Monday, November 13, 2006

shock the world

1 Corinthians 1:17-2:5 as given (more or less) by Ben Carswell at Surrey's Houseparty.

What is the cross to you? What position does it hold in your life? Where does it stand in your list of important world events? The Cross, where the Son of God died has to have a central part in our lives, because it is the central point of world history. Nothing is more is more important than the identity of Jesus and our reaction to that. Nothing. The biggest problem in the world is not famine, or global warming, or's mans seperation from God. The Cross divides history, it divides men. It's either foolishness or power. Either the greatest peace and relief, or the greatest offence. But its the wisdom of God for salavation. It's how God chose to reconcile Himself to man. It's the blazing centre of our faith. Christ chose the cross to glorify His Father and save us, if we ignore God's wisdom, we will have little defence.

What is our message? What do people know us by? What is the first thing people think about then they think of us? Is it the cross? What do people want? Jews demanded a signs, Greeks demanded wisdom...both of them scorned the cross. God calls us to live and speak for Him. We need to preach Christ crucified, we need to remember Christ is the power and the wisdom of God for salvation. We need to persist and believe in this power. Paul was in Corinth for a year and a half before he saw anyone saved. A year and a half preaching the same 'foolish' message without any discernable we have that persistance today?

What do we boast in? Our exam results? The school we went to? The Uni we're at? Our job? Our gifts? If you're a Christian, it's because God chose you, so you have no reason to boast. God chose and works through you. The last breath i took i stole from Jesus. When we realise that God is infinately more valuable than we ever dreamed, and we are less worthy of Him than we ever feared we are liberated from all boasting. Nothing else matters around the cross. It's faith or not. There is no hierachy at Calvary. It's all...ALL because of Christ and Him crucified. We must make this the basis of all our boasting.

Where is our confidence? Paul was an apostle and had a great ministry, and yet in verse two he decided not to rely on his experience or his calling or clever arguments...but simply on Christ. He came with weakness. He had no wisdom. He had no persuasive arguments. His message was 'not plausible' according to the world's standards...and yet he demonstrated the Spirit's wisdom and power. And this was all for God's glory and man's benefit as it meant that the new Corinthian Christians depended on God, and not on man. Verse two calls us to be monomaniacs. Mandy posted on how its ok to be completly obsessed with Jesus...this is what we must resolve, in our evangelism and growth and living. To know nothing apart from Christ crucified. That is the centre of Christianity, it must be at the centre of us.

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