Summary: 1 of 4. Paul related the limitations/irony of worldly wisdom to the Corinthians believers. The irony of worldly wisdom is in its being relegated to foolishness. But How is worldly wisdom limited? Worldly wisdom is limited by...


Three guys were pulled out of detective training for special attention, because they were not very bright. The police chief was interrogating them to determine if they were smart enough to become detectives. If not, they would be released from training. Things had not gone well so far.

To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first detective a picture for five seconds & then hides it.

"This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" The first guy answers, "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye!"

The policeman says, "Well...uh...that's because the picture only shows his PROFILE." Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, the chief sends him out of the room & calls in the second guy. He shows him the picture for five seconds at & asks him, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The second guy laughs, rolls his eyes & says, "Ha! He'd be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!"

The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two? Of course only one eye & one ear are showing because it's a picture of his PROFILE!

Is that the best answer you can come up with?"

Extremely frustrated at this point, he show the picture to the third guy & asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" He quickly adds, "Please take your time & think about your answer."

The guy looks at the picture intently for a moment & says, "Hmmmm... for one thing, the suspect wears contacts."

The chief is surprised & speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not. "Well that is an interesting answer... wait here a few minutes while I check this file & I'll get back to you on that." He leaves the room & goes into his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, & comes back with a beaming smile on his face.

"Wow, I can't believe's true! The suspect does in fact wear contacts. Good Work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?"

"That's easy," the guy replied. "He can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye & one ear."

Worldly Wisdom is much like that.

The great irony is that worldly wisdom is considered 'wisdom' at all.

The LIMITATIONS/Irony Of WORLDLY WISDOM-I—1Corinthians 1:18-25

Paul related the irony of worldly wisdom to the Corinthians believers.

True wisdom resides in God’s seeming ‘foolishness’ regarding the cross-work of Christ.

The irony of (prevailing/popular)worldly wisdom is in its being relegated to foolishness.

What is the irony in (prevailing/popular)worldly wisdom?

OR Rather...

How is (prevailing/popular)worldly wisdom limited?

5 ironies of (prevailing/popular)worldly wisdom.

1—Worldly wisdom is limited by...

The CROSS(:17-18)


:17—“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”

“Of no effect/Void”—kenow—1) To empty, make empty—1a) of Christ, he laid aside equality with or the form of God; 2) To make void—2a) Deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect; 3) To make void—3a) Cause a thing to be seen to be empty, hollow, false. Strong—To make empty, i.e. figuratively--To abase, neutralize, falsify. Used 5X.

:18—“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.”

The Gospel consists of the necessity “of the cross.”

The Cross places all people of all history(past/present/future) in one of two categories...Contrast


This Gospel(‘Good News’/“message”) is utter “foolishness” to “those who are perishing”, i.e., no one who is a (current)rejector of the Gospel/“message of the cross” is accepted as being among the “saved.” However there is abundant Scriptural evidence to assure us that absolutely everyone has potential to be saved.

“Are Perishing/Perish”(See :19)—apollumi—Pres. Middle--OR--Passive Part.—apollumenoiv—1) To destroy—1a) To put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin, 1b) Render useless, 1c) To kill, 1d) To declare that one must be put to death, 1e) metaph. To devote or give over to eternal misery in hell, 1f) To perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed; 2) To destroy—2a) To lose. Strong—To destroy fully, reflexively--To perish, or lose), literally or figuratively.


However, in contrast, there are those “who are being saved.” These “saved” ones(including Paul & Sosthenes), believe the “message of the cross” represents/presents/expresses the very “power of God.” Thus they are in a present process of continually “being saved” just as the “perishing” are within a present process of continual lostness.

The Bible(OT) predicts/explains this:

Isa. 29:13-14—“Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed.”

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Applying Wisdom
PowerPoint Template
Divine Direction
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion