By the Foolishness of Preaching
1 Corinthians 1:21 ” For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
By the profound exposition of God’s Word?
By the deep and mighty expression of the original language?
By the charisma of man, speaking in man’s wisdom?
No. Not by any of these, has God been pleased to use. But by preaching.
And, yes, He calls it foolishness.
Because it is foolishness to the men of this world. No one can talk another person into believing. (As the Lord explained to me once, when I had spent a great deal of time “reasoning” with some people….”You may have won some arguments, but you did not win any souls.”)
1 Corinthians 1:18-23 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved; it is the power of God.
For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
For the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; ”
The wisdom of this world will not lead a soul to Christ. It looks to the reasonings and understanding that does not “know God”; therefore will never go beyond that, though it may understand things about Him.
Nor will it answer to the deep longing of the soul of man. It can’t, for the satisfaction of the soul can only be found in God.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
The word “world” here is in the Hebrew “concealed from the beginning to the end, or eternity”
The soul of man has Eternity set in it, and he has longings to know those expressions of eternity for himself.
In other words…man has and does want to know his part in the eternal plan of things.
To know God, and to meet him personally.
The fall of man, by sin, has marred that glorious view, and now, man can not find out the things of God without the power of the Holy Spirit’s work.
Man’s soul was made for God…to have fellowship with Him. It can know no rest, till it rests in God.
Man’s eternal spirit, that part of him most like God,(though darkened and empty from the fall); longs for the Spiritual Reality that is communion (talking and walking) with God…in the most personal and real sense.
It is something of Eternity within us that cries out for expression in our lives.
It is a longing within our hearts and souls that knows no other satisfaction from any other source, but God.
He has created this within us to draw us to Him or we would never come.
And this is done by the foolishness of preaching.
1 Peter 1:23-25 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away:
But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
We are born again by the Word of God; this is the seed that is sown in the heart and it liveth and abideth forever.
All things of this life are transitory and fading…there is nothing permanent in it. Nothing of the Eternal things we seek.
Yet all speaks of something more.
There is more than what we can see…there must be a quickening force behind it all.
It could not have come of itself. This we know, though we may not know how we know.
But God’s Word will stand when all else fails and is gone.
“And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”
How important to God is preaching the Word?
1Corinthians 1:21 “And after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
It pleased God….and if He is pleased, should we be looking for “better” ways of doing our duty?
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in His presence.”
We will not be able to stand before God and say:
Look here and see what I’ve done for You.
Look at this great place I’ve built.
Look at all these souls I’ve saved.
Look at what my power and wisdom has done.
No, no , no. We will not stand before God and say any of these things…”no flesh should glory in His presence.”
Jesus paid the price for everyone saved. For everyone sanctified. For everyone who goes to heaven.
There is no merit in any work for God we do. None.
The value of the work comes in the submissive obedience to Him; and the results come from Him.
A man can never be too small for God to use.
But he can be too big, too wise, too mighty; to fit into God’s pattern of usefulness.
Foolish things to confound the wise.
Weak things to confound the mighty.
And base things, and things that are despised…these God has chosen.
And things that are not, to bring to nought things that are.
God is not looking for men who know what they are doing already….He is calling men who will look to Him for everything.
The Word, and the enlightenment to preach it.
Do we want to “please” God? Then it will be by the foolishness of preaching.