The Folly That Saves (1 Corinthians 1)

“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.” 1 Cor. 1:18

God is infinitely wise; God is only wise (Romans 16:27). We know this to be true because only God has infinite knowledge and infinite understanding (Psalm 147:5). God displays perfect wisdom; wisdom that brings about salvation by nullifying human pride and glorifying God. There is one truth, one way, and one wisdom. That wisdom is Christ.

“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?” 1 Cor. 1:20

There is no wise man, who is wise in himself, that has ever seen God (1 Cor. 1:21). God makes fools out of the wisdom of the world. In other words, those who are (according to worldly standards) wise, strong, and exalted are blinded from seeing the truth (Psalm 10:4, 2 Cor. 4:4). Scripture is very clear that God opposes the proud, and by God’s design, we will only taste grace in humility submitted to an alien wisdom (James 4:6).

“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.” 1 Cor. 1:21

God in his infinite wisdom gives a salvation that is deemed foolish to the world. Why? “So that no human being may boast in the presence of God.” God displays his wisdom in the foolishness and weakness of men. Just as Noah was looked upon as foolish for preaching a salvation of freedom from God’s judgement; Paul was charged unruly by preaching a salvation absent from works; we are fools in the eyes of the world for preaching a gospel that calls others to humility, repentance, and safety from the flood by the perfect Ark, the son of God.

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1:31

Might we boast only in this God, this all-wise God, for it is he who saves. May our faith rest not in the wisdom of men, but in the power he provides. May we be imitators of Paul: weak, held in dishonor, and scum of the world. May we proclaim the gospel without fear of man, and with urgency for the lost. God has other sheep still to be gathered (John 10:16, Isaiah 56:8). Let us go to them with a message; a message of good news.

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