Summary: The Christian message is foolishness to our world. But God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom. Christians can only boast in God, and not in ourselves. And Christians maturity is about having God’s Spirit, not our own wisdom. It’s about having the mi
By Guerin Tueno
Imagine yourself a member of God’s heavenly selection committee. God has given us the job of putting together a profile of the sort of person that Heaven’s looking for.
What sort of person should we be keen to select? Smart people? – God knows everything. Surely he’ll want to surround himself with intelligence.
Good looking people? – God’s beautiful in his holiness, so it makes sense to select attractive people. Powerful people? - Go-getters! Movers and shakers. People who know how what they want and how to get it. People who know how to get things done. Wealthy people? – Power comes from wealth doesn’t it? Better get some rich folk in. Noble people? – You know – people of impeccable breeding; upper class. You just can’t surround God with riffraff you know.
We submit the list to God’s office, only to get it back. Ripped to shreds.
So what sort of person is God looking for?
The problem in the Corinthian church is that they thought God was using that sort of list.
They were a very talented, spiritually gifted church, but they’ve become proud of themselves and they’ve lost sight of the importance of Jesus.
They’ve displaced Christ with wisdom. Replacing the cross, with their human ability. They’ve been putting on airs, slapping themselves on the back for their own wisdom. But as we heard last week, Paul’s pulled the rug out from under them. He’s turned their world upside down.
"18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."
18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."
And now Paul wants to tell them two things.
Firstly, he wants to demonstrate to them the truth of the gospel being foolish to the world, and that God chooses and uses weak foolish people by the world’s standards to show himself as wise and power.
And secondly, he wants to tell them about real Christian wisdom, a wisdom that comes from God, and not from humans.
THE DEMONSTRATION OF GOD’S POWER & WISDOM.
Paul starts by reminding them of what God has done in and with them.
"26For consider your calling, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth."
Paul’s holding up a mirror to the Corinthians. You’re proud of your new wisdom and gifts from God – but don’t forget where you started from. Remember – you weren’t wise by human standards. You weren’t powerful.
You didn’t have noble origins.
Paul’s saying God chose a bunch of nobodies. The overlooked, the ignored, the unwanted.
A few years ago Kerry Packer threw the most over the top wedding reception for his son James and bride Jodhi. Elton John sang. The cutlery was made from gold. Kerry invited the who’s who of Australia, and notables from overseas. Only the important, significant people were there.
But when God sent out the invites to join the church, to come to God’s great party, he invited people who would never make it to the society pages of the papers.
He invited people who weren’t the talk of the town. It’s like Kerry Packer inviting the homeless or blue collars workers to the wedding banquet.
God doesn’t chooses how we would. "27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are."
Why does God do this? Is he just perverse in his selection criteria? Is God Australian – does he just love the underdog?
The reason God chooses the people he does is so that his people are on the same footing:
"29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."
That no human being might boast before God. God is the rescuer. God is the wise one. The mighty one. God chooses people to show to them, and the whole universe, that he is God. He owes nothing to anyone. He’s not won over by human wisdom or power.
God wants the world to know he’s God, and the one who saves.
"30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.""