A. A church that just offers the gospel seems strange to many people.
1. Not everyone appreciates its value and power (1 Cor. 1:18, 23).
2. Christians appreciate its value and power (1 Cor. 1:18, 24).
B. Value and power of Gospel seen by the fundamental changes it makes in men and women.
I. It Changes the Spiritual Condition of Men and Women.
A. From lost sinners into saved saints. (1 Cor.6:9-11).
1. Saved by the gospel (1 Cor. 15:2).
2. Cleansed in baptism (Acts 18:8; cf. Acts 22:16)
B. From children of devil into children of God. (Gal. 3:26, 27).
II. It Changes the Outlook of Men and Women.
A. From hopelessness into hopefulness (Eph. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:3)
1. Pessimism to optimism.
2. The Jailer (Acts 16:27, 34).
3. Paul (Rom. 7:24, 25).
B. From worldly outlook to spiritual outlook (Phil. 3:4-11)
C. From self-pity to gracious suffering (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17)
III. It Changes the Life-styles of Men and Women (1 Cor. 6.11).
A. Religious life-style.
1. From Idols to Living God. (1 Thess. 1:9).
2. From fanatical persecutor into preacher. (1 Cor. 15:9, 10).
3. From vain-worshiper into true worshiper. (John 4:23, 24; Matt. 15:9).
B. General life-style.
1. From self-seeking to self-denial (Matt. 6:24)
2. From lusts of men to the will of God (1 Pet. 4:1-4).
3. From laziness to productive work (2 Thess. 3:10)
IV. It Changes the Destinies of Men and Women.
A. Eternally doomed into eternally saved. (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
B. Hell-bound into Heaven-bound.
A. If you value the gospel – obey it.
B. If you value the gospel – spread it.
C. If you value the gospel – defend it (cf. Phil. 1:17).
A. We seem to be always struggling to gain and keep people.
B. We are often tempted to match or beat the competitions attractions.
1. Dynamic personalities with one equal or more so.
2. Dynamic programs with one equal or more so.
3. Appealing facilities with one equal or more so.
C. We need to remind ourselves of the facts about the gospel that Paul outlined to the Corinthians:
I. The Gospel Message Does Not Have Universal Appeal. (1 Cor. 1:18).
A. Appealed neither to Greeks nor Jews.(1 Cor. 1: 21-26).
1. Not philosophical enough for the Greeks.
2. Not sensational enough for the Jews.
B. Appealed to spiritual minds rather than carnal minds. (1 Cor. 3:1-3).
1. Did not need to make gospel fit minds.
2. Did need to make minds fit the gospel.
C. Appending it for wider appeal would have destroyed its effectiveness (1 Cor. 1:17)
D. Appealing to some while appalling to many.
1. The message about salvation.
2. The message about the church.
a. It’s structure.
b. It’s worship.
c. Its work.
3. The message about godliness. (cf. Tit. 2:11, 12).
II. The Gospel Message Is Designed to Glorify God Rather than Men. (1 Cor. 1:27-31).
A. It was so designed by God’s wisdom. (1 Cor. 1:21).
B. It was so preached by Paul. (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
1. Preached to impress the message rather than wisdom or ability of messenger.
2. Preached to establish faith in the power of God rather than wisdom of men.
III. The Gospel Message Is Superior to the Devices of Men. (1 Cor. 1:25)
A. Will stand the test of time and eternity. (1 Cor. 1:19-20; 2:6)
B. Immature carnal minds cannot see this truth. (1 Cor. 2:6, 14-16).
IV. The Gospel Message a Revelation Rather than an Experimentation. (1 Cor. 2:6-16).
A. Cannot know what pleases God without revelation. (1 Cor. 2.11,16).
B. Cannot know “things which God has prepared for those who love Him” without revelation (1 Cor. 2.9, 13).
A. Should we transform the gospel and the church to conform to carnal minds?
B. Or, transform minds to conform to the gospel and church as it is revealed to us? (cf. Rom. 12:2)