'An absurd wonder'
September 10, 2023
Paul states that the death of Christ is 'of first importance' to Christians. At the start of his letter to the recently-founded church in Corinth he puts some flesh on this claim. That Christians should follow and worship a person who had been executed, in the most humiliating way, as a state criminal is absurd. Yet, he explains, incongruously this is the way God has chosen to rescue the world and save individuals. This absurd event becomes a wonder as through its apparent feeble stupidity God exercises his power to transform people, of all kinds, into a community of pardoned, cleansed and liberated persons.
In this series:
1 Corinthians 1:18–31 (Listen)
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18 For the word of the cross is folly 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 the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach1 to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,2 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being3 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him4 you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.
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