Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Wisdom of God -- Embodied in Jesus Christ

Most of us have heard the adage: "One man's trash is another man's treasure." The value of something or somebody is "in the eye of the beholder." A man marooned on a remote island, all alone, would rather have within his grasp ample food supplies and fresh water than treasure chests of gold and diamonds.

Worth and value are often subjective personal assessments, contingent upon attending circumstances. When I was a Christian parish pastor, I had the privilege of ministering to one of the richest (money) personalities in the area. An accident coupled with older age cut his life short. Not once during my death bed visit with this gentleman did he make mention of his earthly wealth. When I think of it, all the people that I have visited on their death beds never spoke of their material possessions. Family, loved ones, and concern over one's own soul are usually first and foremost their ready topics of conversation and discussion.

The Wealth of Wisdom offered in the person of Christ who died on a Roman cross:


No greater wealth can be had, than in the "Wisdom of God." This wisdom is wonderfully described in the New Testament Christian Scriptures of 1st Corinthians 1:18-2:16. Last week I briefly touched on "Wisdom -- something not often found in today's culture." I related that "true wisdom is that which finds its expression in the true God." Proverbs 1:7

The Scripture makes it clear that Jesus Christ, is the Wisdom of God, (personified) [1 Corinthians 1:24 ; 1 Corinthians 1:30]. It further makes clear that Christ's life and death -- especially His ignominious death upon a Roman cross (for the sacrifice of human sin) is "foolishness" to them who do not [believe] accept His Divine gift. 1 Corinthians 1:20-24

For the most part, Jews still look for a Messiah and reject the Christ (Messiah) of the [prophesied] Hebrew Scriptures -- and, the Christ (Messiah) of the [fulfilled] New Testament Scriptures. The Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, to them, is not their promised and genuine Messiah. Their eyes are blind to the clear divinely inspired, revealed prophetic and fulfilled, Word of God.


Please note:

"Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" by By Victor Buksbazen -- an in-depth view of Isaiah 53:1f and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth

The "stumbling block" to the Jewish people

Most Jewish people do not and cannot accept the Christ (Messiah) of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The historical Christ, is more or less an embarrassment for them. Why? Because their Messiah couldn't possibly (in their minds) suffer the fate of being crucified on a Roman cross. Roman crucifixion was only reserved for the worst of criminals. Hence, to the Jews, this idea of their Messiah being crucified was "scandalous."

The Greek word for "stumbling block" is "σκάνδαλον" [skandalon]. We derive our English word, "Scandal," from this Greek word. Rejecting the Christ of human history who suffered and died on a Roman cross under the direction of Pontius Pilate was indeed offensive -- and still is, for the non [Christian] Jew. Yet, this was the Triune God's plan.

It was God's plan that Jesus Christ was to be born into human history; live a sinless life; suffer and die on a Roman cross; and then, later rise from the dead. [1 Corinthians 15:1f] God, essentially became a man [without sin] to accomplish the supreme (once for all) sacrifice for human sin and all its damning ramifications. Such an activity by a Jewish Messiah was and is offensive to unbelieving Jews. Their refusal to accept the Christ of the Scriptures [Isaiah 53:1f] is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 1:1f as a "stumbling block."

The preaching of Christ and his cross to the non-Jewish world, [Gentiles] is regarded as "foolishness" 1 Corinthians 1:20-24:


Why to the non-Jew is the preaching of Christ's cross such "foolishness?" To the non Jewish people -- those who do not believe in the Christ of the Scriptures, this message of a man dying on a cross is just too simple. To them it is insulting to human reason and intelligence. Surely there has to be some other way and some grandiose method to right the world's wrongs and absolve human beings of all the bad things that they do, and experience!

To those souls who don't believe in the Christ of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, the preaching of Jesus Christ suffering and dying upon a cross for the sacrifice of human sin, is utter foolishness. Yet, this is what the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures is all about. This divinely inspired message [2 Timothy 3:14-17] is about the God / Man person, Jesus Christ. Simple? Yes, but this is the Triune God's plan and method to provide forgiveness of human sin and save humanity [people] from sin's present devastation and eternal damnation. Romans 5:6-21 ; John 3:14-17

Friend, never doubt the wisdom of God. Never allow your human reason to stand in the way of His offer of forgiveness for all your sins. [Isaiah 1:2-20 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1-2] Your sins are flagrant transgressions against God's laws. [Isaiah 59:1-2] Human personal sin is the cause of physical death and ends up, damning your soul. [Romans 5:12 and 5:18] Refusal to truly listen to the Triune God, to remedy your situation will seal your sorry fate. [Luke 16:19-31 ; Matthew 7:13-29] Only in the person of Christ, who was sent by God for the purpose of dealing with the world's sin disorder, can you find present and eternal peace and life eternal, rather than death, eternal. John 1:1-34


Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins

Old Testament:

Isaiah 53:1f -- The prophecy of the Messiah, Christ hundreds of years before His birth

New Testament:


The Gospel of John 1:1-34 -- God's plan to send Christ for the world

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:2 -- The wisdom of God and the "foolishness" of preaching the Cross of Christ


______________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
______________________________________

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

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