Power to Save
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
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 CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater 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 come to know God, God was well-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. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Word: logos= Message; Cross: Stauros- crucify; foolishness: stupid-nonsense, folly; persih: apollymi- destroy, lose, destruction, death; to be lost in a religious/spiritual sense.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Paul sums up the Gospel as “the message of the Cross”. To the world at large this is foolish. They do not see themselves as being the problem, The problem is out in the world. Until they ask the question, “How can a omniscient and Sovereign God can have mercy on someone like me who had the thoughts I had yesterday and He not destroy me?”, they will never understand the meaning of the Cross.
2 Corinthians 4:3
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
“Being saved” we are in a continuous process of salvation. The Holy Spirit has sealed our salvation but we are being conformed into the image of Christ. When people look at our mistakes and tell us that we have sin and still sin. We can boldly and confidently explain that is why the Cross is power to us.
We should mourn for those who look at the Cross in a contemptuous attitude. They will never truly understand the power that we know it held.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
Wisdom and Clever destroyed 19-20
Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
The Hebrew reads: “The wisdom of its (Judah’s) wise men shall perish, and the sagacity of its sagacious men shall hide itself.”
Destroy: apollymi- perish, destruction, cause the destruction of persons, objects, or institution.
Wisdom: sophia (wise: sophos)- capacity to understand and as a result to act wisely.
Cleverness: synesis- insight, understanding, intelligence
Scribe: grammateus- write, a person who has acquired a high level of education in a certain discipline (scholar, teacher).
Debater: syzetetes- a person who disputes, desire, seek, look, one who investigates.
Wisdom and prudence (understanding) is only given to us by God who is omniscient. Who can better understand than the One who is the Creator of all things?
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Paul clearly and precisely states that wisdom and understanding comes from Who? God, nobody can give you this knowledge except the One who created the knowledge to begin with. So He can destroy our ability to have true knowledge. How? Removing Himself from our presence and that is what sin did. Yes, men, can reach certain wisdom and understanding because we were made in Their (Trinity) image. But, absolute knowledge and understanding of all things can only come from God.
When we borrow something and do not give it back, what do we say? I forgot to return this, but what does God call it? Stealing! It was not yours to keep and by doing so you have stole it. What men have done is tried to add reasoning to their actions which has construed the truth that only comes from God.
Listen to Job 12:13-25
“With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips. He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty. He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong. He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Men especially the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees who ruled the Sanhedrin Court thought their knowledge and understanding gave them the insight on how the God would save HIs people. God destroyed their thinking by sending His Son to die for us.
Philosophy and Religion is foolish compared to the Cross 21-25
Greeks loved to Philosophize thinking in it they could find the true meaning of life. Their culture was built by their philosophy, their social lives formed out of their ability to philosophize with one another. Each had their own idea of man, society, religious, political, economical, and educational aspects of their lives. They loved human wisdom and sought after it. They believed in philosophy which comes from the word (philosophia: love of wisdom). Their truth and wisdom cam from men, therefore, it was not reliable since there is no absolute truth which comes from man. “Without an absolute standard for truth, ideas of right and wrong were based entirely on human opinion.” John MacArthur.
Without an absolute standard for truth, ideas of right and wrong were based entirely on human opinion.
Today, we live in a world that thinks they have all the answer and the need for a god is superficial and unnecessary. That the reason for men to even develop a god is for their need to try to understand phenomenons. Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
God’s ways and Christ’s sacrifice is the only way for Believers 23-25
For the Jew they thought they held all the answers, in the Torah. They did have the answers that would have led them to the Messiah but they did allow their pride to hinder their sight. They needed a sign to validate Christ as being the Messiah. Their sign was for Israel to be restored as its own nation. Christ did come to restore them but not in the sense they sought.
Greeks looked for wisdom in their religion of philosophy. What they could not see is the error of their way. It seems foolish for God to be incarnated and live as a human to die for my salvation. If He really is God, cannot He had saved me without all of that? These are a few statements we will deal with the rest of our life here.
But, we are to preach the message of the Cross to the Community which will lead them to Christ if they allow it.
It will be a stumbling block to some, and foolish to others. But, for those who come to a repentance and belief in Christ it will be the power that set the captive free from bondage. It set you and I free and it has been the power to keep us free.
I ask you to think of one thing? If it has the power to save us why do we not share it with everyone?
Preach the Power and Message of the Cross
Live like the power is evident in your life
Do not argue with a fool because people will wonder who the fool is. Instead Love them with the Power that is in you, the Holy Spirit.