Sermon Summary

This week, Darrin Miller continued in our series through 1 Corinthians, sharing the reality that a healthy church will operate in the power of God. Darrin defined this power as God manifesting his attributes (knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, mercy grace, love, holiness, justice) and presence to and through his people into the world. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul shared the simple gospel of Christ crucified, which does not require eloquent or persuasive speech. Darrin encouraged us to ask ourselves if the power of God is at work in our lives today.

Wisdom and eloquence without power have no real effect

1 Corinthians 1:17-18
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Human wisdom pales in comparison to God’s wisdom

1 Corinthians 1:19-24
For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

God chooses foolish things to shame the wise

1 Corinthians 1:25-29
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

Boast in the goodness of God

1 Corinthians 1:30-31
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

The Simple Gospel
The gospel has the power to transform lives from:
• death to life
• destruction to building others
• overwhelming anxiety to unexplainable peace
• anger/bitterness/rage and hate to love and grace
• emotional pain and trauma to healing, peace and wholeness
• mental health struggles to a sound mind marked by peace
• physical pain and disease to miraculous healing and wholeness
• confusion to clarity of mind and decision making

Truth One: God works His power through His people as they are submitted to Him in humility and awe.

Humility says, “I can’t do this by myself. I need God.”

Truth Two: The testimony of a transformed life is evidence of the power of God.

John 9:17-25
Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Revelation 12:10-11
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Truth Three: The wisdom of this world has many forms. It is deceptive and appealing but is powerless and empty in the end.

Wisdom of this world marked by:
• How we feel is of the utmost importance – “As long as I am happy, I’m okay.”
• It’s more important to be right or to win an argument than to be in relationship
• We must be right and stand up for God or who else will (as if God cannot stand up for himself)
• Logic and entertainment will draw people to Jesus
• Politics will solve our nation’s problems
• Culture wars will save our nation’s problems
• Materialism and wealth will solve our problems

Truth Four: Most of the disciples were ordinary unschooled men, not trained or elite in the world’s eyes. But God changed the world through them.

Examples of God using broken, sinful people to do His work on Earth: Abraham, Sarah, Esther, Moses, Deborah, David, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Paul

Truth Five: God’s power is available to His children for healing, wholeness, mercy, grace, purpose, contentment, peace, and a sound mind.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the simple gospel? How would you explain it to an unbeliever?
  2. How did Darrin define the power of God? Are you operating in this power current day? If not, what do you believe stands in the way?
  3. How does the wisdom of God compare to the wisdom of the world?
  4. Have you ever agreed with wisdom of the world as Darrin describe above? How did you start walking in the opposite spirit?

Application Questions

  1. Have you been operating outside of God’s power in an area of your life or ministry? One way to know is if you are sensing a lack of His attributes (knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, mercy grace, love, holiness, justice). Get prayer this week in this area and ask for God’s power through His spirit.
  2. Darrin shared about the revival that was taking place in Asbury University in the last few weeks. Take time this week to pray for revival in our church and our city.