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The Foolishness of God, Part 3

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2022 4:00 am

The Foolishness of God, Part 3

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 22, 2022 4:00 am

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For the truly wise in this world with those who know salvation.

We are the ones, and we stand as a testimony for all time that God took simple, humble people who didn't know enough to do anything to redeem themselves, transform themselves, who didn't even have the mind and mental abilities of the best of the world and he made us the wisest had a simple strategy to revolutionize the industry as one consultant put it, Apple wanted to make the Mac so unique and innovative that people would be romanced into using it now to be frank. Some church leaders have been following the Macintosh approach for decades, romancing unbelievers with an easy, nonthreatening theology, but how does that approach align with Scripture find out today as John MacArthur shows you the dangers of allowing marketing strategies and gimmicks to infiltrate the church. It's part of his series on the foolishness of God and with today's lesson.

Here's John that your Bible and look at first Corinthians 1. Again, with me as will continue our study of this particular portion of Scripture dealing with chapter 1 verse 18 through chapter 2 verse five now from 118 to 25. We have taken as a unit and we said that in this particular unit.

There is the contrast between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man. I read about a small English village that had a small chapel as many English villages do.

The chapel was made of stone and had the rather traditional ivy-covered walls over the arts when the chapel was originally built. They inscribed the words we preach Christ crucified, so that everybody who ever entered would know what they were, therefore, there was a generation of godly men that did precisely that they preached Christ crucified, but times changed and the Ivy grew and pretty soon it covered the last word in the sign said we preach Christ and the godly men changed and there were other men who came in they preached Christ Christ the example Christ the humanitarian Christ. The ideal teacher.

The years passed and the Ivy grew and finally it said we preach, and they did economics, social gospel book reviews whatever else and maybe that stands as kind of an illustration of how man's philosophy affects the gospel the wisdom of man is really in the business of crowding out the gospel of Christ and from a historic standpoint. As you look at the church that is precisely what has happened. There is no place within the church of Jesus Christ for the mixture of human philosophy with divine revelation God doesn't need it if he needed something he would've said it human opinion doesn't do anything but model the waters of God's revelation. We've seen how human opinion regarding evolution has taken a simple creative account here and turn it into a mishmash called theistic evolution. We've seen how that simple principles of the word of God for human behavior and human wholeness have been met together with Freudian psychology and come up with a mishmash known as Christian counseling that does or does not have any positive or redeeming virtue, we seen this again and again with many things.

The Bible, the revelation of God has never really needed human philosophy and only adulterate that is the context in which we find ourselves because it we are looking at a book.

The book of first Corinthians that deals with problem.

Paul wrote this letter to deal with the problems in the Corinthian assembly. They had many problems.

The first of which was the problem of division. The congregation was being fraction in little groups. First of all, over personalities. According to 112 they were dividing up according to the men with whom they identified Paul Follis, Peter Christ, but the second cause of division was they were polarizing. According to philosophical viewpoints as Corinth was so dominated by varying loss of these and it wasn't very far from Athens, which was a course that the spawning ground for philosophers. They had become a populace divided over philosophical viewpoint, and when they became Christians.

They dragged their perspectives, their opinions about the various things in the world into the church and created little groups rallied around unimportant viewpoint on man's destiny or man's life and what happened was the church of been fraction of all these little groups. Everybody claiming to be a believer but everybody adhering to his former philosophy. So Paul writes from 118 to 25 to try to destroy in their minds. This particular issue to say to them.

Human philosophy is unnecessary.

Human philosophy is really the superfluous or dangerous and when you have the word of God, you have the solution to the problems of God want you to solve God and give us an incomplete revelation and were not saying you should alienate your brain and be ignorant about everything was simply saying that God's word is what a man needs and human opinion only tends to divide rather than unify.

So Paul writes this section to contrast human wisdom with divine wisdom and take every avenue we can show them they conduct human wisdom. There are five ways in which God's wisdom is superior to man's number one.

I will review the first three because Marty Dunham number one God's wisdom is superior because of its permanent. He shows this. By contrast, in verses 19 to 20.

Look at for it is written, quotes Isaiah 2914 I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Knight says that human wisdom is very impermanent.

He is going to destroy himself is going to set aside it is unnecessary to him is wrong doesn't have ultimate answers in verse 20 says when the chips are down, the issues really there. Where is the wise that's the philosopher. Where is the scribe that's the writer. Where is the disputer that's the speaker where is philosophy, literature and rhetoric when you need them. Hasn't God shown that the wisdom of this age or this world is foolishness the best of philosophers the best of riders and the best of orders haven't been able to solve any man's problem. It's impermanent for inconsequential it's go nowhere. So he says God's wisdom, by contrast to this is permanent because it's implied in the fact that he deals with the impermanence of human wisdom God's wisdom last God will destroy human wisdom are the second thing and reviewed quickly. The second thing that shows the superiority of God's wisdom is not only its permanence, but it's power it can do that which human wisdom couldn't do it can save and human wisdom couldn't say verse 21 for since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God. Human wisdom could not bring about the knowledge of God, but please God by something as seemingly foolish as preaching to save them that believe in other words, the wisdom of God exhibited in the cross, which to the world looks like foolishness could do what all of the world's wisdom couldn't do that. Is it could grant to a man the knowledge of God, and it could save a man from hell from sin from Satan you say yes, but verse 22 says the Jews are required to sign the Greeks who sought after wisdom. Verse 23 rejected it to the Jews. It was a stumbling block to the Gentiles. Something like the cross was moronic as the Greek word say what good does it do for God to show how wise he is. He brings along this thing and they all rejected it.

Yeah, they did for the most part, with verse 24 says unto them, who are called Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Summary the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

The weakness of God is stronger than me and she Paul is taking in these verses. This approach he saying God's wisdom is superior because of its power the world by all of its own wisdom. Couldn't know God couldn't do anything about sin couldn't transform in and that's why you know you can work in politics or economics or you can work in education you work anywhere you want and ultimately you never really affect the change because you can't change people human effort at its best can come up to the very base level of God's power and wisdom are the third God's wisdom is superior, not only because of its permanence of power but because of its paradox. God states the superiority of his wisdom to man's wisdom by redeeming, simple, humble people. Verse 26 for you see your calling brother and not many wise men after the flesh, and that literally means not many Sephia not many philosophers, not many mighty, that is, not many influential powerful people. There are few, but not many. Not many noble, that's highborn the world looks at three things to determine greatness number one wisdom education brings number two power and influence popularity fame number three high rank but God didn't choose very many of these verse 27 God's chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. He chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are Marty the word confound means to put the shame and the low born things. Verse 28 and the things which are despised as God's chosen things which are not.

In other words, in man's estimation there nothing to bring to nothing the things that think there's something you see here is a paradox here's apparent contradiction. God wants to demonstrate that he does not need human wisdom in order to do that he grants his salvation to humble simple people and they stand as a living testimonial to the world that God doesn't need human wisdom.

Those things, philosophy, literature, oratory, all at the high ranking things, the influential powerful intelligentsia that is irrelevant to God and to show you our relevant God contradicted human wisdom by choosing the simple and the humble most of God's people, most of are just plain folks, just simple people. James 25 says Harken, my beloved brother has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith. The poor, uneducated, simple people for the most part have always in history, constituted the makeup of the church. The reason is they stand, then collectively as a testimonial is a rebuke against the world as the Gentiles stand to make Israel jealous. So do the foolish, the simple stand as redeemed people to make the wise of this world.

Jill saw last time.

The simplest person without an education.

Those God knows more than the greatest philosopher in the world is no God. And what a rebuke that is to human wisdom in a course Ephesians 310 says that God wants to take the church put on display before principalities and powers, they may see in the churches was is no place for human wisdom. And that leads us to the next point. Verse 29. This is where we begin here is a further reason for the supremacy of God's wisdom. Its purpose God's wisdom as a far more superior purpose.

Verse 29 that no flesh should glory before God.

The best manuscripts instead of in his presence say before God notes here God removes all human boasting nobody can say what you know I tell you I'm a Christian. I was smart enough to believe that your thought that you look. It's amazing how can he be dumb enough not to accept this what you're saying is I was smart enough not to do with you being smart in being she would human resource go back to verse 24. Let's see who gets saved smart. Verse 24.

But under them, who are called elected God elected people are but verse 26 for you.

Look around you see your election. Verse 27 but God hath chosen believers and God hath chosen verse 28 mL, hath God chosen what you get saved as you were smart as well. God chose you say wait a minute, I had to do something that's verse 21 the end of the verse yes he saved them that what you believe believe that was your faith response God's part was choosing. Just remember you're saved not because you're smart so well.

I listen to all the logical arguments and made my conclusion you are saying because you are chosen of God in his marvelous grace and the result of that is verse 29 that no flesh can glory before God.

You can say here I am not remember me. I'm the smart one that's ludicrous that the Bible says God said, my glory will I not give to another Sonoma surround these 289. By grace I say through faith that not of yourselves is a gift of God not of works lest and that's would have everybody go around most no jealousy. The purpose and the wisdom of God.

Verse 30 but of him H God, are you in Christ Jesus wasn't the only reason you're in Christ Jesus is because of him to human wisdom, get you here know what possibly saying that is locked. The purpose in salvation was that God may be glorified and so in order for God to get the most glory.

He made sure that you had the least to do with your salvation. See see I got say because of God's wisdom that's right. The best that man can do at the highest level of his wisdom is nothing to change is harder to know God, yet once you become a Christian, you don't stay ignorant anymore at all stages, humble, you know very long.

In terms of not knowing anything. Once first 30. This is terrific, but of him are you in Christ. The reason you're in Christ Jesus because of God who love God is made unto us. What's the next word wisdom as soon as you became a Christian. The first thing you received was wisdom. Who are the truly wise in this world, but those who know God, who are the truly wise in this world, but those who know salvation where the wives and we stand as a testimony for all time that God took simple, humble people who didn't know enough to do anything to redeem themselves, transform themselves, who didn't even have the mind and the mental abilities of the best of the world and he made us the wisest and exist in his is the glory. And that's why it says in verse 31 if you're going to glory, then you better glory in the Lord. The purpose for which God's wisdom was granted was that he might receive the glory. And God chose simple, humble people, in order that there might not be any question about the fact that salvation is not an issue of intelligence is not an issue of man's wisdom, but of his you know the moment you became a Christian, you really learn something the Bible says Jesus it on the way, the truth and the life you received the truth shall know the truth.

The truth shall make you free.

Let me show you what you learned as a Christian. This is interesting.

This is the instant education you have. And it's a progressive thing as well.

But second Corinthians 46 no choice of giving little sequence of a verses here in segmenting and forsakes it says for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, and God's in the business of doing. I did it when he created the world, physically, but he also was able to do it spiritually. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shown in our hearts we were redeemed God turn the light on and he gave us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. You see it there.

The first thing indicated here that a believer learn when he becomes a believer is the glory of God that we say the glory of God. When we meet all that God is all of his attributes. All of his nature first thing that happens when you become a Christian. As you know, God you know is nature knows S before you are Christian, you did not know got nuts and exciting knowledge and I mean to not know God, the generator of the universe, the source of all life is a handicap that's a no. When you become a Christian, you know him. He shines he turns the switch on flips on the light of the knowledge of the glory of God and it comes through Christ sure is a mess.

You know you not only know God. Ephesians 19 some else you know, having made known unto us. And this is talking about our salvation when we were redeemed, forgiven by grace he abounded to us in all wisdom and what is that mean having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself now market God not only reveals himself to us, but he is little to us. This isn't what he ought to marry Sally or Mary or whatever with the other work. It Lockheed or somewhere else and that's always tell you about what is talking about is the sweep of God's plan and that's indicated in the next verse, the dispensation of the fullness of times now market. When you became a Christian, you began to know God then also you began the knowledge of his will or that's exciting.

Now I go down verse 17 choice of Ephesians 1 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. You know him here some else to know that the eyes of understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, the riches of the glory of his inheritance. Now both hope I watch it and inheritance, future aspect right. We are hoping for the fullness of redemption.

We are hoping for the inheritance which is reserved for us laying aside from now we know this. The eyes of understanding are open. I watch it when you were say you came to know God. God's plan and your destiny a Christian that knows where he came from what he's doing and worries go using the on that is the fullness of knowledge that comes at salvation.

I asked my snow right you will the people in this world they go around once they have got any idea where they came from was it's an eight. They haven't the faintest idea what they're doing here.

That's why become an existentialist live for the moment, and least of anything to they have any idea where the goal levitate if I only wanted to know three things in this world. Those would be the three I want to know where did I come from one of my doing and where am I going and God says in Christ you get those three thing that's having wisdom is.

That's why I say the simplest homeless Christian person who doesn't know anything. In terms of the world is wiser about what matters in the philosophers and sages of all the eight and the glory and all of it. Now you go back to first Corinthians are we aloft there for a while.

The great thing about all of it is the glory is God's because we didn't know anything God gave us this was the final where I came from.

If I know why I'm here. And if I know where I'm going is a cause to boast what I do all of a sudden. I didn't have the knowledge and dexterity. God gave to, but of you of God are you in Christ. It was an act of God was because of you. You are in Christ and Christ is made unto you wisdom and wisdom is the key that verse, but in addition to that, Paul can't resist throne and some other thing you not only receive wisdom, but you received righteousness say what is righteousness shorten it up, take off the nest righteous and take on this right. Righteousness means before God. You stand right as opposed to wrong, good, as opposed to bed soon, less as opposed to sinful so you mean when I when I responded to Jesus Christ. When God called me, and I believe that I do it right before God.

That's correct.

You see second Corinthians 521 says that Christ was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in here so he took our sin and gave us his righteous when God looks down at a Christian from heaven he sees it with a cloak over it and it says the righteousness of Christ on it and it covers the soon and God declares a righteous. That's because of Christ is a great verse in Philippians 39 just read it.

Look it up, says, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. You don't have any of your own boss as I want to be found.

Having his righteous know it's a wonderful thing to realize that when you save you not only get wisdom, but you also get absolute and total righteousness, or God, your sin is done away so can God do that because Christ took your sin and bore on the cross paid the bill God is satisfied he sees Grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary's current study is from first Corinthians 1 and it's titled the foolishness of God.

John today's lesson and really this entire study makes it clear that God's wisdom seems foolish, it doesn't make any sense from the world's perspective and so I'm wondering how should that fact affect the way Christians evangelize. I recently heard a speaker say don't give people the word of God straight off because they're not prepared to believe it.

That just doesn't sound right to me. Well, I don't think we can try to improve on the power of the word of God. You can make an effort to be clever, but the power is in the truth of this goes back to what the apostle Paul said, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and to the Greeks so you might say well you know I can't just give them this the you you feel a little bit ashamed like this is sort of the failing to recognize the sophistication of who you're talking to, or the complexity of what the issues might be, but I don't want to look foolish and just give the Bible that is exactly what you do because the power is in the truth and I want to tell people this all the time when they offer all kinds of sophisticated approaches to evangelism you can get bound up and trying to come up with every imaginable kind of mechanism or trick designed to try to reach people with the power by biblical declaration is in the truth so don't hesitate to give the gospel and see the spirit of God use it. It's not your cleverness against anyone saved, it's the spirits work. He's the one who doesn't he does it by the truth of the gospel is laid out in Scripture. Let me just one more time to remind you to get a copy of the book hard to believe. It exposes the modern seeker driven approach to evangelism an approach that is filling up congregations was self deceived false converts in the book is not meant to be controversial, but is trying to be truthful and clear so I encourage you to get on the right track with regard to evangelism. I mean, that's why were here right we need to do it right. The gospel is about forgiveness and grace and needs to be preached straightforward in its biblical content. So if you want some help doing that. Get a copy. Hard to believe available Grace to you today yes friend, it is vital that you know exactly what Jesus said about salvation and how his message compares with what you're hearing in your church.

John's book hard to believe is vital reading.

So pick up a copy when you contact us today to order you can call our customer service staff at 855 grace were shop The full title of this book is hard to believe subtitled the high cost infinite value of following Jesus to order a copy for yourself or to put one in a friend's hands.

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