1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV “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.” Paul goes on to say in chapter two, verse two, “for I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 NKJV “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Paul had the greatest amount of knowledge in Judaism anyone could have. He was a Pharisee, yet he would write, “I count everything as dung for the sake of knowing Christ.” Paul lived in the gospel. When he came up against philosophy he still preached the gospel. Paul was a man who forsook everything else, to pursue Christ alone. He resolved to know nothing, to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing except Christ.
Am I conscious of nothing except Christ? Do pastors display more knowledge of something other than Christ? Are we acquainted with a Netflix series more than we are with Christ? “Gospel-centered” and “gospel issue” are buzz phrases in the church today, but I’m telling you everything couched in those phrases is another gospel.
Paul asked the Galatians who bewitched them, he said if anyone brings you another gospel if an angel brings you another gospel if he himself returned with a different message it was to be rejected. What is the gospel? Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected.
Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV ““For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
What is the gospel? We are all one in Christ. What is a different gospel? Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. It is a message that pits white Christians against black Christians. It’s a message that says “whiteness” is a sin. The Bible says that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made, that includes skin color. I came across a new phrase yesterday, biblical diversity. There is no “diversity” in the Kingdom of God, we are simply in Christ and to try and manufacture ethnic togetherness as a gospel issue is wrong. To say we need the black experience to interpret Scripture is wrong. We don’t need a black, white, Asian, Mexican, or any other experience to interpret Scripture. Scripture interprets Scripture. All this other stuff is anti-biblical nonsense. It’s time to wake up and return to the gospel and reject Critical Race Theory as an analytical tool. No one’s race is a gospel issue. Are there racists, yes, in every color. But to paint every white person as inherently racist is not in line with Scripture and must be rejected.
What does the gospel produce in our lives? Holy living. 2 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV “Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”” Do we believe the gospel is enough? If you look at the modern church you would have to say no. We always have a gimmick. Be it giveaways, super bowl themed messages, summer at the movies, and going to great lengths to make the church not look like a church. We hear more stories than Scripture, and pastors are more hip than holy, (it’s probably not even cool to use the term hip anymore but I’m trying to be relevant by having each word beginning with the same letter). We are so focused on getting people in the church we have lost the gospel. We love to say methods change but the message does not. Look around at what is taking place in churches and ministries, our methods have changed the message. We have no fear of God, but we do offer restoration without true repentance.
As Christians, we should be living in the gospel. We don’t outgrow it and signs and wonders don’t replace it. Jesus rebuked the cities where most of His miracles were done because the people didn’t repent and believe. Let us heed the words of Paul and determine to know nothing, to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Let’s drop philosophy, hit music with bad theology, and let’s see fifty-year-old pastors dress like pastors instead of wannabe celebrities. Let’s drop all our gimmicky series and return to verse-by-verse preaching and teaching. Let us go back to Paul’s epistles and reacquaint ourselves with the gospel and let’s live there.