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Summary: 4 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 it limited? Worldly wisdom is limited by...

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


A cowboy rides into town & stops at a saloon for a Sasparilla. Unfortunately, the locals always had a habit of picking on strangers, which he was. When he finished his drink, he exits the saloon only to find that his horse had been stolen.

He goes back into the bar, handily flips his gun into the air, catches it above his head without even looking & fires a shot into the ceiling.

"WHICH ONE OF YOU SIDEWINDERS STOLE MY HOSS?" he yelled with surprising forcefulness.

No one answers.


The locals eyes get big as saucers, they shift restlessly & swallow hard.

The cowboy calmly has another sasparilla, walks outside, & lo & behold, his horse is back just as he left him! He saddles-up & starts to ride out of town.

The bartender can’t stand it anymore, so he runs out of the saloon & asks the cowboy, "Say partner, before you go... what exactly did you do in Texas?"

The cowboy turned back & said, "I had to walk home."

We can easily be fooled by things other than the facts.

Likewise, Worldly ‘wisdom’(spiritual) is a misnomer in the eyes of God.

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.

Last time we found that Worldly wisdom is limited by...

1. The CROSS(:18)

2. The SCRIPTURE(:19)

3. The LEARN-ed/Accomplished(:20-21)

4—Worldly wisdom is limited by...

The HEART(:22-23)


:22—“For Jews request a sign, & Greeks seek after wisdom;

Two distinct separations among humanity are offered here— “Jews” & “Greeks.”

These distinctions are based upon their representing two approaches to truth. To the one(Jews) truth has been revealed supernaturally & must be verified/certified/validated thusly...To the other(Greeks) truth is arrived at thru the human power of reasoning. The one removes reason & the other removes the supernatural. Wheras God has created us to include both, having a ‘working relationship’ with Him which requires the use of reason.

The “Jews,” are those who are God’s undeservedly chosen people. “Jews,” though existent solely by God’s desire alone, continually ask of Him proofs of His work & movement among them. “Jews” ask for “signs”—of what has been foretold experientially, orally, & in Scripture, as proof of truth.

Jud. 21:25—“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

And there are “Greeks” personifying those who continually strive for worldly “wisdom,” all the while bypassing(unknowingly) actual truth. “Greeks” continuously search for “wisdom”—truth arrived at thru reasoning & thus building philosophies upon that which is physically grasped, imagined &/or verifiable thru a secular-scientific framework... Self-help.

Thus both are condemned to futile thinking with its corresponding futile responses, as they both refuse to acknowledge the truth of God & His “wisdom.”

“Request/Require/Ask for/Demand”—aitew—1) To ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. Aitew denotes a request of the will. Aitew signifies to ask for something to be given, not done, giving prominence to the thing asked for rather than [for] the person [asked, to do], & hence is rarely used in exhortation.

“Sign”—shmeion—1) A sign, mark, token—1a) That by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others & is known, 1b) A sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. An unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature. Strong—An indication, especially--Ceremonially or supernaturally. “Greeks/Gentiles”(See :23, 24)—Ellhn—1) A Greek either by nationality, whether a native of the main land or of the Greek islands or colonies; 2) in a wider sense the name embraces All nations not Jews that made the language, customs, & learning of the Greeks their own; the primary reference is to a difference of religion & worship. Strong—A Hellen(Grecian) or inhabitant of Hellas; by extension--A Greek-speaking person, especially--A non-Jew.

“Seek after/Look for/Search for/Seek”—zhtew—1) To seek or strive after in order to find; 2) To seek i.e. Require, demand. Strong—To seek(literally or figuratively); specially(by Hebraism)--To worship(God), or (in a bad sense)To plot(against life).

“Wisdom/Cleverness”(See :17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 30)—sofia—

:23—“but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block & to the Greeks foolishness,”

However, truth comes thru Christ’s crucifixion. Thru it we are made aware of our sinfulness & its required payment. Thru the Cross of Christ we are given new life, purpose, ideals, & real power.

The Cross causes the Jews to “stumble”—for they never arrived at it thru their interpretation of Scripture. The Cross-work of Christ Jesus did not fit their framework/mold within which their belief was forged. In fact their interpretations would never allow them to accept the “Christ” as crucified!

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