(#006) 1 Corinthians - You Can’t Undo the Cross

God never takes back what He gives to us.










Welcome To 



a Christian Church


Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  As our Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son…as Jesus Christ, He is 100% true humanity…God the Son became flesh and tabernacled among us here on earth.  Therefore, He is the uniquely born One…the Lord Jesus Christ…the God-Man…100% God and 100% true humanity in One Person forever.  He is the Sovereign God of the Universe, He is the Savior of the whole world, and He is the Jewish Messiah.  


Barah Ministries makes a difference by teaching the Word of God from the Lord Jesus Christ’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective.  Why?   Because how God sees things is very different from how people see things.  Instead of trusting what man has to say about God, we prefer to search the Scriptures to learn what God has to say, not only about Himself but also about His plan for mankind.  We want you to learn what God wants for you.


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - You Can’t Undo the Cross




Song Worship Leader June Murphy thinks she is a prophetess.  She is not.  But she sure nailed it in the title of one of her latest songs…YOU CAN’T UNDO THE CROSS.


The Bible tells us that God does everything in ones…Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verses 4 to 6…



There is one body (of Christ…the Church) … and there is one (God the Holy) Spirit…just as also you were called in one hope when you were called to salvation…



…there is one Lord… (Jesus Christ) … there is one faith (Christianity)… there is one baptism (of the Holy Spirit by which we are placed into union with Christ)…



…there is one God and Father of all (who believe in Christ) … who is over all (as their Sovereign) … and (who lives) through all (believers)…and (who is ) indwelling all (believers).


Likewise, there is only one Cross.  God the Father expects all of us to get to heaven through the Cross…by believing in His Son who hung there and who shed His blood there…and never by our means or by our wisdom.  As we continue our study of First Corinthians, Chapter 1 in the fourth passage, we’ll learn that God wants us to do things His way, not our way.




The prophet Jeremiah affirms the Lord Jesus Christ’s uniqueness in Jeremiah, Chapter 10, Verse 6 when he says… 



There is none like You, O Lord…You are great…and great is Your name...


Chris Tomlin uses the only word that describes our unique and amazing God in his song INDESCRIBABLE.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Chris Tomlin



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for making salvation accessible to all, especially to the unwise among us…help us to have the humility of a child in our willingness to learn Your Word and the plans You have for us…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s



TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - You Can’t Undo the Cross


We begin our study of the fourth passage of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  You’ll remember in passage one that Paul describes Himself as God’s “sent man.”  That does not mean that Paul is arrogant.  He knows himself very well.  In Ephesians, Chapter 3, Verse 8, Paul describes himself…



To me (Paul)…THE VERY LEAST OF ALL SAINTS (us believers in Christ)…this grace was given…to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of (a relationship with) Christ…


He describes himself again in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 9…



For I (Paul) am THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES…and I am not fit to be called an apostle…because I persecuted the church of God (I killed Christians).


Paul is the worst human being who ever lived by God’s standards…yet God

in His wisdom chose Paul to preach the mystery doctrine of the Church Age.


You’ll remember in passage two that God selected Paul to establish God’s church at Corinth during an eighteen-month period…Acts, Chapter 18, Verse 11…


ACTS 18:11 

And Paul settled in Corinth for a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among the Corinthian believers.


You’ll remember in passage three, people Paul trusts, Chloe’s people, came to Ephesus to tell Paul that all hell has broken loose in the Corinthian Church since he left.  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 11…



For I (Paul) have been informed concerning you, my brethren (in the church at Corinth), by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.


There are divisions in the church caused by the rivalries…there is one-upmanship…I am better than you because I make more money…I am better than you because I have a better teacher… I am better than you because my spiritual gift is cooler than yours.


Let’s take a look at passage four and then we’ll study it… First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 17 to 25…



For Christ did not send me (Paul) to baptize…He sent me to preach the gospel…not in smooth, slick speech…so that the Cross of Christ would not be emptied of its effect.



For the Word…especially the Word of the Cross…is foolishness to those who are perishing (unbelievers)…but to us (believers in Christ) who are being saved…the Word of the Cross is the power of God the Father (divine omnipotence in action).


Jesus Christ is the “who” of our salvation…the Cross is the “how” of our salvation.


For it stands written (in Isaiah 29:14), “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise…and the cleverness of the clever I will nullify.”



Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God the Father (through the Cross) made foolish the world’s wisdom?



For since in a demonstration of God the Father’s wisdom, the world did not come to know God through wisdom (through the intellect)…God was well-pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the gospel message we preached.



For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks chase after wisdom…



…but we preach about a crucified Christ (not a resurrected one) … which to Jewish unbelievers is a stumbling block and to Gentiles unbelievers (the Greeks) is foolishness…



…but to those who are the called ones (believers in Christ whose eyes were opened by the call of God) … both Jews and Greeks… Christ is the power of God the Father and the wisdom of God the Father.



Because the foolishness of God the Father is wiser than human wisdom… and the weakness of God the Father is stronger than human strength.


This is a comparison of what the world thinks is wisdom and what God thinks is wisdom…they are 180 degrees in apposition…they are polar opposite.  God does things that no one would expect.


Paul preached the gospel message concerning a crucified Christ…the One who died for all mankind on the Cross.  In the ancient world, the Cross and crucifixion was a bloody mess, reserved for a criminal…to shame and to torture a person who was part of a criminal scandal. So as He went to the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ was insulted, mocked, ridiculed, scorned, derided, spat upon and then hung up like a piece of meat in the heat of the sun, eventually speared to see if He was dead.  This is the one symbol the Lord uses to call people to Himself…the Cross…with what He did there for the benefit of all humanity.


Let’s study the fourth passage of First Corinthians verse by verse, beginning with the last verse from the third passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 17…



For Christ did not send me (Paul) to baptize…He sent me to preach the gospel…not in smooth, slick speech…so that the Cross of Christ would not be emptied of its effect.


Slick speech distorts the gospel message…the Word is powerful on its own because it is powered by God the Holy Spirit…in John, Chapter 16, Verse 8, the Lord says…


JOHN 16:8

And God the Holy Spirit…when He comes…will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…


When we count on human rhetoric rather than on God the Holy Spirit, we miss the point, both of Christianity and the gospel message.  We don’t have to manipulate others with the truth.  We don’t have to intellectualize the gospel message.  It stands with a power of its own…divine power…and that power does not come from the source of us. The Cross has a power that is higher than the power of slick speech.  To the Corinthians, power was attained through wealth, and status and honor…the things of rivalries.  The Lord has made believers in Christ come to know what He knows…that shame is the path to glory.  First Peter, Chapter 5, Verses 8 to 10…



Be of sober spirit (have self-control) … and be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (he wants to make a vicious attack on you).



But resist him (stand your victorious ground), firm in your faith (dependent wholly on Christ), knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brethren who are in the world (system of Satan…the enemy of God).



After you have suffered for a little while (temporary suffering), the God and Father of all grace, who called you to His ETERNAL glory…in union with Christ…will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.


We may suffer for a short time here on earth…but our glory as believers in Christ is for all eternity. First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 18…



For the Word…especially the Word of the Cross…is foolishness to those who are perishing (unbelievers)…but to us (believers in Christ) who are being saved by it…the Word of the Cross is the power of God the Father (divine omnipotence in action).


Human beings always have their own way of interpreting life…seeing life through their own eyes…and Corinth, being the Las Vegas-like sin city of the ancient world, with influences from Greece and from Rome, had its own way of looking at what they called the “myth” of Christ at the Cross.  In the culture of Corinth, sensuality and wisdom were what the elite sought, and they had little time to regard a Messiah who would allow Himself to be crucified.  Believers in the church at Corinth were new to Christianity and they had not made the transition from immaturity to maturity.  Thus, they were living the worldly lifestyle of Corinth, valuing the pursuit of sensuality and wisdom as well.  When in Corinth, they did as the Corinthians do.


Jesus Christ being crucified was unjust punishment, even according to the one who ordered the punishment…John, Chapter 18, Verse 38…


JOHN 18:38

Pilate…went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him (Jesus Christ).”


Jesus Christ allowed Himself to appear as a nobody…Isaiah, Chapter 53, Verse 2…


ISAIAH 53:2b

Jesus has no stately form or majesty that we should notice Him…nor did He have an appearance that we should be attracted to Him.


Jesus was from Nazareth, a cesspool of the ancient world…John, Chapter 1, Verses 45 and 46…


JOHN 1:45

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the One of whom Moses in the Mosaic Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”


JOHN 1:46

Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”


He was crucified, and crucifixion was reserved for the worst of criminals.  It was a shameful death.  It was the ultimate in humiliation.  To the “wise” in Corinth, there is no way the Messiah would allow Himself to go through these things as if He were a commoner.  In their view, the Messiah would come with much pomp and circumstance, with much majesty and fanfare.   To the wise of the world, the Cross was stupid…and anyone who believed in Christ and His Cross was stupid as well.


When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take the offering and then we’ll see what Paul has to say about the foolishness of the Cross and the gospel message.



Unconditional Love

Donna Summers


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - You Can’t Undo the Cross


Make it a habit to give.  At every opportunity…GIVE…don’t worry about the amount.  Then sit back and watch God give back to you.  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall





For the mind set on the flesh is death…but the mind set on God the Holy Spirit is life and peace…




David Bauer, Instrumental


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - You Can’t Undo the Cross




John Chapter 10, Verses 14 and 15 say…


JOHN 10:14

I (the Lord Jesus Christ) am the good shepherd…and I know My own sheep and My own sheep know Me…


JOHN 10:15 

…even as God the Father knows Me and I know God the Father…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) lay down My life for the sheep.


God has you personally in mind by name…He had you in mind by name in eternity past…He has you in mind by name right now…and He always will have you in mind by name.  Francesca Battistelli agrees in her song HE KNOWS MY NAME.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Francesca Battistelli


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - You Can’t Undo the Cross


Let’s continue our study of First Corinthians in Chapter 1 at Verse 19…



For it stands written (in Isaiah 29:14), “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise…and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”


The Lord Jesus Christ turned the Cross into a symbol of the greatest love ever demonstrated…but He and His Word and His ways always seem foolish to the wise.  So, the Lord made the wisdom of the wise look foolish, and he made the wise look like fools.  My Mom used to say this about smart people…“He thinks he’s slick but he’s going to find out that he needs another greasing.”  God hands out the greasing.  


C.S. Lewis, who at fifteen became an atheist and then said he was “angry at God for not existing,” said this…



The Cross looks like the height of folly to those who are self-absorbed.


In First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 20, Paul asks…



Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God the Father made worldly wisdom foolish (with the wisdom of the Cross)? 


Paul is asking questions he knows the answer to…these are called rhetorical questions.  Paul knew the wise all too well because he was one of these types in the past…a Pharisee…he was wise…he was a debater…but on the Damascus Road he got knocked off of his high horse as he went to kill Christians in Damascus.  Acts, Chapter 9, Verses 1 to 5…

ACTS 9:1

Now Saul (of Tarsus…Paul), still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest…


ACTS 9:2 

…and asked for letters from the high priest to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to The Way (Christians)…both men and women…he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.


Nothing good ever happens in Jerusalem!


ACTS 9:3 

As Saul was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him…


ACTS 9:4 

…and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”


ACTS 9:5 

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting…”


The wise, the scribes, and the debaters of the age are self-proclaimed experts…philosophers…deep thinkers…who flaunt their “wisdom” to impress gullible humans.  They have little tolerance for us peons.  These were the people who were revered in Corinth.  Today, we revere the wealthy and professional athletes because we think money solves human problems.  Yet we find out that the wealthy and athletes are humans just like we are.  Just as they were in Corinth, we are deluded and self-deceived about God’s approach to real wealth…Galatians, Chapter 6, Verse 3…



For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, and many do, he deceives himself.


For example, Luke, Chapter 18 tells the story of two men…the first one in Verse 11…



LUKE 18:11

The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself … “God, I thank You that I am not like other people…I’m not a swindler…I am not unjust…I am not an adulterer…I am not even like this tax collector.”


God likes those who humble themselves under His mighty hand…Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 13…


LUKE 18:13

But the tax collector, standing some distance away from the Pharisee, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”


When the Lord's disciples were engaged in rivalry, the Lord told them the greatest in the pecking order of heaven in Matthew, Chapter 18, Verse 4…



“Whoever humbles himself as a child does…he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


Children are predisposed to instruction and they love being helped.  The Lord made Himself a nothing to shame the wise…He was like a child, in submission to His Father’s will.  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 21…



For since because of God the Father’s wisdom, the world did not come to know God through wisdom (the intellect) … (instead) God was well-pleased to save those who believe (in His Son, Jesus Christ) through the foolishness of the gospel message preached.


Human wisdom is, “I think the plan of God should be like this.”  It’s not.

God does not require human wisdom for us to get to know Him.  Why?  Because the gift of intelligence was not distributed evenly.  God is God to the Mexican who is making seven dollars a day carrying bricks up seven flights of stairs.  I told you of the conversation I had with this man who taught me what it means to be a Christian and a Pastor…he helped me learn that being a Pastor is not about showing off my intellect.  God sees all people as the same…Acts, Chapter 10, Verse 34…

ACTS 10:34

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand, now, that God is not one to show partiality…”


Romans, Chapter 2, Verse 11…



For there is no partiality with God.


First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 22…



For indeed Jews ask for signs and the Greeks chase after wisdom…


Jewish traditions blinded their minds so they could not see their Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Those who seek for signs ignore the signs when they come.  The Cross is a sign, but its evidence was ignored.  The RED SEA was a sign…did it make any difference to the Jews?  No…they were whining about no water and they wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt…Exodus, Chapter 14, Verse 11…


EXODUS 14:11

Then the Jews said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?”


First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 23…



…but we (Paul speaking of himself)…preach about a crucified Christ… which to Jewish unbelievers is a stumbling block and to Gentile unbelievers (the Greeks) is foolishness…


Paul preached the CRUCIFIED Christ…not the resurrected Christ.  The “wise” refuse to understand or to accept the Cross.  Galatians, Chapter 3, Verse 3…



Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for

us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—


The “wise” saw no benefit to aligning themselves with someone weak and accursed, so to them, Jesus Christ was out!  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 24…



…but to those who are the called ones (believers in Christ) … both Jews and Greeks…Christ is the (manifestation of the) power and wisdom of God the Father.


The Lord Jesus Christ died on that Cross to save the weak and foolish ones of this world.  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 25…



Because the foolishness of God the Father is wiser than human wisdom…and the weakness of God the Father is stronger than human strength.


Paul has nothing against wisdom.  He is simply contrasting worldly wisdom to God’s wisdom, and truly there is no comparison.  If you think you’re “all that and a bag of chips” you better look at yourself through God’s eyes and not through human eyes.  God is much more likely to use a scumbag than He is to use a wise man…a person infatuated with status, egocentricity, and rivalry.  There is only ONE WAY to get to know God…through the Cross.  Human wisdom and requests for signs can’t undo the power of the Cross and the power of Him crucified…the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Get to know Him the right way…His way.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


After hearing these opening comments, an atheist would say, “There is no god.  God doesn’t exist.”

The bible has a different view.  Even though people think the Bible is “just a bunch of stories,” the apostle John makes the function of the Bible crystal clear…John, Chapter 20, Verses 31…


JOHN 20:31 

…these things written here (in the bible) have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Jewish Messiah) … the Son of God (in human form) … and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in His name.


Philosopher Blaise Pascal, in what has come to be known as “Pascal’s Wager,” says that human beings bet with their lives that God either exists or He does not.  Pascal is right, so atheists would do well to at least consider what the Bible has to say.  Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…



…for all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…


Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10 says…



…as it is written, "There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”


Since atheists are created creatures, human beings, they would do well to be

curious about exactly what the Bible is proposing.  First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22…



For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


That’s horrible news for an atheist!  The good news is that the Lord has an interesting attitude toward ALL of His creatures…even those who think there is no god.  Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…



The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of...instead He is patient toward you unbelievers (including atheists)…not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).


The Bible claims that God exists and that God lives in heaven.  How can you get to heaven?  If you're an atheist, and you think Pascal was right, then there is no downside to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is an atheist's acknowledgment that if there is a God, it might be smart to have faith in Him.  John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


No creature can do anything to get to heaven on his own.   Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…



But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer on the basis of works…otherwise, grace is no longer grace.


God's grace makes your salvation a free gift to you…if you have to work for a gift then the work makes you deserve the gift.  In salvation, there is no way for you to impress God enough that He would allow you to save yourself.  It's very wise to let God save you because once God does something, He never changes His mind.  Heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment…

but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…


The apostle Peter reminds us of the words of Old Testament prophet Joel in Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 21…


ACTS 2:21

‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.’


If you’re an atheist, I encourage you to keep on investigating to see if you’re right about there being no god.  And if you’re not right, and you think there may be a God, there’s plenty of room for you in heaven!  




Here’s June Murphy to sing a foolish song in the eyes of the wise…one of her new songs…available for download on the Barah Ministries website… but not yet on Amazon Music (hint hint)…JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.




June Murphy



Let us pray...


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