Share This Episode
Summit Life J.D. Greear Logo

Catfish, Gentiles, and the Gospel

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2021 6:00 am

Catfish, Gentiles, and the Gospel

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 599 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 5, 2021 6:00 am

In this message, Pastor Bryan continues our series, “Cutting Through the Noise,” showing how the gospel overcomes not only division in the church, but hypocrisy in the church. Church conflict may be at a fever pitch. Cultural idols may have infected Jesus’ body. Still, hope remains. Because as long as we have the gospel, we have the cure in hand.


Well what a phenomenal day to be here. I'm so glad to be here, especially not just as a follower of Jesus Christ gathered with the family of God but also Georgia fan who is preaching at a campus led by Clemson fan anyway so will leave that alone. You have your Bibles was maybe in first Corinthians chapter 1 we were going to continue on in our series together cutting through the noise. We began it last week as pastor JD just laid a wonderful foundation for us if you haven't listened to that sermon, I want to really encourage you to do it not just because it gives us kind of a paradigm foundation as we make our way to the book of first Corinthians, but as I wrote pastor JD earlier this week.

I really do feel like that is a word in season for this church strong pastoral word in a lot of ways for the American church in our current cultural moment.

Current cultural moment. I want to show you today.

We talk about foolishness to the Greeks and I want to show you how the gospel of Jesus Christ should press in on culture and would talk about it from a macro level newly get down in the weeds a little bit and talk about how the gospel presses in on Greek culture and what that looks like for us living in the 21st-century first review chapter 1 pick me up in verse 18, the guy who wrote this. His name is Paul.

Paul says for the word of the cross is folly for those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God for it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart where is the one who is wise. Where is the scribe. Where is the debater of this age is not God made foolish the wisdom of the world pursuant to the wisdom of God the world did not know God through wisdom it please God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe for Jews demand signs see him pressing on culture and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles. Those are being but those are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God for the foolishness of God is wiser than men in the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling brothers not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God because of him. You are in Christ Jesus became to us wisdom from God.

Righteousness and sanctification and redemption so that as it is written with the one who bows boast in the Lord just read a few more verses with me in first Corinthians chapter 2 Paul says, and I when I came to you, brothers, verses one into did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. When you pray with me.thank you for your work. We have come in. We have worshiped you. We have described to you. Your worth your just do God we dare not leave your presence without you speaking to us. So Lord God. These people do not need to know or need to hear the thoughts of a middle-age man they need to hear from an eternal God. Just like you spoke to that Bush that was on fire, but not being consumed to Moses and utterly transformed his life for God so speak through me your vessel. I pray that you give me great clarity, great tenderness, great love and great grace yet great truth change.

Yesterday we pray save someone's soul.

We ask is your gospel will be unpacked.

It's in Christ's name we ask all these things. Amen and amen several years ago there was a term that entered into our cultural collective lexicon is the term catfish, and no I'm I'm talk about what you eat with red beans and rice. By the way if you've never had catfish and red beans and rice. Please do not die go to heaven without having catfish with red beans and rice. If you feel the death Angel knocking tell the hold off until you have catfish with red beans, rice, and are not talking about that Is him talking about the slain angle upon which it is use to be catfish. Typically what that means is, is that you been online arts you been on social media and you been engaging with someone. Maybe you thought they were a man, but only to discover later on their woman or woman only to discover later on that they are a man or maybe you thought you were talking to a Nigerian prince, when in reality it's some dude named Stan limited his mom's basement.

Who's got plans on robbing you. It's an individual who comes across one way, but in reality they are the exact opposite.

Their intent is to deceive when the truth comes out. The level of betrayal, the, the level of the of of just being stabbed in the back. The level of hurt and hopelessness is is overwhelming to the point where I usually throw your hands up in the air and not trust people at all that the idea of being catfish. It's an individual who is deceived you, they've put up kind of one face, but in reality they're completely a different way. I fundamentally believe what Mark never says about the church. Mark never says that that the church of Jesus Christ is called to be a reflection of God to the world the church of Jesus Christ is called to be a reflection of God to a lost and dying world. Yet the problem is is that far too many churches are Fishing the culture we where we can project an image that that were one way but when people hang out with us when people do life with us. They are they are sensing something that's not just different but is is almost like a polar opposite.

This is the case as Paul sits down and writes the church at Corinth believe Paul writing the church at Corinth today, he would say you all have been Fishing people you all the been projecting an image that your one way but when people hang out with you at the church at Corinth.

They are there, sing the polar opposite and he begins by calling out their disunity. John 17 the church of Jesus Christ is called to be one, would you walk into the church at Corinth. You you see nothing but divisions and disunity as pastor JD touched on that but just last week. Not only that but the church of Jesus Christ is called to be holy I want you to understand there's no such thing as perfection. No one gets it right. In fact, I honestly believe that that that the world is limited to hard on the church as if we have a monopoly on disingenuous people you put people together in any data institution you put people together there's there's bound to be levels of hypocrisy were there not living up to the ideals, but it seems as if the church at Corinth had an extra dose of that. Not only that, but there was just this constant running disagreements they had with one another on a walk-through that where you had people say no. I am free to do this in his arguments over that other people sign up you're not free to do this and there's arguments over that Morgan had you walk into a worship service first questions 12, 13 and 14 may be expected some sort of up ordered kind of liturgy worship experience work were God was being exalted Jesus Christ was being lifted up and Paul's going to paint a picture that's not the church at Corinth. You walked in, Maren. It was sheer and utter madness in chaos where the punchline wasn't God, it was all about me and my gifts and my talents and and I'm just pitching a fit if I'm not getting enough attention and is all for those things weren't bad enough, Paul deals with the fifth issue right towards the end of the book prescriptive 15th where you had some Christians in the church at Corinth who were questioning the court doctrine of the Christian faith, which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Paul has to spend a whole chapter addressing kind of up there questioning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in all this put together is just a devastating picture of how the church at Corinth had been Fishing the culture they had come across is one way where in reality they are a completely different way.

As Paul deal with this pastor JD dove into it last week.

How does Paul deal with this. Paul takes each issue explains the issue unpacks the issue and then he applies the gospel of Jesus Christ to the issue. He steps into the brokenness names the brokenness and says here's how the gospel of Jesus Christ steps into that brokenness, and speaks to it and repairs it and fixes it. The punchline being that's exactly how you and I should live now. If you are comes our home be on the south side of Atlanta when I was little boy and you would look at my mom's medicine cabinet wasn't that complicated. She actually really had bow one bottle in her medicine cabinet that it was a bottle called cod liver oil. Now, if you've never had cod liver oil. Consider yourself blessed and highly favored of the Lord because cod liver oil has got to be the nastiest thing ever made anybody here had cod liver oil. It is absolutely horrible. The problem is my mama.

She had it in her mind she never spent a day in medical school.

Not a medically trained doctor or whatever, but she had it in her mind.

Whatever ails you had cod liver oil written all over it and it cod liver oil stomachache cod liver oil toothache cod liver oil weathers about the change and she's afraid something might happen.

Let's give you some preventative medicine called cod liver oil. Unbelievable. I'm am really conducive mama was panting today and we were little kids, she would not even pay attention to what the CDC was saying about the covert pandemics is that I got the fictional need to get vaccinated cod liver oil. By the way, that is not an endorsement not to get vaccinated or to get vaccinated gutter problems, please email me at Daniel

I would love to entertain whatever questions you have. Being a bit facetious here when it comes to my mama but everything my mother's mind.

You could just apply this one thing, but this is what Paul is saying Paul is saying for the believer are medicine cabinet eight that complicated. Whatever your brokenness may be apply the gospel to it. Paul is insane. We should get therapy. Paul is saying we shouldn't seek wise counsel, Paul is saying we should lead lead not leading into godly community. But Paul is saying above all else. As gospel, above all people, make sure we're taking the cod liver oil of the gospel and applying it to whatever brokenness may be in our lives. It actually works that much better taste a lot better as well.

This is Paul's whole approach now. Hang in there with me because there is a subtle subplot that is happening in the book of first Corinthians. One of the things that is bubbling underneath the surface, is that Paul is dealing with a clash of cultures understand this, we have to go back to first Corinthians to the two acts chapter 18 where Paul plants the church at Corinth you want to know what kind of Paul's mythological methodology may be is youth you would want to go and read Romans chapter 116 Romans 116. Paul says I am not ashamed of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe not to, that you only to the Jew first and also the Greek. Some churches is really important you understand this when Paul walks into a town like Ephesus or Athens or Corinth or Anytown to plant the gospel. He always asked two questions he said take it. Can you point me in the direction of the synagogue. Why because Paul is saying I want to preach the gospel to Jews to go to the synagogue and preaches Christ to the Jews and some Jews did say they turn from darkness to light it and now their followers of Jesus Christ. But he's not done piece is nowhere to the Gentiles, hang out in Athens at X 17 date point of up to Martinsville.

Some of us have been the Marcille live. That's where they hang out in Ephesus. They pointed to the hall of Tyre Arena since first Corinthians chapter 18 verse four. Luke writes this of Paul's being in Corinth that Paul tried to persuade Jews and Greeks, so he now shares Christ with Greek sump Greeks come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

Some Jews come to know Christ as Lord and Savior. But now he's got a problem because these two different ethnicities in these two different cultures hate each other.

They don't like each other and also what is he do that. Maybe if he was the following to the church growth gurus of the early to mid 20th century. Maybe he would've started to churches on two sides of the tracks, one on the north side of town. For the Jews and one on the south side of town for the Gentiles. Paul doesn't do that.

Paul says I'm starting one church, and I want you to flesh out horizontally what you have already experienced vertically and that is reconciliation.

I need you to display the visible reconciling power of the gospel by you doing life with people who don't look like you act like you think like you or vote. Like you I I want you to live this out. Some of this is really important because you've heard pastor JD say this several years ago pastor JD said our vision here at the church.

One of them is we want to be 25% minority by 2025. We want to be a church of diversity.

Why does that matter. He didn't say that because that's the politically correct are in thing to do didn't say that because this wonderful church growth techniques.

He said that because of the truth of the Scriptures and the reality of our mission field some the latest data says that the triangle area is 56% white and 44% people of color as seen in that light, all pastor JD is trying to lead us in his he's saying I just want our sanctuaries to look like our mission field. I just want our sanctuaries to look like our mission field. Pastor JD is saying were not trying to reach just part of the triangle were not just trying to reach ZIP Code here or ZIP Code there. We are filled with the gospel. We want to see people from every nation, tribe and tongue not just overseas. We want to see people also in our immediate context come to know the power of the gospel and be reconciled to God and reconciled to one another.

So here is Paul he is sitting down in his he's writing this multiethnic and multicultural church is filled with different cultures and historically like so many different ethnicities in our country.

Jews and Greeks don't get along, and yet here they are in one local assembly and what's got them together is not a political party what's gotten them together is not a social agenda what's gotten them together is the gospel of Jesus Christ. All the power of the gospel to bring former enemies together and close community with one another. The gospel fundamentally begins on a note of God's love and will talk about this in just a few moments that God loves us, but the problem is sin because of Adam and Eve sin in the garden. Romans chapter 5 tells us that sin entered the world through one man in it infected everybody. All of us born into this world because of Adam's sin are born into sin.

That's why we don't have to teach our kids how to be selfish. We don't have to teach them how to live rent to teach them how to sin.

It is the default condition of the human heart.

We are born into sin what is sin do sin impedes our relationship with God and impedes our relationship with one another and have time to get into this. But when Adam and Eve first in the first thing they they they do is they hide from God, and they hide from one another. Sin is profoundly social.

The answer to this is is not me trying harder. The answer to this is not religion. The answer to this is Christ, and Christ alone understand something about me when I was a student at most levels. Grade school, elementary school, middle school, college, I was a lazy student. It wasn't until a grad school. When dad informed me that I would have to go to grad school on my own dime that I actually started exerting a lot more effort. Funny how that works, and so you know I'm, lazy student and I graduate from crop from college and so my friends graduated summa cum laude others, magna cum laude, I graduated. Thank you Lottie and was finally able to make it through college and I have decided to grad school. But because of my laziness, grad school, work, coming after me. I settle in on a seminary in Southern California, and Samantha seminary was way too expensive and I didn't have the resources and so there was this gap. It look like there wasn't be able to be a academic relationship between me and that institution what it costs was beyond my ability to get there because of that in their justice they want just going to give me a freebie. They had they had professors.

They knew the pay they had bills they needed to pay. So in their justice.

They couldn't just let me in. I was able to get in because what filled the gap between their justice and my current reality was something called a scholarship.

An individual had set aside money had allocated money for people like me specifically for individual business scholarship or under resourced and represented students and simply meant you were told not for good before the other: the rinse it so that scholarship. Watch it now.

It satisfied the just demands of the institution, and yet gave me the resources I need to have a relationship with the institution for this is the gospel and the holiness of God. God is looking at us in our sin had racked up with debt that no amount of morality or our striving could satisfy. There was a gap there that week we could not get to God on our own terms and God and his justice just couldn't ignore the debt.

That's when Jesus lifted his hand and said I'll be the scholarship. I'll step in and I'll fill in the blanks. You and I are able to have a relationship with God in a relationship with other believers, not because of the amazing consecutive quiet time streak we've been on, but because of the scholarship of Jesus Christ, who died in our place and for our sins, and it is that scholarship. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings together Jews and Greeks within this local assembly together and it is the gospel of Jesus Christ brings you and I together under the Lordship of Christ.

It's not our political ideologies. It's it it's not our tax brackets. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ's. That brings us together.

This is pretty amazing. Here is Paul and what we see Paul doing is he sits down in our Texan is talking to this multiethnic, multicultural congregation, and he says I want you to understand something Jews the gospel has something to say to you the gospel presses in on you Jews also want you to understand Greeks, the gospel has something to say to you the gospel presses in on you. He's going to show us that the gospel of Jesus Christ should be contextualized in order to confront the gospel of Jesus Christ should be contextualized in order to confront what is that mean first Corinthians chapter 9. The apostle Paul says it this way. He says to the Jew. I became as a Jew.

Verses 19 to 23 so that I might win the Jews. Later on he says into the Greeks or the Gentiles or to those outside the law I became as one outside the law.

Again, those outside the law represents the Greeks or the Gentiles.

You keep saying I became begins in verse 23 by saying I do it all for the sake of the gospel is what Paul is saying the gospel is driving me to engage different cultures.

When I engage different cultures.

He says I became. I became the idea of contextualized was that mean the gospel is close to hand the message of Jesus Christ. The fact that he died in my place, and for my sins. We don't fiddle with that we don't debate that week.

We don't just not up for discussion. Getting up to how you feel. It ain't up to what you think the message of Jesus Christ is substitutionary atoning work.

The fact that I am saved by grace through faith. This is close and it is timeless. It is good news and we don't fiddle with that good news ever.

It is the timeless message of Jesus watch it so that the messages close hand but our methods how we communicate not only should change. They have to change. I was thinking earlier this week. There is a there's a book I remember rummaging through a Christian bookstore in the 1990s. Remember Christian bookstores. By the way I was rummaging through one back in the 1990s I came across a title back 1990s. It says an 8-track church in a CD world what it was trying to get to the outdated and this of the church in Hallahan contextualized but that the title wouldn't fly today like you have to change that. The concept is timeless, but how you convey that has to change is the idea of contextualizing Lily limply to be a couple examples of this. I pastor for 12 years in Memphis Tennessee in Memphis Tennessee. I caught on very quickly very religious town for most people in Memphis, Tennessee zero 2000 grown up going to church and because of that I could contextualized by actually assuming a high level of biblical IQ and so that's what I did.

Most the gospel of conversion stories in our church went like this say I grew up in church group, very religious, but it wasn't until recently that I understood the gospel.

So what I had to do in Memphis is to show them that there's a difference between the gospel and religion those two things are not the same. So I would contextualized in order to confront them so that I could win them with the gospel.

Several years later I found myself pastoring in Mountain View, California which is right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Let's just say that a Memphis, Tennessee. Most the people there did not grow up in church, completely secular, highly educated and highly successful individuals.

I could not assume a high biblical IQ. I could not get up and say you remember the sort they did not remember the story. Listen same message but I had to use different means. Most of my messages I'm quoting secular philosophers secular writers I'm kind of act 17 Paul on Mars Hill using their altars to an unknown God and connecting that to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I did that in such a way so that I could confront some of their idols. Tim Keller serves whenever you walk into a down.

You gotta know the idols aren't and be able to take the gospel and speak to those idols and in Silicon Valley. It's a highly successful kind of a lot about success idols that are happening. In fact, Palo Alto has the highest concentration of childhood suicide in the country you would never know anything about it.

They jump out of the middle of trains.

They don't write articles about it or worry about copycatting and things of that nature. The reason for that. Sociologist Ellis parents driving their kids to heart the success think I had to take the gospel and show them how the gospel presses against that culture. The gospel speaks to every single culture in every single account to let me back up and come to your neighborhood. What is culture culture has been described as the house we live in. The combination of location, time, how we were raised up ethnicity economics a whole bunch of different things. All of us in this room right now.

We have been shaped profoundly by our culture and all of us in this room right now we are in one of two camps, either.

Our culture is driving our gospel or our gospel is driving our culture. The gospel of Jesus Christ must press against how you have been culturally shaped and culturally formed we go. Here are some wonderful things about being an African-American man. I have been created in the image of God. God did not follow Stevie wonder when he made me a part of how he made me is black fearfully and wonderfully made some good things that they go into that yes and amen there also.

Also some other areas that I got allow the gospel to press into my blackness. I do not allow my blackness to drive Mike gospel but I allow my gospel to drive my blackness, so it is for those of you wore whites voted for those of your age.

It is for those of you of you were fluent for those of you who are poor. There are things about our culture that are great and there are things about our culture that the gospel must constantly press against is gospel above all people. Thank you for the software that I just did a great 99 so here's Paul.

Paul says he ran third head for home. Greeks, let me show you what the gospel has to say about you Greeks. Let me show you just take the gospel and let me put press in on you Greeks is very important as we round wrap up our sermon.

Wallace is talking to. Obviously the church at Corinth church at Corinth. As we learned last week sits on a bit very busy thoroughfare and as such it was a popular place for the Greek sophists to come and hang out and we talk about sophist is the Greek word for wisdom originally. Wisdom is the idea skillful living, but the time Paul writes this idea of of Sophia. This idea of wisdom wasn't just speaking of skillful living.

It was also speaking of skillful teaching and skillful communicators and spoke of individuals who work masters at rhetoric and by the way Greek culture. They've given us that three-legged stool of rhetoric. It was the Greeks who said great speakers you may have. Logoff ethos and pathos. They set a great speaker had logout that is content. You always let the great speaker going. I learned something today. They said the Greeks were not just great at Lagos with great Greek speakers had ethos. The idea of ethics is the idea of when you listen to a speaker there just a sense of thought that this person is living what they're talking about. They have ethics.

They had logoff ethos and pathos is the idea of passion, but remember the Greeks very very stoic individuals. So the idea of pathos to the Greeks passion isn't animation as much as it it it's it's talking from your gut and so they said that these great Greek speakers that you would learn something.

There was some deep knowledge there. There's a sense of ethos. They were living it out and there is a sense of pathos to the mayor was there's a sense in which they were talking from their gut and so Corinth was one of the major stops for these Greek sophists to come through. It was like speakers corner in their day. It was like walking into an auditorium, but to listen to a lineup of of of Ted talks, it was these individuals one after one after one after one and they would come here and they would just kind of teach and speak the birds out the trees. Yet Paul is saying I got I gotta tell you, as as as enticing as they may be, they are dead wrong and what they are saying and I want to show you how the gospel presses in one of the first things that Paul does is he shows us the foolishness of the gospel to the Greek culture because the Greek culture was steeped in the celebrity culture look again with me if you will, at verse 26 for consider your calling brothers not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth, but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. Paul is saying this you are breaking your neck to hear these celebrity speakers. They got big names, but I want you to understand when you look at how God operates in redemptive history.

More times than not, he doesn't go after the big name he goes after the person you've never heard of before. Oh friends, we need to hear this word, there is a theme woven throughout the tapestry of Scripture that shows that God has a soft spot for what I call little people. People that the world would Passover I could take you. It's all over the Bible like I could take you to to Ruth.

Here's Ruth. She's a starving immigrant on the brink of death from Moab.

She ends up being shown incredible kindness and favorites by Boaz. She would be engrafted into the lineage of Jesus, and she would become the grandmother of David Ortega, David. When Samuel shows up at Jesse's house to anoint the next king David his own dad doesn't even think highly enough of him to bring him out with the rest of his brothers is left out in the field evening to make that insignificant. By his own father and yet Samuel when he gets to the end of all the brothers he hears God say of him with someone you understand. Man looks on the outside. I look at the heart stimulus is there another one, and Jesse says yeah and he's out in the field and that's David this little insignificant want God would use to usher in Israel to her golden age take Israel. Israel is referred to as the dusty ones by the Egyptians there seen as being so insignificant and yet what happens. God uses them to pull off the biggest upset of all time.

By taking down the mighty Egypt or take Mary see some up from Podunk village. She laughs from some kind of big metropolitan city. I'm just can't get to know the area.

No offense, but Mary is probably from not Mebane map and she's probably from a section that people would say I had never guessed that it was God do that. This is exactly the kind of person I want and what about Jesus.

Jesus doesn't come to earth as a Roman centurion or seminar comes born to poor parents. Jesus comes taking on flesh dwelling among us. Jesus himself says birds of the air have mass foxes have all that I have nowhere to lay my head.

God has a soft spot for little people.

Why so that when God pulls off his glory. It is for his glory, not ours, so that people would look cannot be impressed without us they would be impressed with. Gotta hope you're here today and you feel insignificant. You feel overlooked. I want you to understand. You are right in the crosshairs of the kind of person God uses this doesn't mean God doesn't use affluent people. Yes, he does Abraham's affluent Joseph is affluent. Daniel is affluent Lydia so on and so forth.

God is a weak spot for the little people. Secondly, Paul presses in the Greek culture by telling him it's little people versus celebrities. But secondly he challenges this whole Greek notion of apathy failed. The idea of apathy into the Greeks. It's our English word apathy they pictured the deities that God exists being emotionally removed to the Greeks.

It was unthinkable that God would be emotionally invested in humanity. Paul says that is the foolishness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ begins on a note of love John 316 says for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, but we see Jesus invested emotionally in humanity.

John 1135 Jesus wept. Paul writes in Romans chapter 5 that God demonstrated not his apathy but God demonstrated his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so when you understand some of you have major daddy wounds.

Some of you when you reflect on your father growing up. The image you see is a permanent scout. Maybe the image you see is up absent dad who was not emotionally or physically invested in your life and what you do you take that image of your father and you attach it to your heavenly father.

But if I could just say it very nice in all theologically sophisticated, like God ate your daddy. He is a physically and emotionally involved dad who says of you that he loves you. He says of you and I what he said of Jesus.

This is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased. He sees you not to the limits of your behavior but through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, you are profoundly loved by God what is God do takes the gospel presses into Greek culture. He says look little people versus celebrities up apathy versus love. He goes on to talk about the attached versus attached.

The Greek mindset God would never come down. God would just kind of stay in his corner office, and be detached from humanity is the gospel say the gospel rises and falls on the incarnation of Jesus Christ incarnation means that Jesus Christ was God took on flesh. John one tells us, and dwelt among us. He walked with us and talked with us because of that, the writer of Hebrews says we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin.

Jesus Christ is human enough to relate to our frailties. But God enough to have overcome them. Jesus took on flesh and dwelt among us. And of course as we wrap up the greatest affront to the Greeks understanding with this whole idea of God dying on the cross. Greeks said that would never happen. Romans one even allow their own citizens to die on the cross.

What is Paul saying first Corinthians to one through two aces and I when I came to you, brothers did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.

Spry decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified him crucified.

Paul rightly understood the cross to be the centerpiece of both the gospel in human history, for it is our only hope for salvation.

This is why Paul would say to the Colossians look at it with me and you were dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling canceling canceling the record of death again at that against us with its legal demands. This he set aside mailing it to the cross. I'm in my seat. What you need to hear this when your crucified.

The record of debt was nailed above your head on the cross record of debt as it sounds. It lists all your debts out in modern cultural parlance, it would be our credit report and it would list everything we've ever owed it would it would list all of our creditors. Paul uses the record of debt imagery to speak, not financially but morally it talks about the record of debt every sin we've never committed, are committing and will ever commit has been nailed to the cross and I love it. He says the death of Jesus canceled it. The Greek word therefore canceled it means to wipe clean as though it never existed.

Maybe some of you are here and maybe you got a criminal record.

Maybe at one time you had a criminal record and maybe at that time you experience profound grace with a criminal record was expunged. When a person has a criminal record expunged.

It is wiped clean as if it never existed as if the offense never happened and now it is restored unto you the full rights of citizenship friends. Paul says that's what Jesus did for every follower of his when we came to the cross again. Every sin we've ever committed, are committing and will ever commit has been nailed on our spiritual credit report is been nailed to the cross and our record has been expunged as if it has never existed, and now you and I are in the kingdom. Having the full rights of citizenship, we are daughters we are sons we are no longer slaves or hired hands because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is the foolishness of the gospel some years ago I was hanging out. The pastor friend of mine invited me in town.

The district to him. This is in the southwestern portion of the day together.

Just get to know one another were hanging out small talk and in the conversation goes little serious. I decided up the ante a little bit. I said can you tell me how you came to know Jesus, just pause smiled, says you won't believe it is a crime and all my my father was a was a former athlete at the time he was a high school baseball coach of whatever your picture is of a professional athlete.

That's what my dad did he wreak havoc on our household and just live the totally thorough pagan life is at Sunday's was kind of our days together were huge Denver Broncos Fannin so we sit there and watch the game and miss one Sunday were watching the game is dads doing what is always doing these taken his beard is chugging his beard and started his beer studies working through several beers and submit this point dads that buzzed, not drunk is because you want to the Broncos game and were about to kick extra points feel goes on and what was right is about to take this extra points feel golden debts truck and beers was the camera pans in the in the stands to a do with a clown suit holding a sign that says Romans 10, nine and 10.

He says my dad stops and says give me a Bible references man I didn't pay that any attention to me, that had to be beer talking with his dad was adamant did me a Bible is his name. At that house upside down. Several minutes later I come back with the Bible we flip to the table of contents make her weight of book of Romans. Read Romans to nine and 10 and it's right there that my father surrenders his life to Jesus in a way that I was skeptical when I tell you the days to come.

I saw a total 180 change in my dad's and my dad would end up leaving the rest of us in his household of faith in Jesus Christ presents the foolishness of the gospel that God could take someone in a clown suit holding a sign at a football game while someone else listen.

He is not dependent on my on my feeble attempts of articulation.

God doesn't need you to doubt all your theological eyes and cross all your theological TVs. He doesn't need you to want to read Wayne grew them systematic theology and be able to argue.

Fine points of doctrine.

I'm not saying don't be prepared. I'm not saying don't learn apologetics defenses, but you do know God was saving people before apologetics came along. God doesn't need us to have it all in order. God takes foolish things and he works his profound wisdom so that only he gets the glory. This is the foolishness of the gospel and it's this gospel we present to you the father bless you. I thank you for the good news of Jesus Christ.

I thank you for how the gospel of Jesus Christ returns former enemies into friends enter family and I pray that that's the case here. I thank you Lord God that your gospel presses in on every single culture. I pray that we would be of gospel above all church, church, Lord God, where it's clear that the supremacy of Christ is over, above and beyond everything else also pray Lord God for us.

Called be your ambassadors your witnesses yes Lord, may we we learn that we study.

May we get better at defending the gospel of Jesus Christ but may we also be like Paul and be willing to be fools for you that you take the simple message of the gospel and you you draw sinners unto yourself. I believe right now, someone needs to know you, Lord God is Lord and Savior.

Would you draw them unto yourself.

In Jesus name we pray all these things a man


Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime