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I Corinthians: God’s Wisdom

From The Desk of Chris Risk:

God’s wisdom does not work the same way the world’s wisdom does.  The wisdom of God looks foolish to the world.  The things that are strong to the world are weak to God.  The wisdom of the world will be proven foolish by God.  Since this is true, God’s methods of calling His own will appear to the world as foolish and weak. 

The Church in Corinth was full of infants in Christ.  They should have been more mature but they were still acting in the flesh.  They were separating themselves into factions according to teachers.  Later we read that they were bullying each other at the Lord’s Table, hording their own food, even getting drunk.  Chapter 6 will tell us they were taking each other to court.  They were in sad shape.

Paul has to begin with where their salvation came from; and it wasn’t from Paul, Cephas, or Apollos.

The Center of the Gospel – the Death of Christ (1 Cor. 2:1-5)

1.  Paul reminded the Corinthians of his approach (2:1-2) – Paul came to Corinth from Athens, the philosophical capitol of the ancient world, and preached a foolish gospel of nothing but “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”.

Paul came to Corinth and resolved he would preach it no other way.

The Gospel is actually the power to save.  Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”.  

A Gospel that is, “folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

This was always the sovereign plan of God.

The Eternal Plan of the Gospel (1 Cor. 2:6-9)

1.    This wisdom was hidden (v. 7)  – God does hide things from the wise and the strong of this age.  He hides them but His Holy Spirit reveals them to the weak and humble.

2.    This wisdom involved God’s decree (v. 7) -This was His Plan from the beginning.  This was done so that He could expose the wisdom of the world for the folly that it is.

3.    This wisdom results in the glory of God’s people (v. 7) – God’s people will enjoy glory in eternity with Him and His wisdom and power will be fully known as supreme.

4.    This wisdom is hidden from the unsaved world (v. 8)11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that “‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”  Mark 4:10-12

5.     This wisdom applies to the believer’s life today (v. 9) – You know, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 

The Revelation of the Gospel – by the Spirit through the Word (1 Cor. 2:10-16)

1.  The Spirit Indwells believers (v. 12) – We have the mind of Christ because His Spirit is in us.

2.  The Spirit Searches (v. 10-11) – “10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” And they are revealed to us.

3.  The Spirit Teaches (v. 13) – This is how we are taught and grow and why we heard the word of truth that was foolish to others but we knew as truth. 

The Holy Spirit in us, taking the Word of God and teaching us, in our thoughts; this is wisdom. 

We are partakers in the divine mind.

4.   The Spirit matures the believer (v. 14-16) – The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word and conforms us into the likeness of Jesus, (Romans 8:29). Evidence of growth is discernment.  The ability to “judge” the truth from the false.

The salvation of the Corinthians was a “demonstration of the Spirit and of power”.  Why?

so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Their salvation was a “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” and no human being could take credit for it.

Knowing that, “What are you fighting for?  What’s wrong with you?  Don’t you know who you are?”

They all shared the same Holy Spirit and were in one Body of Christ.  It is a grievous sin when a Church Body splinters itself up.  We are all given gifts of the Spirit and if we divide, we will not be able to use them to edify each other.

This Church was dysfunctional but it was full of truly saved people.  As we study through 1 Corinthians keep in mind there will be a happy ending for this Church and that comes in 2 Corinthians.  They listened to Paul and grieved over their faults.

If there’s hope for the messy Church in Corinth, there’s hope for us.

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