Monday, October 24, 2005
Really, what matters?
Strength, Wisdom, Wealth, Power
These are things that men occupy their time and pursuits. Some have success in all of these areas, while others excel in one area and still untold multitudes reach none of these markers of significance. Like a marathon race, losers all except the winner. Exhausted and spent, many cross the finish and nothing to show for it except they are tired and they ran. Many live and some live long, but at the end what they have to show for it is little.
In the Corinthian Church they had issues in which they debated and wrangled with. Paul writing his letter to the Corinthians. He begins his letter in praising their aptitude for spiritual gifts, but shortly he begins to call them carnal, immature Christians.
The reason is they were debating who was most significant. In summary of these first few chapters, Paul is trying to nail down what matters. To show them, he enumerated the point of significance.
He appeals to those who are consider themselves wise and he states emphatically, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God” In essence he states, if they were so smart,
how is it they could not figure out there was a God.
He tells them, ” God has chosen the foolish things of this world to
challenge the wise men of this world. He has chosen the weak things
to confound the strong.”
The wise get alzhiemers.
The Strong get old and break down. The
wealth of this world is can vanish, burn up and lose value.
The power of this world are Dynasties with no destiny. We see it
in the image of Nebuchadnezzar. He was a man that ruled over all
and his kingdom being Gold among the kingdoms and each succeeded
kingdom it’s changing of hands happened in strange ways,
illustrating the weakness of human governance.
However what remains true in value over time?
Strength, Wisdom, Wealth and Power?
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is
written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to
nothing the understanding of the prudent. 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? 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.
For the Jews
require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach
Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the
Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and
Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the
foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is
stronger than men.” 1 Cor 1:18-25
It challenges humanity to consider that what our hope rests in is a
man, hanging, bleeding suffering and finally dying on a tree.
How can this be so great?
The centerpiece of the Gospel and its Power is boiled down and
illustrated in this central theme.
We see the Revelation of God.
We see a man, who was more than a man. He was the God Man. Robed
in Flesh, Wrapped in the weakness of humanity. Walking the dusty
roads of hardship. Feeling the realities of living. He was born
in simple surroundings to common people living in a depressed era.
He experienced what it was like to be a little boy. He experienced
what it was like to be a son of man. He experienced the joys of
family. He knew the love of a mother. He tasted the sweat of
This God who became a man was first a baby who became a boy, who
became a teenager, who becameâ€¦
This is the struggle in which we are all involved, the struggle of
becoming. God’s great test, was that God was able to become a man.
Our great struggle as men is to become like Him.
This man, felt the pressure of his parents to step out. I hear the
words of Mary, “Whatever he tells you to doâ€¦” Here at the
beginning, I think we see that God even humbled himself to the
chiding of a mother. “What have I to do with thee woman?”
However, he as a man understood the wisdom of a simple woman and
fulfilled the plan of God. For thirty years it seems he existed in
obscurity, wrestling with his identity and his purpose, but on that
fateful day when John pointed him out, The appointment of Christ
came through the voice and pointing of another man. It is
something important for us to understand, recognition is not
something you can heap on yourself, but it is ordained by God that
our recognition and unveiling be made by others.
We see what followed was a brisk three years of ministry. From that
inaugural wedding celebration to the ultimate climax of his life on
that dark day at Calvary, we see that what transpired on that day
was the purpose of his ministry, yea the purpose of his
manifestation was this obscure curious ritual we see at Calvary.
Imagine with me looking at this event through the eyes of a world
reaching for money, strength wealth and power.
Paul said it was a stumbling block to the jew and foolishness to the
Greek. The Jew had their religion in prescribed forumulas and
rituals. They had it all figured out. Messiah would come on
their terms, or so they thought. So as they looked toward heaven
for Messiah and all the while he was walking among them, talking to
them, laughing with them, crying for them and finally dying for all
to see. How can this be?
Religion wants its solution in easy, clean, definable steps. But
the gospel is not one, three or ten definable steps to completeness.
The Gospel is and was a religion buster.
They stumbled at this, Messiah leaving them under roman rule?
And the Greek. The philosopher in all his wisdom could not wrap
his brain around the significance of something so quaint. The
peace and fulfillment of man to be wrapped in the dirty cover of
crucifixtion? Say it isn’t so!
While some stumble and others snicker, let me proclaim to you
unequivocally The Cross is the Centerpiece of our Hope!
For the wise, Looking to dissect and reconstruct redemption on their
own terms. The source of salvation could not and cannot be taken
apart and put back together so it makes sense.
A picture of a man stripped of his humanity, beaten beyond
recognition, gasping through indescribable pain so that they can be
saved from their sins. They would rather debate the relativity of
wrong, than face the truth of their own flaws; for the truth is they
are sinners who needed Christ to Die for them so they would not
suffer judgment for the sin, yes sin, they have done.
Still to this day the Religious, the Scholars and the Religious
Scholars remove the truth of the Cross from their equation to
discuss issues that distract from the true beauty of it’s simplicity.
The Simplicity is Humanity needed a saviour. They needed innocent
blood to be shed for the darkness of their own heart and
imaginations. No one stands outside this need. We all need a
saviour. We never reach a point in our development where Calvary
and it’s all atoning work is not needed. I need it today.
If you will confess this fact, you are on your way to understand the
mystery of the ages. It is our recognition of this Seminal Moment,
that can begin you down a journey of hope.
No other event has impacted our world greater. The earth shook,
the sky darkened, even the calendar of time split and became
Through this History Changing Event, we Have Hope.
This is what really matters. Our acceptance and faith in this event
when we bring ourselves to that place of guilt, we give ourselves
opportunity for pardon.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be
red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
This is what really matters.
Let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich, Because of
what the lord has done for us!
In Him, By Him, Through Him,
Dying the Death of the Cross and being victorious over it!
Saved, Sanctified and Filled with his Holy Spirit!
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