1 Corinthians 1:18-25 ESV
“For the word of the cross is folly 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 discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
“Where is the one who is wise? 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 did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
The Message of the Cross
Let’s first define what that message is. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23-26). Now the cross for Jesus symbolized his death which was yet to come, and that death meant the death of our sins. So, by faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we might live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
So, to take up our cross daily would be to deny self and to die to sin daily. And then to follow him means to obey him, and that needs to be daily, too. So, the message of the cross is that Jesus died, taking on our sins and thus putting our sins to death with him, so that we might die daily with him to sin and live daily to him in obedience to his commands. This is the essence of the gospel message (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10).
And that message is indeed foolishness to those who are perishing in their sins, and to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are denying him by their lifestyles. They don’t want to hear it. So, many of them are calling it “works-based salvation” or “Lordship salvation,” but it is the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught. For dying with Christ to sin and walking in obedience to his commands is faith in Jesus Christ.
But to us who are BEING SAVED (progressively) it is the power of God, for it is the power of God which delivers us from our slavery to sin, and it is the power of God which gives us what we need to die daily to sin and to live to Jesus and to his righteousness day by day. We cannot do this in our flesh. For the flesh has no power to conquer the flesh or sin. Only God can deliver us from our addiction to sin and empower us to live holy and godly lives.
The Wise and the Foolish
We have a good number of people within the gatherings of what is called “church” who have a lot of Bible knowledge. In today’s modern church, they are probably in the minority, but still they exist. And then we have a lot of people who have knowledge of what they have been told by other humans and which they then pass on as fact even though it is not supported with Scripture. But they still act as though it is, but it is Scripture taken out of context and then twisted to say what the Scriptures do not teach.
But even many who have a vast amount of Bible knowledge don’t all live by it. They may know it intellectually, and they may be able to debate it theologically, but they are not putting in into practice in their daily lives. My dad was one of those. So if he saw me reading my Bible he wanted to know what I was looking up or what I was researching, for that is what he used the Bible for, and to try to win arguments with people.
And then we have many people who are relying on what other humans have told them the Bible teaches who are trying to start an argument with those who are teaching the truths of the Scriptures. And so they recite word for word what they have been taught. And those following this false gospel which others are teaching them are all reciting the same words, pretty much, so it is easy to spot what is coming by the phrases being used.
But God will destroy the wisdom of the wise (by human standards). For God is greater than man and his worldly wisdom, and nothing they can do or say is going to destroy the truth of the gospel. Now they have been able to sway to their worldly wisdom and to their fleshly gospel what seems to be the majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ, and they have definitely diluted the true gospel and have vilified it, too, but God’s word will triumph!
For the diluted gospel that many are teaching today has no power over sin and it has no power to deliver people from their addiction to sin, which is why they are telling them they will always be addicts or that Jesus only died to forgive them of their sins and so now they can keep on living in sin without guilt and without conscience or consequence. But we must not believe those lies from hell, for those lies are sending people to hell.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
He Reached Down
An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18
How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.
My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.