Summary: “foolishness of preaching” does not mean foolish preaching, the meaning here is, --to the minds of the so called intelligent thinkers, it was “foolishness” God is not calling it foolishness, He is pointing out that these great thinkers said it was foolish
THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 4-11-09
Today I want to talk for a little while about “the preaching of the cross”, about the crucifixion of Jesus there on the cross of Calvary, so I want you to pay close attention.
Listen as I read today’s text found in 1st cor. 1:18-24
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.
Let me say before I read on, that these words “foolishness of preaching” does not mean foolish preaching, the meaning here is, --to the minds of the so called intelligent thinkers, it was “foolishness” God is not calling it foolishness, He is pointing out that these great thinkers said it was foolishness, and with that understanding Paul says, 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:
The Jewish standard of what was wise was to be able to see signs. The Jews were always asking Him for a sign.
Matthew 12: 38-39 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
John 2: 18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
John 6: 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Even when He performed signs, He never performed them at their request, and let me say that when He did perform signs it didn’t satisfy them –
The Jews way of thinking was, “if He’s really Messiah, He would never deny the Jewish people a sign to show that He is who He says He is”’, so they rejected Him, and it was because of their own worldly wisdom. So He became a stumbling block to them.
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
What was the wisdom the Greeks sought after? What was their foundation of human understanding? Well, it was the pagan philosophers, the poets. They thought it was ridicules to think of a suffering God.
How could God suffer? They theorized that’s It’s just not rational! They wanted a gospel that was based upon their own human understanding.
But the gospel that Paul is preaching, the gospel that is in the word of God, was not meant to be according to mans understanding, God can not be put in a test tube and analyzed, we receive what comes from God by faith, not if we’re able to completely understand it.
I’m glad that our Great God is far above puny little mans understanding, what kind of God would we have if we knew every thing He did?
Isaiah 55:8-9 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
In these verses Paul is telling the Corinthians that the gospel message is by far superior over anything humans can come up with through reasoning and philosophizing. He was trying to encourage them to receive the message to do with the cross and not the "wisdom" or in the styles of those who delivered the message.
There are countless Preachers of the Gospel all over the world, and all of them are different because people are different, but the true Preachers of the Word all preach the same Gospel message, some have a better delivery than others, but all deliver the same message if their truly Gods messenger.
Jude said in
Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Paul said in
Galatians 1:6-12 6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.