Fools for Christ
Jesus, may I seek only Your approval in my life. May I be a pleaser of God, not of men.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18—2:5
18 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. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 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? 21 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. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
2 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy do people identify as Christians? What kind of wisdom prompts them to do so?
The Gospel turns the world upside down. In the so-called “real world” people seek status, qualifications, rank, evidence and certifiable wisdom as their source of authority and personal guidance. Jesus had none of those worldly attributes. He had a humble beginning, an absence of occupational prestige and none of the normal marks of success such as possessions or wealth. He had disreputable friends and, in the end, suffered the most humiliating rejection and execution. None of these things would enhance the reputation of a man in either the first or the twenty-first centuries. So why look to such a life for spiritual salvation or wisdom?
What sources of wisdom did people respect in Paul’s day (1:22) and why did they reject God’s wisdom (1:23)? What sources do we seek out today? What impresses people most? Now consider God’s choice (1:26–29). And consider Paul’s own unimpressive record (2:1–5).
Paul spent his whole life as a Christian leader trying to explain to people why the cross of Jesus is the “saving power of God” (1:8). Why do you find the Gospel so attractive, over the wisdom of the world?
Spend some time trying to express why you find Christ and his cross such a compelling sort of wisdom.
Ask God to characterize your life with the wisdom from above. Seek his wisdom in your choices today.