(1 Corinthians 3:18-23)
When we consider the wisdom of this world in comparison to the wisdom of God there is no comparison. The wisdom of God is so much greater that a simple comparison shows the wisdom of man to be mere folly.
The folly of the wisdom of man
What man has the wisdom to be able to create the world and everything in it from nothing? As you are thinking about this recall also that God did not just create your brain but also created thought as well. If you compare it to a computer, a programmer uses hardware with software to create programs that do something. But God created all those things and more to enable us to think, feel and then act.
God's wisdom is based in spirit, whereas man's wisdom is based in the flesh. God sees and knows things that a man cannot even comprehend. If you read the last dozen or so chapters of the book of Job where God answers Job you get some insight into God's wisdom and power. Job was brought down a peg or two when he realized the power and wisdom of God and he stood in awe of God as we all should do.
And Job was a man favored by God so how much worse would it be for those who are not. Job recognized the wisdom of God and was humbled. So how foolish is it when man thinks he is wise in his own eyes and does not recognize God's wisdom?
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
The most significant change that took place after the death of Jesus was the change in the mode of worship.
The priesthood has changed
Prior to Jesus dying the only place a person could go and worship the one true God was in the temple at Jerusalem. This was the place where God's law was taught and managed by the Levitical priesthood and was where the holy place and the holy of holies stood.
But when Jesus came and died He became a priest of God, not descended from Levi and thus not entitled to serve in the temple at Jerusalem. Instead Jesus, who was a descendant of David from Judah in the flesh, which was the tribe of the kings, became a priest of the order of Melchizedek as we are told in Hebrews 5:6. And this change in the priesthood changes everything, including the modes, place, methods and forms of worship.
(1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
Quite often recently I have written about the need for a strong foundation on which we are to build our walk with Jesus Christ. But like a house or building, it does not end there.
What will you build God's house in you from?
You cannot live in just the foundation of a house. You need walls and a roof and furniture to be able to live well. It is essential that the foundation of your house be solid and strong, but that is just the beginning.
Likewise, as Christians we are being built into the house of God and we are also a building in our own right. We have a foundation that is laid and that foundation is Jesus Christ for there is no other foundation that can be laid but Jesus Christ. And then there are the six foundation teachings of Christianity as defined in Hebrews 6:1-2.
But like a physical house, we too do not end with the foundation. The “walls and roof” of our Christian house must be built so we can dwell in Jesus Christ. And these verses today talk about the building of your Christian house.
(1 Corinthians 3:10-11)
There is a work going on in every person who comes to the Lord. All people born on this earth are like a piece of raw material, a building block that needs to be shaped, cut and honed to form part of the building that is the temple of God in the spirit.
Building a strong foundation
But there is also a building work going on within each person as they walk with the Lord. And like any building there are processes that must be followed if the building is going to stand solid across time and against the ravages of the environment, in this case the spiritual environment.
Every building on this earth must have a foundation and the quality of that foundation will determine the ability of the building to stand. Even a tent has the foundation of pegs to hold it down against wind and rain and if not pegged down securely it will blow away in a storm.
So too we in Christ must have a solid foundation before the spiritual house can be built upon it. And as this scripture tells us, there is no other foundation that can be laid but the foundation of Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 3:5-9)
As Christians we are called to walk with Jesus and to grow into maturity in and through Him. Growth is a crucial part of this walk as Paul writes here and he shows us that growth is not something any person can generate. Growth comes from God and only from God.
God gives the growth
We do not and cannot come to Christ and stand still. Any Christian who stands still is effectively going backwards as we shall see in a moment.
Christ called us so that we would grow. All of the gifts God has given man were given to enable us to grow. All of the ministries given to man were given so that every condition would be conducive to growth for God does not expect His children to remain as babes in Christ. God wants and expects us to grow so that we are ready for the return of Christ and ready to live in the kingdom of God with both Father and Son.
(1 Corinthians 3:1-4)
The aim and the focus of the walk we take with and in Jesus Christ is to become mature. It is the will of God that His people are mature and strong in the gospel, fully able to walk in the ways of God in this world.
Babes in Christ
The end game for this walk is that we are perfect for we MUST be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect if we are to stand with Him and inherit the kingdom the He will establish with Jesus Christ as King. As Jesus himself said,
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
But it is not an easy walk for we battle against the devil in the spiritual realm and we must battle against the passions and desires of the flesh that can lead us to sinfulness. These were precisely the types of battles that Paul was concerned with in the Corinthian church. And it is also an issue we see prevailing still today.
(1 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Who can understand the things of God? In my last post I wrote about understanding the depths of God, but for man in his natural state, the depths of God and the things of God are a mystery. No man understands the things of God because man cannot unless he is taught by God.
Who can understand the mind of Christ.
The bible gives us some insight telling us that man cannot understand God for man does not think like God. The bible says,
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The thoughts and the ways of God are foreign to man because man is a creature of sin, but God is not. Man is a creature driven by passions and emotions, but God embodies truth, justice, righteousness, rational thought and love.
So how are we to get to know God and to walk in His ways. This is the subject of these few verses in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.
(1 Corinthians 2:10-13)
Who can understand the depths of God? Who even thinks it is possible to do so? Surely to think so would be madness and the height of foolishness!
Understanding the depths of God
No man can possibly understand the depths of God. Even in all that has been created, man is still only scratching the surface of what God has done. And that applies only to those things that can be determined through scientific methods, which deal solely with what can be measured by physical means.
But God is not physical. God is spirit and man cannot measure the spiritual realm with the dimensions, tools and measures of man. So to even think a man could ever measure or know the depths of God is utter foolishness. Or is it?
(1 Corinthians 2:6-9)
When King Solomon wrote the proverbs he filled them with wisdom and insight. He was blessed with wisdom greater than any other man for when asked by God what he wanted, Solomon asked for the wisdom and insight to rule Israel with justice and right decisions.
Real wisdom comes from God
So when Solomon wrote the proverbs he filled them with the wisdom and insights given to him by God. And we see that one of the most important messages he gave us, one of the best pieces of instruction Solomon left for all of us was this.
5 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. – (Proverbs 4:5-8)
Get wisdom. Get insight. And where do we get wisdom and insight? From the one who is the source of all truth, all wisdom and all insight: God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.
And we see Paul writing to the Corinthian church in full concurrence with these sentiments in this section of scripture.
(1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
The gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ is not a complex, complicated, convoluted message. It is a simple gospel designed by God to be easily understood by anyone and everyone.
The gospel of Jesus Christ...a simple gospel
It is men who seek to lord it over others and it is the devil who seeks to confuse those who would seek Jesus Christ that make it seem complex.
Complexity was never God's intention nor is it His way to make it hard for us to understand His will. His will is for all mankind to come to a knowledge of the truth in Jesus Christ so that He can save all mankind. Unfortunately not all will come and seek Him out and so many will be lost. But that is not the fault of God due to any complexities in the gospel. It is the fault of those who choose to reject God and reject the simplicity of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.