Apostle Paul wrote this in the context of Corinthian Church as well as today's church at large..
They were boasting in all the wrong things presumed to be mature and know everything.
Paul delivers a very powerful message not just 1st century but also to the 21st century.
Word wisdom -7 times in this passage – Paul contrasts between human and God’s wisdom.
God’s wisdom is expressed in HIS revealed message.
Today Cross of Christ divides people into 2 groups- believer and unbeliever.
WORLDLY WISDOM IS FOOLISHNESS (18-21)
Verse 18 focuses on the Message of the Cross.
The message brings division in people those accept it becomes the power of God and those who reject it is foolishness.
Cross of Calvary always creates a tension in the minds of so called intellectuals.
The unbeliever thinks the cross of Christ is always moronic or absolute nonsense.
The human wisdom cannot comprehend the plan of God – God became a man- died on a cross like a criminal – raised to life on 3rd day - just to provide salvation from human sin.
It is a free gift – involves no human effort – by faith we receive the forgiveness of sins.
Such an idea or message of the Bible is foolishness & humbling for human mind to accept.
God’s simple message of salvation conflicts with human wisdom.
As a result the unbelief brings the human closer to his/her death due to moronic thinking.
With human wisdom no one can understand the cross of Christ because it is always offensive and unacceptable.
But those who believe it is the power of God as it saves the soul from eternal hell.
God promised the Cross before HE created the world
“There was a Savior before Sin – There was Grace before Guilt – There was Promise of Life before Death – There was a Heaven before there was a Hell.”
GOD’S WISDOM IS SUPERIOR AND POWERFUL (22-25)
Stumbling block to the Jews
Jewish history is filled with miraculous events – so they considered cross was a sign of weakness – Cross of Christ became stumbling block for them to accept the Messiah – Their Messiah is all powerful to establish David’s throne at Jerusalem but not to die on a cross.
Silly to the Greek or Gentiles (Unbeliever)
Greek history tells us that it is full of great philosophers and thinking minds.
Today’s unbeliever is also called the gentile – Cross of Christ is always a point of controversy, foolishness – so they laugh at the message of the Cross
Salvation to the believer
Those who believed the message it is the power and wisdom of God – it is the most intelligent thing a person can do his/her life which is considered the wisest thing.
It is just by grace we are saved as a gift of God.
THE PARADOX OF GOD’S WISDOM (26-29)
We see clearly how God demonstrates HIS wisdom through foolish things of the world.
Corinthian church was full of ordinary people like us with every human weakness.
They were all terrible sinners full of pride, jealous, ignorant, immorality, and compromises.
But God chose them not because they were wise, noble or influential – but because what they were – people in need of salvation – forgiveness – eternal life.
So also today in God’s wisdom HE can make a simple, uneducated, untalented, clumsy believer so much wiser than the man with the most with PhDs.
A simple believer knows forgiveness, love, grace, life, hope, God & eternity.
The unbelieving mind with all success and fame of the world knows nothing beyond the academic achievements, power & status which take him/her nothing beyond this life.
THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S WISDOM (30-31)
Righteousness means our standing before God – we are justified and declared righteous because of what the Lord has done on the cross.
Holiness means God’s sanctifying grace working in our lives till our death – an ongoing process initiated by the Holy Spirit at our conversion and continues to transforms us in HIS likeness.
Redemption means the believer is set free from sin because Christ paid the price.
We dare not preach any other message than the cross of Christ.
It can be a stumbling block to some & foolishness to many but it is always the power of God to us who believe in Lord Jesus Christ.