Seek the wisdom of God

~ The miracle of the cross is bringing salvation to sinners through a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. ~

1 Corinthians 1:17-27

The cross of Christ has power.
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (Verse 17)

The folly of the cross.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (Verse 18)

The unsaved of the world view the preaching of the cross as ridiculous and foolish. Men of wisdom use high-minded intellectual arguments to heap scorn upon the cross, as a manifestation of their absolute hatred of Jesus. This brings to mind worldly pastors of our day preaching a false gospel of miracles, healing, and salvation, if only people would send them money! For many of us, we are too proud to admit our desperate need of a Saviour, believing instead we are “good enough” to save ourselves. This is an old lie birthed in the twisted mind of Satan to send deceived souls to hell. The gospel message proclaims free salvation to all who confess the name of Jesus and believe God raised Him from the dead. This is the miraculous power of the gospel – saving lost sinners from hell!

Foolish wisdom.
“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (Verses 19-20)

The wisdom of this world is nothing other than foolishness. Are the wise and educated of this world confounded and perplexed by the cross? You bet they are! Their hatred of the Name of Jesus is absolute. God is bringing to nought their understanding of Himself, who in their pride and arrogance cannot accept the realities and wonder of the cross. To the worldly wise, the cross is something they simply cannot understand, nor do they want to. Please pray for their precious lost souls!

Worldly wisdom does not know God.
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (Verse 21)

None of our world’s wisdom holds the key needed to reach God. Our highly educated cannot ever hope of comprehending the mysterious ways of God, having been blinded by their self-righteousness, self-deception, and pride. Simply stated, God cannot be approached through the wisdom of this world. God, desiring to give His children every good gift, was pleased to save the worldly unwise if they would freely repent and come to Him through Jesus.

A stumbling block.
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” (Verses 22-23)

If I only learn one thing today, it would be “Jesus Christ was crucified to save sinners!” Those few precious words mean everything to those who love Jesus. “I am crucified with Christ”, was the reality in which the Apostles stood, in absolute assurance of their new life in Jesus. To the Jews, the cross was, and is, a stumblingblock to their salvation.While many recognized Jesus as the Messiah, others are unable to accept and believe the simple truth right in front of them. In their own wisdom they became blinded to the love shown to them at the cross. The ancient Greeks were really no different than the worldly wise, seeking after knowledge to feed their own pride.

Power and wisdom of God.
“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (Verses 24-25)

Those of us who stand redeemed in the eyes of God, having been justified freely by the blood of Jesus, understand the true power of God is saving lost sinners. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)

The wise confounded.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (Verses 26-27)

I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching about travelling the road of life leading towards the narrow gate. Finding the path to eternal life (through Jesus), is so simple, so illogical, and so foolish; how incredible it is the wise of our world cannot “figure it out”! “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

All are invited to repent.
Paul is recording how the worldly-wise are not being called to the cross, for they are carnally minded and unable to comprehend the things of God. Does God wish them to perish? Heaven forbid! “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

All things counted as loss for Christ.
”But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss fo Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them, but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)

Persecuted for Christ.
“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.“ (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

Reproached for the name of Jesus.
”But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” (1 Peter 3:14)

Give glory to God!
”And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:11)

In the eyes of the world it would be far beyond foolish to place faith and trust in anything as ridiculous as the cross. The Apostles suffered humiliation, starvation, threats, beatings, and so on . . . for “some crazy guy” – forgive me Lord! Jesus Himself was despised and ridiculed by the religious leaders, wealthy landowners, and so on. Jesus said He did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners only. Now, let’s ask ourselves who are the righteous? Those who are born again and have faith and belief in Jesus. I believe Jesus was sending a subtle message to the priests and religious leaders, who in their conceit and pride, believed they alone were righteous before God. Our fallen world says it is foolishness to joyfully suffer persecution for Jesus, whom of course they do not believe in anyway. How true is the doctrine, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”

Jesus Christ crucified.
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

The foremost and overriding thought in Paul’s mind is the singular fact of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Paul was highly educated and knew the Jewish religion better than anyone else. Yes, he could have used fancy and eloquent, high-sounding words; and yet he chose not to. I believe this was a deliberate choice by Paul, not wanting to emulate the prideful and powerful religious leaders. It is also my belief he wanted to follow the simple teachings of His Master, rather than the ways and traditions of the world. To Paul’s mind and so it should be to ours, the only thing which matters right now, and will for all eternity, is Jesus Christ willingly gave His life on the cross because of His perfect love for us. “Lord, I desire the heart of Paul and the Apostles; I long to know Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

The power of God.
”And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5)

O Lord, by thy Spirit I have assurance that you are always with me. I know the wisdom of this world is passing away, not having roots to endure: the wisdom of man is rotten and without truth, changeable as the wind. Thy words are eternal and shall endure forever; I know in my soul they contain forgiveness, eternal life and power.

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalm 119:89

God bless,

George

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