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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. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 I am constantly amazed at how, in the providence of God, the various strands of my life are brought together in order to teach valuable lessons. In the first half of this year I have been engaged in an intense study of the book of Zechariah for our Wednesday evening Bible Study, and of the book of Revelation for our Sunday evening Worship Services. This week I am preparing an exposition of First Corinthians 1:18-2:5 for our Sunday morning Worship Service. Each of these items of study has impressed upon me the vital necessity of the decision which God calls us to make regarding which Kingdom we will be part of. This week I also began to read a book by M. B. Vant Veer by the title My God Is Yahweh; Elijah and Ahab in an Age of Apostasy. In this book, which I will return to below Vant Veer explores the conflict between Elijah and Ahab as an example of the age old conflict between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. The Apostle Paul defines this conflict in terms of those who are in the process of perishing and those who are being saved. His point is that the Kingdom that you belong to is determined by your response to what Paul calls the Word of the Cross. He builds his exposition of this conflict around two words from Biblical Prophets. In Isaiah 29:13-14 we read, The Lord says: These people come near to Me with their mouth and honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. Here Paul ushers us into an exploration of what is at the heart of the conflict we face in this life. Upon which standard will we base our lives? Will it be the standard of our own sin muddled reasoning and abilities or will it we the standard of Gods revelation to us? God has spoke to us about how in the Lord Jesus Christ, the crucified one we have life that is abundant and eternal if we will receive it. If we continue on in our own fleshly reasoning we will die eternally. That is our choice. Pauls second Biblical word comes from the Prophet Jeremiah 9: 23-24 takes the thought a step further. This is what the Lord says: Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight. To boast here means to glory in something. What is your glory? What do you trust in when life is at its most demanding? Is the foundation of your life yourself, or the world, or the deceptive spiritual lies that you have come to believe, that which comes out of the Kingdom of this world? Or is it the truth that God has revealed to you through the Lord Jesus Christ? Let me illustrate this with two quotations. The first is from volume 7 of The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, page 285, where Luther is preaching on the subject of the virgin birth and says the following. We Christians are called upon to believe and to confess a teaching which by the world is considered rank foolishness. We believe it because God has revealed it to us. Gods revelation in His

Word is in fact the truth upon which we base our live. The second is from M. B. Vant Veer who when he is discussing James 5:16b 18, the effectual, fervent, prayer of Elijah says this, This prayer of Elijahs was rooted in faith, which meant it was grounded in the Word of the Lord. The prayer of a believer must be for something that the Lord has commanded us to pray for. (My God is Yahweh, p. 54) In the clash between Kingdoms those who glory in the Lord are those who have come to found every part of their lives upon the Word that God has spoken to us in Christ crucified. What is the standard upon which you are living your life?