IN ORDER TO PROCEED
Sunday am 26 February 2017 – Corrie van Zijl
1 Cor. 1:1, 18-24; 1 Cor. 2:1-3 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition); (1 Cor. 15:9)
The word “proceed” means “to continue doing something that has already been started”. An example is: “the foundation is laid and they can proceed with the building”. There is a foundational truth laid. You can build on no other foundation. There is only One who appoints ministries and that is Jesus Christ Himself. You are appointed by Christ. There must be a foundation to proceed, and if the building gets top heavy, gravity will come into the equation. Truth must be in place before you can proceed with anything. Paul felt he was the least of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:9). He had great humility. Humbleness can only be obtained in the proximity of God.
Paul, called as an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ by the will of God (1 Cor. 1:1). For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world’s wisdom? For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him). For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom, We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:18-24). I have no other message to preach but of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That was Paul’s point of reference. The message of the cross is the power of God. If you want the power of God look to the cross.
As for myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified. And I was in (passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you (1 Cor. 2:1-3). There is nothing to boost one’s ego.
In the five-fold ministry, if you are an apostle you are only one of the fingers, as a team! And they are only the one hand of Christ. The other hand keeps the world. The teacher is the little finger. It is the only finger that can go into the ear, to teach. The ring finger, the pastor, is for the perfection of the Bride. He is looking after the flock that is the Bride of Christ. The middle finger, the longest finger, he is going forward; he is in front of all of them with the ministry of evangelism. Then you have the pointer, the prophet, “thus sayeth the Lord”. Then comes the thumb, the shortest and humblest of them, touching the base of all the other ministries. It is the only one that is able to touch the soft spots of the other ministries. He is the foundation of the team and has the ability and experience through all the years.
In order to proceed, remember where you come from.