Focusing on Christ to become more like Christ I Cor. 2:2

The church at Corinth was planted by Paul on his 2nd missionary journey according to the book of Acts 18th chapter

 

The church was planted and grounded in the word of God

 

They were a gifted church with spiritual gifts

 

They were a wealthy church with many resources

 

They were culturally refined with the better things of life: arts, theater, philosophers, poets and architectural beauty

 

But all these things had caused great spiritual harm for they had lost their focus of Christ

 

They were more focused on the stuff and things more than God

 

And when your focus is on the creation rather than the Creator you are in big trouble

 

I believe many of us in the 21st century church; pastors, preachers, ministers and saints as a whole have lost our focus and by virtue of losing our focus we have lost our way

 

God’s plan for Greater Hopewell in 2022 is to regain our focus on Christ

 

Theme: Focusing on Christ to become more like Christ

 

Paul writes to the church at Corinth to redirect their focus on Christ

 

Brothers and sisters it is easy to lose focus on Christ when we are watching and listening to other things far too much

 

2020, 2021 and starting 2022 we have been too focused on this virus and little focus on Christ

 

We certainly need to give attention to this corona virus but we need to give more attention to Christ while we carefully and cautiously be the church God called us to be

 

I Cor. 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified”

 

I.     We must be determined not to be distracted

II.    We must be fixed and focused of Christ

III.   We must be focused of the crucifixion of Christ

 

Focusing our mind, heart and will on Christ will transform us into the likeness of Christ

 

An athlete who focus on his field of sports becomes a professional in his field

  • Hank Aaron focused on baseball and become the home run king

 

A lawyer who focus on the law becomes a successful lawyer

  • Thurgood Marshall focused on the law and became a great lawyer winning 29 out of 32 cases before the Supreme Court

 

A doctor who focus on medicine becomes a successful physician

  • Charles Drew focused on hematology and discovered blood plasma and set up blood banks

 

A Christian who focuses on Christ becomes like Christ

 

I.     We must be determined not to be distracted- vs. 2a

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ”

  • For I determined is to make a judgement decision

  • Is to evaluate his options and the risks involved

  • There is danger when you take your eyes off the road

  • And it is dangerous to take your eyes off Jesus

  • Paul concluded he would be better served by focusing on Jesus rather than his surrounding

a.  Paul says I made a decision not to allow anything to distract him from Christ

b.  Distractions were many and powerful for the Corinthians

c.  Paul is determined not to allow his attention to be divided over: over their laws, traditions of the Jews, orators, philosophers, poets, or the beauty of the architectural structures

d.  When we become more concerned about the things around us than the God who is with us, we are in big trouble

II.    We must be fixed and focused of Christ –vs. 2b

“Not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ”

Not to know is a double negative, absolutely not

a.  Nothing or nobody will draw my attention from Christ

b.  To be fixed and focused on Christ is that Christ have your total and undivided attention

c.  Focus like a predator focused on his prey

d.  We need spiritual blinders to keep our eyes on Jesus

e.  To be fixed and focused on Jesus requires our total being

  • Mentally focused is to keep your mind stayed on Jesus

  • Emotionally focused is to love God with all your heart

  • Spiritually focused is to be hooked on worship

Paul is saying my focus is on Jesus and Him only: His life and legacy

 

Lastly…

III.   We must be focused on the crucifixion of Christ- vs. 2c

“For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified”

a.  Focused on what matters most about Jesus Christ

b.  We only stop by Bethlehem for a moment

c.  We reflect on the miracles only for a moment

d.  But laser focus on the cross of Calvary

  • There is no saving power at Bethlehem
  • There is no saving power in the miracles
  • The power of salvation is at the cross

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light and the burdens of my heart rolled away—it was there by faith I received my sight and now I am happy all the day

 

Our focus in 2022 must be Christ crucified and risen from the dead

 

1 Cor. 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness”

 

Focused on Christ gives us faith over fear

Focused on Christ gives us victory over defeat

Focused on Christ gives us faith to trust God

Focused on Christ gives us peace over worry