Summary: This passage answers one of the most common questions we have. Why can the gospel be life itself to one person, and a laughable joke to another.
Passage: I Corinthians 1:18-25
Intro: According to Pres. Bush, there are two types of people in the world.
1) terrorists and non-terrorists.
2) For his purposes, he’s right.
3) But terrorists and non-terrorists are really subsets of the only real division in the world, the only one God sees.
4) Two sets of people: those for whom God’s plan of salvation is powerful and wise, and those for whom God’s plan is foolish and weak.
5) The passage we are looking at very black and white, explains one of life’s greatest questions.
6) Why is the Gospel life itself to one, and a laughable joke to another?
7) There are powerful spiritual principles at work, invisible as the wind, but visible in it’s effects.
I. The Natural Intellect is Limited as a Result of Sin.
1. v18 lays out the state of the world.
2. “foolishness”=nonsensical and illogical.
Il) Greek word “moria”, where we get moron.
3. why is this so? V19. A promise of God to impart intelligence and wisdom
PP Isaiah 19:14
4. and He has! But notice that not all of man’s intellectual capacity has been destroyed, just parts.
5. ample examples, but here is one.
6. more than a century ago, Darwin postulated theory of evolution.
7. observed microevolution in nature, postulated this as the mechanism of creation instead of God.
8. as soon as he tiptoed into the spiritual realm, the curtain fell
9. and even though with intellect some have challenged his theory, they still fail to perceive spiritual truth.
Il) PP “It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everytwhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely trnasecending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance. Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which-a functional gene or protein-is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which exels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man? Alongside the level of ingenuity and complexity exhibited by the molecular machinery of life, even our most advanced artifacts appear clumsy.” Michael Denton, “Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, p 342. Adler and Adler, 1986.
10. v20…”what has become of the wisdom of the wise” What has it produced?
Il) Jeffrey Dahmer, cannabalistic murderer said this in response to a question asked by Stone Phillips on NBC’s “Dateline” on November 29, 1994, as to why he engaged in such depraved behavior. “If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable bounds? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed in the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime.”
11. we see the result of this sin-damaged intellect all around us
12. we discover atomic power, and use it to kill. Technology, and use it to invade privacy. We come up with political philosophies that enslave and destroy millions of people.
13. v21 tells us why this is. God has made it this way.
14. man is unable to comprehend spiritual truths, to understand spiritual truth thru a sin-damaged intellect. That part is dead! A God discovered thru such means would be a caricature!
Il) Gordon Fee, “A God discovered by human wisdom will be both a projection of human fallenness and a source of human pride, and this constitutes the worship of the creature, not the Creator”
Il) PP Romans 1:22
15. so what is the spiritual result of this principle?
II. God’s Plan of Salvation is Foolishness to People Blinded by Sin.
1. God’s plan does not appeal to human intellect, does not compute.
2. God judged sin by darkening our understanding, then revealed a plan to save us that could not be accessed by that darkened understanding.
3. we must understand that God is jealous for His own glory, will not share it with us.
PP Isaiah 42:8
4. in our sin-darkness, humans have set out the parameters for what they will accept as truth.
5. v22, Jews look for signs, everyone else for something that appeals to their limited intellect.
6. God cannot use work within these parameters, because they still don’t work.
7. over and over in life of Jesus, signs were given and rejected.
8. even the sign of resurrection was buried, stonewalled, rejected.
9. to save us, God could not use a sinful pathway, but one that was uninfected by sin.
Il) Virgin birth of Christ a prime example of God circumventing anything to do with sin in order to carry out His plan.
10. wisdom too, infected as it is by the sin virus, is a dead end street.