An exposition of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, October 10, 2010.
It is an important question. It is a basic, fundamental question. What is our mission? What is it we are to be about as the church? If you were to ask 10 people that question I think you’d probably get at least 4 or 5 different answers. Perhaps more than that today. It is common for churches and ministries to develop “mission statements.” We did that a number of years ago when we did a strategic plan. Of course conventional wisdom says you need to do that every few years it you want to stay on the “cutting edge,” if you want to be relevant. My concern is – haven’t we, as the church, already been given a mission? Is it our place to define and determine what that mission is to be? Certainly if the you are part of an organization you need to constantly be asking if your organization is still relevant to your community or to your customer base. But that assumes it is your business. It assumes that you are in control. It assumes you have the freedom to take things in a new direction if it isn’t working out. Is that true of the church? I’m not suggesting that the church doesn’t need to periodically look at it’s programing and determine if it is being effective. I’m not at all suggesting that there is never a need to evaluate. But I am asking whether it is ever our right to determine what the mission is to be? A related question is whether or not our methods are to be evaluated solely on the basis of effectiveness or are methods to be determined by the mission given to the church or the essence of what the church is to be?
These are basic questions but they are not simple.
There are a number of factors to be considered and definitions are important.
It is also critical to note that when answering these questions we must begin and end with the Scriptures.
To confess that we believe the Scriptures are the final authority in matters of faith and practice is to confess that we believe the Scriptures alone are sufficient for answering such questions. That doesn’t mean that we refuse to consider anything other than the Bible but the the Bible must evaluate all other sources. We consider the other matters in light of what the Bible teaches.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians, was writing to a struggling church in the midst of a pagan culture. A church inundated with the wisdom of the world, saturated by the appetites of secular culture and weakened through compromise. His words to the church in first century Corinth have much to say to us in 21st-century America. Our text this evening is found in the 2nd chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth.
Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul is speaking to a divided church.
Factions have developed around favorite teachers/pastors.
Paul makes it clear unity is built around doctrine.
He then calls on them to take their eyes off of men and put them on Christ alone.
Now in our text…
Thesis: The apostle, under the inspiration of the Spirit, outlines the primary work of the church.
He makes it clear that we are to be about the work of the gospel.
In this text he lays out for us the message, the means and the motivation of our work.
- The message of the church is unapologetically Christ-centered. (2:1-2)
- The means of communicating that message is Spirit-anointed proclamation. (2:3-4)
- The motive behind the means is Spirit-imparted life rather than human-inspired decisions. (2:5)