Summary: Wisdom is the God given ability to apply God's truth to our daily living in obedience. If we are truly wise we will live Godly lives
Intro: Remember what we have learned about the Corinthians. They were arrogant and prideful. They tucked their thumbs under their suspenders and bragged about things they had no control over. Who baptized them, what their gifts were. We must always remember that as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15.10 “I am what I am by the grace of God.” When we truly mean this we live it.
The words of your lips will be much more powerful if it is backed up by the work of your life. Paul is trying to teach us that the message or word of the Cross results in drastic life transformation. The word of the cross is counter to everything human that rebels against and resists God’s rule in our lives.
I. The message of the cross is counter intellectual
This does not mean that you have to check your mind at the door. It does mean that you will never think you way to God. What we often do when we try to understand or come to God on our own terms instead of being transformed by God we make Him in our image. The Jews and the Greeks had an idea of what God was supposed to be like and Jesus didn’t measure up. There are really on two responses to the Word of the cross
A) Laughing at it as foolishness
Proverbs 14.12, 25 “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end of it is death.”
As humans we always think our ways are right. Eve thought he way was better than God’s, the builders of the tower of Babble were going to show God by getting to heaven on their own, the Israelites recorded in the book of Judges were doing what was right in their own eyes.
I hear people day after day saying, “I just hope my good deeds outweigh my bad.” They won’t.
Why was the word of the cross such stumbling block to the Jews? They looked for a conquering God to make everything easy for them. They saw Jesus on cross cursed and conquered. What they missed was that Jesus conquered self, sin, and Satan. They looked for God who was a cosmic vending machine in the sky. They wanted someone to crush their enemies and give them comfort. Jesus came to crush their sin and give them Himself.
Why was the word of the cross such foolishness to the Greeks? To man’s way of thinking a suffering God is foolish. He is born a Jews lives mostly unrecognized and for three years speaks mysterious parables and heals all kinds of illnesses. He caps His brief ministry off with a crucifixion, executed as a criminal by capital punishment.
B) Looking to Him in faith
CS Lewis in Mere Christianity said, “That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that odd twist about it that real things have.”
1 Corinthians 1.18 “To us who are being saved it is God’s power.”
Genesis 1.16-18 “ And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
There are three tenses to salvation
1) I have been saved from the penalty of sin – Life does not have to be hell on earth
2) I am being saved from the power of sin – If I daily surrender my mind, emotions and will to the power and word of the cross.
3) I will be saved from the presence of sin – One day Jesus will return and set me free from this old nature that only wants my desires and appetites to be satisfied.
Salvation is a crisis followed by a process. The crisis will I bow my mind, emotions and will before God. The process of salvation is a lifelong transformation of my desires, and decisions. This process stands against every form of human wisdom.
II. The message of the cross is counter cultural
Jesus was not a cultural icon. He was not a good person or a great teacher. He was and Is God in the flesh. Chuck Swindoll said, “Christianity does not flatter humans nor does it make God easy to swallow!
A cultural cross or church will simply mirror the culture that they are in. A Cross centered Christian, Church, or Message will transform the person, place, and community they are in.