The Cross: Foolishness to the world, Wisdom of God to Believers

The Cross: Foolishness to the world, Wisdom of God to Believers

Boasting rights

Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? We love to see the “little guy” overcome adversity – whether it’s a mom & pop business vs. a corporate giant or the classic jock vs. nerd bullying scenario – it brings immense satisfaction to see the underdog prevail.

Yet, in this world, Christ’s followers are often the underdog and very few are rooting for them. To adhere to Scripture is seen as backward, close-minded, or ignorant by the masses when cultures are swayed by competing philosophies like existentialism, post-modernism, and stoicism – where the focus is always on man and what man needs to do.

It was just the same for Paul. Paul wanted to bring the good news of eternal life to people everywhere. At the same time, he knew that logic and reason alone cannot lead men to God; logic and reason are limited to understanding things within the world. Making the situation even worse, if Paul were to convince some people to follow Christ with a fancy speech or a moving story, then those people would be at risk of being convinced to follow someone else with the next fancy speech.

Paul had a Solution

Paul’s solution to this problem: Come in weakness. No fancy speech, no clever arguments, no appealing rhetoric. “Only Christ and Him crucified.”

How does this solve anything? It means that after Paul moves on to the next city, there is no danger of someone coming along with a fancier speech or a more clever argument. Christ is still for them and with them, and Christ is still crucified.

This is why Paul didn’t boast of his fancy education. He didn’t rely on his superior pedigree. He stood firm on the wisdom of God, which “will destroy the wisdom of the wise.” He boasted in the Lord.

Thanks be to God for His death on the cross, the wisdom of God, and the only boasting rights that matter – to know Christ crucified and resurrected!

Here is the full sermon text from 1 Corinthians 1:

18The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20Where 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? 21For 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. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

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