The Wisdom of the Cross

Steve Viars April 1, 2018 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Outline

3 lessons to help us grow in wisdom God’s Way

I. Understand the Essential Question – Whose Wisdom are You Going to Follow?

A. Why this mattered to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1:22 - For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom…

2 Timothy 3:7 - …always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

B. The contrast in Scripture is clear

Isaiah 55:8-9 - For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 50:21 - …You thought that I was just like you…

C. Why this matters to you and me

Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

D. The consequences are significant

Proverbs 16:25 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Genesis 3:6 - When the woman saw that the tree was…desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 4:23-24 - Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to my voice, you wives of Lamech, give heed to my speech, for I have killed a man for wounding me; and a boy for striking me; If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

James 1:14-15 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Proverbs 16:25 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

E. This question can lead to great hope

Psalm 19:7 - The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 - …but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

II. Consider Reasons to Embrace God’s Wisdom

A. It is permanent – vv. 18-20

moria – foolishness

1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…

apollumenoi – passing away

“Scientific work is the only road which can lead to a knowledge of reality…”

“It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and honestly admit the purely human origin of the regulations and precepts of civilization.”

1 Corinthians 1:19-20 - For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

B. It is redemptive – vv. 20-21

1 Corinthians 1:21 - For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

“…go on suffering from various complaints for another four to five to eight years, with good and bad periods, and then between forty and fifty perish very abruptly from a rupture of heart…”

“If I had known how little joy I would have on my sixtieth birthday, my first would probably not have given me pleasure either. It would be in the best of times only a melancholic celebration.”

“I was unexpectedly revived from a long coma, and perhaps the almost continuous prayers of my friends did it—but it would have been a luxuriously easy passage, and one almost regrets having the door shut in one’s face…when you die…look me up…It’s all rather fun—solemn fun—isn’t it.”

Freud – “Obscure, unfeeling and unloving powers determine men’s fate.”

C. S. Lewis – “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

C. It is powerful – vv. 22-24

1 Corinthians 1:24 - …but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25 - Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

III. Celebrate the Opportunity to Glory Only in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:29 - …so that no man may boast before God.

1 Corinthians 1:31 - …so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24 - Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:30 - But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…

“The arc of his life vindicated his moral critics, conservative and feminist: What began with talk of jazz and Picasso and other signifiers of good taste ended in a sleazy decrepitude that would have been pitiable if it wasn’t still so exploitative. Early Hef had a pipe and suit and a highbrow reference for every occasion; he even claimed to have a philosophy, that final refuge of the scoundrel. But late Hef was a lecherous, low-brow Peter Pan, playing at perpetual boyhood — ice cream for breakfast, pajamas all day — while bodyguards shooed male celebrities away from his paid harem and the skull grinned beneath his papery skin.” (Ross Douthat, New York Times, September 30, 2017)

- Have you ever been in a situation where you were sure you were the smartest person in the room…until you weren’t?

- I don’t know about you…but I have far more illustrations of that than we’d ever have time to recount…

- in keeping with our church’s annual theme of Being Careful How We Build…here’s one from the beginning of my construction career…

- I think I was 4 years old…and my dad and my grandpa were building a shed in the backyard…

- they were working on the foundation system and carrying concrete blocks and of course I wanted to help…

- and my dad told me not to do it because they were too heavy…but surely at 4 years old I was smarter than my dad…

- then my grandpa chimed in and said – “when you drop that on your foot, don’t cry…”

- and I’m not saying that was the best comment for a grandpa to make…[and I’m trying to work all of this out in therapy…]…

- but I was certainly a whole lot smarter than my grandpa…I was the smartest person in the room…or I think, technically, the smartest person in the backyard…

- is there any person here who has any doubt in their mind about what happened next?...yep, right on the old foot…

- it’s amazing how quickly the tables can turn, you know…

- you go from being the smartest person in the room…to wishing you had listened, because now you have a really sore foot and you can’t do anything to help with the project…

‑ I wish I could tell you that was the last time I made that mistake…

- but there have been far too many times that what I thought was wise turned out to be foolish…

- and what I thought was foolish turned out to be wise…

- and the haunting reality is – the apostle Paul says it’s possible to do that with the cross of Jesus Christ…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible to 1 Corinthians chapter 1…page 130 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

- half of the pastors on the planet are probably going to be talking about this subject today because it’s highly unusual for Easter to fall on April 1st

- one of my sisters explained to me that when that happens, you’re supposed to send your kids out for an Easter Egg hunt, and when they come back an hour later and report they couldn’t find anything…you then tell them…April Fools…

- now you can tell why I’m not quite right in the head – between dropping concrete blocks on my appendages and sibling advice like that…no wonder…just, no wonder…

- but the passage before us is very serious…the church at Corinth had a myriad of problems…

- that’s why it is such an interesting and helpful book because it’s all here…

- the number of practical topics that are discussed here is incredible…because the Corinthians needed help…in everything…

- so after a quick introduction, Paul dives right in at verse 11 and says…[read verse 11…]

- nothing like warming up to the topic slowly…this isn’t a crock pot – it’s a microwave…

- and he goes on to explain that these various divisions in the church were organizing themselves around different church leaders…

- so some said – I’m of Paul, others I’m of Apollos…

- in other words – my teacher is smarter than your teacher…which makes me smarter than you…

- therefore…I’m the smartest person in the room…

- well, we know where that leads, right…to a very sore foot…

- let’s listen in – read 1 Cor. 1:18-31

- so we’re talking this am about The Wisdom of the Cross.

- and with the time we have remaining, let’s look for 3 lessons to help us grow in wisdom God’s Way

I. Understand the Essential Question – Whose Wisdom Are You Going to Follow?

A. Why this mattered to the Corinthians

- we’re told that the Greeks had as many as 50 different philosophical parties or systems…each with its own view of the meaning of life, relationships, purpose, destiny, and interaction with the gods…

- the word philosophy means “love of wisdom”…

- that’s why Paul said in verse 22 - 1 Corinthians 1:22 - For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;

- the problem is – if you don’t have a reliable source – your search doesn’t lead to consensus…it leads to proliferation…[not greater agreement, but more ideas]…

- which is why Paul explained to Timothy – that human beings are…2 Timothy 3:7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

- so it doesn’t matter if you have more people talking…that’s like lining up fifty 4 year olds to build the storage shed in my dad’s backyard…

- that doesn’t get you a better building…it gets you more sore feet…

- see, whose wisdom are you going to follow?..to push it one step further…

B. The contrast in Scripture is clear

- Isaiah 55:8–9 - For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

- that’s what Paul is trying to help the Corinthians understand…

- wisdom comes through defining life and answering questions through the lens of God’s Word…the Psalmist said…

- Psalm 50:21 - …You thought that I was just like you… [and in case it’s not clear – that’s not a compliment…]

- It’s the difference between trying to make God in our image and calling that wisdom…or allowing Him to remake us into His…

- see – whose wisdom are you going to follow?...

C. Why this matters to you and me

- now, this conversation goes pretty quickly from building a shed to building a life…

- Solomon affirmed…Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

- you can be absolutely convinced you’re right while choosing a path that leads to destruction…[just because your GPS says “turn right” doesn’t mean you’re not about to drive off a cliff]…[repeat verse]

- for example – we’ve had people who attended our passion play or who will be in one of our services this weekend…

- and they are convinced that what determines whether a person goes to heaven is their works…I’m a pretty good person…I try to be kind to others…I’m a whole lot better than my neighbor down the street or my Uncle Bob…

- and God has these heavenly scales and my good will outweigh my bad…

- and that kind of thing sounds fine--I suppose--until you open the first page of the Bible and learn that approach is nothing like the gospel of Jesus Christ…

- and then a person has to decide – whose wisdom are you going to follow?...

- it’s true in all sorts of practical areas of everyday life…

- you have some sort of a disagreement with a friend…and culture suggests you should do this…but the Word of God suggests something entirely different – an approach, by the way, that many in the world would say is foolish…is moronic…

- whose wisdom are you going to follow?...

- whose wisdom are you going to follow as you think about whether you should remain single or pursue marriage?...

- whose wisdom are you going to follow as you try to solve conflicts in marriage…as you raise your kids…as you navigate the workplace and face temptation and trial…

- and the reason this is so important is because…

D. The consequences are significant

- we saw that in Proverbs 14:12…which is repeated by the way in Proverbs 16:25…Proverbs 16:25 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

- I wonder why one of the wisest human beings who ever lived thought people like you and me needed to hear that twice?...

- there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned…

- and the lie of the devil is – you’re so smart you can choose your own way and the end result is a richer life…

- what did he say to Eve – you won’t surely die…God’s trying to withhold something from you…your way is better…you won’t surely die…

- so in their minds, they deem God’s commands and God’s counsel as being foolish…as being moronic…as being needlessly restrictive…

- Genesis 3:6 - When the woman saw that the tree was…desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

- and what immediately began happening?...they began dying…

- death in the Bible is separation…so they hid from God and they covered themselves up…

- their relationship with God was dying…

- then they have the first recorded marital spat…when God confronts Adam he says – well, it’s this woman’s fault…their marriage is dying…

- they’re dropping multiple concrete blocks on their feet…[repeat Pro. 16:25]

- in the next chapter…one of their sons kills his own brother…

- and by the end of Genesis chapter 4…you have what may be the first recorded song in the Bible…about what…the celebration of murder…

- Genesis 4:23–24 - Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to my voice, you wives of Lamech, give heed to my speech, for I have killed a man for wounding me; and a boy for striking me; If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

- generation after generation believing they’re the smartest person in the room…

- this is why James said -- James 1:14–15 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

- Proverbs 16:25 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. …see, whose wisdom are you going to follow?...

E. This question can lead to great hope.

- I realize you might say – I’m not feeling particularly hopeful right now…

- well, why is this information in 1 Corinthians 1?...is God some sort of aloof deity mocking us for our foolishness?

- no, He’s inviting us to turn around and go a different way…

- Psalm 19:7 - The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

- it’s possible for people like you and me to grow in biblical wisdom…if we select our source of truth and knowledge carefully…

- I’m in my 31st year at Faith, and that means that as a pastor, I’ve had the joy of watching the Lord grow men and women into wise and productive people and church members in ways that are absolutely delicious…

- and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of examples I could give right now to illustrate that point…

- someone I was thinking about the other day was Leona Smith…Doc Smith’s wife…

- and the reason I thought about her was when the stock market was behaving erratically a couple of weeks back and I asked myself – I wonder what Mrs. Smith would say about this?...

- because what you may not know is that she was very wise in investing…and I can remember many times people like Pastor Goode seeking her advice…

- well, if you know her story…she made all sorts of decisions that people in the world would have deemed foolish…

- she decided to admit her sin and place her faith and trust in the price a Jewish man paid on a wooden cross nearly 2000 years ago…many would call that foolish…

- she and her husband volunteered for missionary service but were unable to go…but instead of becoming bitter about that, they began faithfully serving in their local church up in Lowell, IN – some would see such a response as foolish…

- then Pastor Goode asked Doc and Leona to leave their medical practice in Lowell and move their family to Lafayette to help him start a faith-based community counseling ministry – many would have viewed that as foolish for all sorts of reasons…

- then Mrs. Smith was asked to serve as the temporary counseling center secretary…a position she held for 22 years…

- Doc Smith would be the first person to tell you that there was no way he could have accomplished a ministry that eventually spanned around the globe without the love and support and wisdom and counsel of his dear wife…

- and when she died, she had been married for 64 years, had a wonderful family of 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren…

- and among the many, many ways she served -- when the pastors needed advice about the movement of the stock market, they quietly sought her opinion…

- so, who’s the wise one now?...

- that’s what Paul meant when he said -- 1 Corinthians 1:27–29 - but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

- and Mrs. Smith would have been the first one to say – I don’t really view myself as wise…which might be one of the first marks of genuine…wisdom…

- but she would have also said – to whatever degree that is true…it’s because I chose to let God’s wisdom become my own…

- I trusted Him to make wise the simple…

- now, let’s dive a bit deeper in the argument of the passage…

II. Consider Reasons to Embrace God’s Wisdom

- what would have been a smarter play for me in our backyard over 50 years ago…

- perhaps slowing down for a minute, taking a seat on the concrete block, crossing my chubby little legs, and considering whether there were any reasons to believe that my dad/grandpa’s view might be better than my own…

- that’s what Paul is doing here…consider the superiority of God’s wisdom…

A. It is permanent – vv. 18-20.

- now Paul acknowledges in verse 18 – that some view the “word of the cross” as foolishness…

- crucifixion was a vile way to die – not even to be mentioned in polite company…

- so the notion that the Son of God would actually die in that way…or that our salvation could be secured by trusting in such a vulgar act was considered by the world to be foolishness…moria - literally moronic

- have you ever noticed that one of the word groups that foolish people use most often…is “fool, and foolish, and foolishness”…and of course, they are talking about someone else…

- we’ve seen a rather stark example of that recently when a well-known daytime talk show host suggested that our Vice President was mentally ill because of his religious beliefs…

- but did you also notice the way such persons are described?

- 1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…

- what a haunting word, huh?...apollumenoi – passing away

- one example of this dynamic is the contrast between Sigmund Freud and CS Lewis…

- there’s an excellent book that has been written by Dr. Armand Nicholi of Harvard Medical School where he set up a theoretical debate between Freud and Lewis believing that Freud was the most influential thinker and spokesman for the secular or scientific worldview in the 20th century while CS Lewis was the influential thinker and spokesman for the spiritual or Christian worldview during that same period of time…

- it’s called The Question of God

- there’s also a PBS special that has been produced and lots of study resources available…

- Freud believed – “Scientific work is the only road which can lead to a knowledge of reality…

- He also said – “It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and honestly admit the purely human origin of the regulations and precepts of civilization.”

- so he established a rival philosophy of life in direct competition to the Christian faith…

- he loved to refer to himself in his personal letters to friends as “the god-hating Jew…”

- he’s the one who said that are actions are symbolic so of all the days on the calendar he could have chosen to open his counseling practice…the one he chose?...Easter Sunday…

- to Him…the word of the cross…as predicted in the OT and affirmed in the New was foolishness…

- well, what was Freud’s problem?...He was perishing…

- many scholars suggest that no one believes Freud’s theories today…they have all been entirely debunked…

- and what did Paul say…1 Corinthians 1:19–20 - For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

- contrast that to the best-selling book of all times…Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

- as you consider whose wisdom to embrace…give careful attention to the issue of permanence…

B. It is redemptive – vv. 20-21.

- 1 Corinthians 1:21 - For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

- one of the most important tests of any person’s worldview is the answers it has for life and death…

- If you’ve ever read anything about Freud, you know he dreamed about death continually…

- his own personal physician described his preoccupation with death as being “superstitious and obsessive”…

- he was constantly predicting when and how he would die…for example, at age 38, he told a friend he would “go on suffering from various complaints for another four to five to eight years, with good and bad periods, and then between forty and fifty perish very abruptly from a rupture of heart…”

- he hated birthdays – he wrote “If I had known how little joy I would have on my sixtieth birthday, my first would probably not have given me pleasure either. It would be in the best of times only a melancholic celebration.”

- that from the man who believed “it would be an undoubted advantage to leave God out altogether”…

- do you know how Sigmund Freud died?...he died a lonely, bitter, depressed man who committed suicide…he made his personal physician keep his promise to euthanize him with high and repeated doses of morphine…

- yet that is someone who considered the cross of Jesus Christ to be moronic…

- what about CS Lewis…he almost died and then he recovered…so in his typical fashion, he started making jokes about it…

- here’s what he said – “I was unexpectedly revived from a long coma, and perhaps the almost continuous prayers of my friends did it—but it would have been a luxuriously easy passage, and one almost regrets having the door shut in one’s face…when you die…look me up…It’s all rather fun—solemn fun—isn’t it.”

- so here’s the smartest person in the room?

- please lay these two quotes side by side and determine – whose wisdom would you rather follow?...

- Freud – “Obscure, unfeeling and unloving powers determine men’s fate.”

- C. S. Lewis – “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

- God’s wisdom is permanent, and it’s redemptive…and…

C. It is powerful – vv. 22-24.

- Paul said -- 1 Corinthians 1:24 - but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. - can I pause and ask you – whose wisdom are you following?...

- first, regarding your salvation…is it possible that you’ve believed you could have a relationship with God and someday enter heaven purely on the basis of your own good works?...

- then friend…why did there have to be a cross?...why did Jesus have to die?...

- and I know it’s hard for all of us to admit that maybe what we thought is incorrect…but there’s a lot more at stake here than a sore foot…

- the cross may appear foolish…and it may appear weak…

- 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

- we would invite you to admit your need and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today…

- what about the way you live each and every day…the way the Corinthians would stop arguing with one another in this divisive fashion…and overcome all the other sinful habits discussed in the remaining chapters of the book…is to learn to embrace the beauty and glory of the cross in the power of the resurrection each and every day…

- and sure when you’re having a disagreement with a friend – and you decide to follow God’s wisdom and return good for evil –

- the world might say you’re being foolish for not seeking revenge or walking away in anger or bitterness…

- for us who are being saved – it’s the power of God…

- and sure when you’re choosing to follow biblical principles in your marriage and family for the role of the husband and the role of the wife and the relationships and responsibilities between parents and children…some people in your life might call that foolishness…

- but sit back and watch where that road leads…to us who are being saved, the Word of the cross is the power of God…

- see, whose wisdom are you going to follow?...

- where does all of this lead?...the answer is – to a celebration…

III. Celebrate the Opportunity to Glory Only in the Lord

- when you don’t think you’re the smartest person in the world, you don’t have to spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to convince everyone else that you are…

- which leaves a whole lot of bandwidth for seeking to glorify our crucified, risen King…

- 1 Corinthians 1:29 - so that no man may boast before God.

- 1 Corinthians 1:31 - so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

- see, there’s a delightful humility that results in all of this…

- and doesn’t mean that a church like ours doesn’t have some really intelligent, and powerful, and accomplished people…

- it’s just that that’s not our focus…because our glory is in the Lord…

- As I was preparing this message, one of the people who came to mind was Kevit Brown

- Kevit was a dear deacon in this church who passed away after a long bout with cancer several years ago…

- Kevit’s wife Sarah is still a member here and one of their daughters is married to one of our pastors Aaron Birk…

- Kevit and Sarah and their family were known as people of prayer and they often led many of our prayer initiatives at church…

- he wanted us to be humbly going before the Lord in prayer in all sorts of ways for all sorts of reasons…

- they also led various aspects of our international ministries because they wanted us to relate to various ethnicities in a humble fashion…

- he also was just known as a kind man when it came to the care for the men and women on his deacon’s care group…

- he also wanted others to come to know the Lord…[cf. one of our last visits down at IU – all he wanted to talk about was getting out of the hospital because he had a Hispanic friend he wanted to do a Bible study with…]

- it wasn’t until I was preparing Kevit’s funeral that I learned about some of his academic and professional accomplishments…

- he received his PhD from Cornell

- he was an accomplished geneticist who held several patents in his field…

- Kevit never gloried in that kind of stuff…because he gloried in the cross…

- Jeremiah 9:23–24 - Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

- Paul concludes this discussion by saying - 1 Corinthians 1:30 - But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

- the wisdom of the cross produces delightful personal holiness…

- a moment ago I mentioned the difference between Sigmund Freud and C. S Lewis…a very stark contrast between a life built on the wisdom of man and another built on the wisdom of God…whose path would you rather have been on?…

- we had two other cultural leaders die within the last few months…Hugh Heffner and Billy Graham…

- Ross Douthat wrote in the New York Times, speaking of Heffner -- The arc of his life vindicated his moral critics, conservative and feminist: What began with talk of jazz and Picasso and other signifiers of good taste ended in a sleazy decrepitude that would have been pitiable if it wasn’t still so exploitative. Early Hef had a pipe and suit and a highbrow reference for every occasion; he even claimed to have a philosophy, that final refuge of the scoundrel. But late Hef was a lecherous, low-brow Peter Pan, playing at perpetual boyhood — ice cream for breakfast, pajamas all day — while bodyguards shooed male celebrities away from his paid harem and the skull grinned beneath his papery skin (Ross Douthat, New York Times, September 30, 2017).

- contrast that to Billy Graham, who may have been used of God to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to more men and women than any other human who ever lived…and who did so with grace, and humility, and high moral character…

- who was wise…and who was a fool?...and whose path would you rather be on?

 


Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video