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The Instruction of the Cross

Notes & Transcripts

The Instruction of the Cross

February 2, 2003

 

Scripture Reading: 1Cor. 2:6-16

Introduction:

In last week's message we discussed the problem of divisions in the Corinthian church.

We also discovered Paul's solution for those divisions; that the cross of Christ calls us to community.

The church is to be known as the community of the cross.

In fact, we learned that the overall message of 1Cor. is the doctrine of the cross in its social application.

So we continue this morning with Paul's elaboration on what we can learn from the cross as he addresses the many other problems in this Gentile church barely out of the pagan darkness of its worldly environment.

He went so far as to say in 1Cor. 2:2 that he resolved to know nothing while he was with them except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

The preaching of the cross was his central message in the planting of their church.

Why was it important that Paul say this?

It was because the Corinthian Christians not only had a problem with divisions concerning whom each individual house church followed as a leader, but also who had the greatest evidence of spiritual wisdom.

Just like Jesus' disciples who sometimes argued over who would be the greatest, this church was full of immature believers who got caught up with comparative rather than absolute worth before God.

Their divisions would be their undoing.

So again, the doctrine of the cross was the solution.

This time it is the doctrine of the cross as the wisdom of God.

Man has always sought glory for himself through the contest of wit, wisdom and intelligence.

This may be why he plays the game of chess, but he has recently been beaten at his own game.

ILLUS: Chicago Tribune, 1/31/03, Making Machines Human is Real Chess Match of AI World

Now if man can be beaten by his own artificial intelligence, what does that have to say about God's intelligence in comparison?

Big Question:

What can we learn from the cross?

We learn that man's wisdom is worldly ignorance leading to death.

We learn that God's wisdom is divine intelligence leading to life.

We learn that man's worldly ignorance put the cross in place.

We learn that God's divine intelligence allowed the cross to be put in place.

We learn that the cross was God's plan to reveal his divine intelligence through man's worldly ignorance.

We learn that the cross was God's plan to overcome man's worldly ignorance.

Through the cross we come to know the mind of Christ.

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 6)

          B.      Implication

We learn that man's wisdom is worldly ignorance leading to death.

          C.      Illustration

Deuteronomy 28:15-48

Chgo. Trib., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2003, Richard Clarke, the president's cybersecurity advisor, has resigned, but said in passing that our dependence upon the artificial intelligence of the internet is begging for a fall in the face of its vulnerability to terrorist threat by hacking or otherwise.

My own testimony about dependence upon the artificial intelligence of worldly philosophy in church rather than the divine wisdom of the cross: the journey, its length of time, and the things I discovered about God along the way.

          D.      Application

Whether in personal or national contexts, dependence solely upon our own resources is a precarious position, i.e. The Colombia Explosion Upon Re-entry.

At least our president gave glory to God from Isaiah and said that the astronauts did not return to earth, but he prayed they have returned home.

“21  Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23  He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24  No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. 25  "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. 26  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27  Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31  but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:21-31 NIVUS)

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (v. 7)

          B.      Implication

We learn that God's wisdom is divine intelligence leading to life.

          C.      Illustration

Deuteronomy 28:1-14

Movie Video, Judgment (can we find enough evidence to either convict or exonerate God?)

          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (v. 8)

          B.      Implication

We learn that man's worldly ignorance put the cross in place.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

IV.    Cycle Four

 

          A.      Narrative (v. 9)

          B.      Implication

We learn that God's divine intelligence allowed the cross to be put in place.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

V.      Cycle Five

 

          A.      Narrative (v. 10a)

          B.      Implication

We learn that the cross was God's plan to reveal his divine intelligence through man's worldly ignorance.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

VI.    Cycle Six

 

          A.      Narrative (vv. 10b-14)

          B.      Implication

We learn that the cross was God's plan to overcome man's worldly ignorance.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

VII.   Cycle Seven

 

          A.      Narrative (vv. 15-16)

          B.      Implication

Through the cross we come to know the mind of Christ.

          C.      Illustration

VOM, Feb. 2003, page 10, Isaac: Martyr in Muslim Spain 851 A.D.

          D.      Application

Conclusion:

The wisdom of the cross is that the cross is the only means by which the wisdom of God can be imparted to man.

If this wisdom could have been obtained without the cross then it would have been.

It was our lack of wisdom that crucified Christ so that the wisdom of God might come.

The wisdom of God is the unleashing of the Holy Spirit upon the souls of men who come to the cross.

They come to the cross in acknowledgement of their lack of wisdom and find the ignorance of their sin forever nailed there by faith.

Once their sin has been imprisoned and crucified they are free to live a new life in the wisdom of God in power over sin.

Our sin is crossed out on the cross so that we can now listen and obey the power and wisdom of God within us – the blessed Holy Spirit of God.

The wisdom of God is the Holy Spirit within us unleashed by the power of the cross in its victory over sin – because sin is the ultimate ignorance of man.

Through the Holy Spirit we begin to think and act on an entirely different level than we could ever have understood before.

The cross is our window into the ways of God.

It is our doorway into the hope of heaven.

The cross lifts us up above the degradation of earth and plants our hearts in heaven – this is the instruction of the cross.

The cross brings together the community of the redeemed who are taught by God.

The instruction of the cross is the wisdom of God through the Holy Spirit.

Big Answer:

What can we learn from the cross?

We learn that man's wisdom is worldly ignorance leading to death.

We learn that God's wisdom is divine intelligence leading to life.

We learn that man's worldly ignorance put the cross in place.

We learn that God's divine intelligence allowed the cross to be put in place.

We learn that the cross was God's plan to reveal his divine intelligence through man's worldly ignorance.

We learn that the cross was God's plan to overcome man's worldly ignorance.

Through the cross we come to know the mind of Christ.

Timeless Truth:

God grades on the cross, not on the curve.

Our worth is not comparative with one another but in comparison to Christ.

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