SUBJ: The preaching of the cross of
Christ as setting before us the Gospel of our salvation through the
suffering of Christ as a sacrifice for our sins.
AIM: That we may ever glory in none
but Christ and Him crucified, risen, and coming again and that we may be
repulsed at any other claims to salvation.
INTR: Having addressed the issues
involving unity, and with more issues to be resolved, Paul would proceed
no further without declaring that which was essential to saving faith.
This he does in the next several verses.
1. Nothing else is of
concern if we are not in proper consideration of the cross of Christ. We
may exhibit much in the way of human kindness and other things perceived
to be of merit and err greatly in a failure to believe and embrace the
work of the cross of Christ.
2. God does not present His appointed
remedy as an option - it is set off against all human wisdom as the only
way of salvation.
3. Men persist in declaring their independence from
the rule of God and, apart from His grace, will at best offer their own
version of salvation and at worst deny Him altogether.
THESIS: The preaching of the cross of
Christ is the means through which the power of God unto salvation is
both revealed and made effectual in them that believe and disputes all
claims of the wisdom of this world.
I. The power of God (vv.
1. We are ever confronted with two kinds of people - those who
are perishing and those who are saved.
2. They are clearly
distinguished based on one thing - their perception of the cross.
To the perishing it is foolishness - worthy of no significant
consideration, let alone surrendering to the crucified life. See: He
that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
2) To us who are saved - all that
God declared in sending His Son to the cross was required and made
effectual in bringing in of salvation.
3. It is manifesting the
design of God that the wisdom of men be found ineffective in saving men.
1) It is written: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous
work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the
wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their
prudent men shall be hid. (Isaiah 29:14)
2) We are clearly taught by
the prophets that the wisdom man is nothing and yields damnation.
For centuries men have proposed the salvation of men through the devices
of men, and all have come to naught.
4. Three classes of men - the
wise, the scribe, the disputer - all are foolish in elevating their own
II. The Wisdom of God (vv. 21-23)
1. The choice of God
in the revelation of Himself and the way of salvation often eludes men
as to why it is so.
2. We note the elements of this most profound
1) God in His wisdom determined that men would not
discover Him by their own wisdom even thought ample evidence of the
being and existence of God is well known.
2) Paul made this
declaration in Romans 1:22 "Professing themselves to be wise, they
3) It rather pleased God to use that which the world
considers foolishness to save them that believe - Examine why they might
consider it foolish and why we believe it!
3. Paul identifies two
foolish approaches to God:
1) The Jews require a sign - looking for
an outward and sensational proof of all...
2) The Greeks sought after
a sane, logical approach to all things - what was being preached would
not submit to the understanding of the wisest of men.
4. So then,
Christ crucified became a stumbling block to those whose expectations
included a Messiah after the models of men - not a man crucified between
5. And to the Greeks it was pure foolishness.
thought is that for 4000 years the Lord had been demonstrating the
failures and human wisdom and then fully reveals His own in His Son.
III. The Revelation of God (vv. 24-25)
1. To whom - them which
are called (Romans 8:28 and others) from among both Jews and Greeks.
2. Their perception of Christ:
1) The power of God to save and to
conquer sin and death in His people.
2) The wisdom of God - in all
that He has designed for His glory in the salvation of His people - the
redemption that could only have been devised and executed by Him.
V. 25 reiterates what has gone before:
1) The Gospel (that which the
world calls foolish) is wiser that men and,
2) The lowest and
simplest revelations of God are infinitely stronger than men.