The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians
(1) In the usual manner and style of letter writing of that era the author introduces himself at the beginning of his Epistle. He makes two things clear to those to whom he writes. He is Paul. Obviously they know who he is. Underlines his authority over them as one who has been called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. The authority is God given through the Son of God to Paul. To be an apostle. The remit of his apostolic authority is to oversee the up building and edification of the
One more crucial point. It is being done through the will of God. None of this would take place. Unless it was in line with Gods will
Nothing can be done for the church unless it comes under the express will of God. The sovereign and the permissive will of God is a huge doctrinal subject. Not my intention at this time. Now for the study on life in
He includes his companion who is journeying with him. A fellow brother in Christ who has accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey. A man called Sothenes He is mentioned in the Book of Acts. (Acts.18:17).
Paul has set before those to whom he writes His credentials as one who is in authority over them. Appointed by no less a person than our glorious risen exalted Lord Jesus Christ...
(2) Now the apostle gives the geographical location to which he sends this letter. Note primarily how he describes the church to which he sends the letter. The
The church belongs to God and no one else. No mention of any denomination. The criteria? You must be born of the Spirit of God and Baptized in Him. The two chief principles of being a born again believer and a member of the
I belong to Glasgow Elim. Not because I think it is superior to any other church. Only because it is as near as I can find to the model described in the Book of Acts. That is not to say that everyone will agree with me.
You have to sift through the evidence that can be found in the Book of Acts and be guided in and through God the Holy Spirit to the conclusions you reach.
No one can deny what Paul is saying here. Whether they believe is up to them.
Church in its broadest sense is a people who have been separated and called out of the world to serve God in the world. To do what pleases Him while they are still in the world.
Simply understood we who have been called by God to be his people born of his Spirit and baptized in and through God the Holy Spirit. Receiving adult baptism through water is as the apostle Paul describes it. The
God in the centre of Pauls life. Twice he mentions this fact. Once in verse 1 and then in verse 2.
To listen, hear, and put into action what God would say, to me. The apostle now identifies the city to which he is sending his correspondence.
He then goes on to describe the status of those believers at
My status is of holiness. The holiness of Jesus Christ because he has chosen to indwell my being because of his love for me....The type of holiness spoken of here is in a sense passive because it has been imputed. Christs status before he moved a muscle was one of holiness. To be understood correctly those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord are given the holiness of his stature. They are holy because He is holy. The holiness is never theirs in its own right continues to belong to Jesus Christ our Lord.
The author makes it plain why this is possible because like him they are in Christ and Christ is in them. Sanctified in Christ Jesus.
I believe the operative word here is in Christ Jesus. I in Him and He in me. When God takes control of me and I allow Him to do so. Only by this method it is possible through His Spirit to be an effective witness for his kingdom here on earth
The author of the first letter to the
To summarize what the apostle Paul speaks of here and has said somewhere else... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me... Christ helps us to overcome what the enemy would bring against his church which is you and I.
One of the other principles the author speaks of to the church at
To know Gods calling upon my life is crucially important to me. The author speaks of being called to do what he does is from God... Paul describes his devotion and obedience towards God as one who has been called by God to serve Him. The same principle applies to the church at
I continue to marvel at Gods love towards me. There is nothing like it anywhere. The response of Paul towards his God is not of duty .It is out of joy and gladness and love towards God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ his Lord.
The very same that is commanded of me. I do not mean it in the context of the word as being severely austere. But in love and joy that rises in devotion towards the God and Father of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Loving his Son Jesus Christ my Lord in equal measure.
I believe the imperative that needs to be understood is that God calls me through His Son Jesus Christ through His Spirit. The invitation to participate in the blessings of Gods Kingdom comes from God alone.
My belief is that if I and the
A point that ties in quite comfortably with what Paul the apostle has to say to them next... ..Called to be saints Paul had been speaking to them about their stature in Christ Jesus His holiness. A state of being. They are holy because He is holy.
Now the apostle makes a challenge to the church at
It has to be an active holiness. When I call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to help me in overcoming the enemy the devil the Holy Spirit activates the living Christ inside of my spirit. Christ then gives me the victory
The same applies to all of my brothers and sisters who are the
I notice that what Paul writes of here is the fact that the church can call upon the name of the Lord wherever they are. I t does not need to be in a church building.
You and I can call upon the Lord at any time and place. A building is only the place believers gather together in to be able to worship God as one. A means of shelter from the wind, rain, and snow.
(3) Grace the unmerited favour of God that provides peace to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ gives to us who believe in His Son Jesus Christ as Lord the unmerited favour and peace from both the Father and the Son. The first and second persons of the trinity. The one triune God.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit at
(4) A few inextricable facts are mentioned here by Paul. Grace which I have already mentioned comes primarily through God the Father revealed in His Son Jesus Christ our Lord to you and I. The unmerited favour of God. The apostle Paul speaks of the unmerited favour from God as being given to us by Christ Jesus.
Notice that the apostle draws attention away from himself by pointing his readers to God. God Himself is in the business of making Himself known to those who do not know Him.
A note of thankfulness and gratitude from the heart of Paul towards His God for the work He is doing in his life and those at
In his letter to the believers at
I talk and share my faith to whomever God the Holy Spirit leads me to. The same can be said of my brothers and sisters in Christ. The same idea is spoken of in the next verse as we can see further down.
(5) The apostle seems to have a great command of what to say and how to write it down to enable everyone to understand the instructions he gives guided by the Spirit
I had mentioned earlier of the fact of the Apostle Pauls commendation to the believers in
A sad reflection on the state of Christs church of to day particularly in the west.
Too much attention is given to the politicians of this country who have no time for God, his Son, his word, and his people
Disregarded and broken his law rebelled against his Son Jesus Christ made a mockery of his people had them stand trial because of their belief in one God.
We can add to this appalling list government law which infringes our freedom and liberty of living out our faith in a manner that pleases God.
No wonder we live in a day of great economic depression and lawlessness and will continue to do so until the political parties of the day turn to the mercy of God realising that their own earthly intellect will not accomplish anything
Meanwhile you and I must not resist the Spirit of God when He gives us the utterance of speech and stand against the enemy. The invisible god of the world the devil to whom they remain blind.
I said we must stand and speak out against oppression but it must be done in a spirit of truth and mercy. Not easy. God has not left us to do this on our own. Note what the author writes of here. Speaking to the believers at
(I.Cor.12:8) .for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, Obviously we need to stay tuned in.
Tuned into the network of God the Holy Spirit listening and being prepared to do what He asks of us.
(6) A concept that leads nicely into the next verse where the author continues to talk to them about how the Holy Spirit is working in them enabling each member of the body of Christ to conform into the very image of God our Saviour. The risen glorified exalted Lord our great high priest Jesus Christ. even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you Some of the manuscripts translate it as among you. My personal preference is in you.
The apostle Paul is talking of the fruit of the Spirit being seen in how the saints are conducting their lives in the world. Evidence to the outside world of how God is changing them from being a people of the world to being a people of His.
When the world was looking at the saints in
I spoke of the fruit of the Spirit being seen in them. The very same Spirit is working out a visible expression of Christs love in them for each other and towards the world. The work of the Holy Spirit to the outside world making visible the changes He is making in the lives of Christs people as members of the one body of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. He confirms the testimony of Christ in them to the world they live in
Our authors point is that the age we live in is no different to the one he lived in .Paul often described it as this present evil age. I believe quite an accurate description for the time we are journeying through.
But take heart the very same Spirit that was effecting change in the believers then does so today.
To allow Him to do what He did at
When you talk to brothers and sisters who are full of God the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit nothing is too much for them to do. You ask anything of them and a huge smile spreads across each of their faces. Regardless of what their own personal lives are like because they know it is in the hands of God. An incredible faith.
(7) Going on further with what Paul had been talking of to the saints at
..eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The final revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great day when Jesus will come and take us all home. Eagerly waiting. You can just anticipate the excitement in the apostles heart as he looks forward to seeing and going to be with his Lord. I am looking forward as well to that great day. To see the Lord I love so much.
The author in his letter to the Philippian church makes a superb declaration on this very same subject. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ,
(8) After all he has spoken of to the saints in
The authors confidence is not in himself it is in the faithfulness of God
A God given faith. The faith God gave to Paul and to the saints to whom he writes.
To believe is provided by God. It is free. He places the trust we need in Him to believe deep down in our spirit. We cannot affect our own salvation God actively initiates the action needed within us. I guess what I am saying here is that I have to forget about my humanity focus and concentrate on God. Let there be no distractions.
Every line the apostle writes when you look at it closely notice almost every time the focus is on what God is doing. He is either talking of what God the Father is doing or our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of the time he underlines the work of God the Holy Spirit in his life and the rest of the saints. He does not need to do anything of himself and neither do the saints.
I know it can feel quite strange to wait for God to show you the path that he wants you to take but this is what he wants us to do.
What he requires from us is to search Him out and sit and listen to what He has to say to you and me. Enjoy his company because he loves your company. Be available listen and obey.
We do not need to rely on ourselves to get into heaven God has already taken care of that. Immense. God will confirm that you and I belong to Him at the end. Anyone needing assurance of their salvation? Well!! There you have it. You and I will be blameless as if we had never sinned. The Day when we will see our Lord Jesus Christ in all of His splendour, glory, and majesty. I would like you to notice that the work the Holy Spirit does within us comes directly from the Father and the Son He takes His instructions from them but He is also God in His own right. No earthly intellect and wisdom can ever hope to grasp this with their own intelligence. Out of sight and out of reach. Praise the God of our Lord for such overwhelming love that He gives to all on a daily basis we who are unworthy in ourselves of such. Grace.
I would like to read the words of Paul from another of his letters to finish on this verse before concluding the passage. (I.Thess.3:12) And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
(9) Concluding but not the end in verse 9 of how God is faithful to Himself and to you and I who are His people. God cannot lie to himself because he is true to his character. Otherwise He would not be God. Unlike you and me He does not change. The theologians describe it as the immutability of God. Those of us who have been saved are those who have been called by God and our calling is from God. He is the very one who has chosen us. God our Father in heaven has called us into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ because it pleased Him to do so
Pleased Him. How awesome! Not because of anything in us quite the contrary. Never forget were we have come from we who were once undeserving. God our Father in His mercy has given us freely the gift of His Son Jesus Christ through Him we have received mercy and pardon. The centre and origin of the love and mercy of Christ including having fellowship with Him and one another can only be found in the heart and mind of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone in his own right is truly God.
With my heart and mouth I praise his glorious name fall down before Him He who is my Lord and God. Father Son Holy Spirit. The One Triune God. Let the earth and all that is in it praise his glorious name Thank you.
No Segregation of the church of Christ I Cor 1:10-17.
(10) My personal view of this and how I read it as the Holy Spirit gives me understanding is the fact that Jesus Christ is my Lord. Nobody specifically godly men and women can be his substitute
No matter how godly the Holy Spirit can make you and me we still have our weaknesses. It is right and proper that we should pray for our leaders having said that they cannot take the place of Christ our Lord.
Paul pleads in the name of our Lord that they should all speak the same thing.
Obviously talking contrary to one another. The Corinthian church was no different to the church of today. ..that you all speak the same thing, One of the most important lessons that God the Holy Spirit has reminded me of and continues to remind me of because I keep falling into the same trap is the use of my tongue
An impossible member of my body to control. The alarming side to it is that I have the power of life and death in what I say. The fault lies with me. I have to let the Holy Spirit use my tongue and control. I have to give the Holy Spirit permission to do that
He is a gentleman and He will not force Himself upon me. The same principle applies to all my brothers and sisters in the church. You need to give the Holy Spirit permission to do what needs to be done in you and to continue doing that until we are called home. Not a done deal. Everyday of my life I have to rely on the Holy Spirit to change me into the person of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It has to be with my permission which I always give. Totally impossible to live a life that pleases God through my strength and ability.
When I put Christ first in everything I say and do unity should follow depending on everyones agenda. All depends on what motivates the human heart why we do what we do?
God knows the thoughts of my heart there is nothing unknown to Him. If I have something to say to someone I will. The problem is if it is of me I am in trouble. The same truth can be applied to a brother and sister who speak to me. If it is of them and not God.
What is the solution? I would like to think that they would speak to me in regard to the hurt I have caused forgive me as I would them. Unforgiveness in church life causes bitter strife and does not come from God. Again I would like to go back to what the apostle was talking of in speaking the same thing.
As I read further into the passage I will find that they were not speaking the same things. The fact is that the author has to draw the attention of his readers to point out to them that they were not speaking the same thing.
An example of this can be seen in who the pastor is of the church. No specific pastor in mind but not everyone will be agreed in the choice. I s that right? The answer should be no. Whoever he is he is Gods choice. You and I have to support him in our tithes and our prayers. Look to the source behind him who is God. To say I do not like him is to be critical of God
I have had a number of brethren in other churches come up to me and be critical of their pastor and I have had to remind them gently that he is Gods choice for their church and to support him.
If I do not do that then there is division between all of us. Not only am I at odds with the pastor I am in disagreement with my leaders who have chosen Him. There is no unity. We are not reading from the same hymn book. There is strife in the body of Christ.
To speak the same thing means we have unity and uniformity we are agreed on what we say... Our Lord brings that agreement to us because we are one in Him and He is one in us. When that is the case we are one. ....and that there be no divisions among you, Obviously there were divisions among them what brings division verbal disagreements spoken openly to those who agree with our disagreements. We are either openly hostile to those who disagree with us or we conceal it. On either count it is an unmitigated disaster. Christ ceases to be Lord and the enemy has got in.
Now the author and apostle provide us with the antidote to stop this from happening. As members of the body of Christ we are to be perfectly joined together. Not to be individualistic but as members of Christs body to seek each others good. Paul goes on to say that we are to be of the same mind. Not his mind not your mind and certainly not my mind It has to be the mind of Christ only He can bring unity to the body. The author continues by speaking of the same judgment. Only Christ is the righteous Judge.
(11) Now after the apostle has said to the believers in
In this scenario Paul had received a report from the brethren of the household of Chloe of their quarrelling. The apostle must have had close ties with those who had sent the report because he names the household from which he received the report
Those who were quarrelling would know the witness and testimony of their brethren in Chloes household. And knew it would be futile to discredit them. They were caught red handed. There was no place for them to hide. Our manner of life may not be as open as theirs but God continues to watch us.
(12) The apostle warns them that they have not to be followers of him. No matter how godly he is they have to continue to follow Christ. He then goes on to say that they must not follow Apollos nor Cephas and the fact that he is not Christ.
They are men of God no more and no less. At the end of the day they continue to still be men with all their weaknesses and faults such as you and me. I believe what Christ is saying here is that I have to follow Him. The men the author is speaking of are leaders like him but they to come under the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ
We are to pray for them that God the Holy Spirit will give them utterance of speech discernment and wisdom but we must never allow ourselves to lift them above God. Like us He is the source behind them for the advancement of Christs Kingdom on earth. All glory honour and praise belongs to God our Saviour exclusively the apostles point.
(13) Now we come upon a very controversial issue because it has stuck with us from the past to the present and will continue into the future. Is Christ divided? I remember being out with the street ministry team from Glasgow Elim and we were talking to someone who had been going to the
I can still hear his reply every church seems to think they know better than the other. I went over and spoke to him in a kindly fashion pointing out that our Lord had been a Palestinian Jew. It had nothing to do with churches he had given his life to Christ and he was free to worship in whatever fellowship the Spirit made him comfortable in.
Immediately calmness came over him and he began to thank me .I said no thank God. But with regret I know that this is an on going situation no matter how we dress it up segregation and sectarianism is rife. The enemy takes full advantage of it. I believe the best way forward is just to let the Holy Spirit control my life. I believe many of my brothers and sisters would agree with this.
.Was Paul crucified for you? They knew the answer to that one. Only Christ was crucified for you. The believers had put these men on such a high pedestal it fell to Paul to bring them back to earth.
The great men of God who bring the message from Him to his people the last thing they want to be is to be glorified above and over Him. Unfortunately the people of God unwittingly do that. Not all of them as we can see from the apostles example. H e goes on to say that he had not baptized anyone in his name. I believe what the apostle is trying to do is to jog their memories. You can only baptize in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Verses 14 to 16 Paul speaks of performing the rituals of adult baptism but he does not lay great store upon them (17) a great word of infinite wisdom that comes from God the Holy Spirit through the mouth of Paul for those like me who preach the gospel. It cannot be done with mere words because that makes the power of the cross of Christ ineffectual. Words will not change anything but when the power of the Spirit of the living Christ speaks through my tongue it changes everything. I am just like my brothers and sisters in the Lord an earthen vessel whom God chooses to use.
The Glorified Risen Christ Who is the power and wisdom of God - 25
(18) The author Paul continues in the subject that he had just been speaking on. The uselessness of words belonging to the wisdom of the world that we live in. Look at the words that the apostle is using here. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, Other translations speak of the message of the cross but I would like us to see it as a word. For those who are dying the message of the cross is only a word because it means nothing to them.
What then is the apostle Paul trying to say to those to whom he writes? The saints in
First and foremost we have to look at the negativity of the work of the cross as man sees it. The negativity as the apostle Paul sees it is in those who are perishing. I do not want to speak of this very depressing idea of those who will perish but Paul himself raises the subject. The reality of it. Foolishness is how the author describes the view of those who perish after having heard the message of the cross.
I would like to quote the Apostle Pauls words on such a weighty matter. Turn to his second book to the Corinthians reading from chapter 2. verse15. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved... But at this juncture I would like us to think on the last part of the verse. ..and among those who are perishing The fact that they will perish in the New Testaments understanding does not mean the annihilation or distinction of their spirit but that of a loss of well being. To describe it in very stark language. It means being cut off from God forever.
We do not. As in the apostles era concern ourselves with those who deliberately choose to go on the wrong path. God Himself will continue to speak to them. Of course we must always pray for such people.
From negativity to being positive. I believe that what the apostle is speaking of here is the fact of choice. We all have a choice to make. The Lord has given us the ability to choose. A choice that stays with us until we are called home. Those who are perishing .Most of them have chosen that road, but not all of them. As we can gladly testify. The same case scenario as Paul saw it then.
Now we come to the positive side of the work and the Person of our risen Lord upon the cross. but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. The point the author is making here is found in the words, to us who are being saved. A continuous action. I believe that what the apostle Paul is thinking of here and writes of is our own responsibility towards God in how we live and act in this present age. We have been saved from the penalty of sin because of Gods mercy towards us which we have accepted through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. This is not what is on view here.
Being saved I believe means from every temptation that the enemy would bring against us while we journey through this age. We can only do this in the power of God.
My view on this is as follows the power of God is in the gospel of Christ my Lord. The power of God is in the gospel of his Son Jesus Christ and through this very power in the preaching of the good news God brings salvation to everyone that believes.
The same source of ultimate power enables and helps us to do that which pleases God. If you and I could have made our own salvation there would have been no need for God to have sent his son to earth to die on a cross. Stands to reason then I cannot do anything to please God because my sinful nature will always win. I have to stand in God and allow His Spirit to enable me to overcome everything the world would throw at me including my own carnal nature. A verse that comes to mind that enables us to see the thrust of Pauls intent towards the saints in
We take a step of faith in accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as our Lord but it does not stop there. Our faith in Him must increase. It does not stop at our salvation. I have been saved in order to serve. The fact that he is my Lord is evident of that. Not that he looks upon me as a servant. He regards me as a brother and a friend. The same as he does for all of the body of his church which is you and me.
To provide evidence of what he says the Apostle quotes from the Old Testament as proof for the age he lives in which is irrefutable for then now and the future.
(19) He uses the words God gave to his servant and prophet Isaiah. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I can see this in the world I live in. The financial upheaval of the world of men and women who do not believe in God Those who have been installed into the political corridors of power worldwide who the majority do not believe and have no time for God. Despite the mess they have got themselves into. God by these very means is trying to make them realise they cannot do it on their own and to turn to him or be destroyed by the makings of their own hands. The wisdom of this world is uncontrollable because it seeks the good of the individual regardless of the cost to others. Self seeking jumping the queue making as much profit as you can and paying as little as possible to your employees as the law allows.
Careers and professions, college and university educations are fine in themselves, but when it leads you away from God. It is not. The wisdom of the world is about me, myself, and I... Never about God. Seeking to promote self at any cost does not come from the Lord. There is a colossal chasm between the divine manner of doing things and humanity.
From the very beginning of human history taking my starting point from the time Adam fell from Gods favour after being tempted by the tempter in the Garden of Eden...
The tree he and Eve ate from had the knowledge of good and evil which gave them the capacity of good and evil. I look at it this way although they fell into sin because they were weak nevertheless they chose to betray the trust that God had placed in them.
Both had made a choice knowing full well what God had said to them. The enemy disguised as a serpent represents the wisdom of the world in other words those who rebel against the authority of God and it is their choice to do so. There will be a reckoning for their actions which shall surely come. (Genesis. Chapter.3)
While men and women continue to live and breathe in the present continuing into the future there is the opportunity to accept the mercy and grace of God.
I believe getting back to what I said earlier concerning Adams distrust of Gods promise to him has been passed down through his descendants. Those who continue in sin who think that the wisdom they have attained will enable them to build a better world. Of course not. They think they are better than God and some will tell you they do not believe in God and even worse they do not need him.
Paul at this time is stripping away the lies of the devil by pointing out what had happened in
How can you and I seek wisdom from those who do not know God? The question the author puts before the saints in
The supposition of what we know of God in our own personal relationship of Him. Paul knew Him close up intimate and personal Conversed with God and God with him.
Do you really know Jesus Christ in the way that you should? What exactly is your relationship with Him? The apostle is not trying to brow beat them far from it. He wants and desires that they should know Jesus Christ who is a real and living Person both God and man.
The author knows this from his own experience when he met with our glorified and risen Lord on the road to
Age is a period of time that will be brought to a conclusion by the creator whom we know as God. Man lives in this period of time until the close of his earthly life. The end of the age will be ushered in by our risen Lord. The Lord of glory.
Concluding the end of this verse the author makes this comment, Has God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? Those who mock and think of the gospel as nonsense our Lord views them as being foolish because eternal salvation is not in their hands. Salvation from an eternal perspective lies in Gods control as does the physical lives we lead. Never in our own hands. There are only two camps we can choose from the enemy or God.
The world the apostle writes of here is the earth that you and I live on. However; the New Testaments view takes it a stage further and is in alignment with the apostle Paul and the rest of Christs disciples who contributed to the writings of the New Testament.
We turn to the gospel of John and at chapter 18 and verse 20 reading the opening sentence listen to what Jesus said, I spoke openly to the world. He is not speaking to the earth he speaks to people.
The contrast is between heaven and earth from the Greek word Kosmoss which originally meant the ground we stand on. But now the New Testament authors use it to describe a world system totally opposed and against God who unknowingly are being held captive by the Devil Is it any wonder that the rulers of the world get it wrong.
(21) I would like to reiterate the words of Daniel a great prophet of God before looking at what the apostle speaks of here. (Dan.2:20) Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are his. Perfect wisdom can only come from God, To be obedient in all he would have me do I need to draw from Him. The wisdom Paul writes of here. In the wisdom of God the world through wisdom did not know God
Of paramount importance here is the distinction of two types of wisdom that of God and that of the world. They both alienate each other. Directly hostile against what each stands for, the wisdom of humanity rebelled against God and went on the path that leads from God.
Further evidence can be seen in the middle clause of the first sentence of the verse. In the wisdom of God. An assertion and affirmation resulting in confirmation. True wisdom only belongs to God. You and I have finite minds there are only certain things we can do. For instance we cannot bring creation into being because we command it to by the sound of our voice. Nor can we breathe into a particle of dust and make it become a living creature like a man. How awesome and mighty is the supreme wisdom of our God what mortal can sufficiently describe his majestic glory and power? Nobody can.
Our Lord has said there is only one path to God and that is through Him He and the Father are One. Nobody comes to the Father unless it is through Him.
Unfortunately there are those who wilfully rebel against this and some have different ideas of how they will approach God. There are those who are genuinely lost and are in need of the Gospel Of Christ.
Interestingly is Pauls play on words: The wisdom of God and then we have the world through wisdom. The overriding factor I believe is found in these words. In the wisdom of God God knew what the worlds wisdom would do before even the world knew. He knows the end before the beginning. The wisdom of God is always paramount in my life. I must always seek his will. We can see time and time again in the life of Paul that is exactly what he done.
Foolishness and nonsense can mean the same thing and Paul interestingly uses them against each other as we will see in the rest of the verse. I would like us to bear in mind what Paul had said earlier in the verse that the world in its perceived wisdom did not know God. Keep that before you as we read the rest of the verse. You then will make sense of what Paul says next.
God has a sense of humour and I would like to suggest He is laughing at the so called wisdom of the world.
Never forget He influences Paul through the Holy Spirit who lives in the spirit of Paul in what he should write. Praise God our Lord.
Note that what Paul writes pleases God. That which the world calls nonsense the message Paul is preaching is in reality the wisdom of God because He is the source of the gospel of Christ. Many know it as Good News. The foolishness in the context of it here is not the foolishness of God but the foolishness of the world in not believing. A twist in meaning. God is laughing because of his humour but may I suggest that He feels very sad at the rejection of his message to them. Not his design and purpose that anyone should be lost. The twist is that the foolishness of God is not his foolishness but the foolishness of the world not to believe because in the wisdom of God the foolishness as the world sees it is that which saves those who believe. Hallelujah. Praise God. The same message for today, the present and the future.
(22) The folly of human pride. I had said earlier the systems of the world are alien and opposed towards God and that they in their supposed intellect want to make their own inroads towards God. Bringing God down to their mentality which would mean that He would not be God. There is nothing worse than arrogance and pride enclosed with a great deal of earthly egotism. It presupposes the question how can a man know better than the God who made him? Absolutely irrational but we see it all the time. There are scientists who think if they can build the most powerful rocket that the world has ever seen they will be able to send an astronaut further than the universe and find God. A point some of the media would have us believe. Stupid and ridiculous. There was nothing like that in Pauls day but there were those who thought they could make their own way to God the reason why he puts forward a suggestion in regard to the Jews and then the Gentiles.
Paul accuses his own race of seeking signs. A point that reminds me of the signs wonders and miracles that precedes the preaching of the gospel. There is an inherent danger of accepting signs, wonders, and miracles as the basis of our faith. Unless we see some signs, wonders, and miracle in our lives as evidence of our faith in God to sustain us we fall away. The signs, wonders, and miracles are meant for the lost to see the power of God in action after the preaching of his word. Signs in themselves do not point the way to God. I know God will heal his people and does so. But in the context of what Paul is meaning here that is not the case.
Remember the Devil can appear as an angel of light to those of us who are the people of God that is why we are commanded to pray and search the spirit world... Signs can be copied by the enemy and we have to be very careful of them No wonder the apostle is at great pains to warn them of these very dire circumstances that they find themselves in
One of his greatest allies and fellow brother and apostle of Jesus Christ would have gladdened the heart of the apostle Paul had he not been taken into glory. The apostle John.
Importantly from our point of view is the danger of always seeking signs for encouragement.
Do not get carried away with your own feelings and emotions because they can lead you astray. God has given to us intellect so that we may understand Him allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and help us. If we had no brain then it would not be possible.
The danger of looking for signs without diligently seeking their source is quite a perilous route to embark on. Paul knew only to well the dangers in that line of thought.
As I had said earlier had he been alive when his brother and apostle John had been exiled to the
I believe to feel the importance and weightiness of what the Apostle John has to say in regard to signs as revealed to him by the very Lord of Glory our Saviour Jesus Christ crucially important in the age we live. Let us read the words themselves.
Revelation.Chapter.16. verse.14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God almighty. A frightening and terrifying prospect of which the apostle Paul is aware of. He makes you and me aware of this very thing.
The wisdom of the world is foolishness in the sight of God.
(23) My understanding of this is the power of the cross and Christ crucified I have yet to hear preachers preach this message but that is only as far as my knowledge is concerned particularly in my own country in the streets and the market place. No I am not advocating fire and brimstone without mercy and compassion that is not what Paul is concerned with. He preaches Christ crucified. Preaching means to publicly proclaim in a loud voice in the Christian context the message of salvation which can only be received through Jesus Christ crucified call for repentance receiving the forgiveness for sins the only way back to God.
The Jews looked upon the cross as a stumbling block. Not only Jews. Too many it is a stumbling block. However; the apostle; specifies. It is the Jews who first view it like this.
A stumbling block is that which causes us to sin we can also describe it as an offense.Our risen Lord spoke of this. (1) But he turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are an offence to
Sadly and regretfully the enemy uses the same tactic for to day and the future to send men and women to a lost eternity. To those who believe in Christ crucified it is the glory of God. What camp do you find yourselves in dear friends? Christ loves you. What road do you find yourself on? The road to heaven or to a lost eternity? Time is of the essence.
You can see the transparency of what the apostle Paul is talking of here specifically now in regard to the wisdom of the Gentiles or Greeks the word Paul uses to describe them.
Peter allowed himself to become a stumbling block to the purposes of Christ our Lord and his Father in heaven because of his own earthly wisdom. He was an offence to his Lord and his Lord was an offence towards him because of his views of the cross.
The enemy uses the carnality of human wisdom to make men and women rebel against God. I believe that we must see the Devils hand behind them and pray the message of the cross and Christ crucified the glorious gospel will free them from darkness. The hope Paul carried in his heart to those God sent him too.
(24) Addressing the believers in
The Devil has a real grip of them. He uses them against the purposes of what God would have us do. Nevertheless like you and I they have a choice to either accept the message of the gospel of the cross Christ crucified the entry to eternal life or walk away to a lost eternity.
To get back to those who have been called. The Jews and the Greeks it is Christ who has called them
Their calling has been received through the power of Christ in the preaching of His gospel the Good News of God. No human wisdom or power effects the change of human life only Christs power. The very same principle is being applied here to the believers to whom the apostle writes
What do you think Paul would have said to you had you credited him with the power to save verbally? Gave praise and exaltation to him for what he was doing and the miraculous healings he was bringing to the people. He would have sent you away and told you to repent because you would be robbing God of his glory
Is that not what we do when we hear tremendous gifted men and women of God when they bring His message to us? Of course we will not communicate this idea vocally
But it still lies in our thought patterns. All the glory majesty and honour belongs to our God. To the Godhead. The one triune God. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
However; for textual accuracy the Person who is on view here in this verse is the second Person of the trinity our glorious Risen and exalted Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ
He is also the wisdom of God. I am running out of superlatives to describe his majesty and glory. Sufficient to say when the earths glory fades and becomes tarnished His wisdom and glory will last forever and we will bask in it. I conclude by reiterating the words of the apostle Paul in the last verse of the passage because what can be said of it has already been said.
Let us turn to First Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Amen and Thank you.
All Glory Belongs To God. 1. Cor.I.:26-31.
(26) The apostle underlines those who have not been called by God. The words to keep in mind are found in the phrase That not many... In other words there could be some.
Not many who are wise in the ways of the flesh are called by God. The Greek word for flesh is the term sarx. The substance of which our bodies are made up of including animals. Perhaps this is where the phrase is derived from when we say ashes to ashes and dust to dust because there is no spiritual content, both are made from the dust in mans case God breathed life into him.
But in an ethical and spiritual sense sarx is the lowest form of human behaviour from the seat within us springs wicked and evil desires. What we were once. Before accepting the mercies of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Cf .Gal.5:16. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh Appropriate enough having read what Paul has said in the previous verses. He goes on to include in this particular bracket those who are earthly and think of themselves as mighty men and women
Jesus breaks that illusion when he pointed out that certain things are impossible for men but all things are possible with God ( Mtt.19:26.)
You and I are powerless to do anything that would change our circumstances that we may feel we are being held captive by but God who translates people from the Devils realm into his Kingdom can. The power and the glory of God. The author concludes that not many who are noble are called
I would like to point out that Paul is not against culture, wisdom, and social sciences only when they are in opposition towards God.
Of himself Paul when he was Saul was a very well educated and qualified man. In every aspect of the Jewish Religion. As a Pharisee in regard to the law he was above his contemporaries. A Pharisee of Pharisees but it did nothing for him because the more he persecuted the infant early church the more his dissatisfaction would grow
Until his dramatic encounter with the risen glorified Lord while he had been on the road to
He knew only too well from his own experiences the huge chasm between human and divine wisdom. The authors own intellect had led him away from God without him being aware of it.
No wonder that he can write with such great aplomb on a dangerous course of action. The enemy used Adam and Eves intellect to derail what God had promised them
I would like to point out that there is nothing wrong in education but it is what motivates our hearts in pursuing qualifications. The motivation should always be to please God that aim should always be in our hearts. Not to promote ourselves over our brothers and sisters. Be careful the enemy uses this tactic widely because it brings him much success. The frightening thing about this is that we are not even aware of it, even when it is happening to us
Listen the Bible is full of men and women who had great intellects and education. The ones who were successful are those who devoted themselves to God and through their lives here on earth glorified him by the way they lived. Giving praise, thanksgiving, gratitude, and honour to his name. The same that is expected of me. They knew the source of what they had came from Him. I believe my brothers and sisters know this too.
Unfortunately there are few who do this and with the intellect and the education God gives to them. Are tempted by the Devil to use it for themselves and it is by their choice they fall into that trap. The darkness has ensnared them.
(27) On the surface what the author writes now would seem to be a contradiction of what he has already said. We have to keep in mind the term the apostle expresses time and time again is Gods calling. The key to all that he does within the framework of humanity his chief interest you and me and the world at large.
Pss8:2 Gives the thrust of what Paul the apostle is argues for here. Before anyone is born into the world we live in God has established in a percentage of them those who will be his. Out of their mouths will come the strength of the Lord. Jeremiah the prophet spoke on this crucial point for the strengthening of our faith. But going back to what the psalmist is saying here about strength coming from the mouths of babes I believe what is in his mind is the fact that God through his voice brought creation into being. The strength of Gods voice is being heard through the voices of babes he has chosen for Himself. Nobody knows who these children are only God.
Back to the words of the prophet Jeremiah it shows in stark contrast the ways of God and the world how they are totally opposed against each other alienated and hostile. ( Jer.16:19) O Lord, my strength and my fortress,
My refuge in the day of affliction,
The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things
Very clever of the Holy Spirit to take me to this verse because I am a Gentile and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.
The foolish and the weak are those who do not depend on their own self sufficiency and know God to be who He is because He chose them from the beginning and while they are in the world reveals himself to them Do not rely on their own intellect and wisdom totally trusts God in Jesus Christ.
Words to carefully ponder on and think of in the context that human wisdom without God is absolute folly. To put to shame those who are wise in themselves believing they have the answers to everything without God. Looking upon those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord as being utter fools because they cannot see the God they worship He is invisible to their eyes. Human wisdom has no time for the weak you are either strong and survive in this world or weak and be destroyed. The weak in God are more powerful than the might of the earth
At best mankind have good intentions towards one another as long as it does not interfere with their own plans. From the start the good intentions slowly disintegrate. Because God is not in it...
Self rears its ugly head because of self man chose to disobey God right at the beginning of mankind. An irrational action because God told Adam that the day he chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. This has been the case ever since but the gospel of Christ is the way forward to eternal life. You still need to go through physical death. But the irrational thinking of man is to walk away from it choosing not to think of death even although deep down knowing it will happen one day.
When man chose to be like God even although he is not that train of thought has stayed with him that is the problem. His mortality is never questioned in his own mind he faces death every second he lives and the thought never occurs to him.
I am not trying to frighten anyone but this is the reality of those who rebel and walk away from God trusting only in themselves thinking that the lives they live are the only ones and nothing after death. For some when death comes suddenly and they are conscious of dying they are fearful of the prospect leading them to repentance accepting the love of God through the gospel of Christ our Lord. The Holy Spirit leading them to repentance through the circumstances that have come against them. For others that will not be the case.
To really understand what Paul is speaking of here to the believers in
The fact that we do die should make us look to the purpose and the rationality of why we are here while we live and breathe leading us back to God by believing in the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord
Ultimately we are here to glorify God upon the earth and it is our choice whether we choose to do that or not. The consequences of not doing this are dire leading on the path to a lost eternity.
Those who look foolish weak and insignificant to the world of human wisdom and great earthly might because they dare to believe in a God who is invisible to the worlds earthly sight are themselves foolish weak and insignificant because all the wisdom and might means nothing to God. The very things their hearts want and desire are the very things that cause them to perish. The
What good is earthly wisdom and might to anyone if because of it you loose the opportunity to join the God who made us? None. (28)
Now I come to quite a difficult sentence at this point when the apostle talks of God choosing the things that are not to bring to nothing the things that are... The whole thing is in the voice of the Lord and it is my belief the apostle is thinking of how God through His Spirit brought into being the universe, heaven, and earth the whole of creation through the word of his mouth spoken vocally. The things that are includes King Saul whom God removed with the things that are not and where still to come to fruition David was not King when Saul was removed. God knows the things that are not and the things that are He removes the things that are with the things that are not because of his invisible power. There is only so much God will reveal to us because if we knew everything about God he would not be God. There is that knowledge which is exclusively his that makes Him God and will always be wrapped in mystery and is certainly not for our consumption. There is the added thought that what we take on board from the revelation of God can fuel our spiritual pride and we start to use this information to think we are better than our brothers and sisters.
None of us have arrived the Holy Spirit is still burning the dross off all of us. I believe that is what the author is hinting at although he does not speak directly of it in this passage.
(29) Nobody is going to be allowed to take glory for themselves in the presence of God
Flesh is the composite of what we are made up of that which goes into making human bodies. Imperatively important is that God breathes life into our bodies to keep us alive the just and the unjust. The principle of this is that we who love the Lord must give Him all the glory while we seek to please Him in this life. How can we glorify him in the life that is to come if we do not do it down here?
(30) Continuing to write to those of
Sometimes, not deliberately, we forget the important role our God and Father took in the rescue plan He and his Son laid down before it was executed Executed in agreement with His Son both in agreement with the final outcome. Never forget Jesus Christ always continued to be the Son of God and that includes his time on earth. God the Father chose his Son to come to earth for us.
When you think of all that went on before. Adam and Eve taking the word of the devil against God. After he had said if they did that they would surely die. Now in this post resurrection era the apostle points out to them the glorious message of the gospel of Christ Jesus the author of which is God His Father. There is nothing of me in this it is all of God. Words escape me to even begin to describe this transaction. Dumb silence strikes my mental faculty the human cells just give up.
All glory honour and praise to God my Father in the heavens including His Son Jesus Christ my God and Lord and also God the Holy Spirit who is always with me. Even when my earthly mind tries to make me believe He is not.
But there is the antidote against this and I see it in the next part of the verse. Paul writes But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, I believe what is being said here by the apostle Paul is the point that God the Fathers purpose and will is that the saints at Corinth are in Christ. I did nothing for this neither did any of them. The conclusion. God the Father does it all. I cant get my head around this that God should love man and care for him in the way He does. My Spirit accepts it but my earthly flesh does not
Being in Christ Jesus means being in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transforms my mind into the mind of Christ continuing to do so until I am called home. As a free moral agent I need to always give the Holy Spirit permission to do that which I continually agree with Him to do that very thing.
With the very same importance keep pondering over the name of our risen Lord in the fashion of how the author uses his title
What does he say in regard to Him? For my sake because Christ Jesus is my God he brings wisdom to me from God his Father because He is God. Christ Jesus is God the Son from Him I receive the wisdom from God our Father through Jesus Christ my Lord.
How incredible that God should do this for a mere mortal like me. An incredible love far beyond the understanding of mere human mortals. I have to just embrace it into my heart God does the rest.
I do not want to labour the point but just as Christ is involved in everything pertaining to our lives God our Father is there with Him. H e decided with His Son that you and I should be in Him and H e in us.
The next part is totally mind blowing God even although through Adam we had disobeyed Him through His Son provides a route back and gives us the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ our risen Lord who has agreed with his Father that this should be the case.
Righteousness a judicial expression taken from a court of Law the court belonging to God. The judicial determination of God to right every wrong through the free gift of His Son Jesus Christ our glorious risen Lord who removes our condemnation being justified through Him and because of that the charges against us as guilty are dropped and we receive full acquittal from God our Father.
Mercy, love, longsuffering, and kindness that you and I receive from our risen glorified Lord finds the beginning of it. In essence. In the very heart of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because of Him H e is our heavenly Father.
I cannot praise my heavenly Father enough had He given up on Adam and Eve He would have given up on me. What magnanimity only God can show continues to on the inhabitants of the earth mortal beings like us. I praise His glorious name bowing humbly before Him. The Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. The one triune God.
Sanctification a symbol of what went on in the temple the removal of any kind of sin achieved by the performance of acts of what to do the given of burnt offerings and sacrifices but that is no longer the case Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins
With sanctification provided through our Lord we have received the Comforter God the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to live lives acceptable before God. Pointing you and me to the day when we will be perfect in Christ Jesus our risen Lord when we stand before Him.
To be included with what has been said last but not least is our redemption in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. The word signifies something that is bought.
There had to be a price in order to redeem that which was and is lost. The price to free us from the slavery of sin was the blood and sacrifice of our dearly beloved Saviour risen glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know him as your Lord? He loves you as He does the world. Jesus Christ can make a difference to your life as he has mine.
Infinite wisdom from God our Father as we receive it from His glorified risen exalted Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour through the revelation of God the Holy Spirit to us is to glorify God our Saviour here on earth. Under that category come righteousness, sanctification, and redemption freely given to us by Gods great mercy.
(31) Let us share in the same sentiment and thought of the great apostle Paul as he lifts his heart and spirit towards God taking the words of the prophet Jeremiah. He who seeks glory let him glorify God. (Jer.9:23, 24.)
My sole aim in life is to glorify God in all that pleases Him. This is my prayer for all of my brothers and sisters who are in Christ..