Power and wisdom — those are two things that we all want! They work together. We can have the power to make decisions, but without wisdom, we make foolish ones. We can have all the wisdom in the world, but if we abuse our power, that leads to destruction. Today we start a study through Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.
Corinth was plagued with sexual immorality. That’s a problem in our world today, so this should be helpful. Paul spent a lot of time there. However, once he left, they started going back to their old ways.
Instead of the church influencing the world,
the world influenced the church.
That is exactly what is going on in today’s world! Let’s read the first chapter…
1 Corinthians 1
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.
2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks to God
4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.
The Wisdom of God
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”[Isaiah 29:14]
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”1 Corinthians 1 NLT
Important Points in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1
- Follow Jesus Only! Don’t follow a church or a pastor. Humans will lead you in the wrong direction. Look for a church that preaches the Bible truth. Follow Jesus not a church.
- Many people will hear the Gospel message and disregard it as fantasy or myth — those are the ones that will perish. I certainly hope that the majority of the people who get left behind at the Rapture will figure out what happened and turn to Jesus right then and there. They’ll have a second chance to avoid going to hell. However, they’ll have to go through the Great Tribulation — and that’s not going to be fun. They’re the ones that will say, “Oh, my God, they were right!”. Hopefully, they will fall to their knees at point and cry to Jesus.
- The Gospel is the Power of God — no one else or nothing else!
- Jesus — God — who submitted Himself to physical torture — appeared weak to the Jews who valued power and foolish to the Greeks who valued wisdom.
- Prideful and boastful people will be humbled — whether they like it or not. It’s best to humble yourself before God or He’ll do it for you! Check out my testimony at the bottom.
- We as Christians are united with Christ. I’d rather be united with Christ than with anything of this world — including man-made religion. Jesus didn’t suffer and sacrifice His life on the cross so we could have religion! No, He wants a personal relationship with us — with you!
“God saves us in a way that insults our pride and mocks our worldly values.”Sandy Adams in the free ThroughTheWord Bible app lesson on 1 Corinthians 1
You have a Choice!
Who you choose to follow will have a direct impact on
your eternal life!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
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