But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Cor. 1:23, 24 (NKJV)
After reading 1 Corinthians 1-2, I wanted to get out of my seat, stand tall, and stick out my chest, and figuratively, “drop the mike.” This teaching by Paul to the Corinthians was, for me the capstone, the finale, the ultimate answer for those who are desperately seeking wisdom. “Christ crucified” or the Gospel message is not only the power of God but also the wisdom of God. While time and space does not permit me to fully teach on this passage, I would invite you to include it in your future Bible study devotion. Today, however, I’ll attempt to contain myself as we conclude this series, “Desperately Seeking God” by exploring the wisdom of the God.
What is the Wisdom of God?
For believers in Christ, the wisdom of God is the truth set forth in His Word and through His Holy Spirit. This wisdom becomes accessible to us through belief in Jesus Christ and His saving work to lost humanity (Matt. 1:21). This wisdom shapes our beliefs and the reality in which we daily live.
Although 1 Corinthians is not part of wisdom literature, it does illuminate the fact that the Gospel and acceptance of its truth will result in “true wisdom from above” (1 Cor. 1:30). So why was it considered “foolishness” in Paul’s day (and today)? This requires we take a look at the context of Paul’s letter—the city of Corinth and the beliefs at that time.
Corinth was a key city in ancient Greece until it was destroyed by the Romans. The city was filled with shrines and temples leading to idolatry and corrupt living. The diversity of the population produced many philosophers with Greek philosophy being the dominant thinking. These men filled their days with study and in espousing their beliefs as to the existence of divine beings, the nature of life, and how life was to be lived. When Paul spoke of the wisdom and power of the Gospel, the Jews demanded “signs” while the Greek demanded “worldly wisdom”. Both groups appearing as wise “became fools” (Rom. 1:21-22).
You might find some parallels with activities and beliefs we find in the 21st century. Technology, information, and knowledge are being touted as the “crown jewels of wisdom” for this age. Explosion of the Internet and microchip development, robotics and artificial intelligence, and genetic re-engineering have become but a few of man’s self-proclaimed proofs of his superiority to any professed god. Such progress has created a sense of “deity” within man, leaving God and His wisdom behind as mere relics of a past civilization. The result of such thinking puts future generations in jeopardy of forgetting God and His mighty works (Judges 2:10). Such thinking has become nuevo wisdom.
So why does the wisdom of God seem like “foolishness”? Paul answers this question in 1 Corinthians 2:7-15: #1. The wisdom of God cannot be understood using human wisdom, #2. The Holy Spirit (being God Himself) is the revealer of the wisdom of God, and #3. The Holy Spirit does not dwell within unbelievers therefore they cannot receive the revealed wisdom of God.
This being the case, God’s methods in sharing His wisdom, through His Word and through His Spirit are “spiritually incompatible” with the “natural”, unregenerate man. To them, it appears as foolishness. The wisdom of God, however, is available through Jesus’ work of salvation, providing “whomsoever will” with access to the wisdom of God the Creator, God the Deliverer, and God the Sustainer. He is all wisdom.
SELAH: Click here and read “Wisdom Bytes for Those Desperately Seeking Wisdom. Then Meditate on the “Wisdom Bytes” and ask God what is His personal invitation to you about wisdom.