April 4, 2016
I Corinthians 1:18, 21-25
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
This is the second installment of the study entitled Foolishness, from I Corinthians 1:18 and 21 through 25:
…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 since, in
the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it
pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save
those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after
wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block,
and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews
and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Be-
cause the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of
God is stronger than men.
We see here two kinds of both wisdom and foolishness – God’s and the world’s. In the last blog, we learned about the wisdom of the world, that it is inspired by Satan, called “…the god of this world…” in II Corinthians 4:4. This enemy of God and “…all that is called God…” (II Thessalonians 2:4), stole dominion from our first parents when, in Genesis 3, they obeyed the devil rather than God. Ever since then he has wrought havoc on man and in society. Yes, there is worldly wisdom! But, as Paul said in I Corinthians 3:19, “…the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Now let’s look at…
• God’s view of wisdom and foolishness – Such wisdom, as Paul tells us in verse 18 above, centers around the message of the cross. How is it that a condemned Jew nailed to a Roman cross 2,000 years ago could result in the redemption of mankind as well as all creation? A lot of people back in that day thought Jesus was nuts! Others thought He was a rabble-rouser! But there were those who believed He was the Messiah – God’s anointed One sent to save mankind and bring Israel back to its former glory. Paul writes of them (and us) in I Corinthians 1:26-28, immediately following our featured Scripture:
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chos-
en the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has
chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which
are mighty; and the base things of the world and things which are des-
pised, God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to noth-
ing the things that are….
It is not the movers and shakers of this world system – those considered wise by the world’s standards – who tend to respond to the gospel! It is more often the poor and the needy – who realize they are sinners and need a Savior!
Just what wisdom of God is contained in the message of the cross?
▸ We are all sinners by nature and choice, and as sinners before a perfect God, we stand condemned to eternal death in hell! (See Matthew 25:41-46; John 3:36; Romans 3:10-12, 23; 5:12; Galatians 3:22).
▸ God Himself paid the price for sin, in the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ! (See Isaiah 53:5, 6; Romans 5:6; I Peter 2:22, 24).
▸ After dying on the cross, Jesus rose from the grave three days later! (See Luke 18:33; I Corinthians 15:4; II Corinthians 5:15; Revelation 1:18).
▸ It only took the sacrifice of one perfect Man to pay for all sin! (See Romans 5:15-19; Hebrews 5:9; 9:26; I Peter 3:18; I John 1:7).
▸ Salvation is by faith alone, by grace alone, and not by man’s good works! (See John 6:28, 29; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:7; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 2:11; 3:5).
▸ I am cleansed of sin and covered with the very righteousness of God Himself! (See Zechariah 3:1-5; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).
▸ By His Holy Spirit, Jesus is always with us! (See Matthew 28:20; John 14:16-18; Hebrews 13:5).
▸ Jesus Christ’s sacrifice not only paid for the souls of human beings, but also redeemed all of creation! (See Romans 8:19-22; Colossians 1:20).
▸ We will in heaven be perfect! (See I John 3:2; I Corinthians 13:9-12).
▸ He is coming again, this time as Judge and King forever! (See Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:33; John 14:3; Acts 17:31; Revelation 11:15).
▸ We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, will rule and reign with Him forever! (See I Corinthians 4:8; 6:3; II Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10; 20:6; 22:5).
There is so much more contained in the message of the cross! But time and space permits exploring only these few things. The main point the Apostle Paul is making in our featured Scripture is: Choose the cross! It may be foolishness to the world, “…but to us who are being saved…Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18 and 24). Chose Jesus Christ and follow Him wholeheartedly! He will never disappoint you, and you will truly be wise!