THE FOOLISHINESS OF PREACHING words by Pastor B D Stanford

I Corinthians 1:21 “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.”

God has a plan and He created it especially for you.  In this infinite and merciful plan, God uses a tool called preaching in order that you might believe and be saved. What is preaching and exactly what does it mean to be saved?  This verse of the Bible says that the world sees preaching as merely foolishness.  Foolishness is folly, a want of understanding or wisdom or good judgment.  The world sees preaching as absurd when someone proclaims God’s great plan of the gospel.  Preaching is defined as proclaiming and declaring a truth or conviction.  The Truth that God wants preached is the Gospel.  The word Gospel means “Good News”.  The “Good News” is that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Biblical preaching is about Jesus Christ.  In fact, if someone preaches the “Good News” or the Gospel, they are not finished until they preach Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God as the “Way, the Truth and the Life” and by belief in Him as the only way to be saved.  So, what is it you need to be saved from and how are you actually saved?  You must be saved or as Jesus Christ told a man named Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except, a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  The Truth is “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

In the beginning, when God created the world, He named man, Adam, and He took from his side, a rib, and formed a woman named Eve.  The two became one and were husband and wife.  God placed Adam and Eve in a garden called Eden and Adam was placed in charge of the garden to dress it and take care and protect it.  “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 Time passed and a serpent came to Eve and deceived her into breaking God’s law.  She ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and gave her husband the fruit from the forbidden tree and he ate and broke God’s law. The two were cursed and driven out of the Garden of Eden.  The two had sinned and brought upon all mankind from that time forward a curse that included a death sentence.  This transgression brought suffering, and destruction, disease, sickness and death upon the earth.  What you need to be saved from is sin and the curse and eternal death.  There is also the issue of the sin you have committed in your life in the past, your life in the present and your life the future. 

God desires a relationship with you, but because of your desperate sinful condition and spiritual death (separation from God) you must be born again.  You are spiritually dead and your sin has separated you from a Holy Righteous God.

God designed a set of laws and instructions and gave them to a man named Moses for ancient Israel to live by and keep and not break. The Mosaic Law defined what sin is and required blood sacrifices of animals to be made for the people of ancient Israel once a year called the Atonement.  God desired to live in the hearts of His people but they rebelled and continually broke His Law.  God gave specific instructions to Israel on how to live and not break His Law.   God did not want sacrifices to take the place of a sincere heart of repentance and turning to Him.  Jesus said while He walked the earth, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  Matthew 9:12-13

Every person needs to be healed and saved by the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.  God’s plan of salvation actually started and was in place before He created this world. His great salvation plan still exists today.  God sent His Son born of a virgin to be the Saviour according to I John 4:14, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” God took care of the original sin from Adam and all the sin in your life and laid all of it on His Son Jesus Christ making Him sin with your sin.  His death on the cross and His shedding of His precious blood washes away all of your sin forever! Hebrews 9:12 says, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” 

You must understand that God is not pleased with anyone that refuses His Love and remains outside of His covenant of grace.  People that hear the gospel and refuse to believe it are in serious trouble with God.  The Bible says in Psalm 7:11 that “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”  Can you imagine God being angry with you every day of your life?  God loves the world but unbelievers have no hope and are in a serious existence before Almighty God.  God has created a very real place for every person that rejects His great Love and salvation in Jesus Christ.  That place is called “Sheol” in Hebrew and “Hades” in Greek.  In English the place is called “Hell.”  It is a place of eternal suffering and torment and a place of total separation from God.  The Bible describes it as a place of “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41.  In another passage hell is described as a place “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”  Mark 9:44 Please understand that hell is a very real place and is not a place you want to spend eternity.

You may not believe there is a God.  Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”  Even though you do not believe there is a God, but when crisis come, your first words are “Oh, God help me!”  You may be as others who say, “I hope I can be good enough to go to heaven when I die.”  You can never be good enough because your sin still remains and must be dealt with.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  There is no such thing as being good enough in your own works of righteousness to save yourself.  You could never do enough good to make up for the mistakes you have made.  The prophet Isaiah said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”  Your sin has taken you away from God and all of your righteousness and good works and benevolence you have trusted in is as “filthy rags.”  In Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  You have rebelled from God and gone away from Him, but He loved you so much He laid your sin and rebellion on His Son Jesus Christ. Even in your rebellion and running from God, He loved you with an everlasting love.  Even though you are a sinner and covenant breaker, He loved you as it says in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

Please understand, because of Adam and his disobedience, the burden of sin came on every person, but because of Jesus Christ, grace came upon all as Romans 5:18 says, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”  We are the enemies of God and we need a Saviour and our advocate according to Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”  Outside of Christ there is no hope of being reconciled to God because of the original sin of Adam and all the sin you have committed in your life.  You are sinful and rebellious and cannot save yourself, but “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I John 1:7

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Living God, was and is perfect and without sin.  He was the ultimate and complete sacrifice for all the sin of the world throughout eternity.  Because of God’s great Love for you, He has poured out His grace and mercy on you.  He loves you and seeks to have an eternal relationship with you. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” The peace you have been searching for is in Jesus Christ and it is yours by faith in Him.

Jesus Christ died for your sins and he was buried and rose again on the third day.  He was seen of more than 500 people after He was resurrected from the dead.  This is the Gospel and by believing it with all of your heart you can be saved and born again.  Romans10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  Repent from your sins and in your own words confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.  Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came in the flesh and died for your sin.  Go and be baptized in water by immersion and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Rejoice forevermore!  Salvation has come to you this day by the foolishness of preaching!

 

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William Kilgore