The Foolishness of Human Wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:18- 19. (Video)

Human Wisdom Makes Yesterday’s Corinth Today’s Church

Study of 1 Corinthians 1:18-24

“You so smart, you dumb.” 

INTRO STORY

Degrees including a PhD – Called to pastor – unqualified. 

Seminary – 2nd doctorate.

God convicted His calling qualified me. No substitute for Holy Spirit revelation.

Walked out without un-enrolling. Didn’t need 2 or 3 PhD’s to share what God has done in my life and what He wants you to know for yours. 

Share Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV)

You don’t need college to gain God’s knowledge.

NOTE: Continue our walk through 1 Corinthians by looking at the Foolishness of Human Wisdom.

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 (NASB)

The Wisdom of God

For the word 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, And the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 

HOW DO WE STRUGGLE IN TODAY’S CULTURAL ELITISM?

Intimidated by worldly elite and learned? Jesus called them – Pharisees.

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in Moses’ chair [of authority as teachers of the Law]; so practice and observe everything they tell you, but do not do as they do; for they preach [things], but do not practice them. The scribes and Pharisees tie up heavy loads [that are hard to bear] and place them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger [to make them lighter].

Matthew 23:1-4 (Amplified Bible)

SPIRITUAL MATURITY IS NOT MEASURED BY INFORMATION,

BUT BY APPLICATION

  • Do others make us feel Less Than when they espouse Christianeese? 
  • Stop you from volunteering at church? “What if the three-year-old ask about Dispensationalism?”  Be Real – Say I Don’t Know But I Will Find Out!
  • Afraid to prophesy – Worried?

Misplaced – Seek social direction from culture’s proud and arrogant

SOMETIMES – even Spiritual Direction.

Mind God’s Mind to Mind Your Mind

NOTE: Paul addresses THE FOOLISHNESS OF HUMAN WISDOM that comes from the arrogance of elitism and performance-based demands of self-reliance.

Stephen Hawking – Brilliant theoretical physicist. Genius IQ over 160 – Died March 2018

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he said. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE FOOLISHNESS OF HUMAN WISDOM?

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 (NASB)

(1 Corinthians 1:18) For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

NOTE: Paul teaches everything God foretold in OT was accomplished at the Cross:

  • The “Message of the Cross,” in contrast to speech of human wisdom.
  • The Cross produces opposite reactions of people perishing (headed to hell) and those being saved (headed to glory).
  • Bible is consistent about separation – Genesis 1:4 – Light from dark / Matthew 3:12 – Wheat from chaff / Matthew 25:31-33 – Sheep from goats

(1 Corinthians 1:19) For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

NOTE:  Paul uses OT to relate to Jews

Therefore, listen carefully, I will again do marvelous and amazing things with this people, wonderful and astonishing things;

And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,

And the understanding of their discerning men will be hidden.”

Isaiah 29:14 (Amplified Bible)

NOTE: Paul doesn’t say all wisdom is bad

  • Human wisdom apart from God has value and produces results in the natural realm,
  • Can’t truly know God through human wisdom. Foolishness.

EX: Thomas Jefferson –Age of Enlightenment. View of Christianity were not traditional. Deism – Supreme Creator doesn’t interact with creation.  17th and 18th centuries movement – rejected supernatural deity.

  • Human wisdom doesn’t save people or deliver them from sin.

EX: You can get into the sky with an airplane, but you cannot reach the moon.

(1 Corinthians 1:20) Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? 

NOTE: The ‘wise man,’ woke worldviews and claimed to ‘make sense’ out of life and death and the universe.” With opinion. JUST LIKE TODAY.

(1 Corinthians 1:21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 

NOTE: God incarnate (Jesus) physically walked among them. Wisest did not recognize Him. Where is the wisdom?

NOTEPeople are not saved by foolish preaching. They are saved by preaching “foolishness,” of the Cross.

(1 Corinthians 1:22) For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 

NOTE: Jews always seek signs as tangible demonstrations of God’s presence and power.

  • The reality that the One who was sent as an incarnate sign to the Jews failed to see it as the ultimate sign.
  • Their earthly wisdom said how could someone who was crucified as a common thief and unable to save Himself be God.
  • Human wisdom failed to point them to God’s wisdom of OT prophetic signs.

EX: Jesus Clears the Temple

The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and yet You will raise it up in three days?”

John 2:18-20 (NASB)

NOTE: “You so smart, You dumb.”

NOTE: Greeks prized “wisdom”—an explanation that was reasonable and made sense to them.

  • The Cross made no human sense.
  • Could not rationalize how someone who couldn’t avoid being executed expect people to follow Him to save them?

(1 Corinthians 1:23) but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, 

NOTE: Christ crucified caused Jews to stumble in coming to Him as Messiah because they expected an earthly king who would overthrow the oppressive Roman government and establish a powerful earthly independent Jewish state.

NOTE: Disciples and John the Baptist misunderstood God’s kingdom wisdom.

And after summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or are we to look for another?”

Luke 7:19 (NASB)

NOTE: We see the CROSS in hindsight and know it’s power image – hard to imagine asking a Gentile who was not a part of the plan to start with to rationalize that a man killed on a cross was their Savior.

NOTE: Consider “competition” Jesus had with pagan gods who were not killed but enshrined with temples and statues and all Jesus had was the wood He was hung upon.

NOTE: Paul must explain why human wisdom fails to deliver truth of the GOSPEL.

  • By not making sense, it makes complete sense – Supernaturally.

Turn stumbling blocks into steppingstones along the Cross

(1 Corinthians 1:24) but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 

NOTE: Jesus’ crucifixion paid debt not just for Jews, but Everyone – Only God’s wisdom explains the Gospel to all peoples.

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only,

but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2 (NASB)

HOW DO WE APPLY THIS?

– See the Gospel through God’s perspective not yours. It’s easy when He’s living within you.

– Share the Gospel from God’s position not yours. Avoid complicating God’s priceless Word with your two cents Worth.

– Live out the Gospel from God’s desire not yours. God’s Word is more caught than taught.  

Don’t assume. Ask God.

HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT EVERYONE?

When we as the Body of Christ truly understand the wisdom of God supersedes today’s woke wisdom, it will:

– Draw people into alignment, correction and unity of God’s Word and way for their lives.

– Amplify the message of the Cross because everyone is testifying in one unified voice.

– Create maturity among the Body as we Do More and Say Less. 

When you don’t know you don’t know, look to God to help you know;

what you do know.

ALTER CALL –

Mark 10:46-52 (NASB)

Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

Then they *came to Jericho. And later, as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a beggar who was blind named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the man who was blind, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” And throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And replying to him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the man who was blind said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

PRAYING FOR YOU

There is freedom waiting for you on the other side of tough times. I’m praying that you begin to identify the blessings in your life and focus on them until you breakthrough into a new, anointed light. PLEASE do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need someone to walk through the process with you.

Make sure to get connected at Five Stones Church – we have an incredible community and small groups.

Blessings and Honor,
Scott

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