Summary: Paul teaches us that the world will not see as being eloquent, wise or persuasive. We're never going to impress the world by "who" we are. So how can we possibly overcome the world and win it to Christ? What (or Who) is going to give us the edge?
Ravi Zacharias did a lectureship at Ohio State University. As he was being driven to the lecture, they passed by the Wexner Art Center.
The driver said, “This is a new art building for the university. It is a fascinating building designed in the post-modernist view of reality.”
* The building had no pattern.
* Staircases went nowhere.
* Pillars supported nothing.
The architect had designed the building to reflect his view of life. It went nowhere and was mindless and senseless.
Zacharias thought about that a couple of moments and then turned to the man and asked, “Did they do the same thing with the foundation?”
The driver laughed and said “You can’t do that with a foundation.”
APPLY: That architect was a worldly man. He was filled with worldly ideas. To his way of thinking, he could do whatever he wanted to do with a building because that’s what life was like. He REALLY BELIEVED that life was meaningless and senseless. And so he built a building to proclaim his philosophy of life - his theology.
That architect didn’t think like you and I think. That’s because he built his life on a different foundation than you and I have built ours.
Now, that’s important for us to remember because we are surrounded by people who don’t think like we think. We are surrounded by people who have built their lives on a different foundation than the one that we have on Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote: “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” I Corinthians 1:20-24
Christianity does not exist in a bubble. We are constantly exposed to the false thinking and philosophies of this world.
You go to church on Sunday, but the rest of the week we are exposed to people who don’t think like we do.
· You go to work or school
· You spend time with co-workers, friends, relatives.
· You spend time watching TV, or surfing the internet.
· You read, you talk on the phone and so, and so on.
Everyplace you go you’ll be exposed to somebody who doesn’t but into your Christianity. They may even reject or mock God’s kind of thinking. AND since a lot of these folks are very smart or very influential, we might be led to doubt or question what we believe.
There are going to be times when you and I are going to feel outgunned and outmatched.
So Paul wanted to set the issue straight:
On the face of things… we ARE outgunned and outmatched.
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
And of himself, Paul wrote: “I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom” I Corinthians 2:1
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power…” 1 Corinthians 2:3
His point was this:
Just looking at the church the world will tend to look at us as being :
· Not very smart.
· Not eloquent.
· Not very important
· They’ll often see us as weak and maybe even foolish.
So, if that’s true - then how in the world are we ever going to win the world to Christ? I mean: we’re not eloquent, we’re not persuasive, we’re not all that important to many people.
That’s why so many churches and preachers try so hard to be eloquent, and persuasive and important in this world. They build majestic buildings and have powerful preachers and celebrity guests. They rejoice when the newspapers or TV reporters recognize them. And they glory in the praise and applause of the world.
They believe that IF they are popular and attractive… that they can win the world over to Christ.
But Paul says…that’s a pipedream.
The world isn’t looking for the things God wants to offer
Some of those in the world are looking for miracles, others are looking for wisdom