What Does 1 Corinthians 1:20 Mean?

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:20(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The message of the Cross is foolishness to those that are perishing.. in a world that is estranged from the One Who created them, and so we discover a worldly wisdom which is rooted in man-made, egotistical philosophies, which carefully circumvents everything to do with the death of Christ and His glorious resurrection - and yet Christ's death and resurrection is the foundation upon which our Christian faith is established.

The worldly-wise Corinthian church were squabbling over who was the best teacher, instead of focusing on spiritual matters, but their foolish arguments were rooted in a much more sinister foundation - the wisdom of worldly arguments.

It was Isaiah who prophesied: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent, for when Christ is rejected, ignored, dismissed, ridiculed or replaced - the wisdom of this world is brought to nothing - for Christ is the power of God and Christ is the wisdom of God.

The wisdom of God is discovered in the Cross of Christ and to those of us who are being saved it is the power and glory and wonder of God. But like the Jews who require a sign, some stumble at the Cross.. for it gives no outward display of a supernatural sign or miracle. And like the Greeks who sought after wisdom, some scorn at the Cross.. preferring to anchor themselves to the imagination of mens' minds in preference to the unchangeable truth of God's Word. And some like these foolish Christians at Corinth, who were so full of their own importance.. were allowing the trivial issues of everyday life to divert their attention away from the power, the wonder and wisdom of the Cross of Christ.

But just as God laughs at the ragings of the nations, so too He shows His utter contempt of the wisdom of the world - for God made foolish the wisdom of the world ... and He did this through the message of Christ's Cross. And whether spoken by a debater or written by a scribe.. there is no wisdom outside of the Cross - for God has made foolish the wisdom of the world and will bring their counsel to nothing.

Sadly much of the Christendom today has imported mans wisdom into the church, but the egotistical wisdom of man is bankrupt: for God has made foolish the wisdom of the world.. but although the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing - to us who are being saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wisdom and power of the Cross, which has saved me by grace through faith in Christ and is conforming me into the likeness of the Lord Jesus day by day. Keep me low at the Cross and help me to keep my priorities focused on Christ crucified, knowing that the Cross is a stumbling-block to some and foolishness to others, this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.

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