The Wisdom of God:
The message of Jesus’ cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But to we who are being saved by it, we know that it is the very power of God. As God said through Isaiah the prophet, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching about Christ to save those who will believe. It all sounds foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the intellectuals of this world, who seek human wisdom.
So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the intellectuals say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and the intellectual, Christ is the very power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Remember, you who do believe, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things this world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by this world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. He did all this so that no one could ever boast in the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from our sins. Therefore, as Isaiah said again, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
Speaking God’s Wisdom:
When you come together with non-believers, don’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell people about God’s secret plans. Determine that while you are with those who don’t know Jesus that you will forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.
Come before people in weakness—timid and trembling. Let your message and preaching be very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, rely only on the power of the Holy Spirit. Do this so that you will not trust in human wisdom but in the power of God.
When you are among mature believers, speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mysteries of God—his plan that was previously hidden from the world, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. Remember that the rulers of this world have not understood Jesus’ cross; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. This is what Isaiah meant when he said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
But it was we who do believe that God has revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. We who love Jesus have received God’s Spirit, which is not the spirit of this world, so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
When the scriptures tell you these things, it does not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, the scriptures speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.
People who aren’t born a second time by the Spirit cannot receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are born of God’s Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are born again of the Spirit can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by the world. For, who can really know the Lord’s thoughts? Who, in this world, knows enough to teach him? But we who are born a second time by God’s Spirit, understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. ~1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 (RCR)
Categories: Bible, Following Jesus, Forgiveness of Sin, How Salvation Occurs, Leading People to Jesus, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, The Condition of the Heart, The Four Gospels, The Importance of the Bible, To Preach the Gospel, We must repent, We must see our need