Foolish Preaching

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May 21, 2020 by directorfsm

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Porque la palabra de la cruz es locura a los que se pierden; pero a los que se salvan, esto es, a nosotros, es poder de Dios. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

Again depending upon which modern translation or version of the bible you use it may have headings that separate sections with themes. The CSB and ESV for example divide Chapter 1 as follows:

v.1-3 –    Greeting

v.4-9 –    Thanksgiving

v.10-17 – Divisions at Corinth

v.18-25 – Christ the Power and Wisdom of God (ESV goes v.18-31)

v.26-31 – Boasting only in the Lord (CSB only)

In v.10-16 Paul speaks about the infighting among the immature church at Corinth. Urging them to unify in the name of Christ and not Apollos, Cephas or himself. 

The defining statement of this section (v.10-17) can be found in the last verse 17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In setting up verse 18, Paul makes 4 points here in verse 17 that can not be ignored:

1. God did not send him to baptize: Some pastors/churches feel the more folks they baptize the more bodies the add to the roles the more they are doing their job. They place a priority on this over all else. But does this agree with the bible? While the Great Commission  does call for Baptism of Truly converted believers, there is a process many skip over before that.  

2. God did send him to preach: In this specific case Paul is arguing from Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; No where does it say and some He gave baptizers :).  Paul understood his duty was to preach and teach the undefiled Gospel Message. The Holy Word of God without error or reservation.

About 2 months before COVID-19 broke, spoke with a Pastor who related how they had about a dozen folks come forward on an alter call this past Sunday and they planned on having a BIG baptismal  ceremony the following Sunday. I remember thinking, seriously what happened to the command to “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” you are telling me they got that all figured out already? I have been a diligently studying the bible daily for well over 20 years and do not nearly have it. 

3. His preaching was not of his own wisdom: Paul was not to EVER preach in his own wisdom. I can’t recall the number of times I have heard something like ‘I do not need to study, or I do not need any training I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.’  HOGWASH, Paul who wrote most 2/3 of the New Testament, was an Old Testament scholar prior to becoming a Christian and then went and studied for three more years 34 A.D. Travels to Arabia and remains there (Gal 1:17) to 37 A.D. Returns to Damascus then exits the city for safety (Gal 1:17; Acts 9:20-25; 2 Cor 11:32-33)  Goes up to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-29; Gal 1:18). 

4. So that the Cross of Christ would be glorified: While Paul certainly had to “take up His cross daily” Luke 9:23his preaching was NEVER about himself, it was always Christ centered and Christ glorifying. 


BREAKDOWN: 

For the preaching of the cross: Again it is Christ’s Cross that must be preach, boldly and without error. Note from v.17 above that God does not demand fancy “wisdom words” the AMP version uses “clever and eloquent speech” what is important is that a CLEAR, and FULL doctrine of Salvation The Complete Gospel Message is preached and taught

is to them that perish foolishness; it is to be taught knowing that some will reject it. In fact the Greek word here used for fool has its root where we get our English word MORON. Someone who is completely mindless and incapable of making a right decision. To them those who preach and teach the “True authentic” Gospel look like idiots.  

One of the biggest oppositions to covenant theology heard is that God has ordain who will be saved so why bother evangelizing and preach at all? Because the bible makes it clear man, apart from Christ is a fool and no man even in Christ and distinguish whom God will effectually call to His kingdom with His amazing Grace. 

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God: To those being saved the Cross is truly powerful for it changes ones life forever 2 Corinthians 5:17

To those of us who are saved, the preaching [and teaching] of the Gospel, has a similar effect. We are driven by Paul’s words in Romans 10 

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

To us the Good News of Christ’s Blood Atonement at Calvary, His life, death, resurrection is power. Again we are like Paul from Romans 1:15-16 AMP So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel… 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


APPLICATION:

Not matter what others think of us we like Paul should never be ashamed of the Good News of Christ. We should take every opportunity to share the Gospel message, but also like Paul being able to do so not in our own wisdom but through careful and diligent study 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP  Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.

 

 

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