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Jan 24, 2021

The Scripture passages which open this morning’s service set forth two important declarations: that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord (Psalm 111:10), and that this wisdom is greater than the wisdom of the world (1 John 4:4). This contrast between heavenly and worldly knowledge is at the heart of Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 1 and can be found in several of the hymns we sing as well. In Hear Me All You People—Psalm 49, the words of the psalmist proclaim that he will “speak wisdom,” and that men who do not have true wisdom from God are “like the beast that dies.” In When I Survey The Wondrous Cross and How Deep The Father’s Love For Us, we will declare to the Lord that we will not boast in our own wisdom, instead boasting in the death and resurrection of Christ (echoing 1 Corinthians 1:31 from the sermon text). The communion hymns The Wicked Man Fears Not The Lord—Psalm 36 and My God, My Portion, And My Love compare the worldly man who “trusts in his own way” to the Christian who is free to say, “I’ve none but Thee in heaven above or on this earthly ball.” As we leave the service, the Benediction from James 3 implores us to go out in the “wisdom from above” which is pure, peaceable, and full of good fruits. Perhaps the old Irish melody SLANE will still be ringing in your mind’s ear, reminding us that our God is our “true wisdom,” our “best thought,” and our “vision.” —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Cross, Folly, Wisdom, Signs, Stumbling Block, Weak, Strong, Chose
Keystone Verse: Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)


1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”