Worldly Wisdom or Intelligence vs Divine Wisdom

Worldly Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 1

I want us to look at a new series were we look at worldly wisdom or intelligence. What do I mean by worldly wisdom, I mean wisdom that comes from people, from books, from education, etc. All the wisdom or intelligence that this world can give a human being. I am talking about science, philosophy, psychology, medicine, engineering, and so on. That is what I refer to as worldly wisdom or intelligence. In short, man made wisdom or intelligence.

Human beings over time have seemingly through man made wisdom,  produced amazing things. I mean, we look at developments in the field of medicine. Humans seem to live longer because of the new discoveries we have made. Look at the new technologies we have discovered. Look at how lives have been improved because of new discoveries and all this seemingly because of man made wisdom. Human beings have come to rely altogether on man made wisdom for everything and anything and why not, it seems to be the answer to everything and anything.

In this series, I want us to take a look at what the bible says about man made wisdom. From a Christian point of view, should we also be relying on man made wisdom? How should we view man made wisdom. We will be using 1 Corinthians 1 for this series. You can start reading it and in that way, you can follow with me.

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 2

1 Corinthians 1

Paul begins with his normal greetings and from verse 10, he says that it has been reported to him by Chloe’s people, that there was quarreling amongst the Corinthians church. There were divisions. Paul mentions that people were divided along leaders in the church. Some said they belonged to Paul, others to Apollos, others to Cephas and others to Christ. One of the causes of the division was baptism. People were loyal to those leaders who baptized them. Paul then said that he was thankful that he baptized no one, so that no one can be loyal to him based on baptism. This brings us then to our verse of today.

1 Corinthians 1:17 (ESV Strong’s)

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Paul says in addressing the divisions because of baptism that, Jesus did not send him to come and baptise. In other words, although baptism is important, it is not the main priority. Instead, Paul says what Jesus send him to do, was to preach the gospel. This is what Paul was mandated to do. What Paul is doing here is setting the priorities straight.

It is not clear if the leaders themselves were involved in the divisions but, Paul is saying that, he is not there to use baptism as a means to gather followers. He instead is send to preach the gospel. Paul goes on to say that, what he is not going to do, is to preach the gospel with eloquent wisdom. This means he is not going to use clever or intelligent speeches when preaching the gospel. In the context of these divisions he is addressing, it appears that this was also one of the causes of divisions in the Corinthians church. Leaders were using their own intelligence and depending on it, to preach the gospel to gather followers for themselves. The more clever or intelligent the leader seems to preach, the more followers he had. Paul says, that is not what he was going to do.

He gives us two reasons why he is not going to use intelligent speeches to preach the gospel, and we will discuss those in the next message.

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 3

1 Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 1:17 (ESV Strong’s)

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

We saw in the previous message how Paul indicated that, he was not send to baptise but to preach the gospel. He went on to say that, he was not going to preach the gospel with eloquent wisdom, meaning that, he was not going to use clever speeches to preach the gospel. He was not going to rely on intelligence or worldly wisdom, to make his preaching appealing to people, so that they can follow him. It is clear that, this was one of the reasons why there were divisions in the church, because leaders were relying on worldly intelligence or wisdom, to make their preaching as attractive as possible so that people can follow them. Paul says, he was not going to do that and he gave two reasons why.

The first reason found in verse 17 is that, using and relying on worldly wisdom or intelligence, to try and make your preaching as attractive as possible to people, empties the cross of its power. This means that it makes the story and message of the cross null and void. What is the story and message of the cross?

The story and message is that we are all born sinners deserving of God’s wrath. By His grace God send Jesus Christ to come and live a righteous life and die on the cross on our behalf. While on the cross, all our sins, past, present and future were all placed on him although He himself had no sin, and His righteous life imputed on us. He then suffered God’s full wrath on our behalf. He died and on the third day rose from the dead and defeated death. He now sits at the right hand of the Father forever interceding for us until all is placed under Him. To receive this grace from God, we need to repent and trust in the complete work of salvation of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This is the story and message of the cross.

Paul says, if we try and make this story and message attractive to people by using worldly wisdom or intelligence, this whole message, becomes empty, null and void.

The message is very clear, if you mix the message and story of the cross with worldly wisdom or intelligence, to try and attract people, the story and message of the cross becomes null and void. It is better to preach the message and story of the cross Undiluted irrespective of whether people like the message or not.

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 4

1 Corinthians 1

We saw in the previous message that,  Paul made it clear that, if you try and preach the gospel with worldly wisdom and intelligence, to try and attract people, the gospel becomes null and void. We saw that it is better to preach it, Undiluted irrespective of whether people like it or not. Paul said this as the first reason why he will not preach the gospel with eloquent wisdom. Let us look at the second reason.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV Strong’s)

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.

Paul says that there is no point in trying to mix worldly wisdom or intelligence with the gospel to try and attract people, because, the gospel message as it is, Undiluted, is foolishness, to those who are perishing, meaning those who are on their way to hell, and it is the power of God, to those who are being saved, meaning those on their way to heaven.

The current gospel as it is Undiluted, is the power of God to those who are being saved, and does not need to be mixed with worldly wisdom to try and attract those who are already on their way to hell. If you mix the gospel with worldly wisdom or intelligence, you make the gospel null and void, and it is no longer a saving gospel but a condemning gospel. The point is to save people not to condemn them. Therefore, we should not mix the gospel with Worldy wisdom or intelligence thinking we are making it better. We are destroying it and making it null and void.

Paul speaks about the perishing and the ones who are being saved, who are these people? We will discuss next week.

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 5

1 Corinthians 1

We saw already that, Paul says he will not preach the gospel of Christ with worldly wisdom or intelligence to try and attract people for two reasons, (1) because doing that nullifies the gospel itself, and (2) because the gospel as it is, is already foolishness to those who are perishing, and it will do them no good to mix it but, if you preach it as is, Undiluted, to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. So, if you mix it, you are simply condemning everyone.

Paul mentioned the perishing and the ones being saved in verse 18. Who are the perishing?

Well, in 2 Cor 2:15, Paul says preaching Christ is a smell of death to the perishing. In 2 Cor 4:3, Paul says they don’t resort to distorting the true word of God, to try and trick people into believing because if they don’t believe, it is because the gospel is hidden from them, and it is hidden from them because they are perishing. Satan has blinded their minds. They simply cannot understand the gospel. Paul calls them unbelievers. In 2 Thess 2:10, Paul says the final anti-Christ will deceive those who are perishing because they have refused to love the truth and be saved.

Therefore based on these verses, we can conclude that Paul’s understanding of the perishing is those who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, those who are not Christians. So, if you mix the true gospel of Jesus Christ with worldly wisdom or intelligence, you nullify the gospel and turn it into a condemning gospel. Those who are perishing will now accept it, because it is no longer the true gospel, but those who are being saved, will reject it because they will recognize that, it is a false gospel.But, if you preach the true gospel, the perishing will reject it and the ones being saved, will accept it. Who are the ones being saved? These are the ones who accept the word of God as is, Undiluted.

The ones that are being saved will accept God’s word as is, Undiluted. If God says homosexuality is a sin, they accept it, if God says ancestral worship is a sin, they accept it, if God says polygamy is a sin, they accept it, if God says abortion is a sin, they accept it. If God say adultery, fornication, etc, are sins, they accept it. The perishing are the ones that will not accept God’s word but rather will reject it and twist it to their own destruction. Paul says he will not mix the gospel with worldly wisdom or intelligence to try and attract the perishing while the gospel as is, is the power of God to the ones being saved.

Which one are you? Are you the one being saved or are you the perishing? Are you the preacher that is prepared to mix the gospel with worldly wisdom or intelligence to try and attract the perishing or are you like Paul?

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 6

1 Corinthians 1

We have seen clearly from Paul that mixing the gospel of Jesus Christ with worldly wisdom or intelligence to try and attract people, only leads to the gospel being made null and void. This then leads to this nullified and void gospel, which is no longer a saving gospel but a condemning gospel, attracting those who are perishing and not saving those who need to be saved. As a preacher, Paul says to you, don’t mix the gospel with worldly wisdom or intelligence, preach it as is, Undiluted.

Now, Paul has been talking from the preachers side, now he turns to the one listening to the gospel. Paul says the one who is perishing, when hearing the true gospel being preached, he will immediately think of it as being foolish or stupid or senseless. This is because the one who is perishing is using his human worldly wisdom to judge the gospel and finds the gospel, based on their own human worldly wisdom, to make no sense at all. That is why they conclude that it is foolishness. Why do they do this?

In verses 19-21, Paul says God decided, and it pleased Him as God to decide this, that, through human wisdom, the world will not know Him. So, as long as a human being uses human wisdom, to try and make sense of God, God will never make sense. Science, philosophy, astronomy, evolution, whatever human wisdom is out there, through that, humans, will never know God. This is what God decided and it pleased Him and it continues to please Him. That is why I don’t get surprised when someone tells me that the Bible doesn’t make sense.

In verses 22-23 Paul shows how worldly wisdom in the case of Jews and Greeks, made them not to know God. The wisdom and intelligence of the Jews made them demand a sign as proof of authenticity of Jesus as the Messiah, and a crucified messiah simply did not cut it. It was offensive to them to have a messiah who would suffer such an embarrassing death at the hands of their enemies. To the Greeks, a crucified and resurrected messiah was simply too stupid to believe.

In verse 24 Paul says but the same Christ, preached as is, Undiluted, to the called , He is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Who are the called? They are the ones being saved and we will discuss this in the next message. So, the same message being preached, to others it it is foolishness, and to others it is the power of God.

So, the next time you reject the Bible because it does not make sense, know that it is because you rely on your own human wisdom and through it, you will never know God, and you are on your way to hell. Repent right now and ask God for mercy.

A special challenge to special people

Now, to my arminian friends, and those who hold arminian theology but don’t call themselves arminian, and to my open theism friends, and to my free will friends, it is clear from 1 Corinthians 1 that the ones being saved and the called are the same people according to Paul (unless you want to show that they are not). If you agree? How did these people become the called? Did they use their human wisdom to determine that Jesus was the power and wisdom of God?

Worldy Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 7

1 Corinthians 1

I think without a shadow of doubt, we have seen that worldly wisdom or intelligence when mixed with the gospel of Christ to try and attract people, only leads to the gospel itself being made null and void, and being changed from a saving gospel, to a condemning gospel. We also saw that if the gospel is mixed with worldly wisdom or intelligence, it will only attract the ones who are perishing and not the ones who are being saved. We also saw that when the true gospel is preached as it is, Undiluted, it is the power of God to the ones being saved and foolishness to the ones who are perishing. We also saw that it is foolishness to the ones who are perishing because they use human wisdom to make judgement calls on the gospel and God decided that, through human wisdom, no human being will ever know God. That is why the gospel is foolishness to them. We also know that Paul refers to the ones being saved as the “called” in this context of 1 Corinthians 1. Who exactly are the called and how did they become the called.

It is important to know who the called are and how they became the called because, according to Paul, they are the ones being saved. Certainly I want to be part of them so, I want to know who they are. Lets us look at a couple of verses: In Rom 1:7 and 1 Cor 1:2, we see that the called are those that have been called to become saints or holy. In Rom 1:7 and Jude 1, we see that the called are loved by God. In Rom 8:28-30, we see a couple of very important things about the called (1) they love God (2) they were called by God (3) they were called according to God’s purpose (4) they were chosen by God beforehand and predetermined to conform to the image of Jesus Christ (5) they were justified by God (6) they were glorified by God

In summary, these are people described in Ephesians 1: 3-6. The called are those people that God chose before the foundations of the world, not based on anything they have done or not done, to be Holy and blameless and to be adopted as sons to the praise of His glorious grace. In other words, you are one of the called by grace through faith and not of your works but it is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).

How do I know if I am not one of the called? If you continue to reject the gospel truth preached Undiluted, and you continue to think it is foolishness, there is a good chance, you are not one of the called. Why? Because Jesus said:

John 10:26-27 (ESV Strong’s)

26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Therefore, if you are one of the called, you will at some point, start to see that the true gospel is not foolishness but, if you continue to think it is foolishness, as I said, chances are you are not one of the called, but one of the perishing on your way to the lake of fire, where you will be tormented 😫 forever and ever. What you can do know is to ask God for mercy.

Worldly Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 8 <<<<<<<<< ans 1 We have seen how Paul has clearly shown, that by trying to mix the true gospel of Jesus Christ with worldly wisdom or intelligence, to try and attract people, only causes the true gospel itself to be null and void. As a result of this, the true gospel now becomes a false gospel, which condemns and attracts people who are already on their way to hell, instead of saving them. We also saw from Paul that, using worldly wisdom or intelligence, to try and understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ, leads to a person who is already on his/her way to hell rejecting the true gospel. Why? because God decided that He will not allow humans to understand or know Him through worldly wisdom or intelligence. The above is what we have learned so far in this series. Then in verse 26, Paul then asked the Corinthian Christians to take a look at themselves. He told them that when they became Christians, none of them were considered intelligent or important or of high status by the world. To the world, they meant nothing and were weak, but God chose them to become Christians as weak as they were considered by the world, why? to shame those that the world considered strong. God chose them, as stupid as the world considered them, as low and despised as the world considered them, why? to bring to shame those that the world considered intelligent and important. In short, God chose exactly the opposite of what the world considered intelligent, strong and important. God chose what the world considered stupid, weak and insignificant. Why did God do all of this? Paul says God did this so that no one can boast in the presence of God. No one can say he or she was saved because of their intelligence, strength or status. In verse 30, Paul cements this message by saying that, it is only because of God that we have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We played absolutely no part in it. Jesus becomes the wisdom that we needed to know God. Without Him, there is no knowing God. Instead of worldly wisdom or intelligence, you need Jesus Christ, He is the way the truth and the live. Through Him comes our righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

Paul is therefore saying, as a pastor/preacher, don’t rely on worldly wisdom or intelligence to attract people, Preach the gospel as is Undiluted. Let God do the rest.

As a human being, Don’t rely on worldly wisdom or intelligence to try and understand the true gospel, rely on Jesus Christ. Repent and accept Him in your heart right now.

In our next message, I want us to look in more detail what Paul is saying from verse 26 to verse 31 regarding whether we chose to be saved or God chose to save us.

Worldly Wisdom or Intelligence. Part 9<<<<<<<<<<< s 1 In verses 26-31, we have already seen that it is only through divine wisdom found only in Jesus Christ and through Him, that any human being can be saved by God. We saw that human wisdom cannot save. God showed that human wisdom cannot save when according to His plan, He chose to save from among the Corinthians, men and women, who were considered according to human wisdom and standards, as not intelligent, not important and not of high status. God did this to shame those who were considered intelligent, important and of high status according to human wisdom. God also did this so that no human being who has been saved, can boast that God saved them because of their intelligence, importance or status. In other words, God wanted all credit to go to Himself for saving any person.<<<<< ere are pastors and preachers who go around telling people that they have “free will”. In other words, it is up to them whether they are saved or not. In other words, God cannot save them unless they agree. They say, if God saves people without their consent, God is violating their free will. In other words, God is violating their right to choose to be saved or not. If what these pastors and preachers are saying is true, then what Paul describes in verses 26-31, is indeed a violation of the free will of the Corinthian Christians by God. Why? Because Paul says it is God who chose them (v 27) and it is because of God that they are in Christ (v 30). God did it this way so that no one can boast (v 29) and so that prophecy can be fulfilled (v 31). Since God did exactly the opposite to what these pastors and preachers say, in verses 26-31, then these pastors and preachers are obviously wrong and humans don’t have free will when it comes to whether they can be saved or not, but it is God who decides who to save and who not to save. God does this based on a plan that He has and God will achieve His goal. If free will is true, can you imagine what would have happened if some of the people who were considered intelligent, important and of high status, decided, based on their free will to accept Jesus Christ, then God’s plan would have failed and prophecy would also have failed. Why? Because God’s plan was for only those who were considered not intelligent, not important and not of high status to be saved. This would mean that the intelligent, important and those of high status could have had something to boast about. They could simply say, I was saved because of my intelligence, importance and my high status. Therefore clearly the so called free will is a myth and salvation belongs to God and only Him. He alone decides who gets saved based on His divine plan. This brings us to the end of the series.

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Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 1, Christian Attitude and Behaviour, Christian living, Discernment, False Christians, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God's will, Holy Spirit, Preaching The Word, Selected Scriptures, The Holy Spirit, The Word of God, Worldly Wisdom.

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