April 4 – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Friday, April 4, 2014

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – Christ is God's Wisdom and Power

For 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 it is written: 

         “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”  

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Much as we have today, the Corinthian Christians were more apt to trust in the wisdom of those around them than they were in that of God. This was part of the reason for all of the dissension in their community. They played games just like the political games that were happening in the city.

It is interesting, but as I read through this passage, I find that today's culture is quite similar to that of the Greeks … and of so many others throughout history. Paul was speaking to the Corinthians, but these words are so desperately applicable today … especially to Christians.

In Greece, the individual's pursuit of intellect and strength was valued above nearly anything else. They spent time discussing intellectual pursuits and when they took time off from that, they pursued physical greatness. If they had lived in the 21st century, they would have developed faster computers so they could spend time at the gymnasium. Sound familiar?

But the cross of Christ, the power of the resurrection was seen as foolishness to the outside world and to those who believed, they recognized it for what it was – the power of God.

The message of salvation is impossible to understand for those who look for it in their learned wisdom. You can't understand it by becoming more and more educated or by looking at it from a philosophical standpoint. The world doesn't come to know God through wisdom … it is the simple message that draws humanity to God. It is a very simple message … the Gospel … Christ crucified. The Jews couldn't understand it and Gentiles saw it as foolishness.

To those who believed … to those who believe today, this simple message is Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.