Faithlife
Faithlife

I'd Rather Be A Fool

Corinthians Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Faith, World’s Definition Of

In the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Claus utters what much of the world thinks faith is: “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” In other words, faith is irrational, contrary to experience, logic, and knowledge, and is so even at the most common sense level.

Of course, the Bible knows of no “common sense” that is not sensible enough to recognize that God exists and can do anything.481

1 Corinthians 1:18–31 NKJV
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
The problem in view of God’s word

Two Different Vantage Points V18-19

1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
to perish (spiritually) v. — to be or become without spiritual life under the condemnation of God.
to be saved (state) v. — to be or become delivered or rescued from sin (and consequential judgment).
power n. — possession of controlling influence; often understood as manifesting influence over reality in a supernatural manner.
1 Corinthians 1:19 NKJV
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
finite wisdom (ability) n. — the ability to acquire and discern truth about natural and supernatural matters without the assistance or revelation of God; perhaps denoting wisdom of a manipulative character.
comprehension n. — an ability to understand the meaning or importance of something (or the knowledge acquired as a result).
to invalidate v. — to take away the legal force of or render ineffective.
scholar ⇔ scribe n. — an expert interpreter and teacher of a body of writings; usually the Mosaic Law.
Isaiah 29:14 NKJV
14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

As he often did, Paul illustrated his point by an example of Israel who, following humanly wise counsel, formed an alliance with Egypt as a defense against Assyria, when in fact only the miraculous intervention of God was able to save them (cf. Isa. 29:14; 2 Kings 18:17–19:37).

Paul here is comparing the vantage point of the world to that of God. Trying to show them that the view of the world is finite.

God’s Actions Towards Worldly Wisdom V20-21

1 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
to make foolish v. — to cause to be marked by lack of good sense or judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:21 NKJV
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
to know (experientially) v. — to know or have knowledge about (someone or something); normally as acquired through observation or the senses.
ridiculous thought n. — a wildly mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea.
God made a conscous decision to to use foolishness to save. God knew that as man began a trek towards “truth” it was NOT ending up with God at the end of the path.

God’s Worst V Our Best V22-25

1 Corinthians 1:22 NKJV
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
miracle ⇔ sign n. — a marvelous event manifesting a supernatural act of a divine agent; often with an emphasis on communicating a message.
1 Corinthians 1:23 NKJV
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
offense n. — an offensive action that results in opposition.
Deuteronomy 21:23 NKJV
23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.
du
A savior on the cross was hard to swallow for the Jews.
1 Corinthians 1:24 NKJV
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
If knowledge is the application of wisdom then can’t Christ be seen as the wisdom of God? -Bro. C.W. Stephens
1 Corinthians 1:25 NKJV
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 cor 1 25
God shows that his foolishness is greater than our greatest wisdom. God saw that man began to rely on himself, much like Adam and Eve. That direction proved to be literally fatal before.
The trouble in view of our present world today

Two Different Vantage Points Today

What he said vs what we say
Same sex marriage is love
Patriotism is Christianity
Violence is OK when opposing views occurs
Traditionalism equates to a pure heart

God’s Actions Towards Worldly Wisdom

Things that have been believed
The earth is flat
Lightning does not strike the same place twice
You are born homosexual
The fix in biblical view

God’s Lowly Instruments V26-29

1 Corinthians 1:26 NKJV
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
It is pretty funny that at this point of the letter Paul asks them to look around at themselves. And what they are made up of.
1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
to dishonor v. — to bring shame or dishonor upon or fail to respect.
1 Corinthians 1:28 NKJV
28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
lowborn adj. — of humble birth or origins; especially in contrast to nobility.
1 Corinthians 1:29 NKJV
29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
to boast (exult) v. — to display or proclaim publicly (and ostentatiously) a satisfied contentment with one’s own or another’s achievements.

Proper Placement of Trust V30-31

1 Corinthians 1:30 NKJV
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—
1 cor 30
wisdom n. — the capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination (and the application of it).
righteousness (state) n. — a status of legal rectitude that satisfies the moral requirements of God’s character.
sanctification n. — the act of becoming more personally dedicated to God; especially by becoming more distinct, devoted, or morally pure.
full redemption n. — a redemption most likely to a greater extent or degree.
1 Corinthians 1:31 NKJV
31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
The solution through the lens of the world.

God’s Lowly Instruments Today

I ask again that you look around! God has used the lowly to change the world. Not many of us have power yet we have played parts in saving the souls of someone from their eternal destination of damnation!
Secondly God has allowed you to overcome the odds when the world says that you should not! From drug addiction, traumatic life experiences, jail/prison, unfaithful spouses, death of loved ones, etc. Some of these things kill people who only rely on human wisdom but with God!
Third we stay in step with the will of God by realizing that it was not us!

Proper Placement of Trust Today

Christ has become everything for us!
We understand God through Christ
We know how to live life the RIGHT way through Christ
We have a purpose in life with Christ
And we are slave to NOTHING because of Christ
Secondly DO NOT HOLD IN YOUR BOASTING ABOUT THE LORD! LET IT OUT!
Suppress the urge to boast in your works and vehemently spew out praises for what God has done for you so that others too can see! -Bro. C.W. Stephens

Conclusion

At a circus a huge elephant was tied to an eighteen-inch stake. Could he not easily have pulled it out of the ground and be free? Sure! But he had tried it when he was a baby and was unsuccessful. The elephant had concluded that he could never pull it out of the ground. So there he stood, a massive creature capable of lifting whole trees, yet held captive by a puny stake.

What small stake could faith release you from?459

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