God's Upside Down Kingdom, That's Actually Right Side Up!

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Two factory workers are talking. The woman says, "I can make the boss give me the day off." The man replies, "And how would you do that?" The woman says, "Just wait and see." She then hangs upside-down from the ceiling. The boss comes in and says, "What are you doing?" The woman replies, "I'm a light bulb." The boss then says, "You've been working so much that you've gone crazy. I think you need to take the day off." The man starts to follow her and the boss says, "Where are you going?" The man says, "I'm going home, too. I can't work in the dark!"

Historical/Cultural Context -

Paul preached the gospel in Corinth in the early 50s AD during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1–18). When opposition grew fierce there, the Lord Jesus spoke to him in a vision assuring him that he had ‘many people’ in the city (Acts 18:10). With this encouragement, Paul stayed on for eighteen months, ‘teaching them the word of God’ (Acts 18:11). God used Paul’s ministry to bring about the birth and establishment of the church in Corinth.

Biblical Text -

1 Corinthians 1:26–31 NKJV
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”


Life Principle - No Matter How Long You Have Been A Christian, Remember How Christ Found You and Only Boast In Him.

Life Point- Remember How Christ Found You

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 1:26–29 NLT
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

Homiletical -

You ever notice that people who lack humility are found in every walk of life? They take pride in the most ridiculous things.
1 Corinthians 1:12–13 NKJV
Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
It helps to remember that we must have humility.
James 4:5–7 NKJV
Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
I don’t speak as though I have it all together, but as a fellow sojourner with Christ.
Paul states, “few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.”
In other words, what state are you in spiritually? Do people consider you wise now, when they once didn’t, in the world’s system? What does that matter eternally? It doesn’t
Are you wealthy now? Or have some kind of power, in the world’s eyes? What does that matter? It doesn’t.
If you find your worth in anything the world has to offer, then you have indeed found nothing.
Is it wrong to have money, power or knowledge? No, but that is not where you should find your worth.
Your worth is not found in those things, it is found in God.
Because those things are temporary they are going away. They will not last.
That money you have? That nice house, or that nice car, or that nice business. When we look into eternity it means nothing. It stands for nothing and if you put your worth as an individual in those things then my friend you are in for a rude awakening. You may find yourself as one who gets in by the skin of your teeth.
You wanna hear well don my good and faithful slave? Or you just want to hear, well....
What you put your worth in is where you put your sense of accomplishment of you are. I am nothing, you are nothing. Jesus is everything!
Remember, God chose the opposite things of this world to put this world to shame.
1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
God chose the way of the cross which is foolishness to the world to put to shame the wise.
God chose weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.
Psalm 8:2 NKJV
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Matthew 11:25 NKJV
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
1 Corinthians 1:28 NLT
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
The world at the time of Christ considered Jesus just another carpenter. Then they considered Him a cult leader. Then they had Him put to death because He was overturning their system. It was their system because they had perverted God’s system for so long it was no longer God’s, but had become their’s. Nothing but a shell. It was a form of Godliness but had no power. But we know that He didn’t stay dead. He came back and it confounded them. They didn’t understand it.
Acts 5:35–39 NKJV
And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
The twelve disciples under the empowerment of God turned the world upside down. So what happened?
We as Christians started making deals with the devil. We have let the world’s ways come into our lives for so long that we think it is God’s. When it really isn’t.
The evangelical church today is not evangelizing for Christ anymore. As a matter of fact, most people in evangelical churches today have no idea what they believe. They just like the music or the feel good preaching.
2 Timothy 3:1–5 NLT
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
The church and indeed the world doesn’t need another preacher making them feel good. People don’t need to be running after the next spiritual high, as it were. They need Jesus. They need the power of God that Sanctifies them to their uttermost, so that when the world looks at them they don’t see Jesus as an add-on to their lives.
No, they see a life that is changed and different than what the lives of the world look like. They either look at as an scoff at us and walk away or they say, “I don’t know what it is, but I want what you got.”
The more like the world we become the less relevant we become to the world.

Illustration -

Here are a couple of jokes that the world finds foolish
Two muffins were sitting in an oven. One turned to the other and said, “Wow, it’s pretty hot in here.” The other one shouted, “Wow, a talking muffin!”
Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock-knock joke? He won the “no-bell” prize.

Life Point - Remember To Boast Only In Jesus

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 1:30–31 NLT
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

Homiletical -

I have said it before, but it can be said again. Humans have the uncanny ability to take anything and boast about it.
For example, think of the Jeans that students wear today in Middle & High School. They are ripped and tattered. They buy them that way. I never understood that.
I think how this started was some kid was poor and couldn’t afford new clothes and then started to say how awesome they were. So what happens? It becomes a source of pride.
All the cool kids have ripped jeans, I need some too!
Same thing happened in the 90s. Some kid couldn’t afford a belt or pants that fit, so they made it a source of pride to have low pants.
Then everyone had to have the lowest pants! If you didn’t have it, you just weren’t cool.
They boasted about how they couldn’t walk down the road without holding their pants up!
Don’t think pastors are immune either.
It used to be I had to wear a 3 piece suit and tie.
Then just jacket and no tie.
Then a Hawaiian shirt and no tie.
We used to say, “man I can’t believe you aren’t wearing a tie!” and the other guy would be like, “yeah man, no tie for me!”
Now if you wear a tie ministers are like, “Man I Can’t believe you’re wearing a tie”
Boasting is foolishness! It means nothing. You think Jesus cares if you wear a tie or not?
Verse 30 in the BSB Says it this way:
Berean Study Bible Wisdom from God

30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

You and I find our worth in Him. The believer finds his strength in Jesus.
Christ comes from the Greek Christos, which basically means savior.
Savior from What?
From the bondage of sin
Sin was our master, until Christ broke those bondages and put Himself as our Master. He saved us from that life and gave us newness of life.
Because of this, He has become our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness, and our redemption
Stop looking to the world for wisdom. At best it is misguided, at worst it is demonic.
Stop looking to the world for right living. What does the world consider success? Money, power, strength. That is not right living. Right living in God’s eyes is Love, empathy, giving, and serving.
Don’t look for people in the world’s approval. Your approval is imputed to you by what Christ did on the cross.
As a matter of fact the world is so perverse that it now calls those things which we used to call good, bad; and the things we used to call bad, they call good.
Isaiah 5:20–25 NKJV
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man! Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against His people; He has stretched out His hand against them And stricken them, And the hills trembled. Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.
If God said this about Israel in the time of Isaiah. How much more does this warning apply to the world? And How much more will this apply to His people today who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them?
Don’t get caught up in the world’s idea of right living! It’s evil!
The world will not redeem you, only Christ can do that.
As a matter-of-fact the world offers sin.
Sin looks good, but it will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and make you pay more than you want to pay.
That goes for believers and unbelievers alike.

Illustration -

Speaking of things that have worth
Three guys enter a candy store. The first guy approaches the clerk and asks for 10 cents worth of jellybeans.
Since the jellybeans are on the top shelf, the clerk goes into another room, brings out a ladder, gets the jellybeans down, takes out 10 cents worth, puts the jellybeans back on the top shelf, and puts the ladder away.
Then, he goes to the second guy and asks what he wants. He, too, wants 10 cents worth of jellybeans.
So, the clerk goes into the other room, brings out the ladder, gets the jellybeans down and takes out 10 cents worth. Before putting them back up on the top shelf, he turns to the third guy and asks, "Do you want 10 cents worth of jellybeans?"
"No, thank you," he replies.
Hearing that, the clerk puts the jellybeans back up on the top shelf and puts the ladder away.
He returns to the third guy and asks, "So, what would you like?"
"I'd like 5 cents worth of jellybeans!" he replies.

Life Principle No Matter How Long You Have Been A Christian, Remember How Christ Found You and Only Boast In Him.

Call to Action – altar call….

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