The Kind of Church God Blesses – (1 Cor. 2:1-9)

I. The Right Message (v.1-2)

A. The Church’s primary message must be Jesus Christ and the Cross.

-“A sermon without Christ, it is an awful, a horrible thing. It is an empty well; it is a cloud without rain; it is a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots. It is an abominable thing to give men stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs, and yet they do so who do not preach Jesus. A sermon without Christ, you might as well talk of a loaf of bread without any flour in it. How can it feed the soul? Men die and perish because Christ is not there.” [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Christ the Glory of His People,” In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1868: 457-468.]

-“The church in America today is so obsessed with being practical, relevant, helpful, successful, and even well-liked that it mirrors the world itself. Aside from the packaging, there is nothing that cannot be found in most churches today that could not be satisfied by any number of secular programs and self-help groups… the focus still seems to be on us and our activity rather than on God and His work in Jesus Christ.” [Michael Horton, Christless Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), 16-18.]

-“Every faithful expositor must follow this same apostolic pattern. No preacher, regardless of where he serves, is free to reinvent preaching. If pulpits are to know divine blessing, those who stand behind them must follow this timeless example in proclaiming Christ and Him crucified. God will honor the one who honors His Word.” [Steve Lawson, The Kind of Preaching God Blesses (Eugene: Harvest House, 2013), 31.]

II. The Right Means (v.3-5)

A. We must rely on the power of the Spirit and not on our own strength.

a. Paul’s Disposition:

1. Weakness – He did not rely on his own strength.
2. Fear – He feared God and not man. [2 Cor. 5:10; James 3:1]
3. Trembling – He was sincerely loyal to God.
4. Humble Speech – He did not use flashy speech or human wisdom. [1 Cor 1:18-24]
5. Reliance on the Holy Spirit – Paul demonstrated the power of the Spirit.

b. The demonstration of the Spirit’s power:

1. Jesus said it would happen. [Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8]
2. Paul would operate in the Spirit’s Power. [1 Cor. 2:3-4; Col. 1:28-29]

-“I know of nothing on earth that is comparable to this feeling— that when this happens you have a feeling that you are not actually doing the preaching, you are looking on. You are looking on at yourself in amazement as this is happening. It is not your effort; you are just the instrument, the channel, the vehicle: and the Spirit is using you, and you are looking on in great enjoyment and astonishment. There is nothing that is in any way comparable to this. That is what the preacher himself is aware of. What about the people? They sense it at once; they can tell the difference immediately. They are gripped, they become serious, they are convicted, they are moved, they are humbled. Some are convicted of sin, others are lifted up to the heavens, anything may happen to any one of them. They know at once that something quite unusual and exceptional is happening. As a result they begin to delight in the things of God and they want more and more teaching.” [David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and the Power of the Holy Spirit. Accessed June 7, 2018. http://sumo.ly/V5Tb]

III. The Right Method (v.6-9)

A. God’s plan is the foundation of church doctrine. [Acts 4:11-12]

-“The sin-bearing death of Christ was not a change in the divine plan. Neither was it an afterthought. Rather, it was the realization of God’s eternal purpose in Christ. This mystery, fully revealed in the New Testament, was God’s sovereign plan for saving sinners.” [Lawson, The Kind of Preaching God Blesses, 31.]

B. God’s Plan to Save Sinners (Summary of Salvation):

a. Man is a sinner by nature and choice. (Rom. 5:12)
b. Christ came as a man to redeem sinners. (John 1:14)
c. Christ was born of a virgin. (Is. 7:14)
d. Christ lived a sinless life. (2 Cor. 5:21)
e. Christ died on the cross for sinners. (Gal. 2:19-20)
f. Christ rose from the grave. (1 Cor. 15:4)
g. Christ ascended into heaven. (Acts 1:9)
h. Christ sat down at the right hand of God. (Eph. 1:20)
i. Christ will return for his people. (Rev. 1:7)
j. Christ will rule the nations. (Rev. 19:15)
k. Christ will give the kingdom to the Father. (1 Cor. 15:28)
l. If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. (John 8:36)

Point to Ponder:

The church must stand at the foot of the cross. We must anchor ourselves to it and preach His story until He comes again. A church that faithfully does this, will experience God’s blessing.

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