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The Foolishness of God, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2022 4:00 am

The Foolishness of God, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 18, 2022 4:00 am

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So Paul is saying to the Trinity is split over human files of eight. The gospel, the revelation of God is all that is necessary. All the truth that God intends you to have it here.

You do not need a human philosopher God stands alone, no additions. It really was, as the gospel revolutionize your 21st century life you know doubts about the gospel relevance are nothing new.

People of always struggled to believe the gospel, because it defies human wisdom, and it appears to be in a word, foolish.

But today on grace to you, you're going to see how God's word can meet your most profound needs and answer your deepest questions and direct your steps as John MacArthur launches his study called the foolishness of God. John, there's no denying that the current generation believes it has all the answers to life's ultimate questions and that all the previous generations got it wrong, but that same attitude was on full display in the ancient culture that you're going to be talking about today yellow. The bottom line in man's dilemma to sort out his world is the defense mechanism of his own pride he starts from the fact that he's got a preserve himself he sees. Gotta take care of himself. He's gotta validate himself.

He has every right to be independent and to live life the way he feels he wants to live it. So the all-consuming evidence of man's utter fallenness is his own pride and out of that pride rises all the folly of the world being proud. He doesn't want to bend to God he doesn't want to bow the knee to God he doesn't want to acknowledge God as Lord and Master, and sovereign and Savior because his fallen heart is so self absorbed and selfish. He tends to find all the answers that satisfy him within himself, which is absurd for certain because you got an entire created universe outside of him over which she has virtually no control. And yet he supposed to have all the answers, and so the Bible describes this as foolishness and that's what were going to be looking at this week. The foolishness of God from first Corinthians 118 to 216. Today's culture has in its natural human pride elevated human intellect, reason, wisdom, and now it's gotten to a point filling our world was not even collective wisdom anymore and you hear people say, well, what's your truth which is the ultimate insanity that every single person could have a different truth and there could be any such thing as truth so in the culture of today's world it's not as if you have to sort of argue down a philosophical system you somehow have to break the back of a proud individual who has his own religious system which is foolishness on an individual level, you preach the truth of God which to those who are perishing may be foolishness, but to the ones that are being saved it is the wisdom of God and it is the salvation of God through a look at that passage. First Corinthians were going to compare the foolishness of God with the wisdom of men and see what the word of God has to say about that. That's right, you need to make sure you're trusting wisdom from the right source wisdom. You really can trust divine wisdom. Here again is John MacArthur to begin his study, the foolishness of God. If you will take your Bible and turn the first Corinthians chapter 1 the book of first Corinthians is divided basically into Paul's discussion of the various problems that existed in the Corinthian church. The entire book. Beginning in verse 10 of chapter 1 and going into chapter 16 deals with the areas of problems in the assembly, but the first problem that confronted the apostle as he wrote, was the problem of division. The church was divided into factions and parties. They were fighting against each other, quarreling it split and this was a very very grave problem and so the apostle writes chapter 1 verse 10 clearance of the end of chapter 3. To deal with the problem of division in the church. Three chapters or parts of three chapters dealing with the problem of division.

Now as we come to chapter 1 verse 18 Paul is continuing to deal with this problem of division in the church were going to be looking at chapter 1 verse 18 through chapter 2 verse eight as a unit.

This I think is one of the greatest sections in all of Scripture because it gives a contrast not mark this.

It gives a contrast between the foolishness of man which they think is wisdom and the wisdom of God which they think is foolishness. It contrasts human wisdom with divine wisdom. They say, but John, how does that relate to the subject of division in the church, let me tell you now we all know that the Greeks were in love with philosophy. I remember in college taking a course in Greek philosophy and just about every philosophy of modern times goes back to a Greek origination. The Greeks were the great philosophers they would go around spouting various and sundry philosophies at attracting people to them and so that the whole of Greek culture was philosophically divided into little groups we have in America and have had for some years a political system that fairly well divides itself between the Republicans and the Democrats will increase if you can imagine there there may have been 50 dominating philosophies that divided the populace among those 50 different philosophies and so they were all faction in the groups that held varying philosophies watch regarding man's meaning and destiny work philosophy simply means man's wisdom. The word literally means a great the love of wisdom Sophia and fill out the love wisdom.

There were people alone human wisdom and the developmental systems and people gravitating to those system so there were factions of philosophy, adherence and current now when the church was born in all of these people were saved and they came together. Strange as it may seem, even though they were united in Christ and even though they identified commonly with the cross, they still held on to the varying philosophies that they originally had held to so that the church also became split up into little groups, each holding various philosophical viewpoint.

So the point that Paul is making here is what since you become Christians and your united around God's revelation as it peaks out in the cross.

Forget the former philosophies. All they are doing is putting you up in the little groups that shouldn't be there are churches that are divided over philosophical viewpoints today. Did you know that there are churches that are split over politics and economics philosophies, education is very easy to happen. Now Paul is speaking here against divisions in verses 10 to 17 look at her.

He spoke against the divisions that occurred around personalities.

I'm up all over Strauss as I'm a policy I'm of Cephas. I'm Christ we still talking about division.

This time however it has to do with philosophy. The typical Greek admiration for philosophy and rhetoric had taught some of the Corinthians to set too high a value on human philosophy so high that they were actually even though other people were Christians. They wouldn't cooperate with other people because they held a different worldview.

I don't think that's too different from us say that the Greeks had a problem with the love of philosophy and rhetoric.

You gotta say the Americans due to I mean if there's anything anything that America has gone bananas on its philosophy. You know what philosophy means human opinion human wisdom, and there's no end to it. You listen to the new you turn on somebody says so-and-so and so-and-so said blue" as if that means anything, or when you don't really have a strong point you called somebody else, even though they may be wrong to at least they have some credibility and we quote people or there's talk radio where anybody has to offer any opinion, there is no and to the mass of verbiage regarding human philosophy. Philosophy of life. Meaning of life. Destiny of life, what life is all about how we are to live, what were for what were to do. Where were going where we came from. It's on and on and we made a God out of education in a God of human opinion. So really any different than the Greeks at all.

I want you to notice that Paul here attacks this problem in current beginning lien verse 17. If you look at your seated for Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel of the gospel is the good news. What is the good news.

The good news is this book right here, the revelation of God that winds up in the redemptive act of Christ on the cross.

The gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be rendered void or null and void are made of no effect. Now Harry Potter. This is the basic contrast is going to dominate his thinking to the end of chapter 3 he sets human wisdom against the cross.

I came to preach the gospel, not not not Sophia Ledoux in the Greek, which means words of wisdom or wisdom.

Doctrine human wisdom. I came to preach the gospel, not human wisdom. The doctrines of human wisdom are opposite the truth of God there opposite the gospel. So Paul say to the Corinthians letter don't split over human philosophy. The gospel, the revelation of God is all that is necessary. All the truth that God intends you to have it here. You do not need a human philosopher word of God stands alone it needs no additions of worldly wisdom. So Paul sets human wisdom against the gospel and that's a subject. In fact, through the rest of chapter 1 he uses the word Sophia 16 time so this is what is talking about me to a disc. In other Englanders philosophy mark this has always been a threat to revelation, philosophy has always been a threat to revelation, philosophy has never helped God's revelation. You do not need to add human opinion to divine word. You understand that you do not need to say. And God said that's it and I would like to add personally know one God has said it is down being said there are no in addition to what God has said, I would like to add Nono Martin Lloyd Jones said this, the whole drift toward modernism that has blighted the church of God and nearly destroyed its living gospel may be traced to an hour when men began to turn from revelation to philosophy now, you may not know much about the history of Dr. nor the history of the church, but that is a very accurate statement with XML whenever philosophy gets mixed with revelation revelation loses. We call that modernism, but it isn't.

It's antique is nothing modern about making a couple illustrations of how philosophy messes up revelation of the Bible teaches simple thing. The Bible teaches that the first five books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy were written by one man who was that man most they are in fact called by the Jews. The law of Moses, the Pentateuch, which means five.

The Pentateuch law of Moses along came a group of men about 100 years ago or more.

And they said well we are the rationalists and their criterion for truth. Was it. Our philosophy is that only that which is rational to human intellect is true if something cannot fit into our minds and be conceived by us to be true, it is not true. So they looked at the Old Testament should also several things are we just can't understand what is we do not agree that Moses wrote the first five books why why Moses could not have known that much information that early UC law didn't get develop the evolution of law came a lot.

Later he could never have written the 10 Commandments that early old Nono, so they said then Moses did not write that. Who did they come along as a JE PND did things that they said every time the word Jehovah was there.

That's the Jehovah writer then there's the yellow him when that's there's the Elohim writer. Then there's the P for the Priestly writer then is a Deuteronomy to wrote Deuteronomy. Only problem is you get some time to get the JE PND thing in the same verse and they got problem and then they save a lot of redactors who came along and they had it at all. And that's who really wrote it isn't really written by Moses at all. Now notice human philosophy was imposed on revelation which lost revelation loses out. Youthe Bible teaches simple things that Moses did write those books and those people those people who said they couldn't outlaw have a real blow. Not too many years ago when somebody discovered the code of Hammurabi, which is a very sophisticated legal system that predates Moses take that second point second point.

Take for example the Bible teaches that God created things right. You read Genesis 1 in the beginning God created the heavens and near on the first day.

The second is 34 then 56 that God created seventh day God rested in the Bible is very explicit that God created human philosophy says no, actually, the only explanation for the existence of things is evolution does the Bible say anything about evolution does the word evolution appear in the Bible does not. The Bible doesn't talk about evolution, but human philosophy done.

It all began from a primeval puddle and in the primeval puddle was a one celled thing who really was very very distressed about being one something one company so split, and became to and then of course everything went wild. Here we are, and that that in a nutshell and a very well limited scientific explanation is evolution. We all agree.

I so you have the Bible it says God did it in six days you have evolution which says it came out a primeval puddle took millions of years and somebody comes along and says well, of course, the Bible did emanate from God. Somehow, I do believe that, but I also believe in evolution. I know will come up with a theistic evolution that is will have a conglomerate of both God made the puddle, then the thing of all the when it got to the place of man.

This is what's called progressive creationism it got to the place of man. God zap man with a soul so that God started it and God interjected the soul and the rest was an evolutionary process you get progressive creationism or theistic evolution.

You know what happens. Again, whenever philosophy is imposed on revelation revelation gets confusing as the loser. We do not need evolution. God doesn't need another illustration in this gets a little more practical we have today on a science so-called that is anything but under the title of psychology. Now the Bible tells a lot about how to live doesn't the Bible tells a lot about how to get rid of guilt.

Confess your sin I love a better way of annuity therapy that you do as much a confession to do. Never knew of any psychiatrist who could deliver anybody from Simba know Christ Says a lot about that is a lot about counseling and exhortation. But what happens is that some people take the Bible and then they go out to the University get 14 years of Freudian education and they oppose the two would guess which loses Bible the patterns of life in the Scriptures do not need Freud to help them along. God did not need Freud.

Freud needed God was a guy who came along to Germany.

His name was Rudolph Bultmann. Bultmann said my philosophy is the philosophy of demythologizing there was that. That means that we must take all the myths out of the Bible say what's a myth anything. I don't believe said Rudolph, who then proceeded to wipe out the whole Bible.

Bultmann's philosophy imposed upon revelation revelation was pleasant. People revelation, doesn't it philosophy you don't need human wisdom. You need human philosophy. You need the word of God.

If you know the word of God, and you understand the word of God.

You know the reason for everything you understand what you need to know and you have solutions to your problems.

She there only two views of anything man's God's. And this is how man's goes indulgent, shallow, shortsighted, unrealistic pandering to the flesh, elevating desire, supporting pride, advocating independence makes man the center and who wants us all God wants is that we accept revelation. Not that we get split up into philosophical fact you add human wisdom to divine truth and all you do is render look at the end of verse 17 you render the cross null and void. So Paul with verse 17 launches into a lengthy contrast between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of men but is verse 18 for the preaching of the cross is to them. The parish foolishness, but unto us.

You are saved it is the power of God. Now notice this verse carefully. The preaching of the cross is to them the parish.

That is, to those were without God. Those who are dying in sin. Those who will spend eternity in hell. Those who do not know God, for whom God's heart is grieved and ours as well, but to them. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to us who are saved it is the power of God. The reason it's foolishness to them is because they have elevated their own philosophy and the cross looks so stupid to them so foolish they have such complex philosophies that to come along and say I want to give you a simple message God in human flesh dotted across paid the penalty for your sin. By faith in that it is resurrection. You can be saved and your eternal destiny is secured in heaven forever, and the said ridiculous how stupid the death of one man on one hill on one piece of wood at one moment in history is the determining factor of destiny for every man were delivered to they could buy foolish word foolishness simple word so word moron which we get the word moron moronic stupid silly Dale knows the word preaching there. It's not really the word preaching in the Greek it's the word sword Lagos for the word of the cross. Now watch this for the word of the class. Now the back of her 17 in here you have not the word of the cross but the word of wisdom human wisdom and there is the contrast he contrast the word of wisdom with the word of the cross human wisdom set against the cross. I want to mention one thing, the word of the cross here means all that is involved in the cross, the Lagos is the total revelation you say will John what is the word of the cross you that everything before the cross pointed to it and everything after the cross explains the cross. This is the word of the cross revelation revelation of God, then which pinnacles and peaks in the cross is set against the wisdom of man. Paul says these two things are at each other, their opposite and so the people who hold to worldly wisdom think the cross is moronic, but we were saved not to be the power of God, and that's what he said in Romans one. I am not ashamed.

Even though the world thinks I'm stupid and even though the philosophers think I must have a small brain that I'm uneducated I still am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It may be moronic to them but it is the power of God to them who believe. So the word of the cross which looks like foolishness to men is really the power of God.

You see men because of their rationalism because the elevation of the human ego because they want their own philosophies can't stoop to something as simple as that and it is simple.

Believe me, I mean Jesus himself said lets you become as a little child you can't enter the kingdom. It is simple is not complex philosophies. Paul arrives in court. He arrives in a maelstrom of philosophies a meal I of words flannel records. What you gonna do just offer another philosophy and get caught in a whirlwind. Nor he doesn't get sent look at chapter 2 verse two. When I arrived in court the verse 20 says, I didn't come in excellency of speech and wisdom of words, but I came and this is what he said. I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and what you know. I said that because it was already enough verbiage plan around it wasn't about the wife of another philosophy. It just would've been another thing to hang on the wall. He wanted to give them something that would pound home, something very opposite to what they held something very simple, not complex, something very historical, not ethereal something very concrete objective not subjective and foggy and he gave them the cross and he kept it up and kept it up and kept it up and corn for at least 18 months. It's all on the state you know you study the human religions with no staying too long as you got other things to do like mow the lawn. Things like that but study human philosophy for a few minutes and you know I'll find that every religion that man is ever developed is develop all of except Christianity is complex that appeals to his brain to his ego's elaborate metal crushed his ego to come down to the level of the simplicity of the cross and the fact that he recognizes that it doesn't matter what he thinks and doesn't matter how smart he is that your saved not through your intellect, but through faith.

He is not to come to that place he see he doesn't like the cross because if you come to the cross, you have to admit that you're a sinner and just like that either. That's the problem. The cross is still the issue God's revelation peaks in the cross but you know human flesh doesn't understand illustration of Peter didn't even understand how to philosophy the word philosophy we could use the word opinion and he thought the Messiah would come and set up risking everything to be just Rosie Jesus said one day in Matthew 16.

I'm going to die never happier react that not all Lord you're not going to die was all right. One thing revelation doesn't need is Peter's opinion. But you see, Peter's philosophy was at variance with the truth. So Jesus said to him, get the behind me Satan you got a satanic philosophy they got in the garden and the soldiers came to capture Christ in John 18 for computer sort out and try to come up Jesus and we put that thing away. Have you gotten the message yet. Finally, after the cross, he understood and asked threes preaching there and he says these things which God before shown by the mouth of the prophets that Christ must suffer. He has so fulfilled. He sounds like a real expert was until after the cross, he understood the cross when Romney wrote his letter first Peter 224 he says who is all himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree. See Peter learn the meaning of the cross, but at the beginning. His philosophy was at odds with the cross could see it could understand see he was like any other Jew to him look at it in verse one, three Christ crucified, is under the Jews.

A. What a stumbling block, but none of the Gentiles of the Greeks.

It's foolish doesn't fit in the human reason they can't rationalize as if the intellect was old so the contrast is established in verse 17, eight.

The cross is the power of God to salvation does save us, but to the world. Steeped in human wisdom is moronic. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is titled the foolishness of God and he's answering objections to the gospel showing you the limits of human wisdom and explaining why the Bible is the only source of life transforming truth. Keep in mind you can review all four lessons in this study on the foolishness of God. Any time at your own pace.

These sermons are available for free at our website, you can download them or purchase CDs to do that. Contact us today our web address Jide There you can download the MP3s or the transcripts in both formats are free of course the four sermons in John series on the foolishness of God or what a tiny fraction of the lessons that are available to all 3500 John sermons including every new message he preaches are available for free download at TTY.and another free resource. I would encourage you to take advantage of is our study Bible app includes multiple translations of Scripture, and it gives you immediate access to the resources of our website, which includes blog articles and devotionals and much more.

And for reasonable price. You can add this study notes from the MacArthur study Bible study Bible app is just one of thousands of resources available free of charge at our website TTY.go there today and come back often. That's now for John MacArthur and the entire Greece. Do you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for being here today and join us tomorrow when John looks at how you can make sure you're trusting God's wisdom and not the world's continues a series the foolishness of God with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on racing. You

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