In the Wisdom of God
1 Corinthians 1:20-25 ESV
“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? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
We can’t find Christ through human intellect. We will not know his will for our lives through human reasoning. We may have Bible college degrees (I don’t), and we may have the ability to dissect the Scriptures and to analyze them from an intellectual standpoint, but if we are not listening to the Holy Spirit, letting him teach us, then all our learning is useless.
Many church fellowships today have turned away from teaching the Scriptures straight from the Bible itself, and they have turned to studying books written by men or women whose writings are not God-breathed, and whose writings may or may not honor Christ as Lord and his word as the authority for our lives.
So, many people who go to institutional churches and to their gatherings, including to their small groups, are being taught books which are not divinely inspired, and which are often a mixture of psychology, humanism, other religions, new age teachings, human intellect and reasoning, and the teachings of Scripture which are often taught out of context.
And since many of these people do not know the Scriptures, because they are largely not being taught to study them for themselves, they have a tendency to believe whatever book they are studying as though it is gospel truth when it is truly the thinking of human beings.
But God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. He doesn’t want us studying books written by human beings who are not teaching the pure word of God in context, untainted by the world and its system. He gave us the Scriptures to study, for in them we have life.
Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to use Bible study helps, but to use them wisely and not as our primary source for learning. They do come in handy for looking at the texts of the Scriptures in their original languages and for understanding historical and cultural contexts or meanings of words used in the Scriptures, but they should always be secondary to the Holy Spirit and never used as replacements for the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit should be always the one to make the Scriptures come alive to our hearts and to teach us the ways of the Lord and his will and purpose for our lives. If it is the Holy Spirit teaching us, always the Scriptures will be applied to our lives today to where we can put them into practice.
Not only that, but if we are being taught the pure word of God by the Holy Spirit, we are going to be taught over again to repent of sin, to walk in obedience to our Lord, to honor Christ as Lord (master), and to walk in the fear (honor, respect) of the Lord.
Not According to Worldly Standards
1 Corinthians 1:20-25 ESV
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 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; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”
God did not call us to his service because of our wisdom, prestige, social status, talents, income, human heritage, looks, or personalities. In fact, we were chosen to be his even before he created the world, so that has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God (2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4).
So, God chose us because of who he is, not because of who we are. He didn’t choose us because of our abilities, but because of what he planned to do through us in his power and strength and for his glory and honor as we surrender our lives to him.
I was explaining something about myself the other day to someone. She responded, “That’s your personality,” to which I replied, “No, that’s God.” I think sometimes people assume we are who we are because of personality, when it may be because of Christ in us that we are this way.
It used to be a big thing, even in the church, to take personality tests. Depending upon how you answered their questions, they would categorize you as a particular personality type, which wasn’t always so complimentary. But these tests remove the whole concept of the transformation of a life by the Holy Spirit of God to where we are now who we are because of Christ.
For, the Lord can take someone who is naturally timid, shy, fearful, and not courageous at all and turn him/her into someone who is bold and fearless in sharing the truth of the gospel of our salvation even in the face of much persecution and rejection.
God can also take someone who is discarded by the world and/or by the worldly church as not worth much and use that person for his glory to reach many people for Jesus Christ. For God is not limited by our inabilities or our lack of qualifications. He is all powerful and able to do marvelous things!
The only requirement for his service is that we believe in Jesus, turn away from our sins, turn to God/Jesus to follow him in obedience to his will, and that we humble ourselves in surrender to his will and purposes for our lives. For, a life yielded to him he can transform and use for his glory.
But this is not something we do of our own accord or in our own strength. For, we cannot come to Jesus unless the Father first draws us to him. Even the faith to believe and the ability and desire to repent are gifted to us by God. We just have to say “Yes” to him and yield our lives over to his control.
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.