Some Notes from Sunday’s Sermon
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
The Spirit of God is with us to bring God’s power and presence to our message and ministry. The Spirit of God is in us to keep us near the cross. 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 insist that …
The Holy Spirit convinces us that the foolishness of the cross is wisdom.
The Holy Spirit gives us courage to share the message of the cross faithfully.
The Holy Spirit constrains us that the message of the cross is the only message we preach.
The Holy Spirit convicts us that the righteousness of the cross is what we need.
DA Carson “Crucifixion was reserved for slaves, aliens, barbarians. It was not something to be talked about in polite company. Quite apart from the wretched torture inflicted on whose who were executed by hanging from a cross, the cultural associations conjured up images of evil and abysmal rejection. Yet today crosses adorn our buildings and letterheads, our lapels and jewelry – and no one is scandalized. It is this cultural distance from the first century that makes it so hard for us to feel the compelling irony of 1 Corinthians 1 and 2.”
“What God has done through the crucified Savior appears to be a direct contradiction of human ideas of power and accomplishment. However it achieved what human wisdom and power has never accomplished – the release of humanity from bondage to sin and death.”
The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. No one dialogues with a cross. No one makes a personal arrangement for half a cross. The cross gets its way. It is all or nothing.
What did we do? We sat down and spoke.
Sitting down represents time, dialogue, relationship.
Speaking represents proclaiming Christ — who He is and what He has done.
And then the Holy Spirit does the rest.
DA Carson concluding — “Christians in contemporary Western society are constantly being told that they are ignorant, narrow, and incapable of understanding the real world. Paul says the opposite: Christians are as capable as other sinners of understanding the complex and interwoven nature of sin. But because they have received the Spirit of God, they are also capable of saying something wise and true about the way the world appears to God. They can talk about the beauty of holiness, about God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation. They can talk of Christ passionately out of the cleansing experience of being forgiven on the ground of another’s death.
And all this makes them much more comprehensive in outlook than their pagan peers. The really narrow perspective is maintained by the sinner who has never tasted grace, by the fallen human being who has never enjoyed transforming insight, afforded by the Holy Spirit, into God’s wise purposes.
From this perspective, it is idiotic–that is not too strong a word–to extol the world’s perspective and secretly lust after its limited vision. That is what the Corinthians were apparently doing; that is what we are in danger of doing every time we adopt our world’s shibboleths, dote on its heroes, admire its transient stars, seek its admiration, and play to its applause.”
What it means to be spiritual is caught up in the cross, always the cross, only the cross, and nothing else.
Those believers who are most spiritual, who are most mature are those who come back to the cross the most often.
And so they have the least to boast about and the most to be confident about.
And so they have the least confidence in the flesh and the most confidence in the Spirit.