ast week I shared a little about this journey through the New Testament I’m taking with my Sunday morning study group. We’re reading the books in the order they were written (according to the best judgment of many scholars).
Consequently we studied 1 Thessalonians the first week of January, then Galatians (awesome book) last week. This morning we plan to talk about 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians is an amazing read. Paul uses the letter to address some particular issues and questions in the early church, and the epistle is full with memorable passages. But many of us still only hang around long enough to visit the beautiful words that make up “The Love Chapter” (13), and we fail to introduce our minds and spirits to the rich nuances and astounding insights that populate the balance of the text.
So this morning, before I head into church to play some guitar and sing with the Praise Band, I first of all want to draw our attention to the following remarkable paragraph from First Corinthians, Chapter One. If you haven’t read these words before, then do yourself a favor and allow your heart and soul a couple of minutes to feast on the remarkable poetry, heart-level insight and compelling wisdom that Paul shares with the church leaders and his friends in the city of Corinth.
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? 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 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. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:20-25)
HUMBLED BY GRACE AND MERCY: I may know my way around philosophy; I may be intelligent according to the standards of this world; I may have won awards for my writing; I may be familiar with God’s law; I may be a leader in the church; I may be respected as a teacher and a speaker; and I’m sure I could boast that I’m no stranger to signs and wonders…
… But, God is pleased – through the simple foolishness of my honest belief and the obvious weakness of my struggling faith – to accomplish far more than I could ever hope or imagine when I rely on the reach of my abilities or the power of my arguments.
This gracious God – this God who is always willing to work with me, and through me, as I learn to humble myself and put all that I am and hope to be in his hands – this is the God who I’m heading to church to worship this morning.
How about you? - DEREK
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. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:27-30)