God is pleased through foolishness preached
1.                  No matter the wisdom collected, you cannot know God through the teachings in this world.

2.                  But by one manner, the preaching of God's Word.
3.                  Some require a sign: some seek wisdom: But we preach Christ Crucified!
a)                 Because this is the foundation of the Word of God, and thereby Salvation.


C.                 The foolishness of God is wiser
1.                  Seekers of signs ignore them, and seekers of wisdom search for hidden things, ignoring what is plain in sight.

2.                  Both finding it difficult to accept God as a dead man hanging on a cross, for this is what Christ was to them.


D.                24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God"

1.                  John 3:16 and Revelation 22:17 tells us that God has made this "call" to all of humankind.

2.                  What Christ did at the cross atoned for ALL sin, thereby making it possible for the Holy Spirit to exhibit His power within our lives.

3.                  This wisdom devised a plan of Salvation which pardoned guilty m en and at the same time vindicated and glorified the justice of God, which stands out as the wisest and most remarkable plan of all time.


E.                  God achieves the mightiest ends by the humblest means.



III.            THINK OF WHAT YOU WERE WHEN YOU WERE CALLED
A.                 By human standards
1.                  Your nature and behavior.
a)                 There is not a complimentary word to human nature within the covers of the Bible.

2.                  Not many were wise, but after the flesh.
a)                 A very hell of corruption lies within the best saint; and if the grace of God did not restrain it, he would soon be found among the chief of sinners.

3.                  Not many were mighty, or noble,

4.                  All are called, few accept.


B.                 But God has chosen you, and equipped you.
1.                  This wise preaching of the Cross will change lives, confound the wise of this world, which nothing man has can do.


C.                 Therefore, no man may boast
1.                  No flesh can give glory to himself

2.                  For the power is in the Word, made available through Christ and the Cross, and given through the Holy Spirit, which no man or earthly wisdom or work may obtain, but through the accepting of the Gospel and calling of God.



CONCLUSION
To those who are in Christ Jesus, the ones who have accepted the calling of God, by virtue of the Cross and what He did there, God has made unto us Wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

According to what is written in Jeremiah 9:23-24
 “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth,  for in these I delight,” declares the Lord."

He, who glorifies, let him glorify in the Lord, bringing glory unto God, because of our dependence upon Him, and Him alone.

I leave you with this thought today, boast in the Lord, not in one's self, nor in any man, whether scholar, theologian or preacher.


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