Below are some sermon notes from our last house church session.  We’ve been talking about the persistent and singular pursuit of Jesus.  Works don’t justify us, and we have no righteousness of our own to offer God.  God is holy, righteous, and faithful; and He chooses to share Himself with us.  Here’s an outline of what we discussed yesterday:

1 Cor 2

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[b]
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness,and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”[d]

But we have the mind of Christ.

Reflections:

  1. Paul resolved to know nothing but Jesus and Him crucified. “I have been crucified with Christ..” Galatians 2, Phil 3 point out this emphasis.  If anyone had reason to rely on ‘human wisdom’ or learning, it was Paul.  Paul was ok looking like a moron, even though he was probably smarter and more studied than most people he was relating to.
  2. The system of this world creates hierarchy based upon appearance.  The prevailing idea is “if it works, it must be true.”  Meaning, if someone looks successful, they must have it together.  If someone looks poor or unlearned, they are less significant or are lesser than me.  The rulers, powers and authorities of this world deal in domination and power.  This is how they establish their authority, often through fear tactics.  This is exactly why they crucified Christ: He had authority and was a threat to their system and power.  All they know is to dominate and subdue: to steal, kill and destroy to get their own way and establish their dominance.  Christ’s authority didn’t require acknowledgment from man, because it didn’t come from man.  Christ’s authority came from God, and required obedience to Him. Christ’s position and authority didn’t come from this world’s system.
  3. We are called to be like Christ: Christians!  Like Christ, we have authority and purpose not found in this world’s system.  We are strangers and aliens here on earth.  Our Kingdom and pattern of living should be shaped in the reality of Heaven as our home.  This will cause us to look weird here on earth, as our priorities are opposite: instead of taking, we give.  instead of obtaining, we surrender.

How do we get Christ’s type of wisdom?

  1. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him
    1. We often read this verse and assume that my job, housing needs, food, transportation, health, ect will work out for my benefit because I believe in Jesus.  We assume Jesus has a better house, car, job for us.
    2. I don’t believe this is the point of the verse.  Jesus didn’t receive a better earthly inheritance.  His Kingdom was not of this world.  His inheritance was in heaven, where moth rust and decay can’t reach.
    3. The point is that your human eyes, ears, and mind will never comprehend heavenly things.  They are revealed to us by His Spirit in the secret meeting place of God.  Netflix won’t reveal what God has prepared for us.  Our neighbors, teachers, bosses, co-workers won’t reveal to us what God has prepared for us.  Only God can reveal His purposes to us, and we find these purposes in trusting, relying, and obeying in daily fellowship with Jesus through prayer and His Word.
  2. Certainly we have natural gifts: intelligence, intuition, ect.  Certainly we need to study and work hard to test and approve God’s perfect will.  However, natural ability and hard work are not what established God’s church or His Kingdom here on earth.  Peter’s special skill and training as a fisherman are not what produced an outpouring of God’s spirit at Pentecost.
    1. God’s plan and purpose are established by our obedience to God’s Spirit.  Peter was told to wait for the promised Holy Spirit.  His obedience revealed God’s plan as 3,000 repented and followed Christ in 1 day.
    2. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered.  Our dealings with suffering, poverty, pain reveal our level of maturity.  Don’t assume because things are hard that we are doing something wrong.  That may be the case, but it isn’t the test.  Are we obeying what God told us to do?  Am I relying on my own wisdom and intuition, or on Christ’s Power?  Suffering is for the mature believer.
      1. Suffering isn’t for suffering sake or the litmus test of our holiness.  We don’t seek ways to suffer.  We seek Jesus and Him crucified, and when obstacles, questions, and confusion arise in our pursuit of Him, we don’t relent in our pursuit.  We persist in the place of prayer, allowing our questions to spawn new prayers and searching out God’s character.
      2. The cost of relationship with Jesus is time. 
      3. Is 55: Come all who are thirsty…those without money, come buy and drink
        1. Jesus offers us wisdom that this world can not.  We have the mind of Christ!  In the place of prayer, He shares His thoughts with us!  As He reveals pieces of Himself in the place of prayer, this produces faith in us to carry on through the next trial.  From well to well, He is our strength. (Ps 84)

This is all a privilege

It’s all about grace through faith (Eph 2).  We all have the same opportunity to gain the mind of Christ, to be renewed in His presence.  What are we pursuing?  Our own wisdom and understanding, or His Kingdom and mysterious glory?  Am I gauging success by the world’s standards, or by the faith Christ has portioned to me?(rom 12:3)  Are we humble enough to pursue and submit to a person beyond our understanding?  If the answer is yes, we are promised His Kingdom, righteousness, peace and joy.  If not, we are left in darkness.

In Moses time, the people at the bottom of the mountain only perceived God as darkness, gloom and storm.  Moses saw God’s glory.  He was transformed by it to the point where his face shown brightly.  We can approach the throne of God with confidence through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  We are free from shame and accusation.  The punishment that brought us peace was laid on Jesus, so we can boldly make our requests to God.

Don’t allow suffering or confusion to make us retreat in fear, shame, or condemnation.  Let the struggles and seemingly insignificant areas of our life press us in to God’s presence.  We will find mercy and grace in our time of need if we continue in faith and don’t lose heart.

 

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