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The Foolishness of God, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2022 4:00 am

The Foolishness of God, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 21, 2022 4:00 am

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Call of salvation effectually came to some Jews and some Gentiles and they believed immediately. Christ became to them. Not a stumbling block with the power of God, not foolishness, but the wisdom and prominent pastors even said that attempting to make people aware of the lost and sinful condition is. He says an unchristian strategy.

Now what do you think is the trend towards deemphasizing soon.

A wise strategy for today's evangelical church more important is a biblical strategy here what John MacArthur has to say about human wisdom on this edition of grace to you as he continues his current series, the foolishness of God and with a lesson. Now here's John the apostle 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. 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. 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. God's wisdom is permanent. Second, God's wisdom superior to man's wisdom because not only of its permanence, but it's power. Verse 21. Since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save see God's wisdom is powerful, he reiterates the same thought in the verses that follow. Verses 20 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 analyst. The super naturalist and the rationalist right the Jews were the super naturalist 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 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. 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 the Jews and they go doubly made for over the Greeks and were why verse 23 says because of the Jews. It is a stumbling block call youth.

You say Israel have an estimate she got the person hanging on the cross bleeding Thatcher Messiah.

You can that's our Messiah… A bailout by the time Friday Kenner screaming for his blood. This could be a sign where the wonders were the things the Gentiles react to the Gentiles the whole idea was foolishness was foolish. Why over some reason you know the one basic tenet of philosophy, Greek philosophy was the fact that God was defined by the term Abe Thayer which we get the word apathetic to the Greeks, God was totally indifferent to men. He was unconcerned about people.

He was incapable of feeling because they said God has to be so far beyond man that he could never be touched with anything human. Very opposite of Christ can be touched, but they said God could not be touched with human feelings. So the idea that God became incarnate in human flesh for the sins of man, the pain and the anguish of God and across was absolutely ridiculous to them. God is remote.

God is detached, God is indifferent. Celsus made a life career out of attacking Christianity with zeal, long, long ago said this God is good and beautiful and happy and is in that which is most beautiful and best if then he descends to man.

It involves change for him and a change from good to bad from beautiful to ugly from happiness to unhappiness from what is best to what is worst and God would never accept such a change."

You see, the Greeks could not allow for God to become his art was incredible. The one we come to earth and love human kind, sorrowing, weep and dine across and nothing about Greek philosophy was everything a B complex if you could figure out it probably wasn't true, and it was just if if the average I could figure out it wasn't a government had to be something only you know the real highbrow intelligence you could handle and here come these these Christian preachers are working out pretty seedy characters anywhere really educated in philosophy.

They were just coming out of the woods, kind of, and they were preaching this blunt message. I am determined to know nothing surprised and I was so simple rather than complex and it was so uncluttered and it was so uncultured. It was so crude that they laughed that nothing was more absurd to rationalist and that the blood of the crucified God to remove sin, secure salvation, promote holiness, give eternal life laughed so what Files of God's plan and I mean if the he preaches to the Jews and the stumbling block and he preaches to the Greeks as foolishness, then what is ago that covers it. When the Jews and Gentiles are God that found them a know you see it says in verse 24. This, but I'm glad that Sarah you both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God in spite of the fact that the most rejected the call of salvation effectually came to some Jews and some Gentiles and they believed it immediately. Christ became to them. Not a stumbling block, but the power of God, not foolishness, but the wisdom of God. You see how he contrasts those two things with the two reactions that you says this can't be our Messiah. Look at it.

Meek and lowly in dead as the powerful Messiah but for the ones who did believe Christ became to them the power of God and is not right also to the Colossians in 129 I think it is. He said I just want tell you that I labor, but it isn't me. It's Christ working in me mightily. See into the Gentiles. It should have foolishness, but to the Gentiles who believed it became what wisdom Christian you realize something you realize that we sit around a lot. We we listen to the great men of our world and there are great people from human viewpoint much more intelligent than we are. Me, I couldn't get through some of the educational processes that they've been through and I've read some books that I give up on page 27 and understand the talk. We know there are levels obviously of intelligence and there are some people who just are super super intelligent and what is not in that same world when they sum up all of their wisdom through all the ages put all together. You know, just just plain old humble Christians are wiser than the x-ray say Janessa breaking and I know you don't understand about my own list. I'm talking about the fact that I know the wisdom of God is, he had to get to know that it's in the Bible and I understand about a few say will want one of those guys read the Bible, they can know what they want to stand it. You know why because they don't have the resident interpreter who is the Holy Spirit second chapter, first Corinthians verse seven says we speak the wisdom of God and the mystery is hidden wisdom see that it is hidden wisdom and it is only revealed to those who know Christ. Verse eight which none of the princes of this age. New the best of men.

The classiest of people. They didn't know this.

Why not because it wasn't open to them to find it. Verse nine I hasn't seen it, nor ear heard it was not me. That means it cannot be known empirically, it cannot be known externally, it cannot be known by experience. Secondly, neither has it entered into the heart, that is, it can't be known rationally.

It can't be known internally. You can't know the truth of God by observation. You can't know the truth of God by rationalization, but verse 10 says God has to what reveal it by his Spirit who comes to live in you when you receive Christ. Now I'm not saying I'm smarter than the rest of people in the world from a IQ standpoint this is true, I took an IQ test one time and are not. I know that there are not a lot of people in this world far more intelligent than but I know what they with all of their intelligence will never know the wisdom of God in their struggling with all their economics and all other social sciences and all of the disciplines at their struggling with try to figure out what's going on in the world and I could tell what they never give me a chance to send me, why are you on such a such a talk program will me. I got all the answers that were in that would end the discussion then what would they do at the play music you see that's essentially what Scripture says in regard to power it says this with all that men have devised. They don't have the power to change their character. They don't have the power to transform their lives, but Christ is so the wisdom of God is so much superior to the wisdom of men because it is the power to save the power to regenerate in grants divine wisdom.

So once of them. The recall will select God's chosen Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom we have so much power it's unlimited were able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think we courted the father works in us, citing holy closes this little section with verse 25 which is a principal that sums up everything he said because the foolishness of God is wiser than men in the weakness of God is stronger than men messy question. Is God foolish is God week.

Both of those are words that are used for the sake of irony. They are words. Looked at from a man's viewpoint. When a man thinks God is foolish when a man thinks God is weak at that very point he is infinitely wiser than that man and infinitely mightier see us and put this way. There are a lot of things that God knows that we don't know right on the list you read the Bible and you get all that you study year after year. You know you really realize you will hardly know anything is what education does for teaches you what you don't know and the more educated you are, the more you know you don't know. I learned the Bible more more you know what happens. Pretty soon I got all the verses down then I'm living in the cracks units and yeah yet, says distances, but what about this, and you begin to see that God is far beyond what you can even imagine there are complexities of the mind of God that are absolutely beyond humankind to even comprehend. So there are things that mean if you want to compare the smartest of men with the absolute supreme exhibit of the wisdom of God. The difference would be infinity because the difference between the total wisdom of man and the simplest truth of God is infinity is he saying that the simplest thing I've ever done on the cross. The weakest exhibition of my power ever is really beyond the greatest of your wisdom and power not get you in the perspective of that's the principle God's simplicity and God's smallest representation of power is able to do what man's wisdom and power could never even begin to think of to as the principal doctrine of the cross may be foolishness, but it has power bar save lives. Wisdom 1/3 point will quit here he shows a God's wisdom superior to man's by not only its permanence and power, but this is greatest paradox of the world loves wisdom. Always a world just really glories and then it yielded a psychological test showed that the desire to know, is equal to the sex drive, people really want to know, and there's a lot of does allow self glory and vanity and knowledge is under Wallace's knowledge puffs up or you know you know this. Your flash technology flesh.

You're sitting the groups, which is 100 I know that the wife look cheap. This is not knowledge doesn't their benefits and ignorance humility. You know it isn't nice not to have the answer. So you just sit there and learn some people don't have the answer but they give one anyway but you see the world loves everything to be complex and the figured out with her own was a week that's wife.

That's why is it appeals to to be a psychologist because you can sit over somebody and analyzed to tell them why they do what they do whole and here this is this in dozens of know that your schedules are of a God complex in the world loves it the love Avalanche but you know something God didn't appeal to that because that's vanity you ask God to meet a gospel that was so complex that only really smart people could've been saved who could figure out we could been a real screwy philosophy and you had to be really at the top level of your class. You know, Phi Beta Kappa and all had to be saved. But you see, that would have destroyed the purpose.and why is most people aren't at that level Jesus and I thank you father that you hid this from the wise and prudent. Matthew 1125 and revealed under babes, because you know when he did that, he showed the world how much he needed there was you needed all when her son, you think the greatest professor you know secular world was greatest mind you know in the world, the most brilliant mind in the world. Some like Einstein's brilliant mind, they think of the root of the dumbest guy you know who's a Christian, just a klutzy guy visit nice guy 11 or loves up just know that that's where as when learning though not get all the surround, but that's the swindler made when a something that you is infinitely wiser than Einstein never thought of me incident and that little humble guys.

Life watches stands as a living rebuke to the wisdom of the world. Lacey got a purpose in this for the most part is not true.

The church is composed of simple, humble people just us always say this when it be great if so-and-so became a Christian voice a lot would be great if so-and-so became Christian all of holy that would be great. But one reason that the Lord chose the church from the humble people was as a living testimony to the world that he doesn't need its rank and its influence and its wisdom. You see, not many. Now there are some mighty and there are some wise and there are some who are noble. There was Dionysius there was Sergius Paulus.

There was the noble ladies of Thessalonica and Berea.

There was the Chamberlain by the name of Erastus who is treasurer. There have been some noble and mighty wise.

Not many back to our friend Celsus 178 A.D. he wrote a letter attacking Christianity.

This is what he said.

Here's a description of Christians let no cultured person drawn near none wise and none sensible for all that kind of thing. We count evil. But if any man is ignorant. If any man is wanting a sense of culture if anybody's a fool, let them come boldly of the Christians. He further wrote this we see them in their own houses, wool, dressers, cobblers, the worst of all the rest.

The most uneducated persons they really get warmed up.

He said they are like a swarm of bats or ants creeping out of their nests or frogs holding a symposium around the swamp or worms convening in the mud.

That's what he said about Chris nice guy. Celsus what you know. He looked around us we saw.

Can you imagine that hear all these simple frogs and they knew what he didn't know. You see how that the simplicity of the church stands as a rebuke against the complexity of the world was.

We don't need the world's worst who needed the paradox proves it.

We who are the simplest and most foolish of the wisest and the Roman Empire was 60 million slaves can imagine what impact this made on them because most of the church is made up of sleep and the slaves that only fencers with bad news and so Christian stand for all time as a living rebuke against the so-called wise. I don't remember the classes that the Bible says Christ is going to put the church on display before the principalities and powers to show the wisdom of God doesn't need the wisdom of man. Look around you, a sentence not many wise, that means the wisdom of human nature, high class intelligence, not many mighty, that means great or influential powerful people, not many look at this would noble. That means Wellborn from high-ranking families and folks, if you wanted a simple threefold definition of what the world thinks is a great man number one. If these very intelligent number two if he has tremendous influence through money or power, whether it's political on the sports field or or in the education field.

Whatever it is. Thirdly, if he's got high rank is general so-and-so is Sen. so-and-so is president so-and-so's vice president so-and-so is the head of this he's ahead see the world bases its greatness on knowledge education on influence or power, money and on rank. Would you like to know the greatest man that ever lived according to God, which like to meeting interesting fellow semi John the Baptist. Julie had no education heating on the educational form. Do you know that he had no particular power. You know that he was a strange character work on a modified Tarzan suit me on a camel's hair.

He ate locusts and wild honey. They lived on the boondocks was a baby he was. Wellborn maybe came from high-ranking family.

Are you kidding Elizabeth and Zachariah. They were nobody's you say will Zachariah was pretty sure it was a priest, but there were thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of those priests and they had no rank, noisy would Jesus said, among them that are born of women. Matthew 1111 there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist greatest men were lived and he didn't fit in either world standards befit God's standard because it was a wise man he knew God, what a paradox, but in verse 27 God has chosen not to wise, but the what the foolish things of the world to confound the wise God is chosen not to mighty but the the week things of the world to confound the things are mighty and the base things literally the word base means low born. He has chosen the unranked the Wellborn things of the world. The things are despised as God's chosen things that aren't even considered. They are things which are not to bring to nothing the things that are see the contrast there in verses 27 to 28. He contrasts what God has chosen as he mentioned what he hasn't chosen. In other words, he says, God has not chosen educated but foolish is not chosen, powerful but weak, not highborn but low born is chosen things in the eyes of the world are nothing things to bring to nothing things that think they're something things I see how the, the word of God shows he see human philosophy doesn't mean anything.

Paul says people get that stuff out of your ranks with your needed. Can't you see the permanence of God's wisdom, the power of God's wisdom and the paradox of God's wisdom in choosing the church, shows that God doesn't need human spring.

Thank you father for giving us your truth. Your wisdom help us to lean on it, not unto our own understanding but to know that in Christ we have power of God and the wisdom there some cleaning on human wisdom pray that you would move in their lives called them to yourself, they might exercise faith and believe in the work of Christ, that simple, humble, very crude as the world would judge act is really pinnacle of all of history and the redeeming act of God for all the may they come to Christ. Help us Lord who are Christians not to mingle in the wisdom of the world to become students of the wisdom of which is ours and perhaps greatest blessing and this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.

John's current study, the foolishness of God is a look at the inability of human wisdom to change lives and the perfect ability of God's word to transform them. John let me bring up a question that may be lingering from our conversation yesterday you said that it's impossible for man to believe the gospel on his own because regeneration that is the the giving of new life to a heart is something only God can do. And so now I imagine there are people wondering will. Salvation is a work of God.

What can I do to be saved. What is my responsibility in the process of salvation, how you answer that. Well, the Bible would answer that by saying you believe there is no salvation without faith there is no salvation without believing Jesus said it was look at it from a negative standpoint. Jesus said, you will die in your sins because you believe not on me, and then he said why will you die and how many times does the New Testament say believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved or so. Also believed and they were saved. So yes the sinner's responsibility is to believe God's responsibility is to awaken the sinner from his deadness regenerating his heart and then giving him the capacity to believe in which the sinner immediately responds in faith, so it's nonetheless a divine miracle, but it never happens.

Apart from the faith of the sinner in the person and work of Christ. I understand that there are issues with the divine election that are hard to understand and that's okay because were not God and our minds are very finite. I know there are lots of questions about the subject and Phil Johnson and I got together and hopefully answer some of those questions in the discussion we had on answering key questions about the doctrine of election that is available in its entirety on grace to you website. There are lots of free sermons.

You can download some of the titles on our website are chosen for eternity or the doctrines of grace series. We have the host of blog articles on this wonderful truth of divine election and also you'll perhaps want to dig into this doctrine. As you pick up a copy of hard to believe you can do that today.

That's right, friend. God's sovereignty and salvation is truly one of the most encouraging doctrines, we want you to understand exactly what Scripture says about sovereign election.

So take advantage of audio messages and articles about election on our website and pick up John's book titled hard to believe when you contact us today. Call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to our website The book hard to believe is a thorough and clear, and biblical explanation of why the gospel can save the greatest of sinners. It's a timeless book that will encourage you to keep sharing the good news with loved ones. Even if you haven't seen any fruit to purchase your copy of hard to believe, call 855 grace or go to GT and let me give you some more details about the interview, John mentioned called answering the key questions about the doctrine of election. It addresses questions about God's sovereignty and salvation that you might've wrestled with like how should the doctrine of election change the way you tell others about Christ and should you even teach this doctrine to new Christian begin the interview to look for answering the key questions about the doctrine of election. You can download it That's our website. now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson. Thanks for tuning in today and be here tomorrow for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on racing

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