1 Corinthians 1:20-25 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? 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. 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; 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. KJV
Paul wants the Corinthians to see the purpose of God revealing this “mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16) as not only the one and only way for sinful men and women to be reconciled to Him, but to confound the wise thinkers of that generation and of every generation. It is the very thing our Lord Jesus Himself Blessed the Father for when He said this, Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” KJV Worldly wisdom refuses to accept or acknowledge the total depravity of man. The intellectuals of every generation (review the history books) always believe that man can be improved by way of better education, environment, or economy. However, over the centuries the crimes committed by man against man have only gotten worse in there frequency and in the brutality of the perpetrated crimes.
Paul in our last study quoted the Prophet Isaiah as he declared how God would “destroy the wisdom of the wise” and now Paul ask these four questions that demonstrate how God in Christ has rendered man’s human wisdom to dust. For centuries man has employed all sorts of methods (some primitive, while others more sophisticated) with the goal and purpose to improve the behavior of the seemingly outcast that serve to continually perform acts of lawlessness upon the other “so-called” upright members of society. Paul is declaring that God has brought man’s wisdom to nothing by what the wise thinkers deem foolish or moronic or retarded, but instead the preaching of the Cross of Christ by Paul and others has accomplished what the great world leaders could never accomplish and that is to transform a vile, wicked, violent, immoral, and depraved outcast of society (sinner) into an honorable, pure, meek, loving, and humble man of integrity who need never again to be feared but instead respected.
Paul now declares that the world ever since the fall has been trying to reach God by his own efforts. We need only go back to the ruler Nimrod who decreed that man would build a tower to the heavens, as it is written for our learning and documented with these words, Genesis 11:4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” NKJV Man has since then and in every generation all the way to the current one today tried all manner of religious beliefs and pagan practices of astrology, necromancy, and magic to try and make contact with spirits of dead people to find out about God from them and have only managed to make contact with demons because the One Only and True God can only be known through repentance from sin and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. During the time our Lord Jesus walked the earth as the God-Man, He was always at seemingly every turn assaulted by the Jews desiring to see some sign from Him to prove to them that He was the Messiah as He declared to them.
Our Lord Jesus on one occasion had just healed a man in the synagogue of a withered hand on the Sabbath and not long after the Jews witnessed this miracle, the Apostle Matthew documents for us this question they asked our Lord, Matthew 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” NKJV Serious, they wanted to see a sign, they just witnessed one. These religious Jews could not see in the Old Testament Prophets that God would reveal Himself in meekness and weakness taking on man’s body and then allowing other men to nail Him to a tree and crucify Him. The very thought or contemplation of such a thing as this was offensive to the Jew, even though the very man Moses that they so reverenced wrote about our Lords coming, but this was “scandalous” to them that YAHWEY would do such a humiliating thing. The non-believing Gentiles simply labeled the “Cross of Christ” to be foolish, ridiculous, and illogical as we documented in the last study. The resisting and rejecting Gentile (many who considered themselves highly intelligent) dismissed this notion because it could not compute or be figured out or understood with the mind or intellect.
However, in stark contrast, the man or woman that comes to see themselves as a desperate, deranged, defiled, depraved, and dead sinner incapable of performing anything good because of his or her wicked and sinful heart has received from God the Father through God the Son by the Power of God the Spirit a supernatural restoration, reformation, and regeneration that makes them see in Christ God’s Power and God’s Wisdom. Christ the Power of God to lift them up out of the sewer slime pit of sin and darkness (Colossians 1:13-14) and Christ the Wisdom of God that elevates their thinking into the heavenly realm far above the lowly minds they once used to see the world which they lived in (Romans 12:2 & 1 Corinthians 2:16 & Philippians 2:5). Paul then declares that God’s “foolishness” is wiser than men and His weakness is stronger than man. Let us say it is very obvious that Paul is here only using a “figure of speech” for there is zero foolishness with God and He is not weak at all (although many would like to believe He is weak and they live their lives as such). Paul uses a different Greek word for the English word foolishness here than he used earlier, it is the word moros which means dull or morally blockheaded. Paul by using this figure of speech is driving home the point that what wise man sees from God to be dull, wearisome, unamusing, or lacking in liveliness (i.e. Christ dying on a Cross for man’s sin) is the very place where every sinner finds abundant life rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).
“The heathen politicians and philosophers, the Jewish rabbis and doctors, the curious searchers into the secrets of nature, were all posed and put to a nonplus. This scheme lay out of the reach of the deepest statesmen and philosophers, and the greatest pretenders to learning both among the Jews and Greeks. When God would save the world, He took a way by Himself; and good reason, for the world by wisdom knew not God, 1 Corinthians 1:21. All the boasted science of the heathen world did not, could not, effectually bring home the world to God. In spite of all their wisdom, ignorance still prevailed, iniquity still abounded. Men were puffed up by their imaginary knowledge, and rather further alienated from God; and therefore it pleased Him, by the foolishness of preaching, to save those that believe. By the foolishness of preaching - not such in truth, but in vulgar reckoning. The thing preached was foolishness in the eyes of worldly-wise men. Our living through One who died, our being blessed by One who was made a curse, our being justified by One who was Himself condemned, was all folly and inconsistency to men blinded with self-conceit and wedded to their own prejudices and the boasted discoveries of their reason and philosophy.” Matthew Henry
“The finite mind of man as compared to the Infinite Mind of God is like holding up a grain of sand (man’s finite mind) up next to the Sun (God’s Infinite Mind). This illustration says it all.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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