Sermons

Summary: Seventh in a series taken from Ephesians 1, this series delves into the riches that we know through our relationship with Christ.

18 I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, "I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas."

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe. 22 God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. 24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles,* Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. 25 This "foolish" plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength. I Cor. 1:18-25

“God has made them all (the philosophers, scholars, and brilliant debaters) look foolish…”

“The goal of all life is death” – Sigmund Freud

“God has made them all look foolish…”

“The meaningless absurdity of life is the only uncontestable knowledge accessible to man.” – Tolstoy

“God has made them all look foolish…”

“What the meaning of life may be, I don’t know. I incline to suspect that it has none.” – H.L. Mencken

“God has made them all look foolish…”

“Since all of life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all.” – Emil Cioran

“God has made them all look foolish…”

There are three options, according to Albert Camus, when faced with the absurdity of life: one, suicide, is the coward’s way out; two, resorting to any kind of faith in God, is in Camus’ view “philosophical suicide”. What does Camus propose? The full, unflinching, courageous embrace of the absurdity of life. Life, according to Camus, “can be lived all the better if it has no meaning.”

“God has made them all look foolish…”

And Lord MacBeth opines that, “Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

“God has made them all look foolish…”

Even King Solomon, in all his wisdom, declared that “life is meaningless”—though his take on the subject, indeed his definition, of “meaningless” was far removed from that of these supposed wise philosophers. Solomon was expressing what so many of us often feel: life doesn’t make sense sometimes; it just doesn’t add up. Try as we may to figure it out, we fail; just when we think we’ve got a bit of a handle on why something happens as it does, another mystery or three comes along and totally blows away our supposed understanding. Some begin to believe that, because they cannot figure out the answers to life, maybe life doesn’t really have any answers, that some of these learned men are right. If, indeed, there is no Creator, no Sustainer, then how can we possibly speak of life having purpose and meaning? And further, naturally, if life has no purpose or meaning anyhow, if there is neither reason nor rhyme, then why prolong life when circumstances become tough? It’s rational—if there is no God.

Of course, if you ask most Americans, they will say that they believe in God, but if you ask them what the purpose of life is, there will be many who will be dumbfounded, and further, many will not find the two questions particularly related in any way!

But when we come to Ephesians 1, we find that another of the benefits of God’s grace, “showered upon us”, as we read in verse 8, is that God has let the followers of Jesus in on a secret, a secret uncomprehended or unknown or unbelieved by so many PhD. types, unknown even in its detail to those followers of God who lived in Old Testament times, but not a secret to us. We find that recorded in Ephesians 1:9-10 (read, pray).

Unregenerate man looks at the uncertainties of this life and says, “because life appears to be random and often unfair, there must be no God; there must be no unifying purpose to be found.” But there are at least two fallacies to this kind of thinking:

1. The capacity to make moral judgments, to distinguish between good and bad, is itself a clear indicator of the existence of a moral law—and a Moral Lawgiver.

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