Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Last time we have discussed facts about the Corinthian Church. We have learned that they are a called church, a religious and knowledgeable church, a waiting church, and a problematic church.
We have seen that one of their early problems was division among them (1 Corinthian 1:10-17). Many of them have their own favorite ministers. Ironically, Paul is thanking that he was not able to baptized any except for some people among them.
Today, we will be studying about how God works in the lives of the people.
How God Works?
We really cannot fathom the vastness of God’s wisdom for it is beyond our understanding. Furthermore, Isaiah 55:8-9 says ”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Obviously, there is nothing in this world that can explain how God works. The things that we will be seeing today is just a small glimpse of the impossibilites where God made it possible.
God Chose The Foolish (v. 27)
“God chose the foolish things in the world to shame the wise.” Salvation is not through human wisdom. Unlike the beliefs of the pagan world, salvation is by grace through faith. It cannot be attained by knowing the fullness of the doctrine of Christianity.
Corinth was predominantly influenced by Greek culture at this time. This is why most people are interested in philosophies of the Greeks. But what does we benefit from wisdom? The book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that wisdom is a chasing under the wind. It is vanity unless used for the things that is of God.
Similarly in our time. Did human wisdom elevated us infront of God? All is vanity. In fact, many of those human wisdom even lead us to be away from God and in worst lead us to not believe in God at all.
I am not saying that human wisdom is bad, there is some good in it if used wisely. But just like all other else, it can be easily abused and used for evilness.
God chose the foolish things in the world to shame the wise. This is how Paul described it. Just like sending Jesus Christ, a son of a carpenter to liberate the world of its captivity. Just like Jesus Christ, the son of the carpenter who teaches and have more authority than those Pharisees who are experts of the law and teaches in the temple.
One of the first requirements of huge Churches (in our time) for the pastors is that they need to have a doctorate degree, and if not, they cannot pastor those huge churches. And what if Jesus applied in these churches, without knowing that it was Jesus, I guess Jesus would be one of the most unqualified person in their list. What a shame to human wisdom.
God Chose The Weak (v.27)
“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Power, one of the things that many people have disillusionment. Lust of power, this is one of the main sin that took millions of lives all through out human history. Leaders of nations did not stop for their hunger of power to take away what does not belong to them, to lead those people who are not theirs, and to enrich themselves at the expense of others.
Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, and all rulers always desire for something that does not belong to them. If counted, there are over thousands of years that spent in wars in the world and there are only about a hundred of years of total peace in the world. Just like wild animals, humans are only ahead of knowledge but the same rule was followed, “survival of the fittest”.
God did not chose Israel because they were many for they are the fewest of all people (Deuteronomy 7:7). Here we can see that even from the beginning of the history of Israel, God’s ways are not our ways. In fact, just like us in our time, Israel has so many problems and continously grumbling before the Lord for they haven’t seen how God works.
God Chose The Lowly (v.28)
“God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are…” Paul speaks of those people that are not of noble birth. He speaks of ordinary people like you and me. He also speaks about ordinary things to point out that God did not chose and used the good things so that we cannot boast of anything.
God opposses the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). What’s wrong for being poor? What’s wrong for having old clothes? What’s wrong for having a small house? What’s wrong if we have to walk in going to church? The Bible says, God chose the “lowly”. Simply because, through the lowly things, God can be exalted all the more.
Imagine if someone lives 2 km away from church without a vehicle and he has to walk that much in order to go to church. It is therefore shameful for those who have vehicles who cannot come to church. The same thing with those who live beside or near the Church. In most cases, they are the one who is late to come in comparison to those who live kilometers away from the church.
God is not concern of who we are in the world, but how do we serve him. Here’s a very good pattern to follow.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
– Philippians 2:5-7