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Summary: Man’s wisdom is in reality foolishness compared to glory of God’s wisdom as revealed in the cross of Christ.

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SERIES: “OVERCOMING OBSTACLES THAT OBSTRUCT OBEDIENCE”

TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-31

TITLE: “GOD’S WISDOM AND MAN’S FOOLISHNESS”

INTRODUCTION: A. Two men were working with a contracting firm hired to dig a large hole. After

several hours of hard labor with picks and shovels, they sat down under a tree to take

a break.

One of the men says to the other: “Look at our foreman down there. He really

thinks he’s something. I’m a lot smarter than he is. In fact, I’m probably the most

intelligent man on this crew!” The second fellow asks, “What does ‘intelligent’

mean?”

The first man stands up, place his hand flat on the trunk of the tree and tell the

other fellow, “Take your fist and hit my hand.” The second man jumps up, cocks his

fist back, and swings as hard as he can. The first man pulls his hand away and the

second man hits the tree. He grabs his hand, jumps around shouting and yelling in

pain. When he stops, the first man says, “Now, that’s intelligence.”

The second man stood there for awhile, working this definition over in his mind.

He decides he’s going to show the first fellow just how smart he is. The second

fellow walks down to where the foreman is and says, “Let me show you how

intelligent I am.” He goes to put his hand flat on a tree trunk and realizes there is no

tree close by. He looked confused for a moment and then figured out the solution. He

held his hand up flat in front of his face and says to the foreman, “Take your fist and

hit my hand.”

1. Sometimes we think we’re so smart and so wise

2. In fact, sometime we think we’re smarter than God

a. We try to run ahead of Him

b. We try to run around Him

c. We try to run without Him

--all of those things are pur foolishness

3. The Bible warns us:

a. Prov. 3:7 – “Do not try to be wise in your own eyes…”

b. Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to

death.”

c. Prov. 18:2 – “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own

heart.”

B. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Out of the mouth of babes?”

--Sometimes, children have great insight into things (much more so than some adults)

For example:

1. Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.”

2. Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, ‘Do I look stupid?’ don’t

answer him.”

3. Michael, wise man that he was also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not

working.”

4. Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.”

5. Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.”

6. Lauren, age 9 said, “Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.”

7. Joel, 10 years old, said, “Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball

bat.”

8. Eileen, age 8 said, “Never try to baptize a cat.”

B. 1 Cor. 1:18-31 – “For the message 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; the intelligence of the intelligent I will

frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of

this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the

wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased

through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ

crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom

God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of

God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of

God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were

called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential;

not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame

the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the

lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to

nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him

that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our

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