Summary: Some things are hard to hear within the volume of God’s word. Some things are hard to understand and comprehend. Something may even sound foolish to folks but I assure that is not the case.

The Foolishness of Preaching

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

1 Corinthians 2:1-5


The idea of preaching as a method to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is viewed by many in our day and time as foolishness. Strangely this was the very same attitude of the people who heard St. Paul and St. Timothy preach during the days of the Early Church.

While the Church was a relatively enthusiastic crowd the outside world was not. In fact the outside world was hostile to the message of “The Cross of Christ”. We have that long record of torture, death and persecution by the Roman government to prove that was the case.

The thinking people of the time, and there were many of them, Greeks and Jews saw Christianity and preaching as absurd and foolish. In fact archaeologists in Rome discovered an early drawing of a cross on a wall with the figure of a man on the cross with the head of a donkey. This was a way of mocking and ridiculing those who followed Jesus.

People still mock and ridicule us even today and Christians are still continuing to preach. You might ask yourself why use a method of communicating that is so vehemently rejected by those outside of the church.

St. Paul offers us some answers as he addressed the Corinthian church. I tend to agree with his reasoning and it goes like this…

“2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

5 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

This is the same approach I take as your pastor. I arrived here at New St. Andrew’s just as weak and needy as I am now. I have not attempted to preach in my own power or wisdom instead I can only stand in the power of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

I do not stand here in the wisdom of men for I have no letters after my name to commend me to men, instead I stand here by the wisdom of “The Holy Spirit” who is my true counselor in all spiritual truth. It is “The Holy Spirit” who commends me to you and to our Heavenly Father for your service. So it really is by the “Grace of God” that I can preach at all.

I say these things because our Heavenly Father had determined by His will before the creation of the world that through the “foolishness of preaching” some ought to be saved to eternal life by and through the Cross of Christ.

St. Paul explains this in his Epistle to the Corinthian church;

1 Corinthians 1:18 Authorized King James Version A.K.J.V

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

So for those outside of Christianity they see the preaching of the cross as foolishness. We however know it is the bridge to the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus sacrifice and the path to eternal life for all who put their faith in Him.

This conclusion begs the question “Why is it so hard for those who are lost to see this simple truth?”

Once again St. Paul gives us the full explanation;

1 Corinthians 1:18 – 25 A.K.J.V

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

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