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The Foolishness of God, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 4:00 am

The Foolishness of God, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 19, 2022 4:00 am

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Human wisdom is one earthly, that is, it never gets beyond the earth. It never really understands supernatural reality, it's earth to sensual is based upon human desire and less free to my sources say that friends is set against it was done, that politics will improve the world or they see education as the path to ultimate fulfillment or they look inward believing that some inner voice is the best guide in life. The result human wisdom is elevated in God's wisdom is considered foolish. So how can you be sure you're trusting in God's wisdom and not worldly wisdom. John MacArthur answers that question today as he continues his look at the foolishness of God, and now here's John if you will take your Bible and turn to 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.

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 the contrast mark this 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 from verse 19 chapter 2 verse eight Paul gives five reasons why he considers God's wisdom superior to man's these are really good. Five reasons why Paul considers God's wisdom to be superior to man's wisdom. Reason number one. God's wisdom is permanent. It's permanence verses 19 and 20. Now this is most interesting. Here Paul uses an Old Testament passage to show that man's wisdom will be swept away that it is very temporary.

Verse 19 and Paul quotes Isaiah 2914 for it is written, and it is in Isaiah 2914 I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Now that's Isaiah 2914 only hastened puppy to interpret that can have a very general ultimate fulfillment. There is coming a day when all of the philosophies of man will be swept away right Christ will reign as King of King when all of man's wisdom comes ashes, the tribulation. As we study the book of Revelation is the disintegration of all of man's wisdom, but has more than just the future fulfillment had a very interesting meeting.

At the time that was given. Like so many prophecies. It has an immediate fulfillment in the future fulfillment. This is what was going on when Isaiah said there was a king's name was sent after rib and whomever is a very mighty king he was king over nation called Assyria, and they wanted to conquer Judah, the land of Israel, and so they decided to attack Judah God through the prophet Isaiah says to Judah, don't worry. Deliverance will come soon after rib will fail in his country, but God said it won't be because of your wise man. It won't be the strategy of the political advisers to King Hezekiah who was the king of Israel at the time of the king of Judah, it won't be because of the political cunning in the secret trickery of these wise advisors, no you're not going to escape the hand of the Assyrians because of your wisdom, God says, I will do it myself because I want to demonstrate to you the impotence and the impermanence of human wisdom, when all of your wisdom is run the gamut.

I'll just destroy all all putdowns of nothing and by myself I will do it all your wisdom couldn't do well that's quite a promise to never that a huge army. Since God is good to do a snack or poison really have to get together. He didn't know he did. He just called over one Angel right 1 inch. It would have read to you all those wise people of Israel all all his political advisers hello strategy so smart all the hosts of the army of Israel got Cecilia's digital Lord went forth at him by himself and he smote in the camp of the Assyrians hundred and 85,001 Angel Slough 185,000 and this is kind of interest exists when they rose early in the morning, behold, they were dead. Terrific.

I woke up and found that they were dead. No summer rose and found 185,000. Listen to what that says about angels, I think you do know mess with what all of the political advisers of Israel couldn't do what all of the wisdom and knowledge and acumen of the best of the people couldn't come up with God-given one Angel and he says not just wipe your wisdom that I don't need it. God always did tell Israel I'll fight for you and we have the wrong idea. You know we want to solve everything by our own ingenuity. Rather, let God do it. So Paul uses that passage and it's a fantastic think will, by the way. Not only that, but later on said accurate went back and well of Nineveh, which is the capital of Assyria. I came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Ms. rock is God that at grandma -like and Sherry's or his son smote him of the sword escape to the land of Ararat Nassar had his son reigned in his stead. So even he was killed by his own children. She got didn't need any of the wisdom of Israel. That's the point on I go back to first Corinthians 119 bosses let you know the passage in Isaiah, God never did need human was God never did need human understanding. Proverbs puts it this way. In 1412 there is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death know there's always people want to give their opinion. Well, I think such such life. I think it one of the reasons that a lot of people won't come to the Bible won't come to church or they will study Christianity is because their own philosophy is so shaky anywhere that they just don't think you can stand another blow would rather mask themselves put their head in the sand and just be buried keeping her eternal fingers crossed the Jeremiah 89 the wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken or was it low. They have rejected the word of the Lord and what wisdom is in them.

If you reject Revelation what wisdom is left Brittany got a set against worldly wisdom is set against really philosophy. Even the philosophy of Israel, Judah destroys man's wisdom is defined, I think, as well as anywhere in the Bible in James 315 and most apt terms. It says this and maybe never thought of this definition was this wisdom descends not from above right. We know which wisdom is right is not God's was much man doesn't come from above, just plain old man's was Nellis.

It is Lee sensual and demonic human wisdom is one earthly, that is, it never gets beyond the earth. It never really understands supernatural reality, it's earth to sensual is based upon human desire and lust free, demonic, its source is Satan. That's human was now that friends a set against the wisdom of God.

When you agree that's James 350 so he says it's written. It's impermanence God's wisdom is permanent.

Verse 20 he asked some questions. Really, it's one question with report. Where is the wise, where is the scribe.

Where is the disputer of this age, where are all the smart people go to solve all the problems that we all yell about that now. We talk so much about how great education is and how it educated ourselves and the problems that we can't solve. Never could solve your human was never solved anything.

All of our education never really thought anything you say where where we used to be limited notes in the boondocks out there in the bush now wearing cities and homes.

That's right, and were just as rotten here as we were there we have a change which is more comfortable in our immorality isn't committed out of the woods is committed fancy hotel is a different we just made our silly little more accommodated human wisdom throughout history, the history of man has never solved any real problem never just makes us more comfortable with our problems. That's so God says where the wise people were always much when he quotes here. Isaiah 1912 is most interesting because in Isaiah 19 God was talking to Egypt says Egypt you had you gone after false gods and you worship false gods and you've denied my truth and you go to be judged and there were those the great prophecy against Egypt and the rivers would dry up and the sea wouldn't give them water anymore and all the region be broken in the and Memphis would be destroyed a great city, the capital and all the sink and when that was all done in Isaiah says now where are your wise men who's going along for the solution to the destruction of God answers.

There are, and you know what Egypt did. It says in Isaiah 19 they went after the soothsayers in the mediums of the wizard, you know answers they had zilch.

None there are any answers now are the wise and then he says the second question, where is the scribe. Where is the scribe. This is the writer and in fact it's Isaiah 3318 where you find that statement and it had to do with the Assyrians again the Assyrians when they sent their army down since scribes along what the scribes were duped they were to write out all of the things that they took when they took Israel there were the list all the booty and they were to record all of the tribute that was to be exacted. They were to write down everything that was taken in the victory you know what happened. They didn't take a victory in the scribes and nothing to write and so Isaiah's is where are the scribe regarding this is where is the disputer of this age and this I don't think has an Old Testament counterpart. The work disputer here is the very Greek word used for arguing about philosophy.

Where are your philosophical arguments now look where the people first and philosophy where the people versed in literature describes where are the people versed in rhetoric. Where are they when you need him all their wisdom is folly why I get that feeling in the world they don't you who knows any answers any sort to make clear the futility and fatality of human wisdom.

Paul sarcastically says, where is the wise, where's the scribe was the disputer of this age. You tell me what has human philosophy ever contributed to man, what is it ever done to make them nobler to make him a better man in his heart. What is it ever done to lift them up, nothing nothing nothing ever wisdom of the world's stupidity tries to redeem men with tries to transform sinners can't do it. It can't do it and so hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world.

God just made it look foolish and are not knocking. Ethics are not knocking kindness and love.

I'm to say none of these human philosophies about how good they appear in the service ever get to the real issue.

That's a man's eternal soul. So God, in wisdom allowed learned men of the world to seek by their worldly wisdom. The solution to man's misery to seek by their worldly wisdom solution to man's suffering and they sought and they had philosophies and more philosophies and more philosophy that you know what they never ever came to uncover the secret they never really got to the end of all human wisdom, they were left without the one thing they needed most and that was the knowledge of God. They never knew God because it was only a God that these things could be found peace, joy, forgiveness, freedom from guilt meaning to life eternal hope in all of human philosophy never met God's repulsive. It all just came out moronic.

They thought the cross was stupid.

Was there philosophy student.

So God moves in to do what human wisdom could never do and that takes us to second point will just look at the first verse of the second Paul says God's wisdom is superior to man's because of its permanence and secondly it's power is able to do what man's wisdom never did look at verse 21 for since the word is since for since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. I noticed he says the world with all its wisdom never knew God. It never reached the ultimate goal of man to know God. And so, since man's wisdom couldn't do it.

God did it through the cross world of man. Boulder was just thinking we had philosophers and sages for each one of the new and what they offer wars increase crime increases injustice increases hate, cruelty, problems, mental breakdowns, drugs, alcohol problems, problems, problems, problems never ever change. We have solved the problems I was human philosophy because men cannot attain salvation. They cannot have a transform nature, they cannot know God by their own wisdom, even religion doesn't make all the philosophy of the world comes up bankrupt. Now God says it shall please me to do with something is basic and silly stupid and moronic in their site as the death on the cross to accomplish what they couldn't accomplish with the complexities of their philosophy throughout the ages, that beautiful simple chapter 3 first 18 says the same thing. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this age you think you really got your philosophy, let it become a full that he may be wise you better come down to the level of the cross, you better really come off your high horse that you may truly be wise for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God takes the wise in their own craftiness. The next verse says the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise. They are vanity their loosest interesting phrase at the beginning of verse 21.

What is it say since in the wisdom of God the world. In other words, that this is the wise plan of God that he allowed the world to go on in its own wisdom in the wisdom of God. He permitted the world to follow its own path. Man exists, surrounded by the wisdom of God and in the midst of the wisdom of God the world by wisdom what I've got here.

We are surrounded by God's wisdom and ignorant of, to me that's that's Romans one that which may be known of God is in them right.

It's around the invisible things of God can be seen by the creation but man did not like to retain God in their knowledge. They turn from God turned his truth into a live worship the creature more than the creator began to worship image here is man surrounded by the wisdom of God. Every time up to the mountain every time he looks at his hand. He sees the wisdom of God the stars at the intricacies of nature.

He sees God's wisdom and he applies his own wisdom rejects God's wisdom and never knows God you think about the astronomer look through a telescope and see stars with no God, natural cited studies is biology is botany and whatever else comes up with evolution without source. Religion creates a God who is no God and bows to the know God. It was like the Greeks just summing up the Greek philosophy was centered in one great city.

What was at city ethics. The pinnacle of Athens was the Areopagus read Mars Hill Paul walks up the Mars Hill were all the Greek philosophers gathered it was a great altar there. He walked up to it is worth it to the on known God is not interesting with everything that they know the one thing they didn't know was the one thing it was a most obvious God in the midst of the wisdom of God. Verse 21 the world by its own wisdom did not know God. They applied the wrong thing. Instead of accepting Revelation they took their own wisdom, and they didn't know God. Human wisdom doesn't make all I love this part, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. You see God really God just to me is the greatest possible blow against all the complexity of human wisdom God just did something so simple and, by the very simplest thing that God did he accomplish what all of the philosophers and wise men of the ages never could put that in perspective, doesn't the wisest of the wise men are stupid compared to the simplest of the wise God foolishness of preaching the stupidity of corrupt batons almost were preaching at support translation isn't the word you on the lid so to preach the gospel in the Greek is in the working Russo to proclaim is the word traumatized. It has nothing to do with the act of preaching, but it is the content of the message.

The curricula the message the content what saying is this, it pleased God by the stupidity of the gospel. The content of the cross to save them that believe preaching isn't the idea is the idea that preaching is foolish, some preaching is foolish. I would agree with that but that's not the point. The point here is the foolishness of the gospel itself something so silly something so low something so uncomplicated something so distasteful to the Jews a stumbling block is foolish. What was that foolish thing that's simple Jesus dying on the cross.

You have to be smart, you just have to do what is a safe universe, 21 to save them.

The relax save them. Have a PhD say the Y say that the what we I'm so glad aren't you want to be awful fully smart people got saved.

God didn't save us because we're so smart.

He made us a simple, than matter how smart we are. We just need to believe no faith appropriates what God is done. That's why you have guys college professor guys a medical doctor guy overhears works of his hands somebody over here who may be somewhat retarded, mentally and are all being together.

Sure together in the same common life and pray together. The same God and experiencing the same fellowship in the same salvation because it has nothing to elect just need to look at verse 26 you look around you, brother, how that not many wise men, not many mighty, and not many noble, are called but God has chosen the foolish things.

That's us really cares at all.

If only so-and-so would be a Christian only when so-and-so, there are not many wise or not many mighty, and are not many noble, most of us just plain old common and you know what God did that purposely stand as a rebuke for all-time against human was God never needed in the past as needed. Now all we need is the cross and was a believe in the cross of save. That's all it takes. That's the message itself.

You're listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, and he calls his current study, the foolishness of God. John somebody might hear that title the foolishness of God and think that sounds blasphemous but that's a biblical expression and I love this passage that you're talking about because this was the first passage that ever convicted me of my own sin and I would say grasping the point that what seems like foolishness with God is actually wiser than the wisdom of men, that is foundational for any Christian worldview. Well I think that's brilliantly stated and I guess the irony of all that fill is this that there are so complex philosophies in the world that they're hard to even understand in their arm endlessly endless articulations of all kinds of philosophies of being in meaning in time and eternity and destiny in life and death in heaven and hell and right and wrong. The complexity of it is beyond comprehension.

And yet, all of it in scriptural terms is folly.

All of it is foolishness. It's it's all foolishness is damning foolishness. It's it's wrong and it doesn't matter how sophisticated it is and how highly articulated. It is, it is damning falsehood, but on the other hand, you have this not complicated but simple reality of the gospel that there is one true and living God. He is a triune God father son and Holy Spirit.

The sun came into the world. The dialer cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all who would ever believe in him through human history and that eternal life is given to those who put their trust in the sun, and his sacrifice.

The simplicity of this is staggering against the complexity of an stupidity and damning foolishness of the world's philosophies. I want to encourage you. You need to understand the word of God and though that the message of the gospel is simple on its face.

There are a rich realities tied to it that couldn't exhausting your lifetime. We're looking at the first Corinthians chapter 1 and I would suggest that it would be good for you to get a copy of the commentary that I wrote in first Corinthians.

The entire book a part of the New Testament commentary series.

It deals with all kinds of subjects in first Corinthians. You'll find it a great start for adding commentaries to your life and it's a 500 page book with a clear explanation of everything in first Corinthians great resource and you can order today, yes and friend commentaries are not just for pastors preparing sermons there for anyone who wants to get the meaning of Scripture right so that God's truth can guide you and correct you, and do, it's transforming work in your life daughter John's commentary on first Corinthians.

Contact us today to place your order. Call toll-free 855 Grace or log onto our website TTY.org. The first Corinthians commentary is affordably priced and in the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. There are volumes on every book of the New Testament to order the first Corinthians commentary or volume of the different book. Call us at 855 Grace or go to GT Y.that's our website one more time. TTY.org and let me mention an important way that you can support Grace to you call this radio station and let them know that you appreciate their commitment to teaching biblical truth to erring program such as Grace to you as sound Bible teaching becomes harder to find on radio stations stations like this one play a vital role in taking the gospel to communities across the United states so as you're able encourage them in this crucial work now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at the power of the gospel to save lost sinners is continuing his study called the foolishness of God, with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to you


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