1 Cor. 1
Corinth was a major port and business center in Greece. It was a thriving metropolis of culture and education. Mixed in all this were Jews and Gentiles. Jews held fast to their tradition and understanding of the Scriptures. Greeks held to their philosophers (“lovers of wisdom”).
Paul draws the line in the sand with those who would oppose his teaching, and ultimately the Christ of God. Paul wants to make it clear that he is not trying to make a name for himself. He is seeking to lift Jesus up and show that he is more valuable than wisdom, knowledge, and strength. “For,” he says, “Christ sent me to preach, not with eloquent words to impress, but the Cross. This Cross I preach is foolish to anyone who thinks they have a better understanding of how God does things. The Cross is the power of God.”
It is amazing to see the lengths that Paul will go to bring in the lost sheep of Israel. He risks famine, nakedness, sword, etc. all for the sake of preaching the Gospel of God. That is, when the lost sheep hear the voice of their Shepherd, they will come. They will recognize the power of God that is reflected in the words that come out of Paul’s mouth. How many preachers today are quoting the philosophers of this age! How many are seeking to impress with their great insight into the Scriptures! The point of God breathing life into dead people is that they might boast in the Lord (vv. 30-31). When Christ returns and calls his people to himself, no one will be able to say, “I am so glad I was smart enough to choose Jesus.” Or, “I am so glad that I chose to breath when I was dead.” What folly!! Christ came to seek and save the lost. Those who did not know their way. He came to transfer (move with his hand) people from the kingdom of darkness into his marvelous light (Col. 1:13).
There is no boasting at the Cross of Christ. It is done away with. Therefore, heaven will not be filled with the wisest people, according to this world, but it will be filled with the praises of the humblest people in the world. Because wise people cannot praise anyone but themselves. Truly humble people cannot help but praising the riches given to them by Jesus.
What glory is proclaimed from the pulpit! God did not ordain that quotes from authors be preached. He ordered the world in such a way that His Word would be lifted up and put on display for his people to recognize, delight in, and rejoice over while those who are perishing scoff, mock, and deride. The world says, “Jesus is a crutch for the weak.” Indeed, he is more than a crutch. He is a stretcher that carries us out of the burned house, takes us into the ambulance, and he breathes life into our crusted lungs. He brought that which was nothing into existence. Just as he formed Adam’s body from the dust and breathed life into his lungs, so he has done with everyone who cherish Jesus. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 28 God chose (action) what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that (the purpose) no human being* might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor. 1