Week 3, Day 3
Start with 2 minutes of silence
Scripture : 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 NASB
For the word of the cross is foolishness 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 understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than mankind, and the weakness of God is stronger than mankind.
Devotional : Boasting in Jesus
By Phil Nelson
I remember reading and memorizing this passage in my college days with a friend. We were both trying to draw closer to God while learning in a secular college in California. College is where many from Christian backgrounds get challenged in their faith and also where many lose, or at least deconstruct, the faith they grew up with. In this context God’s wisdom shines through the world’s wisdom. Christ’s path of weakness and death was actually his way of showing a world based on power that God’s way is both profound and powerful in ways worldly wisdom will never grasp. But the context of this passage is important to read and understand.
"I am, and have been, struck by Paul’s statement that we Christians, those of us already following Jesus, are “being saved.”
Paul was writing to the church body he helped the master builder, Jesus, start in the city of Corinth. The church had begun dividing over leadership and boasting in who baptized who. Paul rebukes them for such boasting and allowing division in Christ’s church. He uses the above context of the world’s way of viewing wisdom and power to show that such worldly thinking corrupts the body of Christ.
I am, and have been, struck by Paul’s statement that we Christians, those of us already following Jesus, are “being saved” (v.18). We are not perishing but this doesn’t give us license to boast or consider ourselves better than our fellow image bearers in the world. Following the way of Jesus is the path of the cross that includes persecution and death. This is sobering.
Questions to Consider
How do I use the wisdom of the world to evaluate my own standing before God? How often do I boast in my own knowledge or quote some leader instead of boasting simply in Jesus? Do I evaluate success based on power or Jesus’ way that might look foolish? How can I better submit to the Holy Spirit and wise counsel?
Christ help me better focus on your ways. Help me seek the way of the cross over the way of power and safety. Remove fear in me and replace it with faith. Amen