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The “Foolish” Gospel
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
December 30, 2018

Tuesday is New Year’s Day.  So perhaps you, like many of us, will spend some time in the next couple of days doing some self-evaluation — where have you done well physically, financially, relationally, and spiritually this year?  Where have you not done so well?  And what changes do you need to make in the coming year — what goals will you set to stimulate personal and spiritual growth?

Many of us, as we come to these days, find ourselves looking at old friends — practices we do well — and facing old foes — things we don’t do particularly well.  Sometimes our failures are a matter of rebellion and sin.  Sometimes our failures are just a makeup of who we are — they are ingrained patterns or even part of our created being.  We aren’t failing necessarily because of sin but just because it is one of the mechanisms of weakness God has placed in our lives to make us dependent on Him.

What is true of us as individuals is also true of churches at a corporate level.  We have dispositions and character that make us what we are.  Some things we do well, and others not so well.  Today we want to address from Scripture one of the areas of our corporate struggle.  We don’t necessarily struggle because of rebellion — in fact, I know many of you want to do better in this area.  Sometimes the struggle is actually part of the outgrowth of our strengths — because we do well in other areas of ministry, this one area is sometimes relegated to a secondary status and the gifts are not fully developed.

I’m speaking of evangelism — both personal and corporate.

What is evangelism?  It is speaking the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection to free men from the penalty and power of sin with the intent to persuade sinners to believe in Him.

In evangelism, we have one message.  But it is a message the world rejects.  They scoff at it.  They mock it.  They hate it.  They persecute those who believe it.  So why preach this gospel?  Why continue to talk about Jesus Christ as the crucified King and Savior?  Because there is only one true message that will save people and there is only one true message that is powerful to transform people.

That’s Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 1 —

“Christ crucified” is the only true and effective gospel.

As we think about evangelism and GBC in 2019, we don’t need more guilt for our failures to speak and we don’t need more motivation to talk.  We need to be convinced of the truth of the gospel and the effectiveness of the gospel.

In this passage Paul reveals five truths about the “foolish” cross —

  1. The Gospel is a Message of the Cross (v. 18)
  2. The Gospel of the Cross is Powerful (vv. 18-19)
  3. The Gospel of the Cross is Wise (vv. 20-25)
  4. The Gospel of the Cross is Man-Humbling (vv. 26-29)
  5. The Gospel of the Cross is God-Glorifying (vv. 30-31)

Download the rest of this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.