Don’t just sit there…do something.
OCTOBER 17, 2022
Don’t just sit there…do something. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end and hope your sermon, your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. My saying that irritates some of you and you tell me that you wish I wouldn’t say that every week, but I’m trying to remind you that being a pastor is a hard place today. A lot harder than it used to be, and pastors need to be encouraged. And so, I’m starting a movement from Key Life to encourage pastors. We have over 4,000 pastors on our mailing list and I spend a lot of time with pastors. So, go to your pastor and don’t just tell him that was a good sermon, say that was a dynamite sermon and it was even better than Steve Brown’s pastor’s sermon. And he’ll or she’ll rise up and call you blessed. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the book of Acts and we’re up to the 17th chapter of Acts. And we’re looking at a question, why in the world is the Christian faith in general and the preaching of the cross, such a scandal? Why does it cause so much division? Why do people react so negatively to that message? And in the 17th chapter of Acts, and I’m not going to read it to you again, the first 15 verses, Paul is in two places, and in both places, he gets kicked out. And the reason he gets kicked out is because he’s talking about the cross of Jesus Christ and it is major offensive. And the question before the house is, why is that? We’ll get back to it, but first let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence and we’re thankful for the scandal of the cross, for the way it gradually made sense, for the way it changed everything, that you would come, that your mercy would be that great. And your grace so outrageous and the freedom, such a gift, just surprises us. And we praise you and worship you. But Father, if you weren’t that kind of God, if you weren’t good, if you had not come, if you didn’t love us, you’re still the sovereign Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of all that we see. You are God, and you are worthy of our worship. Father, as we come into your presence, we recognize that we’re in the presence of a God like that. A God who really is in control, who really is our resource for every experience of our lives, the dark and the light, the laughter and the tears, the fear and the courage, the obedience and the disobedience. And we come to you, praising you and worshiping you, that you would tell us to call you our Father. Father, as always we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins cause there are many, we would see Jesus and Him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you were listening last week, we were looking at the scandal of the cross and we saw that the cross is a scandal because first sovereignty, as in God, doesn’t go with suffering. We have seen that most people are in, if they believe in God, but aren’t Christians or into the Zeus God. The God who’s strong and angry, who controls everything, does as he pleases and does it as he pleases, that’s God. God does not hang on crosses. God does not suffer. God does not act like a human being cause, well, cause he’s God. And that’s why when you preach the cross, it becomes a scandal. You can hear it and see it in the response that people give to it. And it is so often, no way, that’s crazy. And then we saw last week that it really is crazy, that it’s illogical. We look at I Corinthians 1. And there, Paul calls it the folly of God and to the unbeliever, it really is folly. You know, we Christians who’ve been Christians for very long, sometimes forget how crazy this sounds when people who aren’t believers hear it. I mean, it really does sound counterintuitive. It sounds illogical. It turns everything that we ever thought, on its head. And because it does, it becomes a scandal. Among other things, Dorotheus Hermit of the Nile was directed by an angel to go to a certain convent. And there, the angel said you will find an elect vessel full of God’s grace. And you will know her by the crown that shines above her head. So, he went to the convent. He had the sisters pass in order before him, as each sister passed, he said, the Lord has not chosen thee, then when they had all passed by him, he asked the superior, are there none others? And she replied, all are here. Well, except one, a half witted creature who is the kitchen drudge. Bring her to me, said the hermit. When they brought her before him, she was dirty and common, but there was a crown shining above her head and she became Saint Isidora. That’s a good story. And it kind of illustrates the point that we’re making. And that point is simply this, that the cross of Christ doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. And when you are no longer surprised by the counterintuitive nature of the Christian faith, you don’t get it. Okay. Let me show you something else. Thirdly, in the first and in the 21st century, the cross of Christ is a scandal because in order to make any sense of it, you have to respond and it calls for response. Let’s assume that you are in the, a towering Inferno and someone yells fire. Now that’s going require a response from you. You will have to not believe it and do something about the yelling or believe it and run like a son of a gun away from the fire. You just can’t sit there. It’s the same way with the cross. There’s a famous 17th century, French preacher, who after he had preached his sermon was astounded at the sobs of the people. He was asked what he had said that it affected them so, and it was this, there is a man who is brought to court and by a false tribunal is condemned to die. He is then taken to the place of execution, but at last, there is no hangman and no rope. The people realizing what has happened were in high hopes that the man would then be allowed to live because of the lack of instruments of execution. But one man in the crowd shouted out, I will provide the scaffold, I will provide the rope, and I will be the executioner. The crowd was indignant, as are you. But friends, there are no people here tonight, you have provided the cross, you have been that man. When that becomes clear, you will respond. There’s something about the cross that requires that, and there really is. Once you get it, and once you understand it, what are you going to do about it. You know, we have invitations at the end of a lot of Christian services, where people are given an opportunity to respond and I’m for that. But you don’t have to do that. I mean, you really don’t have to have people walk an aisle because when they get it, they will walk an aisle anyway, in their hearts because there’s something about the cross that you simply can’t ignore or turn away from or pretend that it didn’t happen or go to a party or watch a television show or go to a religious worship service. There’s something about the cross that gets into your heart and it gets into your heart deep. And there is a response. You either reject it or you walk the aisle of your heart, but you don’t just sit there. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. Steve Brown there resuming our tour of Acts 17. So much more to unpack here and unpack we shall, beginning tomorrow. Hope you will join us then. You probably know that in addition to teaching here on Key Life, Steve is a prolific author. In fact, he has a new book coming out in about a week. It’s called Laughter and Lament, but one of my all time favorites from Steve is called A Scandalous Freedom. And if you hadn’t read it, good news. We have a special booklet called Radical Freedom, Surprising Faithfulness. It features excerpts from A Scandalous Freedom, and I know you’ll find it a refreshing reminder about the radical nature of grace. Claim your copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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