Sunday, November 30, 2014

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 3 – God's Power and Wisdom

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 3 – God's Power and Wisdom
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We have just finished looking at the first epistle of Paul, Romans, which was written to the Christians in Rome in February of 58AD.

We now turn to the second of the epistles authored by the Apostle Paul, I Corinthians.

The church in Corinth was founded by Paul after he worked there for 18 months. (I Corinthians 4:15; Acts 18)

Last week we spoke about Division over the leader of the Church.

Today we will read about TRUE Wisdom and Power as opposed to worldly wisdom and strength.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 1:18-31
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.” (Isaiah 29:14)

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.” (Jeremiah 9:24)

                   I.            FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE PERISHING
a.      The lost do not comprehend
                                                                         i.      Spiritual things cannot be discerned by unredeemed people, but that doesn't matter, the Cross must be preached just the same.

b.     However, to those "being saved", it IS the Power of God
                                                                         i.      The Cross is the power of God simply because it was there, that the total sin debt was paid, giving the Holy Spirit, in whom the Power resides, latitude to work mightily within our lives.

c.      Isaiah 29:14 For it is written; "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

                                                                         i.      Speaking to those who are "wise" in their own eyes.
1.      Proverbs 3:7 "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."

2.      Isaiah 5:21 "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight."

3.      Romans 12:3 "...Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,..."

               II.            Worldly things fail to compare
a.      Where are the Wise, the Teachers, and the Philosophers of this world?
                                                                         i.      They are all foolish by God's standards

                                                                      ii.       Worldly wisdom does not find God

                                                                   iii.      God made them and their wisdom foolish by sending His Son to the cross to redeem humanity. ALL the wisdom in the world could not achieve this!

b.     Jews demand signs, Greeks look for wisdom
                                                                         i.      But we preach Christ crucified
1.      A stumbling block to the Jews (the sign they awaited was the Messiah taking the Throne and making Israel a great nation once again. However, they did not realize that the Kingdom Christ ruled was spiritual.)

2.      Foolishness to the Gentiles (who were constantly seeking knowledge, however, the only knowledge they could ever obtain was from man if they reject the Wisdom of God and His Word.)

                                                                      ii.      But to the Jews and Greeks he has called (those who are saved), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1.      This speaks of those who accept the call that has been made to everyone!
a.      The entirety of mankind has been invited!
b.     John 3:16
c.      Revelation 22:17

2.      the power = Salvation

3.      the Wisdom = The Word

c.      The weakness of God is stronger than human strength
                                                                         i.      We know God is not weak; the point being God's weakest attribute would be stronger than any human's greatest strength.

            III.            What you were, and are now becoming
a.      Not many of us were "wise" by human standards, or influential, or of noble birth
                                                                         i.      Jesus came as a pauper, born to the smallest city, to a simple family

                                                                      ii.      He chose "regular" every day people to be His disciples
                                                                   iii.      God chooses the "weak", the "small" and makes them great!

                                                                     iv.      David defeated Goliath BECAUSE of the Lord.

b.     God chose the foolish things to shame the "wise"
                                                                         i.      The weak to shame the strong.

                                                                      ii.      The lowly, despised, the things considered "nothing" to make void the things that are.

c.      Why?
                                                                         i.      So that when David, the weakest and smallest of the brothers, appeared on the battle field, he was braver than the mightiest of the Kings soldiers, and he defeated the greatest of the Palestinians warriors, because of the Lord.
1.      Not worldly skill, strength, size, training, nothing but the Lord!

                                                                      ii.      The very God that the worldly Palestinians mocked, the one they laughed at calling weak and small, because of God, destroyed the greatest the worldly had to offer.

                                                                   iii.      1 John 4:4 "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."


So, worldly wisdom will never find God, and those who think themselves wise, or who are influential or of Noble birth, will struggle with pride and have difficulties finding the Lord.

The true Wisdom and Strength of God comes from Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God is Christ, who IS the Word of God, and the Strength of God is the Word which brings Salvation to the lost.

If we boast, it must be in Christ Jesus, for everything we are, or are becoming, is because of Him. His strength, the power to save, and His wisdom, the Word of God.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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