Summary: Today we’re going to talk for a little while to do with the "foolishness of preaching". Let me say we’re not talking about foolish preaching, and there is quit a lot of that that goes on, but that is not what Paul is talking about here.
THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING: 9-13-08
Today we’re going to talk for a little while to do with the "foolishness of preaching".
Let me say we’re not talking about foolish preaching, and there is quit a lot of that that goes on, but that is not what Paul is talking about here.
In a lot of cases man seems to think that he has become so intelligent that the very idea of some one dying on a cross 2000 years ago could have any relevance to some how save some one from their sins, is just don’t make good sense to them, it all seems foolish to him.
Listen as I read today’s text found in; 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 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. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. [Cautious and careful]
20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21For 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.
22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Some stumble at the cross. This was the attitude of the Jews, because their emphasis is on miraculous signs and the cross appears to be weakness.
When Jesus was ministering on earth, the Jewish leaders repeatedly asked Him to perform a sign from heaven; but He refused.
The Jewish nation didn’t understand their own sacred Scriptures. They looked for a Messiah who would come like a mighty conqueror and defeat all their enemies. He would then set up His kingdom and return the glory to Israel.
Because the Jews were looking for power and great glory they stumbled at the weakness of the cross.
But rather than a testimony of weakness, the cross is a tremendous instrument of power, the ’weakness of God [in the cross] is stronger than men"
To the Greeks the cross was foolishness. The Greeks emphasized wisdom; they
saw no wisdom in the cross, they looked at the cross from a human point of view. Had they seen it from God s viewpoint, they would have realized the wisdom of God’s great plan of salvation.
Again in verse;
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Notice Paul didn’t emphasize or place confidence in the method of his preaching but the message of the Cross. He didn’t want to draw attention away from the gospel message to his style of delivering that message.
Galatians 6: 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
These Corinthians and even people in our day fail to see the important issues in ministry but instead pay too much attention to external and superficial matters.
Paul points out that the gospel is not a form of human wisdom, the message of a crucified Messiah just don’t make sense to the natural man, that is, the man that has never been supernaturally born again of the Holy Spirit of God.
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.
The cross divides men. The cross divides the saved from the unsaved, but it doe not divide the saved people. The Lord Jesus called Himself a divider of men, and the dividing line much of the time is His cross.
There were many people back in those days that were put to death on a cross, and most likely in most cases were put to death because of some wrong they had done, but Jesus never did any thing wrong at all, yet He died in every sinners place, the sins of the whole world were place on Him as He died the sinners death.