Classic Friday Stop Defending The Bible (Part 1) - [1 Corinthians 1:17 ff]

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Pastor Mike preaches Stop Defending The Bible (Part 1) - [1 Corinthians 1:17 ff]


The Battle Royale (Part 2) - [Luke 4:1-13]

Welcome to No Compromise Radio, a ministry coming to you from Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
No Compromise Radio is a program dedicated to the ongoing proclamation of Jesus Christ, based on the theme in Galatians 2, verse 5, where the
Apostle Paul said, But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
In short, if you like smooth, watered -down words to make you simply feel good, this show isn't for you.
By purpose, we are first biblical, but we can also be controversial. Stay tuned for the next 25 minutes as we're called by the divine trumpet to summon the troops for the honor and glory of her
King. Here's our host, Pastor Mike Abendroth. I know many of you love to preach the gospel to your friends and neighbors and our wonderful evangelists.
Some like Robert Muto, if I'm in a hurry, I don't know if I want to hang out with him because he'll always stop for the waitress or his friends or people that he works with to give them the gospel.
I know you love to preach the gospel here at Bethlehem Bible Church. What happens though when you're preaching the gospel to your friend or family member or somebody at work and they say, well, wait a second, you're preaching the
Bible to me and the Bible's got a lot of mistakes? What do you say when someone says, well, you know what, man wrote the
Bible, discounting the Bible and its truths. Maybe your friend says, yeah, but there's a lot of inconsistencies in the
Bible. There's a lot of errors in the Bible. I can't really trust it. You have no authority over me.
What do you say? Are you back on your heels in defense or on your toes in offense?
What do you do? Charles Spurgeon once wrote about the Bible and he said this,
I think you'll find it encouraging. Brethren, the word of the Lord can stand alone.
Without the propping, which many are giving it. The word of God can take care of itself and will do so if we preach it and cease defending it.
See you that lion, they've caged him for his preservation, shut him up behind iron bars to secure him from his foes.
See how a band of armed men have gathered together to protect the lion. What a clatter they make with their swords and spears.
These mighty men are intent upon defending a lion. Spurgeon, oh fools and slow of heart, open that door.
Let the Lord of the forest come forth free. Who will dare to encounter him?
What does he want with your guardian care? Let the pure gospel go forth in all its lion -like majesty and it will soon clear its own way and ease itself of its adversaries.
Yes, without attempting to apologize even for the severe truths of revelation.
Seven times a day do we praise the Lord for giving us his judgments so righteous and so sure.
Today my purpose for you in this sermon today is for you to stop defending the
Bible. Everything in you is going to want to defend the Bible and I want you to do something instead of defending the
Bible, I want you to proclaim it. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 31 does it not, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, including evangelism, you are to do to the glory of God.
There's a glorifying way to do evangelism and so while I'm very proud of you as a pastor that you regularly reach out and you pray for your loved ones and you try to evangelize your friends and do those things for your workers,
I want you to do it in a way that honors the Lord. So much so that some of us think, well you know what,
I think the goal in evangelism is the salvation of that person. Did you know that's not the ultimate goal in evangelism?
Do you say, well in evangelism my goal is to look good, I don't want to look stupid,
I don't want to look anti -intellectual, I don't want to look like I'm some kind of ignoramus or some kind of troglodyte living in a cave,
I want to look good. Did you know that the ultimate goal in evangelism is the glory of God?
So we want to talk about that today in terms of how we deal with unbelievers and do we defend the
Bible or do we proclaim the Bible? And of course as Christians we'd like to honor the
Lord in our evangelism, would we not? When we think about what the Lord Jesus did for us,
God is just and he will render to every person, including you, including me, what their due is.
What their due, every sinner will get exactly what they've earned and deserved. And God does not forget in terms of his justice, he does not delay in his justice, but he does provide a
Savior who he will justly punish in our place. And if he would do that for us, if God would forgive us our sins, the
Bible says, I will remember your sins no more. Remember the sins, a few sins you committed even in the last week or month and we have our conscience against us and we have shame.
God says, I don't remember any of those sins because my son has perfectly kept the law.
He's merited righteousness for you. He's done right. And you get that freely and all the sins that you've committed,
Jesus pays for. So he justly says, I don't remember them at all. If a God did that for you, wouldn't you want to evangelize properly?
Wouldn't you want to say, you know, I want to obey God and do the things that he wants me to do his way.
So that's what we want to talk about today is since you have a mediator and a friend in the Lord Jesus, can you think of anybody who's loved you on this earth or will love you more than Jesus?
And since he's loved you to the extent that he gave his life for you and he's been raised for you, don't you want to do everything to please him out of gratitude?
Even evangelism can be done to the glory of God. So today, let me give you some reasons why you should stop defending the
Bible. Since God has given you faith in Christ Jesus and he has assuaged the wrath on his because of his son, you respond with evangelistic fervor.
But I don't want you to defend the Bible any longer. Reason number one, and by the way, we will be in Nahum soon enough.
It is our practice here at the church verse by verse through books of the Bible. There will be some exposition, especially in the center here of our message today, a main passage that we'll park in.
But to get there, we're going to have a few short points of discussion. Number one reason, not because it's the most important, but just it's because my number one reason, number one, to stop defending the
Bible, because we're going to work to a climax, is that the Bible never defends itself. I don't want you to defend the
Bible any longer. I know you kind of want to. That's what I want to do. But the Bible doesn't defend itself. Listen to some of these introductions to books of the
Bible that just proclaim no defense, no apology, not on our heels.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep and the
Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. God said, let there be light.
There was light. God saw that the light was good and separated the light from the darkness. Genesis one, an exclamation, a proclamation, a heralding.
How about John chapter one? In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was
God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made in him.
Jesus was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
Or how about Hebrews one? Turn to Hebrews one, if you will, and you can see another proclamation, a declaration, no defense, no apology, no stuttering to try to say, well, you know, it's written a long time ago when you have manuscript evidence and all this stuff.
No, it's just a proclamation. Could there be a more
Christ extolling, more wonderful declaration with not a hint, not an ounce, not a smidgen of the leaven of I'm ashamed of what
I'm going to say. I have to defend the Bible. Long ago at many times and in many ways,
God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his son, whom he appointed
Jesus, the heir of all things, through whom Jesus also through whom also he,
Jesus created the world. He Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. And he, Jesus is the exact imprint of God's nature.
And he, Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power. And the pinnacle of the work of Jesus on earth, and he,
Jesus, after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.
Don't you see it? When you look at the Bible, there's not a defense. It's a proclamation. The first reason you should stop defending the
Bible is the Bible does not defend itself. Are there any other reasons? Yes. Number two, you're never told to defend the
Bible. Stop defending the Bible because you have no command to defend it. There's no example to defend it.
So don't defend it any longer. That's easy. We could probably just close in prayer here, right?
You're never told to defend the Bible. I know what you're saying. What about that verse in first Peter chapter three?
Let's go there. Let's go to first Peter chapter three. Aren't we supposed to make a defense to anyone who asks for the hope that's in us?
Well, let's find out. First Peter chapter three. What I'm after in this sermon today is for you to talk about the
Lord Jesus more than you're gonna try to talk about carbon dating, manuscript evidence, archeological digs, and your changed life.
We have an object of the faith, and it's the Lord Jesus. And you're gonna talk about the law, certainly, to drive them to the
Lord Jesus, and talk about the visible attributes of the world that judge them, so they need a savior.
But I want you to talk more about Jesus than you do about carbon dating and fossil records.
First Peter is written to some dear saints that are suffering, and he extols the work of God in their life in chapter one.
And he says here in first Peter three, 13 to 16, now, who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.
And here's our verse to consider. But in your hearts, honor
Christ as Lord, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for what?
For a reason for the hope that is in you. Pastor Mike, see, there it is.
I'm gonna try to talk about this a little bit and defend it a little bit, and here's what God has done for me.
I'd ask you the question, what's the reason for the hope that's in you? If I ask you the question, why is
Christianity true? What would you say to me? You know what most evangelicals will say? 95 % of evangelicals, if they're not taught, here's what they'll say.
Why is Christianity true, the man asks. The person responds, what? With what? Well, that's often said, but they usually say, and by the way, only kids are supposed to answer rhetorical questions, okay?
That's for the younger people. Most people, when you say, why is
Christianity true? They'll respond with, because I'm a changed person. I'm different. I used to have these affections, now
I have these affections. I used to live for sin, and now I want to live for righteousness. I used to have no real conscience, and now
I want to please the Lord. And by the way, I love regeneration. I love new life. I love new creation.
I love everything about a transformed, sanctified life. But that's not the reason for the hope that's in you, because the reason for the hope within you is outside of you.
A real man, I know he's more than a man, but a real man, Jesus, walked on sand.
He walked on literal water. He lived the perfect life under the law of God, and he literally died on a cross and was raised from the dead and ascended.
The hope within you isn't a changed life because, dear friends, you can watch Oprah and have a life change.
Mormons have a changed life. Changed life does not mean anything. I'm glad if it's a changed life because God's transforming you.
But that's not the reason for the hope that's in you. The hope that's in you is because you're believing someone outside of you, the
Lord Jesus. And we do this with gentleness and respect and having a good conscience.
Don't defend the Bible. The Bible never defends itself. Don't defend the Bible because you're never told to defend the
Bible. Number three, you shouldn't defend the Bible because you can't prove the
Bible to be true with anything less than the Bible. You can't prove the
Bible to be true with anything less than the Bible. Can you use logic to prove the Bible? Rational thinking to prove the
Bible? And by the way, this is meant to be an encouragement, dear congregation, and here's how it's going to be an encouragement.
What if you meet somebody smarter than you and you want to evangelize them? What if you meet a rocket scientist?
What if you meet some kind of nuclear scientist? What if you meet somebody from Harvard and you say, well, they've got like double my
IQ and I don't know about all this stuff and I don't know about all the background, I don't know about philosophies and ideologies and postmodernism and what
Socrates said and Plato and philosophies of the world. I just know that there's a real
God man and he lived and he died and he was raised and I don't know, am I a match for them? Well, if you're going to defend all these things, you're going to get proverbially smoked, is what you're going to get.
But, can I say that? But you have a message that everyone needs.
And by the way, the Word of God is powerful, is it not? Jeremiah 23, it's like a what? A hammer.
It's powerful to do its work. You say, well, you know what,
I could prove the Bible to somebody if I could do some miracles. Miracles will change people.
Let's go to Luke chapter 16 and listen to the master preacher of all time, Jesus, the prince of preachers.
You can't prove the Bible to be true with anything less than the Bible, so don't. This is all driving to stop wasting time defending the
Bible and proclaim it. If you want to answer a question, fine, but I'm going to get back on track to the person and work of Christ Jesus, to the law of God that reflects
His holiness right away. I only have so much time with people. I'm not going to defend the
Bible. You can't prove the Bible with miracles, so why settle for anything less?
Scripture is even greater than miracles. Listen to Luke 16, verse 19. You know the passage, but the punchline drives this home that scriptures are adequate and sufficient and we don't have to defend them.
I mean, was there ever a teacher like Jesus? Luke 16, 19. There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
At his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table.
Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. Poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.
The rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw
Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. He called out, Father Abraham, have mercy on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I'm in anguish in this flame.
Abraham said, verse 25, Child, remember that you in your lifetime received good things and Lazarus in like manner bad things.
Now he's comforted here, you're in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you is a great chasm that has been fixed in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able.
And none may cross from there to us. And he said, then
I beg you, Father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers. He said, he may warn them lest they also come into this place of torment.
Are you ready, congregation? But Abraham said, they have Moses and the prophets.
They have the Bible. Let them hear them. No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they'll repent.
If there's a miracle, a resurrection, they'll repent then. Not the Bible, but the resurrection. A miracle will do it.
Verse 31. He said to him. Listen, dear congregation. If they do not hear
Moses and the prophets, the Bible, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.
Did you hear that? Remember what happened with Lazarus? The real Lazarus? In Luke chapter 11,
Jesus heals Lazarus. Lazarus come forth. What did the Jews try to do in chapter 12? We got to kill
Lazarus. It wasn't, oh, Lazarus has been raised from the dead. Oh, it's all true. The word of God is powerful, and we're to preach it.
Maybe my two most favorite illustrations of the power of God's word. No defensive apologetics.
Just a proclamation of the free grace of God. Two illustrations. You'll love them. First one was by a man named, as the account of a man named
Luke Short. And I won't give you the long account of Luke Short. I'll give you the short account of Luke Short.
John Flavel is preaching in Dartmouth, England. You probably know John Flavel. He's a wonderful Puritan writer.
And he's preaching, and there's a 15 -year -old Hellion named Luke Short listening to the sermon. The sermon was a powerful sermon about judgment and hell.
And it was from 1 Corinthians 16 .22. Here's how Corinthians is ending.
Not grace and peace to you. Here's how 1 Corinthians ends. With this sting of the scorpion tail.
If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be damned. Let him be accursed.
Let him be anathema. Well, in a little while, this young man moved overseas to the new land.
And he moved to a place called New England. Ever heard of it? He moved to New England, was a farmer.
And one day, when he was 100 years old, 85 years later after he heard that sermon, still unregenerate, he thought about that sermon.
He's 100. He knows he's going to die one day, and probably sooner than later, he's 100. And he kept thinking about, if a man does not love the
Lord Jesus, he's damned. If a man does not love the Lord Jesus, he's damned. He's thinking.
The Spirit of God is applying the verse 85 years later. And God saved
Luke Short at 100 years old. His gravestone, three years later, reads,
He lies a babe in grace, age three years. Converted for three years.
Who died according to nature? 103. The power of God's Word applied by the
Spirit 85 years later. When we preach the gospel, people don't automatically go,
Well, I'm sure glad for that. I'm going to repent right now. I mean, it probably happens occasionally. The power of God's Word.
My other example is from a bicyclist. I don't know why I like bicyclists, but there's a man named
George Cutting. He was a bicyclist. And he loved to ride his bicycle around these little towns in England a long time ago.
And he was riding his bicycle through Norfolk, England. Little town, little hamlet.
And he thought, you know what, I'm just going to start shouting out Bible verses. So he shouted out, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
That felt so good, I'm just going to do it again. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Well, six months later, he returns to the hamlet, gets off his bike, and he goes door to door to evangelize.
Here's his approach. He knocks on the door. They say, Hello. Here was his tact. Are you saved? That's the
Bob Muto tact. That's the New England, like, just, okay.
The direct approach. And the lady goes, Yes, I am saved.
About six years ago, and S. Lewis Johnson records it this way. Six months ago, I was in great distress. I pled with God to help me, and even while I was calling upon Him, I heard a voice cry out,
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I was startled, she said. I wondered if I had heard it right, so I prayed to the
Lord again. And I heard it, and I trusted Christ. I wonder the glories of heaven will be, of course, the adoration of the
Lord Jesus on the throne. But part of it will be the testimonies of how many people were saved by the power of God through frail instruments.
It's the power of God's Word. It's not miracles. And now this is what I want to get to today. If you'll take your
Bibles and turn to 1 Corinthians 1, everything else was an introduction. 1
Corinthians 1, the fourth reason you should stop defending the Bible, is that your divine mandate is to give unbelievers what they don't want.
Your mandate from God as a redeemed Christian, saved by the blood of the Lamb, recognizing by the grace of God that it was the
Lamb of God, and you were beholding the Lamb of God who takes away even your sin. Your mandate is to give unbelievers what they don't want.
Paul writes to the Corinthians, and sometimes we forget chapter 1, who
God was and what He did. It says in verse 7 of 1
Corinthians 1, So you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for the revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our
Lord Jesus. That's how powerful Jesus' redemption is for sinners, even Corinthians, even us.
God is faithful by whom you are called, into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our
Lord. Dear Corinthians, Jesus has blessed you. You were guilty, He's given you grace.
Here's how I want you to respond, with obedience, out of gratitude, because of the love that you have in Christ Jesus. Verse 18, and following, the divine mandate to give unbelievers what they don't want.
Think offense, not defense. Verse 18, For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The word of the cross. He's using theological shorthand, the cross.
The doctrine of redemption. The doctrine of, in my place condemned He stood. The doctrine of,
I've earned a penalty, and Jesus takes my penalty as a substitute. Penalty substitution.
That's what the word of the cross is. The doctrine of the cross and everything that goes with it.
What does the text say? The word of the cross is folly, or the Greek word is, where we get our
English word, moronic, stupid, foolish, to those who are perishing.
We have a different view of it. We think it's the power of God. But let's focus on that first part of the verse.
They think it's folly. To those who are perishing, unbelievers, those in Adam the first, they think it is outlandish.
They think it's weird. They think it's bizarre. I mean, think about it.
You see somebody up on a cross. That's the Messiah. You look at somebody on a cross and you go,
He can't save himself, how can He save me? You look on the cross and you go, That's not where Messiahs are supposed to be.
They're supposed to be overtaking the Roman government. They're supposed to be on a throne with a crown. You look at the cross and you go,
Wait a second, I thought that was for incorrigible criminals. I thought that was for the scum and the lowlife.
You mean to tell me, here's your salvation. Unbelievers, you know what they do? That's crazy.
That's weird. But we're far removed from that because we've come to love the cross. We come to think, oh, the cross.
That's where my Savior purchased me and paid for my sins. But the unbeliever looks at it and goes,
Do you think there's power in that? Do you think there's any kind of efficacy? Do you think it does anything? It doesn't do anything. It's gruesome.
Criminals go up there. Slaves go up there. Rebels go up there. Messiahs? By the way, if this is all true,
Messiah is perfect. He doesn't sin, but He's on the cross. He's dying for somebody else's sins. You mean to tell me
I'm a sinner? You mean to tell me I deserve that unmitigated wrath of God? No, no, no.
Not me. I'm a good person. I do good things. Could there be anything more outlandish and stupid than some guy on a cross?
You don't talk about it in polite society. If I had my four kids and they were all little and we were walking through Jerusalem and outside of the walls of Jerusalem was a crucified person,
I'd say, you cannot look. Cicero said the very word cross should not be removed only from the person's thoughts, but from his eyes and his ears.
I mean, at least if Jesus was a martyr, I might respect Him. But a substitute? That's their thinking.
Bill Hybels at the seeker -sensitive church, Willow Creek, was trying to figure out, well, how do we get unbelievers in the church to be comfortable?
He was asked by Bill, Bill Hybels was asked by Peter Jennings on television. Jennings, the reporter, do you think that it was important for you to have one cross in the church?
Because they didn't. Hybels, we're very serious about what Christ did on the cross, but to capture the essence of Christianity in a single symbol is a little dangerous, we feel.
And more than dangerous, it's stupid. It's moronic. It's twisted. It's bizarre.
I mean, we can't even stomach executions. We can't even study stomach capital punishment.
I've looked up some capital punishment, just to give you an idea of what the unbeliever must be thinking. This is all driving you toward, wait a second,
I have to do what the Bible says, because what's the response of the unbeliever going to be? He's going to think it's what?
I'm going to tell him anyway. Ling Chi is described as slow slicing.
It's called the lingering death or the death of a thousand cuts. It was practiced from 980 to 1905 to torture people and execute them.
What if? And this is to show you what the unbeliever's mind is like, because we love the cross, but remember, they're thinking this is some form of torture and execution.
It's like, wait a second, I've sinned a lot, and therefore Jesus is going to come down. He never sinned, but he's going to undergo
Ling Chi for me, the death of a thousand cuts, and all I have to do is believe in this tortured, mangled bit of flesh, and I get to go to heaven.
Really? That's what you're trying to tell me? If they've trained elephants to take their foot and put it on the skull of a criminal, and if that criminal's not a very bad criminal, the pachyderm has been taught to crush the skull immediately.
But if the person's a real rascal, then the pachyderm knows how to slowly crush the head.
So the unbeliever, the cross is just as weird to them as if it was, okay,
Jesus, he's the eternal son of God, and he comes down, he has humanity, he lives a perfect life that we were supposed to live but didn't, and then he's going to have an elephant put his crushing foot on Jesus' head, and by the way, that's salvation.
And if you just trust in Jesus who gets crushed in this criminal execution, you get to go to heaven. And what would you say?
I hope you'd say, that's weird. When unbelievers look at the cross, it is no different.
You mean to tell me that a naked Messiah who can't save himself somehow means
I'm so sinful, I have to look at that and go, wonderful. The unbeliever says, what's the text say?
They think it's foolishness. Is God ever on trial, verse 19?
It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the cleverness of the clever, I will set aside.
I will, I will. Doing evangelism God's way. Verse 20, what do the professional experts think of the cross?
Let's get a reporter from MSNBC, CNN, and I don't know, who's the conservative ones now?
Newsmax. What would they say?
I wonder if we went to Texas and there was going to be a lethal injection or an electrocution of a murderer, and you have people can sit in the audience.
If you're a loved one, you've lost your life to one of these criminals, you could sit and watch them be executed, and some other people there.
There's a doctor there, and there's a reporter there. What will they write down? Answer, verse 20, where's the wise man?
I wonder what he would say. I wonder what the magi's would say. That's what they're talking about here, the magicians of the east, the people that understood wisdom more than anything else.
They're looking at a man dying on a cross, and they're like, well, let's take some notes on that.
What would he say? Where's the scribe? What would the spiritually blind
Jewish man, who is a perfect studier of God's law, the Bible, what would he record when he watched that?
Here's this man, the ground doesn't even want to have his feet touch the ground, because you put him up on a pole, because this person doesn't even deserve to touch the ground.
What would he say? What about the other professional, the debater? People that love to talk and figure out every angle, human attempts, and intellectually what's going on.
And God says, hey, where are they? Where's the wise man? Where's the scribe? Where's the debater of this age?
Has not God made sovereignly foolish the wisdom of this world? You know the answer to that question.
How does he make foolish the wisdom of the world?
Verse 21, For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not come to know
God. Not through debaters, not through wisdom. God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached.
No debating, no defending, no making apologies, no being in New York City when asked the question,
What about this? I'm too afraid to answer the question, because then I won't look good with the intelligentsia, and the academic people, and the media, and so I'll hedge on what the
Bible says. None of that. Through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who, it'd have to be
God who rescues people through his preached word. Don't convince people of the truth.
Tell them the truth. Well, what about evil, and what's the conundrum of evil?
And we have theodicy, and we've got to figure that out. If you want to give a short answer, fine, but get back on track.
Say, I don't buy any of this, Pastor. Verse 22, For indeed,
Jews ask for signs. What do Jews want? Miracles, signs, and wonders. What do
Greeks want? They're searching, they're pining away for wisdom. Okay, so I'm going to do some miracles.
We're going to have a miracle crusade and a healing crusade. Hope a bunch of Jews show up, and we're going to get a bunch of smart people for wisdom.
Is that what we're going to do? If that's what we had to do, look around. We're in trouble.
Starts at the top. You aren't to give people what they want.
You're to give them what God says. I can prove it. Verse 23, Jews are asking for signs.
Greeks are searching for wisdom. But we preach. We proclaim. Not defend, not apologize.
We preach Christ crucified. And by the way, he doesn't say Jesus crucified.
Stressing his humanity, although he was human. He is human. This is
Christ crucified. The Messiah. This is the most offensive thing. You mean the Messiah to rescue
Israel is on a tree? And we know what it's going to be for the
Jews. They're wanting signs. They get stumbling blocks. You know what the word stumbling block is? The word stumbling block is your kid's in the ocean, and you don't look for a second, and you look back in, and they're too deep, and you're running to the ocean, and you trip over a huge rock this big, jagged up at the wall in New Hampshire at Hampton Beach, and it splits your toe wide open.
It's numb for three seconds, and then you see a bunch of red stuff. You get me?
That's a stumbling block. And I know the Jews are going to respond that way. Go to Queen Heights.
Go to Brooklyn and start saying Jesus is the Messiah and see what they say. Oh, please come back.
We preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block. What do
Greeks want? 22, they want wisdom. But we give them Christ, and they're going to think it's foolishness, but I do it anyway.
Greeks had probably 50 different kinds of philosophies. They didn't like this one.
We preach over and over and over. If they're religious people, Jews, I've got a message for you,
Jesus. Of course, we talk about the God's law, that they need who Jesus is. And to the
Gentiles, they think it's foolishness. I already know ahead of time that that's what they're going to think.
But I'm just going to preach anyway. Verse 24, but to those who are called, affectionately called, the
Spirit of God has drawn these people, like you believers here today. Instead of thinking this is all weird, the light goes on, and you get it.
And the light goes on, and you say, you know what? Whether I'm Jew or Greek, religious or not religious,
Christ, I don't see stupid anymore. I don't see bizarre anymore. I don't see weird anymore.
I see that's the power of God. That's powerful. Not just in my heart, but the power of the universe, and the wisdom of God.
Do you see what he's doing here? What do Jews want? Signs. Power. What do Greeks want? Wisdom.
Knowledge. You want to know wisdom incarnate? It's the Lord Jesus. You ever read the
Proverbs and say, who could live like that? Who could live so wisely and not be so foolish?
Answer, Jesus is wisdom incarnate. Power of God.
Jews, you want to see powerful signs? Jesus on a cross. Of course, He's resurrected, but Paul's not focused on the resurrection of Jesus, because he's trying to offend them.
He's trying to warn them. He's giving them what they don't want. Christ, the power of God, and wisdom of, look at chapter 2.
And when I came to you brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
Boy, this is so good for those of us that are just blue collar, working class, don't go to school much, but we know who
Jesus is. We know our Bibles to some degree. I didn't come to you trying to talk you into something by the way
I talked. For I decided to know. I determined. Before I got to Corinth, I knew what
I was going to do. Before I talked to anybody on the street or evangelized, I already know what I'm going to say. And whatever you say,
I'm going to turn it and twist it to gospel conversation. Whatever you say, I'm going to talk about the law and how the law condemns and the law points you to Christ.
I'm going to talk about your conscience that condemns you. I'm going to talk about the law of God so that you'll say, I need a Savior every single time.
If you want to ask me a question, why does it say 400 years here and 430 years there? I give an answer and I'm back to the cross.
And you're like, but then they're going to think I'm stupid. Yep. You know what the world thinks of you?
You know what the world thinks of me? It's only going to get worse. It's been easy.
And now you're going to have to pay. But the Lord said, Lo, I'm with you always, even at the end of the age.
It's worth every bit of it. I decided, verse 2, to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Not resurrected, although it's true. Not ascended, although it's true. Not making an intercession for us, although it's true.
I'm giving you what you don't want and you don't want a crucified Messiah. And by the way, when you're all messed up as a
Christian, what's the answer for you? The answer's not found in TED Talks. The answer still is focused on who
Jesus is. The missing link of sanctification is Jesus the crucified Messiah. We don't move on from Jesus now that we're saved.
Except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Literally in Greek it could read, except Jesus Christ, even
Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power so that your faith, get this, dear congregation, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
That is such good news. When I talk about the Lord Jesus, He regularly and often, according to His will, convicts and saves people.
Using people even like me. Even like you. Kids can proclaim the gospel to their grandparents and their grandparents can repent.
True? And vice versa. I love your evangelistic heart.
I love congregation that you already are thinking, how do I evangelize my loved ones that come over for Thanksgiving?
What about that person that I work with? What about my spouse? What about my kids? I want them to be forgiven, because not only will they be saved from their sins,
God gets glory. I want that. And when I do your wedding or your funerals, when
I teach at Awana or the rest home, you all want, you know what? Make sure you tell them the good news. Because I've got friends coming that need to hear the gospel.
So you're a wonderful evangelistic church. But I want to remind you today that you ought not to spend a lot of time defending the
Bible. Because the Bible doesn't need your defense. You're never told to defend the
Bible. You can't convince people that the Bible is true with anything less than the Bible. And you're told to give people what they don't want, and that's who
Jesus is. And God uses people, even like me, and even like you and the rest of First Corinthians, to accomplish that purpose, because the text says, so then no one will what?
Boast. Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. And so as you meet people and live your life, you have a message of good news.
These poor people that you run into aren't your enemies, these unbelievers. They're people enslaved to sin.
Satan's blinded their minds. Remember what that was like? And then somebody came into your life.
Just think about it. Oh, the glories we could experience if we just all understood what the
Lord did to get certain people in our life to pray for us and to preach us the gospel and to confront us.
It would be a loud anthem of praise that the Lord is so sovereign in his salvation, bringing in the elect unregenerate to the praise of his glory.
So when you get asked a question or you'd like to evangelize, make sure you talk about the Lord Jesus. Let's pray.
Lord God, equip these dear saints with many, many opportunities for them to open their mouths and to talk about Jesus Christ, the wonderful Savior, and what he has done to ransom sinners.
It is in Jesus' name we pray. and in the evening at 6.
We're right on Route 110 in West Boylston. You can check us out online at bbcchurch .org