"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" The Folly Of Trusting In Human Wisdom (1:18-31) INTRODUCTION 1. Today we are faced with many issues over which people disagree... a. Moral issues related to what is good or evil b. Doctrinal issues related to what is right or wrong 2. It is not uncommon to hear people appeal to certain "authorities"... a. Those considered experts in the areas of science, philosophy, and religion b. Who share the results of their experiments, research, or careful thinking 3. Many place their faith in such "authorities"... a. Especially in areas of morality and spiritual truth b. Is that a wise thing to do? [In our text for this lesson (1Co 1:18-31), the apostle Paul warns against "The Folly Of Trusting In Human Wisdom". In this passage of Scripture we learn that...] I. GOD HAS MADE FOOLISH THE WISDOM OF THE WISE A. CONSIDER THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS... 1. I.e., the idea of a crucified Savior, dying for the sins of the world 2. To those who are perishing, it is foolishness - 1Co 1:18a 3. To those being saved, it is the power of God! - 1Co 1:18b B. THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE MESSAGE IS BY DESIGN... 1. God proclaimed that He would destroy the wisdom of the wise - 1Co 1:19 2. God has made foolish the wisdom of this world - 1Co 1:20 3. Why? Because the world in its own wisdom rejects God
- 1Co 1:21 a. We see that in the idolatry of Paul's day - cf. Ro 1:18-23 b. We see it today in the theories of evolution, humanism, immorality 4. So God chose to save man through faith in a message that seems foolish - 1Co 1:21 a. While the Jews were seeking signs, and the Greeks sought after wisdom - 1Co 1:22 b. But for those who accept the call of the message of Christ crucified, there is both power and wisdom! - 1Co 1:23-24 c. For God's foolishness is wiser than man, His weakness stronger than man - 1Co 1:25 C. THUS NOT MANY WISE, MIGHTY, NOBLE ARE CALLED... 1. At Corinth, there were not many wise (according to the flesh), mighty, noble who had responded to the call of the gospel - 1Co 1:26 2. The same is true today: those receptive to the gospel are usually not the wise, mighty, noble 3. Again, this is part of God's design to shame the arrogant wisdom and might of those who reject God - 1Co 1:27-28 4. Otherwise, the wise and mighty would boast of themselves in the presence of God - 1Co 1:29 [This should make us cautious about anything based solely on the wisdom or strength of man. Man in his wisdom and strength cannot begin to compare to the foolishness and weakness of God! Thus...] II. WE SHOULD BOAST IN THE LORD, NOT MAN A. FOR IN A CRUCIFIED, RISEN SAVIOR... 1. There is to be found wisdom from God - 1Co 1:30; cf. Col 2:3 2. There is both righteousness and sanctification - 1Co 1:30; cf. Php 3:9; 1Co 6:11 3. There is redemption from sin - 1Co 1:30; cf. Ep 1:7 B. THUS WE SHOULD GLORY IN THE LORD... 1. Just as it written in the Scriptures - 1Co 1:31 2. Not in our own wisdom, might, or riches - Jer 9:23 3. But in understanding and knowing God, who delights in lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth
- Jer 9:24 C. PAUL PROVIDES HIMSELF AS AN EXAMPLE... 1. He had plenty of reasons to boast in himself - cf. Ga 1:13-14; Php 3:4-6 2. Yet he counted such things as dung, in comparison to the excellence of knowing Christ and His salvation - cf. Php 3:7-11 3. Thus his boast was in the cross of Christ- cf. Ga 6:14 D. IN WHAT DO YOU BOAST...? 1. You may think yourself wise, strong, or self-sufficient because of your wealth 2. You may think others worthy to guide you in matters of truth and morality 3. But unless it is ultimately the Lord who guides us, it is folly! CONCLUSION 1. Every time we hear or read... a. Some expert or authority gives their learned opinion b. Some poll in which the majority expresses their beliefs -- We do well to remember: "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 2. The only true and ultimate source of wisdom is from the Lord Himself... a. In Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"
- Co 2:3 b. In Him "you are complete" - Col 2:10 -- So as Paul warns: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy or vain deceit..." - Col 2:8 Are you willing to place your trust, your life, your eternal security, in the hands of mere men? How much better to trust the words and wisdom of the Creator and Redeemer...!