Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
It’s been said that wisdom is the humility to admit you don’t have all the answers and the courage to ask the right questions. Someone else once said that wisdom is living life successfully, and that wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk. Dan Brown, world renowned skeptic and author of The Da Vinci Code, said, “Each of us knows all. We need only open our minds to hear our own wisdom.” But we know the best explanation is found in Proverbs 9:10 where Scripture says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
In this passage Paul tells us that Christ and Him crucified is the wisdom of God unto salvation! Paul pressed this radical antithesis between the outlook of believers and unbelievers in order to remind the Corinthians that the way of Christ does not rely on sinful human wisdom. By this means, he pointed out that they were thinking and acting like unbelievers. What He is saying is – walk in God’s wisdom and not in the wisdom of the world. To think, act, and speak like the world is to deny the wisdom of God. He goes on to tell us where the wisdom of God is truly found.
First, it’s found in the message of the cross. He says here that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, those apart from Christ, but it is the power of God for those who are being saved. Sinful humanity thinks that it is by ingenuity, education, or good works that we secure our eternal blessedness, but Scripture says it is only through submission to the Son of God who shed His blood for us that we are made right with Almighty God.
Second, we see God’s wisdom in the mystery of Christ. The mystery of Christ is humility and faith, but the world preaches entitlement and accomplishment. Some in the government say you deserve healthcare. The attorney on television says you deserve to be paid for what you’ve gone through. Your friend at work says in your marriage you deserve to be happy. God says we deserve hell, but Jesus took our place. Just repent of sin and trust in Him. Total opposite. The world says get what’s yours. Jesus says die to your way of life and come alive to mine.
Lastly, we see God’s wisdom in the members of God’s church. Paul says here that the Lord uses those whom the world considers not so wise to declare His truth. The fact that God can take a bunch of nobodies like us and make us somebodies for His Kingdom is nothing short of miraculous! The power of God does not rest on the educated man, the talented man, or the wealthy man, it rests on the humble man of faith.
Child of God, stop thinking, acting, and living like the world. The world’s way of thinking is not just slightly off, it’s completely detrimental to the life of faith. Determine to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Pray and ask for God’s heavenly wisdom which is beyond worldly thought. Don’t just make decisions in life based on pros and cons, do’s and don’ts, and debits and credits. Pray. Seek the Lord. Remember the cross and listen to the Holy Spirit. Dig in the Word. Exercise faith. Get counsel from other godly believers. Trust Jesus. Then and only then will you operate in God’s wisdom.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, forgive me for relying so often on my own wisdom. I am completely destitute of true wisdom apart from You. Jesus I am grateful for the cross and know that only through Your shed blood I am forgiven. Fill me with Your heavenly wisdom oh Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.