1 Corinthians 1:17-24 (KJV) 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. 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. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHing to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we PREACH Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
We will be in page 1605 in the Pew Bibles.
Audio of Message:
The events in Charlottesville, Virginia shocked our nation. On August 12th 2017 people gathered in that city to protest, to attack one another with pepper spray, bottles, and rocks, and ultimately ended up killing one person and injuring 19 others. While the press busily places labels on who did what and the President is judged on whether his address in the aftermath was too harsh or not harsh enough, the nation wrings its hands. What are we going to do?
We need the Word of the Cross.
The only thing that will change the human heart is the Gospel of Christ.
The Word of God must be lifted up.
The Blood stained Cross must be shared over and over again.
The Apostle said: Galatians 6:14 (NKJV) But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
In our King James text the word “Preach” is translated four times. In each occurrence these are different words. Yet the word I’ve highlighted on your handout is not the same word over and over again, but four different Greek words. Let’s look at each one of the uses of the word “Preach”.
The World Is In Bad Shape, But God Has Good News
1 Corinthians 1:17 (KJV) 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.
1 The word translated “Preach The Gospel” is the Greek is εὐαγγελίζω euaggelizō (pronounced yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo), which means “to share the good news”. When we share the Gospel we are
… sharing the good news of God
The Angel of God told the Shepherds guarding their flocks by night,
Luke 2:10-11 (NASB) … Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
The Gospel is good news or good tidings for ALL people. A Savior came from Heaven to earth. We need a Savior. We desperately need a Savior. God looks down from Heaven and what does He see? God says:
Romans 3:9-12 (NASB) both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.
Every person is born into this life spiritually dead and separated from God. The One exception to this rule is Jesus Christ our Lord. He came from God to save the sinner. He came from God to redeem us from emptiness. He came from God to bring us into union with God, part of the Family of God, to live in Him. The bad news is that we’re sinners. The good news – the euaggelizō (yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo) is that God reaches out to ALL through Jesus Christ. There is none that God cannot save. There is no broken person who cannot be restored. The beginning of salvation is to come to Christ.
The Apostle preached the Cross “not with wisdom of words”, not using philosophy or flattery. He didn’t try to dress it up. He just stated the truth. We are sinners. We are due damnation. Our thoughts are apart from God. But IF we come to Christ HE will save us. HE will bless us.
How does God save us?
Does He just look the other way?
No. We come to the second use of “Preach” in our text.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the PREACHing of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
It Is The WORD Of The Cross That Saves
2 This time the Apostle uses λόγος logos (pronounced log’-os) which means “Word”. What he literally says is:
For The WORD of the Cross is foolishness
to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved,
It is the power of God.
Two words are used for “Word” in the Greek – LOGOS and LALIA. The word LALIA is the spoken word whereas LOGOS is the logical word. Jesus told the Pharisees:
John 8:43 (NASB) Why do you not understand what I am SAYING (LALIA)? It is because you cannot hear My WORD (LOGOS).
Logos or the Word is the wisdom of God. It is the word LOGOS that is used for Jesus in John 1:1-3:
John 1:1-3 (KJV) 1 In the beginning was the WORD (LOGOS), and the WORD (LOGOS) was with God, and the WORD (LOGOS) was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made
The reason we have the “Good News” is because of the Word of the Cross.
John 1:14 And the WORD (LOGOS) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Do you want an answer to Racism?
Here it is.
The WORD became FLESH.
Jesus was not a white man.
Jesus was not a black man.
Jesus was not a yellow man.
Jesus was not a red man.
Jesus was a Jew.
God became a Jew, out of the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As a Jew our Jesus Christ – the LOGOS or WORD of God – died for the sins of ALL.
The world doesn’t understand this. The logic of the world is “black lives matter” or “white lives matter” or “this or that life matters”. The Word of the Cross is “every life matters”. Every person is precious. Every person has potential. What does God say in the Word of the Cross?
1 Corinthians 1:19-20 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
The “Word” of this world is foolishness.
Anything that draws away from the Word of the Cross is foolishness, broken, doomed to fail. The Word never fails. The world fails, but the Word never fails.
Think about the difference between the word “Word” and the word “World”. When you take “Word” and add “l” to it, you make the “World”.
When you try human means to fix things it ends up foolish, lost, far from sane. But when you concentrate on the Word of the Cross you find the blessedness of God in Christ. The Word of the Cross comes to the sinner and says “I will heal you. I will lift you up.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
3 Now we come to the third time the word “Preach” is used in this text, and this is the word κήρυγμα kērygma (pronounced kay’-roog-mah). This word actually means “to be a public crier, to proclaim or herald”.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHing to save them that believe.
It Is The Gospel PROCLAIMED or SHARED That Saves
Kērygma (pronounced kay’-roog-mah) means to share or proclaim. It is not a whispered message, but a clear message. The Gospel was meant to be shared with those you know. People must understand there is no salvation without repentance. A person is to turn FROM sin and TOWARD Christ to be saved. Jesus did not whisper “come follow Me” – He spoke it clearly.
Christ is the centerpiece of the Gospel.
The Gospel is not self help but God help.
The Gospel is not continued sinning, but Godly sorrow and surrender.
The Gospel is the leper coming to Christ,
The blind staggering to Christ,
The cripple crawling to Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:23 But we PREACH Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The Content Of The Gospel Is Christ Crucified
4 The fourth “Preach” is κηρύσσω kēryssō (pronounced kay-roos’-so) which refers to the content of the Gospel. We preach Christ CRUCIFIED. This is not a message that the world loves.
The Jews or the religious world finds the crucifixion of Christ to be a stumblingblock. The Jew thought that their sacrifices and rituals brought them close to God. The sacrifices and rituals all pointed to the Coming Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world. To the Jews God’s Gospel says:
Romans 4:25 (NIV) (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
We do not preach salvation BY good works.
We preach Christ crucified.
He died that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Charles Swindoll wrote: God declared that all who sin will die, both physically and spiritually. This is the fate of all mankind. But God, in His grace and mercy, provided a way out of this dilemma, the shed blood of His perfect Son on the cross. God declared that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22), but through the shedding of blood, redemption is provided. The Law of Moses provided a way for the people to be considered “sinless” or “right” in God’s eyes—the offering of animals sacrificed for every sin they committed. These sacrifices were only temporary, though, and were really a foreshadowing of the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:10).
The Greeks or the secular world considers the Cross of Christ to be foolishness, superstition, a rabbit’s foot in a modern age. Psychiatry and psychology mock religion. Philosophy makes god a man and Man a god.
But we preach Christ crucified.
The Cross has come and gone. God became man, perfect man, and went to the Cross to die for our sins. His Blood covers the sins of whosoever will.
But WE preach Christ crucified.
This is the theme that unites us, the love of God redeeming and reconciling. We glorify Jesus. We come together not elevating ourselves, but each of us representing our King and Savior. We are nothing without Christ. We end with these words:
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 (KJV) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Let us glory in Jesus!