I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 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?
21 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.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The tragic news of another young athlete who died suddenly, was announced this week. Of course the “officials” have no cause of death at this point. For the past 3 years just about every one that died, died of “Covid”. It did not matter if there was a car crash or a cancer death. They tried very hard to pin it on “Covid”. The PCR tests were known to be faulty and were never designed for what they were being used, but that was the test that would “prove” the presence of the virus.
This was all orchestrated by the worldly wise people who wanted to experiment with the nature of man. They predicted a very deadly virus was being unleashed and they even predicted how many people were likely to die from it and they believed that if people were threatened with death, they would do almost anything. They discovered that they were right. There was no science to support the response of the “officials” to this virus. The only science that was done was the experiment conducted to see just how gullible people are. That scientific study is still being conducted and it is proving to be very close to what they hoped for.
This is a picture of the wisdom of man. It is foolishness, but it is widely accepted. This is what happens when people are raised in a moral vacuum. It must be quite scary to live without a good foundation. As a young boy, my family lived close to Lake Erie. We would go there at times to go swimming. As children will do, we would try to go as far out into the water as we could and still touch bottom. Occasionally we would get out just a “little too far” and could not touch bottom without our heads being under water. For me that was scary. I needed to be able to touch the bottom and still have my head above water. By God’s mercy and grace, none of us drowned. What we did was not smart. It was extremely foolish to risk death. There were others that we knew who were not spared tragedy by tempting death.
There are thousands upon thousands of people who have found out too late that hell was their destination. They chose to believe the wisdom of man, rather than the wisdom of God and they are in torment today. Jesus spent much time warning of the dangers of rejecting Him as the Only Saviour of mankind. There are still thousands upon thousands living today who are heading for hell. They are also trusting in the wisdom of man rather than the wisdom of God.
Those who are saved are given the love of God in their hearts. They want to see loved ones and neighbours and even complete strangers come to know God’s peace. The danger is when saved people try to adopt the wisdom of the world to do the work that only the Holy Spirit can do in the heart of the lost. We need to be careful not to fall for that trap.
In verse 22 of our text we see the danger that man faces. The Jews are sign seekers. They want evidence they can see. The Jews often came to Jesus looking for a sign to prove He was the Messiah. Every sign He gave them was rejected by them. To this day, the nation of Israel rejects Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The Bible declares that one day in the future, the nation of Israel will turn to God and mourn the fact that they crucified their Messiah and those alive then will turn to Jesus Christ as their Messiah. That will be a blessed day, but the thousands of Jews that are suffering in torment in hell today is not a good thing. They could believe, but refuse to do so.
Paul wrote that the Gentiles seek after wisdom. We have seen a clamouring for worldly wisdom in our world. Universities and colleges are full of people who claim to have found wisdom and are feeding their “wisdom” to others who have never been taught how to think critically. They blindly accept the stats and theories thrown at them. They just look for that piece of paper at the end which says they completed their course and now have some type of a degree. Employers look for those degrees as they look to hire people to work in their companies. Then, when the government comes out with their lies, as they did over the past three years, these worldly wise people just fall in line and go along with the lies being spewed. They are so proud of themselves for helping to “save” people’s lives. Now we are seeing that same vigour exercised on behalf of stopping “climate change”. The wisdom of man is on full display.
Verse 23 begins with that small yet important word: “but”. In the midst of all the clamour for foolishness, those who are called to preach, preach Christ crucified. What a powerful and important message. This message is a stumblingblock to the Jews. They do not want a crucified Saviour and King. They want a Saviour and King who will come on the scene riding on a white horse, and who will conquer “evil”. Many of them will fall for just such a king during the Tribulation. The antichrist will come on the scene riding on a white horse. He will be the “master” deceiver. He will win over the majority of people with ease. Those who seek to resist him, will be forced to bow to his will.
The Greeks look at the preaching of the cross as foolishness. They cannot see any relevance to life from the preaching of the cross. That is very obvious in our world today. However, Paul wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He wrote this almost two thousand years ago. God was warning of the thinking that was prevalent then and even prior to that time. It is also prevalent today.
In verse 24 we are reminded that those who are called, whether Jews of Greeks, know that the preaching of the cross is “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God”. It is only by yielding to the preaching of the cross that a person can be saved. The preaching of the cross will bring conviction to the repentant sinner. God’s Word is able to break the hard hearted individual. We are not told how soon the person will respond to the preaching of the cross. That is God’s doing, not ours. We can grow impatient and scheme to find ways to manipulate people into praying a prayer. That will not help. That only gives people a false sense of security.
Those who are truly saved will be changed. Keep in mind we are talking here of “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” It is amazing to see God change the repentant sinner’s heart. God’s salvation is a work that only God can do. It is something that is even more amazing than the many other miracles that Jesus did while He was on earth. People were amazed at what Jesus could do. People are equally amazed at the change that God’s salvation brings to the repentant sinner’s heart and life.
Verse 25 tells us the why. The foolishness of God is wiser than men. There is nothing foolish about God. God is pointing at the assessment that foolish people make about Him. It is the fool who declares there is no God. It is the fool who rejects Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
There is also no weakness in God. It is the world who claims God is weak. How many people accuse God of being cruel when some tragedy happens. They suggest that if God was truly a God of love He would never allow evil to happen. The ungodly never look in the mirror and see their hypocrisy. They have tunnel vision and are wearing fraudulent glasses that see good as evil and evil as good. This is the result of the fall of man. Adam chose to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After he ate that fruit, his thinking and actions were corrupted. Rather than confessing his sin to God and seeking His forgiveness, he tried to cover up his sin. His view of God was distorted from the moment he ate that fruit. He did not see God as someone he could approach. He now saw God as his enemy. The devil lied to him and he is still a liar. We need to let the power of Christ penetrate to our hearts and minds and be blessed with His salvation and peace.