Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sunday School notes for 1st Corinthians 1:21-31

Last week we finished up by speaking on worldly wisdom, today we will look at the foolishness of God. Of course there is no foolishness in God at all, but to those who do not believe the message of the cross, God's ways can appear foolish.

Vs 21 - 23

The wisdom of God had been displayed throughout history. through creation and through His dealings with people, particularly His people. Yet despite the declaration of His wisdom, mankind rebelled against his creator and continues to do so. God in His wisdom knew what man would do and provided a means by which mankind could know His God. Through the gospel (foolishness of preaching) not foolish in how it is proclaimed but the message itself.

The Jews looked for signs that Jesus was the Christ, Greeks were looking for sound philosophical evidence or a good argument on how someone could truly know God. Some still believe it is impossible to know God so they take their chances with whatever supreme God who may be in control.

Paul states that Christ crucified was stumbling block to the Jews who were not looking for a suffering Messiah but one who would bring physical deliverance for Israel and was foolishness to the Greeks who were looking for a strong compelling argument that met their wise standards.

vs 24-25
To those whom God has called in His foreknowledge. The crucified Christ whom the Jews considered weak was the all-powerful risen Christ
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

This foolish idea that a man would die and would be physically resurrected was the means by which God in His divine wisdom had chose to redeem the world.

vs 26-29
In these verses Paul is telling them to look at who God has called, not many of those wise by worldly standards, not many mighty people, nor many noble, those of high social rank, through wealth, education due to family background. Think of the apostles, at least 4 were fishermen, 1 tax collector, a zealot (a sect that rebelled against Roman authority).

God has chose to call those who the world might discount because of their low social standing, lack of wisdom or their weakness.This is not to say that God does not call the mighty, wise or the prominent, He indeed does, but natural wisdom, social standing or strength in no wise makes anyone a more likely candidate for God's kingdom. We should not be swayed by someones natural attributes or position in life but rather see people as just souls who are part of the family of God or those who need a Savior. James warns in his epistle about having respect of persons. The scripture is found in James 2: 1-9

The bottom line is that no one can boast that God chose them because of what they could do, what they had done or who they are in this life.

vs 30-31
The reason no flesh can glory in His presence is that believers are in Christ not by their own doing but of Him, which means literally out of Him, a Greek idiom meaning the First Cause, Christ initiates our relationship with Him. We are placed into Christ who God in His mercy and grace has made unto us;
Wisdom: Who is wise but the one who embraces the cross of Calvary and takes up His own cross and follows Christ.

Righteousness: The imputed righteousness of Christ and righteous living by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification: We have been set apart for God by Christ's sacrifice, made holy. Through the Holy Spirit we should live out that holiness.

Redemption: We have been redeemed by the blood of the Jesus. We were slaves to sin, a price had to be paid to redeem us. It took the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18-19 KJV
[18] Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: …

Perhaps in the context of talking about divisiveness over leaders Paul was saying that their logic and focus on the human leaders was flawed. That the focus should be on the gospel, the wisdom and power was in the message. Human wisdom might think I need to follow this man or that man and make a big deal about it, but the wisdom of God says focus on the message of the cross and that man who died and rose again and lives forever more.

Source Sent from my iPhone

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