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The Foolishness of God, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 4:00 am

The Foolishness of God, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 20, 2022 4:00 am

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You don't need the Dragon of the assembly of the believers. The wisdom of man, all will do is corrupt and divide, and that is in fact precisely what it had done and incidentally also have contributed as we will see most all of the rest of the problems in the Corinthians government spending can put an end to society's rules.

That's the kind of wisdom the world offers and people chase after it as the solution to mankind's greatest problems. Now it's one thing for the secular world to bank on human wisdom. Today, though human wisdom has crept into some churches, staining, pure doctrine and that means many people are being led to trust what cannot be trusted in stark contrast, there is the word of God. Take a close look at the trustworthiness of biblical truth. As John MacArthur continues a series on grace to you titled the foolishness of God, and now here's John with a lesson if possible.

Paul in first Corinthians chapter 1 clear through the end of chapter 3 deals with this particular subject of contrasting the foolishness of God with the so-called wisdom of the world you remember that Paul is dealing with problems in first Corinthians, and the problems he deals with rage all away from chapter 1 to chapter 16. The first probably deals with is the problem of this unity in the church. The reason there was division was twofold.

One, they were identifying with human teachers and they were lining up with men like verse 12. Some were saying on the Paul others on the polished others. I'm a Peter Cephus others. I'm a price and so they were creating faxes as a second cause of division and that was these people have been saved out of a very philosophically oriented society and they had all prior to their conversion been adherence to one or another philosophy when they became Christians. They maintain this kind of philosophical identity and so you still had a group of people over here who belong to such a such a philosophy and another to another philosophy and etc. etc. they were all believers but they couldn't get together in real unity because they were philosophically divided and so Paul attacks the idea of division over the basis of the world's wisdom from 118 on the end of the chapter and he is showing them that they should never have division in the church based upon philosophy. They should never be divided over economics over social viewpoints over perspectives that are propounded by man's wisdom because all of this is no and void.

Anyway, they are united around the wisdom of God and that is common to every believer. So there is no reason for philosophical disagreement in the church and you know that can happen. You can have people who have a different philosophy arguing with other people of a different philosophy, but in God's word is the revelation of what is true and what is wise and we need to adhere to that and so he attacks the idea of dragging into the church philosophical viewpoints perspective based on human wisdom and thus dividing the fellowship into groups around this human view. Now the addition of human philosophy is necessary.

What can you add to completion. Nothing is finished. It is done. You do not need human philosophy will that is the viewpoint in the Paul is presenting to the Corinthian.

You don't need to Dragon of the assembly of the believers. The wisdom of man, all will do is corrupt and divide and that is in fact precisely what it had done. And incidentally, it also had contributed as we will see to most all of the rest of the problems in the Corinthian assembly worldly philosophy worldly morality worldly concepts the Old Testament has some interesting things to say about this and and we don't have time to go into all of it, but I would like to draw your attention to Ecclesiastes chapter 1 Ecclesiastes is written by Solomon and it chronicles human wisdom. It says, in effect what human wisdom is all about and its most interesting book in the Lord put here for a very special purpose, to show us the frustrations and the inabilities of human wisdom of Solomon. He was a pretty smart fella.

He says in verse 13 of chapter 10. I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven. You see, I decided that I would apply wisdom and figure out all the answers were 16 I spoke to mine own heart, saying low. I am come to great estate and have gotten more wisdom then all they that have been before me in Jerusalem gave my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. I was so educated. There wasn't anybody as educated as I was and I gave my heart to know wisdom and of course if I would know that I would know madness and folly as well, which is the opposite. But I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit, for in much wisdom is much grief and he that increases knowledge increases increase the sorrow try that sometime.

Chapter 2 verse one I said in my heart come now. I will testy with mirth. Therefore, enjoy pleasure is what happens is I look for wisdom, and I found when I summed up all my wisdom I had nothing but trouble.

Spirit because the more I knew the satyr I got you know why because the more of human wisdom.

You know if you're honest, the less you really and the more you realize that what you really need to know you can't know that's grieving and so I said I know what I'll do, I'll cover up my dilemma by just living it up verse one, so I'll test with mirth and enjoy pleasure and I did and behold this also is what vanity I said of laughter is mad mirth. What good does it do I know what I'll do, I'll get bombed. Verse three I sought in mine heart to give myself the wine. Much of this is really good inside of the typical modern man, but in doing any good either.

I know what I'll do. I made for myself. Verse four great works. I build houses I planted vineyards, gardens and orchards and trees in them of all kinds of fruit I made pools of water, to water therewith the wood bringing forth trees.

I got servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house. I had great possessions of the herds in the flocks of all that were in Jerusalem before me.

Folks there. You just about have the philosophy of the world I go to cope with the fact that after you learn everything you learn nothing one just live it up live in pleasure as work at Stone.

If that doesn't work go crazy on work and self promotion and gain an possessions and lose yourself in money. Verse eight I gathered silver and gold and the treasure of kings in the provinces and I like music so I started on that I got men singers and women singers and musical instruments all canister boy don't you get yourself visit music a pacifier for our culture today. You can't go anywhere without her music. People can exist without it will over their own thoughts I gotta have somebody put another thoughts in their mind and so verse nine.

A modest statement so I was great. Most true and I increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem, and my wisdom remained with me. Whatever he learned, he remembered whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joining I want.

I got anything I want. I got your some people guess what they want to get the pleasure you have anything they want anything they want. He and my heart rejoices everything I did. This was the portion of all my labor.

I looked on all the my hands at rot all the works and on the labor that I labor to do behold always vanity again and vexation of spirit, and was no profit under the sun, and I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly for what can the man do that cometh after the king of and what can I do not we had done it all right looked at myself in us and will hear you are Solomon you've done all we would let Elsa do.

Then I saw that wisdom excel at folly AMI is better to be smart and down in the wisemen. Verse 14's eyes are in his head with the flocks of darkness, and I perceive also that one event happened to the law. I said you know wisdom is better than folly. But you know what they both end up the same way smart people, dumb people and said I my heart look at this verse 15. As it happens to the fool. So it happens even to me, why am I then more wise is an amazing, the wisest man that ever lived said was all came to an end. I was a fool. See at human wisdom, while a good addition.

But you know the whole world is busy building itself on human wisdom. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 city nowise Mendez. He built his house on what a rocket who's a rock. God is a rock and the floods came, the rains came and the floods descended in what happened. The winds blew and the house was built on the rock state for, but the foolish man he built his life on the shifting sands of human wisdom. And when it all came down.

The house was washed away the clear contrast people between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of men, all the wisdom of miniver does is change the truth of God into a lie of this passage come back better prescriptive's 118 this passage compares the wisdom of God with the wisdom of men, and it gives us five reasons why God's wisdom is superior to man's wisdom.

Five reasons why God's wisdom is superior to man's wisdom number one reviewing its permanence. In verses 19 to 20, Paul says that God's wisdom is superior to man's wisdom because God's wisdom is permanent and he doesn't make that statement, he doesn't say God's wisdom is permanent, but he shows man's wisdom to be impermanent and therein is the contrast notice verse 19 for it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. You see, he says human wisdom, when all is said and done will be destroyed. It will be brought to nothing and then he flings out a challenge for anybody to contradict that. He says where is the wise verse 20 where is the scribe. Where is the disputer of this age hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world and he says the why is the scribe in the disputer he talks about the three areas of human understanding wise. That's philosophy. Scribe that's literature the disputer that's rhetoric call out your philosophers call your writers call your orders, let them contradict this that all of the philosophies of the past of come the nothing but all of the wisdom of men, has resulted in no changes in the world. The same problems exist in a manifold sentence.

Where are the wise people.

Where are the writers, where are the people who speak with great oratorical gene is where are all of these answer men God is made foolish the wisdom of this world and in the sense that God has frustrated that it runs to its limits and still comes up zero. It's foolishness.

What of many many life eternal.

Men need the forgiveness of sin, men need to know God. Human wisdom can't forgive sin can't give life eternal, and it can't bring men to God when it's all said and done can't do anything except as we said last time a comfortable people who are sinning, God allowed men to file their own was to be given the choice, and in all the pursuits of their own wisdom they came up with no answers. Frustration and God stepped in and made their wisdom, foolish by what he did. What did he do for gave said he granted eternal life and he ushered minute of the knowledge of himself. He did what men in order. Wisdom couldn't do any did it by such a foolish thing. The cross of Jesus Christ is not a complex philosophical thing to simple simple historical fact.

So there wise only in their own eyes and only for a brief time, God's wisdom is permanent. Second, and this is where we'll go for today.

God's wisdom superior to man's wisdom because not only of its permanence, but it's power. Verse 21. It's power. You see the problem with man's wisdom is it's nice to sit around and talk about it but can't do anything we were noticing a people get change lives from it doesn't transform people doesn't forgive sin.

It doesn't make new creatures. It doesn't usher people into the presence of God doesn't do anything like that. It gives people an intellectual satisfaction taken that they can parent out a certain thing ever sitting down time a college campus with a guy and he said to me, I understand your philosophy is a philosophy of Jesus Christ and said no. I said II is not a philosophy is the truth. Well, that's debatable what I said it might be debatable you, but it isn't debatable really.

I said what do you always as well.

I am I'm convinced that the proper perspective is yin-yang. Now, at the time I was a real help on what yin-yang was. I have since become a little more clear with you and Yang Yang is a philosophy of opposites, and this is what the student proceeded to say that you see a Jew in the sand.

He drew a circle using the server you draw the circle and then you put up sort of an ass in the middle to the Safeway sign you shall put an S in the middle with a circle. Then you put another circle inside each of those two halves one half is black with a white circle you have is white with a black circle. He said you see that's yin-yang. I thought to myself of any man be in yin-yang. He is known to make it say what he means it will let you see it. It's the philosophy of opposites you see that there's another has to be down if there's an end there has to be an out if there's a there's a good there has to be bad this the philosophy lobs as those you see as I see I see below. So what was the whole thing so great. What I do for you. You were different, which gave him a little intellectual game to play and gave him a little piece of ego that he could use to show somebody what he knew so then change his life. But then a power that have a powerful and the wordless of the Gospels is how foolish but verse 21 says since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, we went into that detail. Last time, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save you seasoning your people what the men of the world couldn't do when all of the composite of their wisdom was put together. God did he save men from what from their sins, their meaninglessness from Satan. He saved rescued deliver them into his own presence, forgive their sin gave them life eternal. That's what he did in the world by all of its wisdom did Noga couldn't know God God by the foolishness of preaching something like the cross so object so simple, so uncomplicated, had the power to generate eternal life. Forgive sin wisdom of men could never do it. See God's wisdom is powerful nose at the end of verse 21 we have to notice the foolishness of preaching saves them that believe there is a human response required that his fate you see how that militates against the idea of wisdom voluntarily positing that gospel is the power of God under salvation to all those who can figure out to all those who can understand its nuances and complexities the power of God to all those who what believe one man came to Jesus and said, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

What he was saying was I believe a little bit is a good enough and was good is a question of figure not restart try to figure out the mind of God. When you get into trouble for figure out all the little nuances of the gospel and you really be a lot from. Believe it except 60 Hz which powerful he reiterates the same thought in the verses that follow versus 22 to 25 still talk about power. Look at verse 22.

Since the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom. We preach Christ crucified the Jews a stumbling block to the Gentiles foolishness and notices he says here we are the world and were preaching the simple message of the cross God in human flesh comes into the world he lives does miracles proves himself to be God dies on the cross sheds his blood bears the punishment for our sin arises from the dead. We keep preaching this message and we keep telling people this is the apex of history. This is the theme of the universe.

This is the salvation of man. This is the wisdom of God etc. etc. and they say oh ridiculous ridiculous stupidity. Why did they reject voices verse 22.

The Jews require a sign was a problem with the Jews. They had to have supernatural proof for everything. Everything is characteristic. There is constant demand was this what sign shallowest thou but there is a would do a trick to something really super magic and if Jesus had done some magical cartwheels in and pulled off some real stupendous things that he would've begun something he never stopped his miracles roofers disciples because miracles only solidify the faith of people already believe people don't believe or find a way to explain away. Believe me leaving you think about the blind men the gospel John, you know, it takes a whole chapter. A whole chapter and the Pharisees. By the time the whole chapters done the research. The whole thing is so convinced the guy was really made to see in fact they say oh it must be somebody different and they finally go to see no women are you the guy we don't believe they find his mother dead.

Is this your son who was born nine that's the guy what happened. I don't know what happened to and they say to the man well who is this person you can't be somebody from God uses them in your telling me that you know that he is open my eyes and you're asking me whether he's from God. This is not the end it was antagonism and hatred toward Christ. The world does not have the mentality to accept the supernatural begin with. Because the natural man receive. It's not the things of the spirit of God. They are foolishness to him and he will reason them away. That's why today we don't need miracles all the time to convince people don't believe that's an act of God in their lives.

Jesus did miracles in front of the disciples to convince them, who already believed of his power, which was exhibited then it would be exhibited in their lives. In fact, he said greater things so you do then I but they always want to sign, Matthew 16, the Pharisees and Sadducees came, listen well, we want to sign and Jesus said in verse four. There shall no sign be given this wicked and adulterous generation except the sign of Jonah, which meant Jesus would die three days in the grave and arrived and we rose and the dead, you know what they did. They bribed the soldiers to say that they stole his body and that he didn't really rise.

That's how blind they were innumerable.

So the Jews require a sign of the Greeks. You see, they were different. They sought wisdom, another Greek wouldn't say all do something supernatural. He would sit on me figure this out. God becomes man own so that can't be philosophically see that doesn't work, and then on the cross brings it noon see you have two viewpoints.

The supernatural list in the rationalist right the Jews were the supernatural list and it puts that way beyond its norm and at the same time that great for the rationalist and they push that way beyond its norm. Now, I believe that I'm supernatural*you.

I believe God. I believe exact cycle. Happily, the rationalist semi-through my brain away see, but I'm not all supernatural to the place were to rational or irrational to the placement and I supernatural was about the Greeks was all over their own elections. That's all he cared about choices. Here we have these two kinds of people we come in verse 23 we preach Christ crucified. We preach the fact that the Messiah died on the cross and by the shedding of his blood paid the penalty for sin and the purpose for which man was made is restored a disaster. The presence of God's sin is forgiven, he can dwell in God forever.

We say that to the Jews and they go doubly late for over the Greeks and we why verse 23 says because of the Jews.

It is a stumbling disease, grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He titled his current series, the foolishness of God. John, you pointed out today that unbelievers not only consider the gospel to be wrong.

They regarded as foolish, impossible to understand and hard to believe but the truth is the gospel is easy to understand but that doesn't mean it's easy to believe. In fact, you even wrote a book called hard to believe, so talk about the tension between the simplicity of the gospel and the difficulty we face in believing it. Yeah, the, the issue of being hard to believe, is not because the message is complicated. It's hard to believe because you have to get past your own human condition.

So it's not that the truth of the gospel is complicated. A child can understand it in children do understand it but it's hard to believe in it because in order to believe in it must be honest. Jesus said if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.

That's hard. It's hard to deny your self hard to admit your sinfulness hard to be penitent and cry out to God for forgiveness hard to accept that your the lost sinner with no capacity to do anything they can please God knows what's hard about it is the cost of believing it. So the message can be so simple and straightforward. The child can understand it but for you to actually step into believing that message in a saving way is not humanly possible. And therein lies the great reality of the work of God, where he steps in and gives life to the dead sinner who has no capacity to believe, but what stops the that the unbeliever what stops the sinner is not the confusion of the message but the self-denial of the total self-denial menu Jesus said look, if you're not willing to give up your own life, you can't be my disciple. So it's the idea that you repent of your sin that you give up everything. It might cost you your father, your mother, your sister, your brother, Jesus said all of those things you might have to give up everything you have in this life. It might cost you your life, you know, you might end up on a cross. You might be persecuted. That's what makes believing so hard.

So the book hard to believe is available from Grace to you. It's a powerful powerful tool that you'll find that as you read it and share it with others. That's right, and friend.

It is crucial to know exactly what Christ expects of his followers. This book looks at his demands, and it helps you to see if you're meeting them up.

John's book called hard to believe when you contact us today. Call us at 855 grace or go to our website pastors Sunday school teachers, and anyone involved in evangelism, which means every Christian will benefit from this book's thorough explanation of what it means to follow Christ to get a copy of hard to believe for yourself or to give it to a friend call us toll-free at 855 grace or go to our website and while you're online.

I would encourage you to click on the donate button at the top of the screen you learn how you can stand with us in giving people like you access to verse by verse teaching in small towns and big cities around the world. Thanks for supporting us financially as you are led and able. You can also express your support by mail right to grace to box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412. Call us at 855 grace or make a tax-deductible now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson. Remember, you can watch grace to you television this Sunday. Just check your local listings for channel times be here tomorrow when John continues 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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