The Light of God’s Wisdom

Studies in First Corinthians – IV

Right through this first chapter of First Corinthians Paul contrasts wisdom and foolishness: the wisdom of men and the foolishness of God, then the foolishness of men and the wisdom of God. It was the wisdom of men that had seduced this church. Division was a plague that was destroying the spiritual health of the people. The remedy for the situation was not philosophy or “the wisdom of words,” but the wisdom of God given through revelation by the Holy Ghost.

The moment any Christian departs from the principle of revelation, relying rather on human intellect for understanding God’s Word, all spiritual authority is lost. If we submit the Word of God to our own intellect and refuse to believe in the possibility of absolute authoritative revelation, we lose the power and authority. It’s not in us; it’s in Him.

If the church in our day is to invade a city for God, then it must get back to a place of absolute dependence upon the wisdom of God.

-Alan Redpath

Each of us is faced with a choice every day. Will we depend upon our human intellect and education to meet the need of the day? Or will we depend on the wisdom of God? Will we trust human wisdom and reasoning? Or will we trust the Spirit to lead and guide us? Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t downplay the importance of reason and thinking. I only intend to question the source: the wisdom of God or the wisdom of man.

Alan Redpath makes a challenging statement, “The moment a man begins to put his confidence in his own mind… in his personal criticism of Scriptures, he is finished as far as divine revelation is concerned.” You must choose the principle on which you will guide your life, on which you will study the Word, and on which you will serve the LORD.

Come to the cross. Take the place of death to self. Glory in the LORD. The Holy Ghost will illuminate the Word in a way that human wisdom cannot and give you understanding.

The Preaching of Foolishness

Studies in First Corinthians – III

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

I would like to share a story with you from Alan Redpath’s The Royal Route To Heaven. He writes:

I heard an eminent professor of theology say to students in his seminary class, “Gentlemen, I ask you to remember that you are called upon to know something of the foolishness of preaching, not the preaching of foolishness.” In my heart I retorted, “He is wrong! The word of the cross is absolute foolishness.” It says so in my text: to those who are perishing, the word of the cross is foolishness.

It depends on who you are talking to: those who are perishing or those who are being saved. To those who are perishing, the word of the cross is absolute foolishness. It is a contradiction to all of the science, philosophy, education, and knowledge of this world.

Let us hear the word of the cross spoken on a hill just outside of the walls of Jerusalem:

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This prayer of Christ for His murders doesn’t make any sense, humanly speaking.

“Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). This pity given to the guilty from the innocent as they both suffer seems strange to human logic.

“Woman, behold thy son” (John 19:26-27). The concern of her well being in the hour of His death is at the very least the result of the purest of hearts.

“My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Now alone, utterly cut off, He is introducing a countless multitude to glory through His suffering.

“I thirst!” (John 19:28). Out of the agony of these parched lips flows rivers of living water.

“It is finished!” (John 19:30). Obedient unto death, forsaken by friend and foe, Jesus has paid the price! The innocent died for the guilty!

What is the word of the cross in your life and mine? It is power through weakness, life through death, resurrection through crucifixion.

Those who are perishing say it is foolishness. If that is so, I was saved by the preaching of foolishness.