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Outgoing 11A – Problems of the head – part one


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Outgoing – Session 11A – 17 November 2011

Problems of the head?

The Link Between Knowledge of God and Salvation by God

Fallen humanity does not know God

1 Samuel 3:7; Psalm 14; Matthew 7:24-27; 11:25-26; John 1:5; 1:18; 5:37-38; 7:28-29; 8:19; 14:17; 15:21; 17:25-26; Romans 1:18; 3:10-18; 8:7; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2:11-14; 3:18, 19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:17-19; Colossians 1:21; 2:6-8

To know God is to be saved by Him

Proverbs 1:7; Matthew 11:25-30; John 1:10-13, 18; 14:6-9; 17:3; Rom 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Eph 4:17-21; 1 Tim 2:3-4


We’re not saved by works but by God’s grace alone

We don’t know God by our wisdom but by God’s revelation alone

Our knowledge of God is just as much a gift as our salvation by God.
If this is true, what are the implications for evangelism?


What about Romans 1? 

God is maximally revealed in the world

God is maximally suppressed in us

Something decisive happened with Adam

Though we knew God we exchanged it for foolishness.


What about Acts 17?

Paul is obsessed with Jesus and the resurrection which seems like strange gods to the Greeks.

Paul says the one thing they know is that they don’t know God.

He begins again with the story of Adam and Christ.

He does not build on their supposed knowledge, he subverts it.


What would convince the world to believe?

The world demands wisdom or power.

What does God give them?  The cross!

1 Corinthians 1:17-2:5

The cross splits the world

We mustn’t attempt to mend the tear by our own power/wisdom

A Cross-Shaped Message



            A Cross-Shaped People



            A Cross-Shaped Messenger


People look for power and wisdom

They are frustrated by the message of the cross.

Yet some believe.

0 thoughts on “Outgoing 11A – Problems of the head – part one

  1. Paul Blackham

    Glen, thanks for this. The significance of Romans 1 is vital. When I first read Roman 1 as a young man I had this mind-expanding experience as I realised that the earth really is filled with the glory of God [as the angels constantly proclaim]. The entire Trinity and the gospel is revealed in everything around me... and all our thoughts and culture are a strange ‘film’ floating on the top of the glorious revelation of Christ that is the heavens and the earth.

    It had a deep impact on me. Instead of seeing the world as a kind of 'neutral' backdrop to human decisions about religion and purpose, it was as if the whole picture suddenly went full colour and 3D.... The Living God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - fills the centre of the stage and humanity is shuffling around the edges!

    It is hard to describe the utter disappointment that hit me when, soon after, I read a leading commentary on Romans 1 [not naming any names]. It literally proposed that Paul was suggesting that the entire creation in all its wondrous diversity and complexity was saying nothing more than “there is some kind of supreme being and he/it/she is very clever and powerful”. Talk about a let down! If the creation is basically supporting the central claims of Islam and had almost nothing to say in support of Jesus then it would make the creation almost a false teacher!

    BUT, then, I remember vividly the time, not long after, when I first Cornelius Van Til's ‘Introduction to Systematic Theology’. It literally brought tears of joy to my eyes because he made it so clear that the whole Trinity, in full undiluted reality, is manifestly obvious to everybody... and we all know it. We consciously and deliberately suppress this truth by the wicked and selfish actions that we plunge into.

    I remember recovering that confidence in the glory of the LORD Jesus Christ in the whole of creation around us. He is not just the centre of history, but He is also the centre, soul and content of the heavens and the earth, sustaining it all by His powerful word. We all know Him and need only call out to the LORD Jesus to be saved... but instead we run from Him into the darkness, wilfully and deliberately.

    When we come to the Cross, we find that He has pursued us into the darkness and right in the darkest and most god-forsaken place, He grabs hold of us...

    Wow! At the Cross is the moment when all doubt about the deity of Jesus comes to an end.

    Our problem is not in our heads but in our hearts.

  2. day care yorba linda

    Its really true that we are saved not by our work but by the god's grace.Its all His effect that we are so much of blessed and save from all the troubles of life.We are here because of his grace in us.words are very few to talk about Him we are even not able to understands Him in a real way he is beyond of all our understandings...

  3. Pingback: Evangelism Training Course Outline « Christ the Truth

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