Where is your faith grounded?

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1 Corinthians 2:1-5

I. Warning against entertainment-based faith (v. 1-3)

a. Paul’s previous experience with entertainment-based faith in Athens (Acts 17:32-18:1)

- Both Athens and Corinth treated philosophy and theology as entertainment; they were not interested in the truth (or even a truth), as much as they were interested in the speaker’s ability to keep their attention and sound impressive.

b. What’s odd about Paul’s approach? 


Corinth, much like southern California, was based on self-promotion.  It was a young region, where money and fame could be made if you played your cards right, and got yourself out there. 

It wasn’t unusual for someone to come into Corinth promoting a new religion, a new ethic, or a new social structure.  What was odd was the way Paul was doing it.  Normally, they would “drum up business” so to speak, by the force of their own personality and intellectual ability.

Paul refuses to do this.  The gospel is not about Paul.  Some people in Corinth are apparently dissing Paul because he was not the leader they thought he should be.  Paul responds, essentially, by saying that he was not the problem, because he could not be the solution. 

(Jumper cables metaphor)

These are my catch-all if my car won’t start.  But what if the battery is not the problem?  What if I’m out of gas, or it’s my alternator? 

The problem wasn’t Paul’s “lack of wisdom.”  It was their lack of focus on the cross.

c. How you win people is how you keep people

1 Corinthians 2:2   For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

- Can you imagine the focus this would give us as people and as a church if this were truly our motto?

* I’m no longer insecure about what I have or don’t have around my friends and co-workers, because my focus on the cross shows me that I have everything I need in Christ.

- I’m not trying to measure up to the culture around me when I focus on the cross, because the cross tells me everything I need to know about my identity

            - I am a sinner, someone who has done things, and thought things, and wished things that are so bad that you wouldn’t believe

            - But I’m also loved beyond anything I could imagine, by someone more important, more perfect than I could dream

II. Pointing toward a cross-grounded faith

a. Paul grounded their faith in something beyond himself

i. Knowing Christ crucified (v. 2)

What do you do to keep your focus on the cross? 

ii. Demonstrations of the Spirit’s power (v. 4)


1 Corinthians 2:4-5  4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,  5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

So, what were the “demonstrations of the spirit’s power” that Paul is referring to?  Acts doesn’t tell us.  Here are the ways that Paul refers to the power of the Spirit elsewhere:

Paul recognizes the /power of the Spirit:

-         in Christ rising from the dead

o       Romans 1:4

-         in people being drawn to repentance

o       2 Timothy 1:7

o       Ephesians 3:16-18

-         in signs and miracles

o       Romans 15:19

-         as the means to testify in the midst of persecution

o       2 Timothy 1:8

-         in the work of God in our weakness

o       2 Corinthians 12:9

Questions for prayer and reflection

Why would I be drawn toward an entertainment based faith?

How can I better know Christ crucified this week?


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