23 Jun Human wisdom and the foolishness of God
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
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. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 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? 21 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. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 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. 27 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; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
I want you to imagine if the story of Christianity happened in our days and times, and someone is telling you the story for the first time. So, someone wearing a white shirt and a black pant knocks at your door and they want to tell you a good news. Everyone love a good news right? “What is the good news?” “Well, God was born in Epping to a 17 years old virgin from Epping Girls High School and his name is Jesus.” And you say, “Wait. You are telling me that there is such thing as 17 years old virgin? And that virgin gave birth to God? You kidding right? That’s triple impossible.” “No, I am serious. This God, Jesus, did not go to college. He never get the chance to write book or publish his own YouTube channel. He was very busy working at Bunnings Warehouse in Artarmon for many years.” You reply, “What? God worked at Bunnings in Artarmon?” “Yeah, he was customers’ favourite. He was very helpful and very good at what he did. But then he left his job and spent the last three years of his life travelling around Sydney with his students. He performed many miracles and taught the way of God. Have you heard of what happened to Lassa? Lassa was dead but then Jesus brought him back to life. It was all over the news. But the government and religious leaders thought that Jesus was a threat so they electrocuted him in a chair and he died. But here is the good news. They put him in an electric chair and he died but he came back to life three days later and he is God. We started a small group that gather every Sunday to worship Jesus called “RSI.” You can find us on Facebook and Instagram. Or you can check our website. Are you interested?” Your response would be, “I don’t know what you are smoking, but whatever it is, I think you have too much. I think you are crazy. Here some weed. You need help.”
Can we agree that the message of the cross sounds crazy? But that’s exactly what we believe. We believe in the crucified Saviour who died and resurrected back to life. The message of crucified Saviour sounded ridiculous to the people in the 1st century. There was nobody walking around with cross around their neck and nobody hang cross on their homes in the 1st century. It would be like you today wearing an electric chair necklace around your neck and display a painting of electric chair in your house. No one would do that. The cross was extremely humiliating. But this is what we believe as Christians. The church of Christ is a community formed by the cross of Christ and it is centred on the cross of Christ. Everything that we do as Christians supposed to be centred on the cross. The way we talk to one another, serve one another, love one another, care for one another, live with one another, they are all shaped and formed by the cross of Christ. For Christians, the cross of Christ is the heartbeat of our identity and everything we do.
However, there are two problems that we face in the church today. First, we live in a culture that opposes Christianity more and more. For example, just merely 10-20 years ago, it was unthinkable for our culture to legalise same sex marriage. Today, Christians are called haters for opposing same sex marriage. Which lead to the other problem. Second, the world values have invaded the church. There are many churches today that accept same sex marriage because it is the norm of our culture. And not only that, there are many churches today that no longer preach Christ crucified. I mean, of course they mention Jesus and the cross here and there but Christ crucified is no longer the centre of their message. They put the message of the cross to the side and use the pulpit to preach the kind of sermon that tickle the ear. Instead of repentance, they say you need to trust yourself. Instead of deny yourself, they say love yourself. Instead of carry the cross, they say live your best life now. Instead of suffer, they say prosper. Instead of look to Jesus, they say look to self. The values of the world have invaded the church and many churches no longer preach the message of Christ crucified but the message of man exalted.
This is exactly what happen to the church in Corinth. If you read Corinthians, you would know that the church in Corinth is extremely problematic. Let me list you some issues they were facing. First, they had relationship problem. There was division in the church. Some part of the church were pro-Paul and some were pro-Apollos. Second, they had sexual problem. A man was sleeping with his mother in law and they tolerated it. Third, they had legal problem. A member of the church filed a lawsuit against other member of the church. And this is just the first 6 chapters of 1 Corinthians. There were many more problems. But this a good news to us. It tells us that every problem that we experience today in the church is not new. It is history repeating itself. The problem with the church in Corinth was not that the church was in Corinth but too much of Corinth was in the church. And according to Paul, the remedy for the church in Corinth was to preach Christ crucified because Christ is the wisdom and the power of God. Which mean that in order for us to thrive as Christians, what we need is not a new message. What we need is not a new innovation. What we need is to go back to message of the cross of Christ because it is the wisdom and the power of God. Christian hope is found in the cross of Jesus Christ alone.
Three things we can see from this passage. Message of the cross; People of the cross; Preaching of the cross.
Message of the cross
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – 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. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 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? 21 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. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Paul separates humanity into two groups of people: the perishing and the saved. These two groups of people look at the same thing, receive the same information, but come to two different conclusions. The perishing looks at the cross and see foolishness, and the saved looks at the cross and see greatness. I love the way Paul puts it. He writes that for those who are being saved, the message of the cross is not folly but it is the power of God. With another word, the message of the cross is not just a mere fact but it is the very power of God that transform lives.
Let me make it clearer for you. It means that right now, as you sit in your seat and listen to the preaching of the cross, there are two possible outcomes. One is you hear the message of the cross and you see the greatness of Christ and your life are transformed by it. If that’s you, that means you belong to which group? The saved. The other possibility is you hear the message of the cross and you are bored by it. You think it is foolish and you decided to take a nap in church. If that’s you, that means you belong to which group? Okay, you are the one who said it, not me.
God in his absolute wisdom, uses the message of the cross that seems like foolishness to make foolish the wisdom of this world. Paul will show us that no human wisdom can give us what the cross gives us. Paul lists out two different groups that hear the message of the cross and see foolishness. The Jews and the Greeks. And these two groups represent every single person on the earth.
First, let’s talk about the Jews. They are the one who believe that God will send his Messiah to set them free from Roman’s oppression. What the Jews want from God is miraculous signs. They demand signs. They said that if Jesus is truly God’s chosen Messiah, then he would set the Jews free from the Roman Empire. That’s the sign that they demand. They cannot fathom a crucified Messiah. In their understanding, Messiah supposed to be a glorious god-like figure who comes in majesty and performs many wonderful signs to set them free. Messiah supposed to live and not die, especially death by crucifixion. They see crucifixion as a curse as the Old Testament teaches that anyone who hung on a tree is under the curse of God. That is why a crucified Messiah is a contradiction in terms and it is a stumbling block for them. If we put the Jews in our context today, the Jews are the practical people. They are those who say, “God, I will trust you if you do this and that for me. I will trust you if you heal my cancer. I will trust you if you fill my bank account with money. I will trust you if you give me a wife.” They demand signs in order for them to trust Christ. And the sign that they demand is tailored to their particular need. They want a God who can give them what they want.
Second, it’s the Greeks. The Greeks are those who seek wisdom. The Greeks love philosophy. In Acts 17, we have an example of how the Greeks love to talk about gods. However, rather than trusting the one true God, they invented god that fits their philosophy. They want god that fits their worldview and can be explained through reasoning and logic. Their mentality is, “If you can convince me of your god using reasoning and logic, then I will believe your god. However, that god must fit my belief system. I will not accept any god that seems unreasonable to my understanding.” That is why when they hear that God humble himself, became a man and died on the cross, they cannot accept it. It is madness to them. Their understanding of god would not allow god to come in such weakness. In our context today, the Greeks are those who relied on their own intellectual capacity. They want God to answer all their questions first before they can trust him. “Explain to me the origin of evil and suffering. Explain to me how God can be three and one. And if your explanation makes sense, then I’ll trust your god.” But this is arrogance. It means that they are putting themselves above God. They want God to explain everything to them first before they trust God. They rely on human wisdom over God’s truth. One author puts it this way: Human wisdom is the result of the man’s refusal to bow the knee to the one true God.
So to both Jews and Greeks, the message of the cross is absurd. But yet, there is another group of people and Paul is writing this letter to this group of people. There is another group consists of both the Jews and the Greeks who are being saved and to them the message of the cross creates awe. They look at the same message and they see greatness. This is the irony. The Jews seek sign but they missed the greatest sign. The Greeks seek wisdom but they missed the greatest wisdom. When they see the cross, they see foolishness and madness. But the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For us who are being saved the cross of Christ is the power and the wisdom of God. But what caused us to see the cross as greatness?
People of the cross
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – 26 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. 27 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; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
If you see the cross of Christ and you see greatness, Paul gives us reason for it. You see the cross of Christ and you see greatness because you have been chosen and called by God. And this is what’s amazing about God’s choosing of you. Paul says in Ephesians 1 that God chose you before the foundation of the world. It means that before the sun was shining, before the stars was put in the sky, before the mountains were laid on the land, before the oceans were poured across the earth, God set his sight on you and he said, “I choose you.” This is massive. It means that what sets you apart from others has nothing to do with how awesome you are, how smart you are, where you were born or what you have achieved. The only difference between those who delight in the cross and those who think the cross is absurd is the sovereign mercy of God. Do you get that? Throughout human history, many people look at the cross and see foolishness. So why do you see the cross and see wonder? Are you better than other? Smarter? More humble? No. You delight in the cross of Christ not because you are better than others but only because of God’s sovereign mercy.
Just in case that’s not clear enough, Paul tells us to consider our calling. Not many of us were wise, powerful or of noble birth. Translation: If you audition for Australia’s got talent, you only succeeded in making fun of yourself. If you audition for the Voice, no chair would turn for you. You are nobodies. But the good news is that God does not choose based on human standards. Let me illustrate it for you. When I was in 6th grade, I was horrible at sport. In fact, horrible was an understatement. Every morning before class started, our teacher would make us run around the school field. It was a race. We had about 40 students in my class. And whenever we ran, I only had one goal. I had to beat Sally, or at least I think her name is Sally. Who is Sally? Sally was my rival. She was this overweight girl who competed with me daily in order to not come last. I was that bad. And around the same time, I was introduced to Manchester United and I fell in love with soccer. I wanted to play soccer all the time. The good news was that we played soccer almost daily. The bad news was that no one wanted me in their team. If you grew up in Sydney, you know how it went. The best two players were chosen to be captains and they chose who they wanted for their team. I would put my hand high and say, “pick me, pick me, pick me.” But I was always chosen last. It is a tough world we lived in. Unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea what I felt. It was extremely painful. But pay attention to what Paul wrote. He said that when God picked his team, God did not go for those whom the world see as capable. God intentionally chose what is weak to shame the strong. If God was one of the captain of the soccer team in my 6th grade, he would look at me first before everyone else and say, “I want you in my team.”
The truth is, none of us is good enough in the eyes of God. If God were to choose good and capable people for his team, there would be none. God is on a whole different level compare to the best of man. All of us are unworthy of God. God is not impress with any of us. Yet God says, “I can win the game on my own. I can get things done without you. I don’t need you on my team but I chose you for my team because I love you.” But listen to this amazing quote.
“I am quiet certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards; and he must have chosen me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with special love.” – Charles Spurgeon.
Christians, do not get arrogant because God chose you. You are in God’s team not because of you but because of God’s love for you. Christians are not winners. Christians are losers who are chosen to be in the winning team. And please don’t be offended to know that God did not choose you because of your quality. In fact, this is a good news. Because God did not chose us because of our quality, it means that God’s love for us is constant in the ups and downs of life. He loves us in our mountain high and he loves us in our valley low. He has set his love on us before we were even born and he was determined to send his son to die for us so that we might be adopted as his child. This is a bedrock foundation that we can stand on no matter what happens in life. The cross of Christ tells us that God has set his affection on us and he is determined to finish what he started.
It gets even better. Pauls says that because Christ Jesus has become to us wisdom from God, you and I are right now found in Christ. It means this: Whatever is true about Christ is true about us. Christ’s past is our past and Christ’s future is our future. We become one with Christ. Rankin Wilbourne gives a really good illustration. It is like you are working in Disneyland. At one time, you are simply nobody. You are just another worker in Disneyland. No one cares about you. But the moment you put on that Mickey Mouse’s costume, suddenly everyone in the park loves you. Suddenly everyone wants to take picture with you. In a sense, this is what it means to be in Christ. You are not just you. You are found in Christ. Whatever is true about Christ is true about you since you are in him. And being in Christ, gives us three blessings. The blessing of righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
Righteousness is dealing with our standing before God. Before Christ, we were the enemies of God because of our sins. But because of Christ, right now you and I are invited into God’s presence. We have the access to the throne of God at every moment of every day. It does not matter if you are doing well or bad in your daily Bible reading, it does not matter how well you are doing in your obedience to his words, the truth is that we have an open access to God at any moment of any day because our standing before God has nothing to do with us. Our standing before God is forever secure because of what Christ has done for us. God sees us as perfect, holy and righteous because we are in Christ. Sanctification means that God not only sees us as righteous in our standing, but at this very moment God is making us wholly righteous as a person. God is saving us from the power of sin. As we get to know Christ more and more, he is empowering us to say no to sin and to say yes to his words. We are becoming more and more like Christ every day. And ultimately, we have the blessing of redemption. It means that a day will come where we will be fully set from the presence of sin.
So, three things. Christ is our righteousness, Christ is our sanctification, and Christ is our redemption. All of these blessings are ours because we are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God. Praise God for the cross! That is why Paul declares that we have absolutely no reason to boast in the presence of God. We have no reason to boast in self. We have absolutely no reason to boast with one another. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Everything you need for eternal life is secured in the person and work of Christ. He has become everything we need. And this is God’s wisdom. The wisdom of God is not about getting smart but it has everything to do with trusting Christ and Christ alone for our salvation. And God intentionally chose a method that seems foolish to the world, God intentionally chose a people that seems unlikely to the world, and he does it so that he gets all the glory. The cross of Christ destroy every human reason to boast in self and gives us only one reason to boast. Jeremiah 9:23-24 – 23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Let me give you three quick applications before we move to the third point. One, God can save anyone. Salvation is not up to us but salvation is of the Lord. God has chosen his people before the foundations of the world and he will not fail to save them. It should give us hope and confident in sharing the gospel with non-believers. Yes, there are those who will mock us and make fun of our belief. But for those who are called and chosen by God, the message of the cross are power of God. They are waiting for you to share the gospel with them. Because it is only through you sharing the gospel with them that they will experience the power of God that saves them. And I love the way John Piper puts it. He said that the call of God is not like you whispering in someone’s ear telling them to wake up from their sleep. No. The call of God is like you walking to your sleeping friend, put your mouth next to their ear, and scream, “WAKE UP!” At that moment, your sleeping friend immediately wakes up. He might get annoyed at you but he wakes up for sure. The same God who looked at nothingness and spoke and caused creations to dance at his words, is the same God who uses the foolish message of the cross to open the eyes of the blind to see his beauty.
Second, God can use anyone. You don’t need to be capable for God to use you. It is God alone who saves and he wants to use you in all your weaknesses to share the gospel. So when you succeed, God gets all the glory. God is all powerful and he does whatever he pleases. God is not looking for strong people. He is looking for weak people who are willing to trust him. You cannot do it but God can and he will do his works through you. One of the lie of the world that we hear every day is that if we want to do something significant, we have to be extraordinary. Let me tell you a secret. You are not extraordinary. You are just average. Breathe. You are not special and you don’t have to be one. All you have to know is that God is with you and he wants to use you. God is specialized in using nobodies so that he gets all the glory.
Third, we must embrace the cross daily. It means that the cross of Christ is not just something that we believe at the beginning of our conversion, it is something that we rely on every step of the way. The cross of Christ is the source of our righteousness, sanctification and redemption. We embrace the cross of Christ daily. Every day, the world will tempt us to rely on human wisdom and human power. Every day we are tempted to boast on everything else but on the cross. But we must resist it and continue to look to the cross of Christ. Nothing in this world last. Only what Christ has done for you at the cross lasts forever. So gaze your eyes on him. Look to him. Find your reason to boast in him and boast in him.
Preaching of the cross
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The reason why I go to application first before my third point is because this point is more about me than you. In these 5 verses, Paul let us know the characteristics of the preaching of the cross. This is very important for you to know to keep every preacher that preach on this pulpit accountable. The first thing Paul says is that the preaching of the cross does not rely on lofty speech or wisdom. With another word, the preacher of the cross has to reject every self-reliance and human wisdom. But rather, the preacher of the cross must rely on the wisdom of the cross. Paul says that he has decided to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified. It does not mean that Paul never speaks of anything else beside the crucifixion of Christ. We know that is not true because we have the New Testament which consist mainly of Paul’s letters. And in those letters, Paul speaks about many issues. Paul speaks about work, parenting, relationship and church life. However, in dealing with all of those issues, the heartbeat of Paul’s message is always Christ and him crucified. The reason that we can be a good parent is because God is our perfect Father who loves us and sent his son to die on the cross to pay for our sins. The reason we can work well is because the crucifixion of Christ has guarantee a new heaven and earth for us where we will be rewarded for all our works. The reason we can love another well in our relationship is because Christ has loved us and gave himself for us. The message of Christ crucified is the heartbeat of everything else Paul teaches and it should be the heartbeat of every Christian sermon. It means that my sermon can be very funny. My sermon can be very engaging. My sermon can be very helpful. My sermon can have 1 million view on YouTube (I wish). But if I am not preaching Christ crucified then I am not preaching a Christian sermon.
Second things he says is that the success of Christian preaching is not measured by its popularity but by life transformation. Paul says that his message were not in plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. By demonstration of Spirit and power, Paul was not referring to sign and wonders. Paul is not saying that miracles are better than plausible words. But this is how many Charismatic preachers interpret this verse. They said, “We do not need a good solid teaching. What we need is the demonstration of the power of God. Hadooukken… booommm.” Chill out my charismatic friends. It is impossible for Paul to mean that because he just wrote that the Jews were seeking after sign and wonders and missed out on Christ. By demonstration of Spirit and power, Paul means that there is power in preaching Christ crucified that transform lives. Christ crucified is the message of the gospel. Paul is saying that excellent words and miracles cannot change anyone but God in his sovereignty uses the words of preaching the gospel to transform lives. It does not mean that Paul is not intellectual and persuasive. Paul is extremely brilliant and he is very persuasive in his letters. But he knows that words of eloquences does not have power. Only the words of the gospel has power. The power does not lie on the preacher or the presentation of the preacher but in the work of the Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. Preaching with eloquences gives you popularity but only preaching the gospel gives you life transformation.
Let me be honest with you as a preacher. This is not easy. There are many times that my heart desire popularity. I want to be popular and for the church to grow in numbers. Few weeks ago, I opened my Facebook and scrolled through the news feed. As I did so, I saw a post from another pastor from different church. This church is also an international church like RSI. And this pastor posted a picture with the caption saying that the people from every nations are gathering to worship Jesus. The room is packed and cannot contain the numbers of the new people. My heart bled when I saw this post. Do you know why? One, because I also wish I can say the same thing. ROCK Centre is packed with people from different nationalities worshipping Jesus. And here is another reason. Even though they said they worship Jesus, I know for sure that they don’t preach Christ crucified. Their church is marked with eloquent human wisdoms and entertainments. But it works. People are drawn to it. So I thought to myself, maybe I should change my ministry method from gospel-centred to man-centred. So next week we are starting a brand new 4 weeks series titled, “How Jesus enable you to have the best sex life” and we will put a king size bed as a prop in stage. And I will preach while I lie down in bed with my wife. It will be fun and it will draw people’s attention. It sounds like a good idea except for two reasons. One, I don’t have a wife. Two, that kind of sermon might draw crowds and gain popularity but it does not transform lives. Only the scandalous message of Christ crucified can radically change people lives. The win for Christian sermon is not how popular the sermon is but how the sermon transforms people’s lives. And when I look at some of your faces today, I know that Paul is right. I can see how the message of the gospel has radically transformed your lives. I can see how much you love Jesus today. And that’s the win of Christian preaching. Not popularity but life transformation.
Last characteristic of the preaching of the cross is that the faith of the hearers rest on the truth of the gospel alone. Get this right in your mind. No matter how great a Christian preacher might be, that person cannot be the reason for your faith. That person will disappoint you in one way or the other. Let me make it clear. If I have not already disappoint you as your pastor, then I will sooner or later. I am a man with many flaws and weaknesses. Amen? Don’t amen too loudly to that. But just look at me. I can’t even remember some of your names and I am your pastor. Some of you are offended at me because you smile at me and I do not smile back at you. That’s the truth. I’m not saying I am going to be a sloppy pastor. I am going to do my best to imitate Jesus and be the best pastor I can be to lead you and this church. But hear me loud and clear. Do not rest your faith in me. Do not put your hope in me. Put your hope in Christ and him crucified. I can assure you that Christ will never ever let you down. And preaching Christ crucified gives you Christ as the source of your faith. Let me close with this. Faith that depends on sign and wonder can be destroyed by an unanswered prayer. Faith that depends on clever reasoning can be destroyed by a better argument. But faith that depends on the power of God in the gospel is indestructible because Christ has been crucified and there is nothing that can change what he had accomplished. Rest your faith in the truth of the gospel.
- Explain why the Jews think that Christ crucified is a stumbling block and why the Greeks think that it is foolish. Which type of people you think is more dominant in your personal context? Share it with the group.
- According to Paul, what is the difference between those who delight in the cross of Christ and those who think the cross is absurd? Explains why this truth both destroys our self-esteem and gives us a bold confident in life at the same time.
- In the context of 1 Corinthians, what does Paul meant by “the wisdom of God”? How does this wisdom compel us to boast in the Lord alone?
- Read Jeremiah 9:23-24. Out of the list of things that we can boast about (beside in the Lord), which one do you tend to boast on? Share with the group.
- How does the truth of No.3 empowers us to spread the gospel?
- “The message of Christ-crucified should be the heartbeat of every Christian sermon.” Is this true about many Christian church that you know? Discuss.
- Explain why faith that rests on the truth of the gospel is indestructible, and why only preaching Christ crucified can give you this faith.