The Empowerment & Wisdom of the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:17-31)

January 22, 2023

Series: 1 Corinthians

I shared the good news that midweek on Wednesday night, there was a request for a playmakers update. And if you’re unaware, that was last weekend. We had a fantastic women’s team, a men’s team representing the Orlando Church of Christ in flag football. How many women’s teams were competing? Was it eight or nine? Six. Okay. I was close. Single digits. We had six.They were one of six. And the men, I think we had ten. Okay. We had ten. So the women did incredible, and we cheered them on. It was great to watch them play. And then also with the men, we defeated the defending champions. We definitely defeated the defending champions in the quarter finals, and I’ll stay with that. We defeated the New England Patriots of flag football in this tournament, and we consider that our championship because we lost in the semifinals the next week, which was difficult, but it was great. We had a wonderful time.

And in case you’re unaware of the event, it happens every year in Tampa, and it’s just church flag football teams from our family of churches all around the Southeast. So it was a blast. It was especially wonderful that my son Nate and I played on one offensive series together at the same time. It was one of the few times I got in the game. He was in the game all the time, so I was just trying to fit into his stride.

But it was a lot, a lot of fun. And just want to give you that update. I know a lot of you were very curious about that. Amen. What’s the name of the girls team? I think you should know this. Beauties and Beast mode. Wow, that just sounds very spiritual, doesn’t it? Yeah, Beauties and the men were just flat out were the Knights. Yeah. That’s very spiritual. Yeah, we’re kinsman redeemers. Yes, we’re knights. Very honorary. Anyway, it was wonderful to be together Wednesday night. It was good to see so many of you. It was part two of our midweek winter kick off, and I do want to just a lot of the words I say today, they’re bathed in the fact that I love this church. And a big thank you to everyone that’s pledged to serve in one or more areas in the church. Certainly now, but we recognize just years and years of service. I’m so thankful for you. I think Eddie said it last week, this is a sweet church.

Men. You even take that as a compliment. I like to be told I’m sweet, and that’s what this church is. Amy and I and my family, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. We’re so thankful to be here and to serve in this church. A tremendous spirit of unity. There was a vibe in the air the last couple of midweeks. We’ve had to start this new year. I see everyone with a joy to serve, with a creativity to want to give and build this church. And really, that takes you.

It takes self denial because you love Jesus, just sacrificing your own best interests, because we all want to build something bigger than ourselves. And I know I can speak for the Mattoxes, the Francis’s, when I say we are thankful that we get to lead you. We are thankful for your submission to our leadership, which is far from perfect. And it’s not because of us. A lot of times it’s in spite of us, because you are committed to God and you trust God. You serve, you follow season after season, year after year, because you find your security and your confidence in God alone and not in us. And that’s lasting. And your kids see it and leaves behind a legacy of faith. Thank you very, very much. With that being said, let’s turn to one, corinthians we’re going to start here in chapter one.

We’re still in chapter one. We’re going to finish that off today and continue Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. Now, I shared this a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I’m preaching to the choir when I say this, and it’s obvious, but we must remember this, and I know you’re all in on this. We got to keep working together. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing, keep that heart that we work together to build the church and advance this church, advance the gospel in East Orlando.

And that’s going to take continued trust in one another and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ on so many different levels. And if you’re visiting with us, you’re new to the city and you’re starting to come out once again, or maybe you’ve just been coming out for a few months. If you’re new to our church, please don’t tune out today or as we study first Corinthians. We’re really glad you’re here and we need your help. Keep learning. Study the Bible with us. Let’s discover true Christianity together. Make sure we’re on the same page. But bottom line, if you’re new, we need you. We need you. The job is not complete. The body has many parts. We need you to be a part of that body. Amen. Amen.

So we look at this statement again Eddie showed us last week as we look at the church in Corinth. Unfortunately, they received a failing grade if they were assessed by this statement. So let’s learn from their mistakes. All right, I want to show you an outline. Here the first portion of the letter.

First we have this pointed greeting, which we covered a couple of weeks ago. This is an emphasis from Paul as he begins to write this letter. He really wants to zone in on them from the very beginning, how much he loves them. There’s grace, there’s Thanksgiving. He’s honored to be able to serve them.

But then as Eddie jumped into last week, he makes an appeal to them and he wants them to know what the substance of this letter is going to be. There are some problems, there are some serious concerns. There’s a lack of unity. And this will continue to resurface over and over again as we read this epistle. This is a church that they came up short in working together.

They had so much potential, they were such great people, but they fell short in working together. Instead, they started working in fragmented groups without a consideration for the whole. And they started to become, as Eddie addressed last week, it’s crystal clear in the Scriptures at the beginning of this letter, they started to become very picky about who they would have lead them, who they would actually submit to and who they would align themselves with, and who thought the way they thought. And keep in mind, it’s a little scary because the church in Corinth is only four years old, right?

So this happened really quick. So it makes you think, wow, it’s very humbling. And we fast forward to today, could this happen to us? And if we start seeing it head in that direction, then how do we stop it? What’s the remedy?

And this outline, as you continue to look at it, gives us a hint of what comes next from Paul. And we’re going to look at that today. One Corinthians, chapter one, verse 17. We start to address, like, how does this unity begin to happen? How do we start to drift? And then how do you fix it? So let’s read this now together. First Corinthians one verse 17. Paul says, you know, Christ didn’t send me to Baptize, but actually to preach the Gospel, not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to 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. Who is the one, who is wise, who is the scribe? Where’s the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? Verse 21 for since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom. It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

Verse 22. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. It’s a stumbling block to the Jews and it’s folly to the Gentiles. But to those who 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, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

All right, let’s take a look at verse 17 right off the bat. And this is a bridge. We covered this last week, but Paul right away says he’s not minimizing baptism. But if you read it in context, he’s saying, stop saying you were baptized into the name of this person and this person and aligning yourself with this person. Baptism is a part of the gospel. But this is not what we’re about here. We’re about preaching the gospel, okay? It’s not about who you align yourself with. So he says, hey, Christ sent me to preach the gospel. And if you respond, that will result in baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

So really, this is the first mention of the concept of gospel in this letter. And Paul tells the church that Christ sent him to preach that gospel. And with a tinge of sarcasm here, he says, it’s not for me to preach to you. I didn’t come to you preaching with eloquent wisdom, right? He didn’t want to come and preach in a self serving rhetorical style that was very popular and expected in that culture.

And why? Well, here’s Paul’s thinking. He’s like, how dare I empty the cross of its power? How dare I do that? How dare I put the focus on me or our culture or how I say it?

This is about Jesus. It’s not about my gifts or his gifts or her gifts. It’s about Jesus. And that’s the bridge to our text today. And really what was happening here is the cross was being robbed of its power in the church, in Corinth.

And that’s the primary reason we start seeing division in the church. The people were more concerned about the delivery of the gospel, the perceived wisdom or pedigree of the presenter of the gospel, rather than the actual content of the gospel. So in verse 18, Paul immediately wants to bring them to their senses. He’s like, hey, wake up, wake up, all right? And he wants to bring us to our senses.

It’s a famous passage, but now we’re seeing the context of it. In verse 18, he says, for the word of the cross is folly to those that are perishing. And literally, this means the word of the cross is folly to those headed for destruction. But to us who are being saved, it’s the power of God. And this is it. If we get this right, we get everything right. If we drift from this, we minimize this, if we get this wrong, we get everything wrong. And then you have all kinds of disorder and disunity. This really is the thesis statement of this section, and it’s a dividing line for all people, for all times. Verse 18. There it is. And our reaction, our response to the king that died on the cross 2000 years ago, this will reveal whether you and I are destroyed or whether you and I are being saved. I know which side you guys want to be on and you are on.

We are those who are being saved. We believe in the cross around here. We preach Jesus crucified unapologetically. We help each other, get back on track when we stray from that.

But to view the cross as folly, it may seem, well, how could that happen? Well, you’ll have to make and we’ll get more into this, of what was happening in Corinth. But I do encourage you today to build a bridge to your own lives, to our own church, of how could we drift into this? How could we start minimizing the cross and who we are as Christians? But to view the cross as folly, it means you start thinking, well, okay, I know it’s kind of a big deal, but to really be radical about this, it’s kind of a silly way of life in a sense. It’s outdated, it’s ineffective, it’s a waste of your ambition.

Yeah, I get that it’s part of Christianity, but it’s not really come on, there’s so many aspects to spirituality, right? The cross, it’s not really the most important thing anymore in 2023. You see that’s the mindset that the cross is following, or at least hints of it, right? But to view the cross as the power of God, you believe that the cross demonstrates God’s power to transform you, God’s power to forgive you, and that God has created a people because of the cross that belong to Him for all eternity. You see, the cross transcends time, it transcends culture.

It’s a mindset that the cross is an unstoppable power of God. So in verse 19, Paul goes to the old scriptures, he goes to Isaiah and he warns us that God’s judgment is coming against human pride and wisdom. He doubles down, he goes to Isaiah 29:14, and, yeah, take the time this week to read the context because it’s a familiar story over and over again with God’s people. God’s people come up with their own plan for deliverance, and God has to intervene and said, no, no, we’re not doing it that way. I got a better plan. It may seem weak to you, but it’s better. It’s going to work out. Will you trust me? All right. And so many times God has had to intervene in history with us, his people, and say, you know what? I’m going to destroy human wisdom and human plans because we get wrapped up in our own delusions of wisdom. Right? And so make no mistake, that’s what Paul is saying here when he quotes from Isaiah, he says, God will destroy this folly, and it all comes to its climax at the cross. At the Cross of Christ, God’s declaration to destroy the wisdom of the wise finds fulfillment. It comes together at the cross.

I do want to make it clear Paul has no problem with Christians possessing human wisdom or growing in wisdom or growing in spiritual wisdom, right? We have multiple books in the Bible. We have a section of books in the Bible library that are all about wisdom. They’re wisdom literature. God speaks to us in wisdom.

Okay, I just want to make sure we understand that. But all of our wisdom must humbly flow from calvary. All of our wisdom must be filtered through Golgotha. It must travel through it must be through the lens of the cross rather than just simply originated from ideas and books, blogs or so called special knowledge and experience. And we can flip that sometimes and go sideways on that, and that’s dangerous. So in light of that, I believe verse 20 clearly speaks to us today as well, because Paul asked some questions. He’s like, well, who is the one here that’s wise?

Who’s the scribe? Where are my writers? Where are my authors? Where are they the smart ones? Where’s the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

In other words, with these questions, Paul is saying, you know what, guys? You think you know better than God? Bring it on. Let’s go. Let’s bring it. Come with your best shot. You think this social media influencer has the secret to the best life? God says bring it on. I’ve heard it all. You think this YouTuber over here has sex and identity figured out for us? God says bring it on.

Nothing surprises God. He’s not learning new things as our culture evolves. Oh, I didn’t know that about sexuality. Thanks for helping me out on that guy. Appreciate it.

You think a certain author knows best about Christianity? God says bring it on. I created Christianity. So the bottom line is, God has looked at all of our books, our podcasts, our YouTube channels, our news networks, our best universities, our scientists, our professors. God has looked upon the greatest human wisdom available in the world for all times. And you know what God sees? God sees foolishness in comparison to what he knows, nothing.

In light of what God has revealed at the cross for us and what he’s done for us at the cross, God has weighed the very best of our wisdom and found it wanting.

So with that, Paul says we preach Christ crucified. That’s what we’re doing here. We preach Christ crucified. Now, it’s a stumbling block to the Jews. It’s folly to the Gentiles.

But you know what pretty much for everyone? It’s Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. You see verse 23. This is the guts, the guts the guts of the Gospel right here, right?

This is true power. We preach the crucifixion of Christ. And we talked about this before in some of our studies of Hebrews. We really got deep into this and the blood and the significance of all of that. And it’s like, man, this church talks about blood a lot.

And if you really step back and thought about that for a moment, you’re like, man, we are kind of weird. This is different. But we talk about this death and this blood and this dead body all the time, right? And the risen body. Amen.

But, yeah, that’s what we preach and this is the wisdom of God. And yet for most humans, it becomes a stumbling block, some angle of it, really. It can bother us. We don’t get it. Or maybe it’s not something to get too serious about. Or let’s not get too radical about the cross here, right? I will say this as we get into the cross today, certainly we stand verse 18, and that’s Paul’s message, his original message of what he wants this church in Corinth to hear.

There are so many angles. It’s the beauty of the cross. We could talk about the cross for eternity and all the different angles and depth of that. Right. It’s just amazing we couldn’t come up with it on our own. There’s so much depth to the message of the cross. But here, Paul chooses to focus here on the scandal of the cross. All right? Same word stumbling block. In the Greek, it’s scandalous.

People get tripped up by it because it’s so scandalous, or for the Greeks, the foolishness of it or the follies of the cross in that culture. For context, understand, like as people were hearing this, the culture they were living in, Jewish law, first of all, taught that death on a tree meant that person was cursed forever. Right? It was a forever curse if you died on a tree. And then in Roman and Greek society, capital punishment was very normal, all right? Criminals were killed. That was normal. But death on a cross was not normal. It was actually considered disgusting and vulgar. It was a whole other level. Like, crucifixion was reserved only for convicted slaves and terrorists.

A Roman citizen or even a respectable criminal would never be killed on a cross. Crucifixion was so offensive that it was in bad taste to speak of it in public. You just didn’t talk about it. You could only talk about crucifixion with hints and talking around it and euphemisms. It just was not polite to talk about. That’s how people viewed it.

So now, with that in mind, just imagine the reaction when Paul boldly says, here, we preach Christ crucified. Imagine how that landed in that culture. We’re preaching something that’s embarrassing to our culture. It’s not socially acceptable. It’s a square peg in a round hole. The cross of Christ simply does not fit in. It’s just not something you talk about, let alone proclaim in public.

And it’s very hard for us to relate to, I think, in some ways. Again, I encourage you to figure out, I do think, I’d say the Universal Church, not necessarily our family of churches, but all church that claims to be Christianity. I do think this is still a challenge today, that we move away from what the cross really is and what happened there. It’s just way too violent for the kids, guys.

It was a political thing. We sidestep it. So we have to build a bridge and figure out, is this really what we’re preaching? The best I could come up with is, I do believe today that we live in a very shaming culture, right? We’re quick to shame others because it gets out so quick, and we usually have a video of it, of what they said and what they did.

We’re quick to judge others, especially on social media. I mean, man, you make one very public mistake, and you’re done. You make one very public mistake, or someone finds out something about you did 30 years ago, you’re toast. We’re in a shaming culture, and by no means none of us wants to do anything that’s going to get us humiliated. All right?

So, you know, for me recently, do you remember the story Man Tayo? Yeah, it’s it goes beyond football. He was he was a very famous football player. About ten years ago, I had forgotten about him, actually. A Notre Dame football player, and they came out with a Netflix documentary on him called The Girlfriend That Didn’t Exist. Long story short, he was catfished. That’s back when that term first started coming out.

Basically, he was duped. He for three years, this very famous football player publicly dated a woman online that did not exist, and he had no idea, right? And so when this fake woman died, he even went public and dedicated his senior season to her. And everyone got behind the story. There were tears. It was always talked about in the media. But when the news came out that he was duped and this was all fake, he lost everything. The shame was enormous. He went from being a Heisman Trophy finalist to becoming a joke. He was a meme.

He went from being a strong leader that everyone loved to being a laughing stock. People whispered jokes about him behind his back for months. He really couldn’t go out in public. He lost generational wealth that he could have gained in the NFL draft, his stock dropoed. It was so bad for him. It nearly destroyed him as a person. And he certainly never played football the same. Had a very short career. The shame sticks to him. And we have the documentary now. This is now his reputation. It’s his legacy. It’s what he’s remembered for. And when I watched the documentary, if you’ve seen it, I was ashamed for him. I wanted to look away. I was really cringing as I watched it.

I felt bad for him and embarrassed for him. The thing is, he never would have chosen this. He just made one horrible mistake.

Now, I contemplated sharing this with you because forget about Manti Tayo. I really want to make a stark contrast here. I want you to remember Jesus, right? I shared that with you because I want us to relate to the shame and how that can feel, but think about Jesus. Jesus never made any mistakes. He never sinned. But Jesus actually embraced his crucifixion, the worst of the worst.

And Jesus scorned all the shame that came with it. And then you know what he did? He finished the job and he sat down at the right hand of God for us. He took the shame.

So I think it’s important to understand in context what Paul’s saying to the church in Corinth. The message of the cross. I don’t want us to forget it either. The message of the cross conveys social humiliation. It conveys just nasty violence and sadness, a really dishonorable and cheap way to die.

And if you’re like me, there’s a part of us that wants to look away from it. There’s a part of us that wants none of that for ourselves. So depending on how you view yourself or how you view other people, this is either good news or bad news.

The preaching of the cross affirms everyone who is a criminal, a slave, a nothing, and a nobody in society. And this is the complete reversal of human wisdom. This is crazy. It’s so upside down. It’s so radical. It’s so different.

It’s so what we would not do. I love it, too, because and it starts to make sense for me, the crucifixion of Jesus, the King, perfectly aligns with the edicts of the King and his ministry. Oh, how lucky you are if you’re poor. Wow, how blessed you are. Oh, the blessing of those who mourn.

You’ll fit right in here. Oh, the good fortune of being meek and powerless. My kingdom is yours. Wow. You ready to turn the other cheek and and love your enemies. And that’s hard. You’re in the right place. Man, oh, man, it’s a good day in the kingdom when you’re insulted, you’re canceled, and no one likes your instagram post. You’re in the right place.

From what we know, that was not good enough for our brothers and sisters in Corinth. They needed some help. The Christians in Corinth drifted, and that’s why we have a couple of letters to them. Let’s benefit from that. They drifted, they pushed back.

They pushed back against this shameful message. And I don’t know it is for us today you have to do the self examination and talk with other people. But certainly there is always an assault on the true gospel and the preaching of Christ crucified. And we’re naturally there’s a part of us that we may want to push back on it, right? And so the church and Corinth pushed back. They began to reshape the gospel to better fit the wisdom of their culture. They distanced themselves from segments of the church that were different from them. They formed their own factions. They wanted a message that sounded more victorious, more civilized, and less socially awkward. And they were just looking and jumping around, trying to find a leader who could work with them on that and do it their way.

But Paul has to stand up and stand out here with his letter. He says, no way, Jose. That’s not how we roll here. That’s not what we’re doing. He says, look to the weakness of the cross. Look to its shame. Don’t look away. Look to Jesus. See Jesus completely humbled by sinful men on the cross. Don’t look away from it, because the cross is the only place you and I are going to find true empowerment in our lives.

And the cross is the only place you and I are going to find God’s wisdom revealed to us in plain sight. It’s the cross. Don’t forget that. I know you know this. I’m reminding you.

The contrast to that is when our confidence in our wisdom, when those things begin to come from ourselves or what group we’re a part of or who we align ourselves with, and they do not flow from the cross, that’s when Satan begins to divide us.

So what’s the remedy? I know I have to look at myself. And Paul tells the Church in Corinth, you need to go back in time to when you were first becoming a Christian. Paul tells us to remember where we came from. Look at first Corinthians one, verse 26. He gives them a remedy. He says, for consider your calling, brothers and sisters. Remember, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards. Not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But you know what? 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. And because of him, because of God, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, became for us righteousness, sanctification and redemption. So that as it is written, let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. Paul tells the Church in Corinth, you got to go back in time here. Look in the mirror, examine yourself. Remember who you were before you became a Christian. I know the older we get, the harder it is, right? There’s a lot of distance between those two moments in time of now and when we first believed for some of us. And but we do need to go back to that time.

You know, Paul tells his conversion story three times it’s told in Acts, and he continuously, throughout his life, emphasized grace and how he was nothing and he was the least of the apostles. And then one of his last letters told Timothy, I am the worst of sinners. It’s a journey to get closer to the cross rather than farther away from it, and self dependent on our experience and our knowledge. Remember who you were before you became a Christian, he says not many of you were influential or wise or the elites of your culture. All right? You were not so easily offended or critical in the early days. You were just happy to be here. What happened?

None of you insisted on having a voice back then, because before Jesus, you didn’t have a voice anyway, right? Most of you were nothing socially or intellectually until God chose you. And he chose you. He lifted you up. He lifted you up. And in doing that, he shamed the strong.

He’s reasoning with them and helping them look back and say, so why now? Why would you begin to boast and boast in your heart of the wisdom you’ve gained? Why harbor thoughts of division or distrust in your heart? Why are you now striving to fit into a culture where you and I don’t even belong? We’ve left that behind.

In God alone, our hope is found. In Christ alone, we have the wisdom of God, and I love this. Jesus has become for us righteousness, sanctification, redemption. He’s done. But we have to be on our guard.

Our enemy is prowling around, looking for someone to devour. He doesn’t want us to build this church to do greater things for Jesus. So as we studied in James, it’s a similar theme about demonic wisdom and being sucked into the way the world thinks. It’s going to sound really good, and some of it’s going to be similar to what we do, but it’s not the real thing. The wisdom of the world ultimately divides people, including the Church.

The wisdom of the world prefers dissension and argument over unity. The wisdom of the world desires freedom and autonomy rather than cooperation. The wisdom of the world utilizes personal comfort, societal measures to evaluate their leaders, and whether or not they’ll submit to their authority.

We don’t want to do that. I’m not saying be naive, but we trust in God and we look to the cross together. Bottom line, remember, the wisdom of the world, no matter how good it sounds or relevant it sounds, is broken, just like its people are broken, and we are broken. Hurt people, hurt people.

Going back to the reference from isolation to destroy, the wisdom of the wise comes to its fulfillment. And remember, the cross is the only place where we find God’s wisdom and true empowerment in our lives. If you’re looking for wisdom and all these other places, it’s going to be found wanting. If you’re desiring a certain empowerment from this person, that person, this law, this change, whatever it may be, you’re going to be disappointed. The cross is the only place that you’re going to find empowerment and wisdom in your life.

So here’s your Living Water challenge for the week, and this is to protect our hearts. And protect our souls. Take time to remember your calling, work through this passage and think about how Paul wanted his good friends in corinth to reflect. He appeals to them in love and he appeals to them to when they first believe the good old days and to remember the hearts and the love that they had for one another.

I’m grateful for the song choices today that we had. For me personally, it was the greatest hits of when I first came to church. I don’t know how that all worked out. I don’t think Reggie and Malik knew, but Spirit knew somehow, some way that I needed that and I need to hear it twice because I was here for this first service, too. But it was like the greatest hits of when I first started coming out and it took me back to my calling. You know, it’s like, man, I’m just happy to be here. I’m happy to that I’m being saved.

These people around me are great. This church is amazing. We were meeting like in a 9th grade center at a high school, probably a room smaller than this. And I was like, this is awesome. Everyone’s cool.

I trust these leaders. They’re great. It was it was a good time. And, you know, that works for me. I don’t today’s song selections, you just got to, you know, whatever is going to bring you back.

I said that an earlier service. This probably goes over this group’s head, but if it’s like 728 B from the old song book, you know, just bust out with our God, he is alive, or, you know, something like that. The joke went over a lot of people’s head. It worked in the first service. 728 B.

Can ask me about that later. But remember, you’re calling and you have to think about has anything changed for you since then in terms of where do you go for your security and confidence now?

What really shakes you up? And where do you go when that happens? Do you go the cross? Is the crucifixion of Christ still enough for you?

Or are there new expectations and that’s not powerful anymore? You need other empowerment or find your security elsewhere? Or I’m missing this wisdom here. No, the cross, we have everything we need.

And how does this affect the way you view the church? How does this affect the way you view your brothers and sisters in Christ? How does this affect your expectations of one another, your expectations of leadership? Leaders come and go, hopefully not too often, but where you are at the cross is going to affect all of that because this is a relational Christianity that God set up here. We work with one another, we love one another, and it’s a privilege to do that.

It’s an honor to be with you. So think deeply on this as we now share communion together. I also ask that you discuss and pray about this in your family groups this week. There’s some real meat here in one corinthians and you just got to take it in and little chunks of what you can. But I will summarize this way as you think about the Scripture and you pray over it and you discuss it with people you love and trust, think back to your calling. Where were you then? At the foot of the cross. And who are you now? At the foot of the cross.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing. But to us, those of us who are being saved, the cross is the power of God.

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